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HCAAF Resource Center

Career Patterns Guide

Analytic Tool

This section provides an analytic tool for using the Career Patterns approach. The tool consists of a structured process with associated worksheets that will help agencies analyze job requirements and produce an evidence-based foundation for building effective work environments. Those reshaped work environments will offer features consistent with future employees' different expectations of the employer-employee relationship and appeal to the multi-dimensional 21st century workforce. In particular, the Career Patterns Analytic Tool lets agencies identify and categorize their job requirements according to Career Pattern Scenarios.

Strategic Workforce Planning and the Analytic Tool

The analysis process described in this section and strategic workforce planning are mutually reinforcing. Applying the analytic tool focuses agencies' strategic workforce planning efforts; and future workforce planning efforts will benefit from the input provided by the Career Patterns analysis. However, applying a Career Patterns approach to examining job requirements and building work environments is not a replacement for strategic workforce planning. The analytic tool presented here was developed with the recognition that agencies are at different stages in their strategic workforce planning efforts. Agencies may have already determined which positions are critical to the agency mission and which positions are hard-to-fill or have high turnover. For agencies that already do labor market research, the analytic tool helps affirm plans and serves as a communication vehicle with senior officials to support decision making. Such agencies will proceed quickly through the initial steps of using the tool and find it helpful primarily to link previously identified job requirements to Career Pattern Scenarios. For agencies in the beginning or middle stages of workforce planning, this analytic tool provides a solid foundation for developing a systematic and competitive hiring strategy. For more information about workforce planning and its central place in overall strategic human capital management, refer to the Human Capital Assessment and Accountability Framework (HCAAF) and Workforce Planning topics in Section IV of this guide. Additionally, the HCAAF Resource Center is available at:

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This Tool Can Benefit Multiple Users
User Use
Strategic workforce planning practitioners

• Identify Career Pattern Scenarios to target to
   meet workforce needs, both short-term
  and long-term.
• Define effective strategies for attracting and
   retaining workers in the Career Pattern
   Scenarios identified.
• Analyze collective job requirements to identify
   top priority actions.

Recruiting and staffing HR practitioners

• Identify scenarios to target to effectively meet
   specific job requirements.
• Identify the features of the work environment
   to stress in recruitment information to attract
   workers in targeted Career Pattern Scenarios.

CHCOs responsible for policy and agency practice

• Develop the business case for changes to
   human capital policies and practices needed to
   attract and; retain required talent.

Line managers seeking to address pressing hiring and retention needs

• Identify the Career Pattern Scenarios to target    to meet hiring and retention needs.
• Shape work environment to be more appealing
   to workers in the Career Pattern Scenarios
• Identify attractors, i.e., the features of the
   work environment to stress when recruiting
   workers in these Career Pattern Scenarios.

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The Analytic Tool: Analysis Process

The Career Patterns Analytic Tool provides a three-step process to analyze job requirements, categorize those requirements into Career Pattern Scenarios, and identify the work environment features your agency can use to attract a broader range of potential applicants and employees. The Career Patterns Analysis Worksheet will help you record information and conduct the analysis.

The following diagram summarizes the analysis process this tool applies.

Step 1. Define the Job Requirement > Step 2. Categorize the Job Requirement > Step 3. Identify Work Enviroment Features


  • Step 1: Define the Job Requirement. Identify and define your workforce requirements applying a broad set of criteria.
  • Step 2: Categorize the Job Requirement. Answer a set of questions to translate your job requirements into Career Pattern Scenarios.
  • Step 3: Identify Work Environment Features. Select work environment features your agency should support in order to attract and retain employees across a range of Career Patterns Scenarios. (The result of Step 3 will provide the basis for the Career Patterns Action Planning described in Section III.)

For agencies that have done some if not all of these steps already, this tool provides templates to capture existing observations and information systematically.

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