Working for the IRS – A Commitment to Mission, People and Country

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By Robin D. Bailey, Jr.
CL-21-06, February 18, 2021

As the leader of the IRS organization responsible for recruiting, hiring, developing and retaining employees, I have numerous opportunities to talk about why the IRS is a great place to work. There are many attractive reasons to pursue a career at the IRS, including a wide variety of career paths, office locations all over the country, great benefits, a challenging and dynamic work environment, professional development opportunities and our diverse and inclusive workplace. And while these are all valid and good reasons, I often focus on three themes that capture the spirit of why I believe the IRS is the best place to pursue a career:

It’s about the mission.

It’s about the people.

It’s about the country.

I’m sure most people think of tax collection when they think of the IRS. Our mission statement reflects our important tax administration and enforcement work: “Provide America's taxpayers top quality service by helping them understand and meet their tax responsibilities and enforce the law with integrity and fairness to all.”

I think it’s important to give you a closer look at our agency’s mission - and the talented people who carry it out – so you understand why I believe this is definitely an agency for people who have a commitment to public service and a strong work ethic who want to contribute to a higher good. Mission is one of the primary considerations for applicants when looking for a new employer or career, and it’s the key to employees staying in their organization. The combination of meaningful work in support of an important mission is powerful.

When discussing the mission of the IRS with prospective or new employees, I ask them to look beyond the language in our mission statement because our mission is far greater, as it involves keeping America running. I often characterize the IRS as the heartbeat of America. Each year, we collect more than $3 trillion and generate approximately 96 percent of the funding that supports the federal government’s operations. The work we do supports the nation’s most vital programs, from homeland security to America’s defense, to Social Security, as well as programs and projects that are a bit closer to home, like parklands and forests, roads and bridges, libraries, museums, schools, and more.

The success of our mission and the scope of the work we do requires a committed and diverse workforce with skills in many areas. Our career opportunities extend beyond accounting and legal positions; we have criminal investigation and compliance positions, and positions in information technology, human capital, facilities management, communications and many other fields. It does not matter which degree you hold or the field you are studying - the IRS has some exciting career opportunities for you. For example, our criminal investigators have worked on interagency teams that exposed a global child pornography enterprise on the dark web involving surreptitious use of a cryptocurrency and helped bring to justice the site’s administrator and more than 330 high-volume users located in 23 states and 12 countries. Our Information Technology professionals have won awards for implementing technical solutions to innovate our operations under the Taxpayer First Act. Commissioner Rettig has said that he bets we could hire an entire senior class of any college in this country and place each person in their area of expertise. I encourage anyone who is looking for a challenging and exciting career to take a closer look at the IRS.

This brings us to a discussion about our people, and this is a topic I’m very passionate about. Our workforce is our most important asset. In the IRS, we are a group of dedicated professionals who make things happen - no challenge is too great - and we find solutions to difficult problems! Day in and day out, IRS employees nationwide are hard at work supporting tax administration, helping taxpayers, engaging stakeholders, enforcing laws to promote a fair tax system, apprehending criminals who exploit children or engage in terrorism, and issuing timely refunds to taxpayers. And as we’ve demonstrated during the COVID-19 pandemic, we support one another and people in our communities. This is a special place to work.

Our goal for our workforce is ambitious. We are going to make sure our folks are trained and developed to be the very best at what they do. These are investments we are making to attract the best and brightest and retain those who are on the team. We value and embrace employees for who they are and for their personal life experiences as enhancing the overall value of all IRS employees in being proudly reflective of the communities we serve. Bottom line - we want people to come here, grow here, and retire here, but if they leave, they will be well prepared for the next chapter in their life. We are committed to investing in them the entire way.

It’s a great feeling to know that no matter what position you hold at the IRS, you are contributing to the success of our country. And no matter what your passion is, you can find it in the IRS while making meaningful contributions to the greater good.

Investing in our people is one of the most important things we can do. I’m excited about our current work and future plans to make greater investments in our people, with the goal of broadening perspectives and building a strong bench which will give us a broader reach into diverse and dynamic areas. To that end, we are making a significant investment in a corporate university framework for leadership and professional development. We are in the process of building the IRS University and hope to launch it in 2022. The IRSU is being designed to meet the career development and enrichment needs of our workforce, providing deliberate training, educational, and experiential opportunities for IRS employees.

And once we bring new employees onboard, we make sure they are warmly welcomed into our organization. Our New Employee Ambassador Program supports new hires by pairing them with seasoned IRS employees who offer assistance and support. An Ambassador is a peer, ideally in the same occupation and Business Operating Division as the new employee, who has volunteered to help the new hire transition into his/her new position. We have had tremendous success with the program so far and continue to recruit employees to participate. And last, but not least, working for the IRS is about our country.

I, and my fellow IRS colleagues, are dedicated public servants committed to doing the right thing and the fair thing for our fellow citizens in support of our nation. It’s no wonder that so many veterans and military family members work here, continuing their patriotic service to our country. We are also taxpayers and look at all we do through that lens as well, striving to continuously improve to make enforcing the tax laws less burdensome for everyone.

It’s a great feeling to know that no matter what position you hold at the IRS, you are contributing to the success of our country. And no matter what your passion is, you can find it in the IRS while making meaningful contributions to the greater good. It’s exciting, it’s rewarding and it’s patriotic…it doesn’t get much better than this!

If you want to be part of a dynamic organization that lets you apply your talents to real-world issues, provides you with the development you need to succeed, and enables you to serve your country, that’s exactly what you'll find here at the Internal Revenue Service. So if you’re up for the challenge and want to work alongside some amazing people, visit our Jobs page on IRS.gov or our LinkedIn page for more information.

Robin D. Bailey, Jr.
IRS Human Capital Officer

Robin D. Bailey, Jr., IRS Human Capital Officer

About the Author

Robin D. Bailey Jr. has over 30 years of service to America in various senior level positions within the Department of the Air Force, Department of Agriculture, and the Internal Revenue Service. As the IRS Chief Human Capital Officer, he provides executive leadership and direction to 1,600 professionals who execute all matters relating to recruitment, hiring, employee development, retention, performance management, payroll, employee services, workforce relations, employee engagement, and recognition programs for the approximately 80,000 IRS employees who accomplish the mission.

 

 

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