Cultivate a Well-Equipped, Diverse, Flexible and Engaged Workforce

Our employees are committed to serving the American taxpayer. We strive for a culture that values innovation, welcomes multiple perspectives and celebrates diversity. Our approach to development will be complemented by a forward-looking talent management strategy that considers future business and stakeholder needs.

Our vision for the future depends on a workplace culture that empowers employees to improve the taxpayer experience and uphold the tax code fairly. We’re working to provide a collaborative, inclusive and flexible experience for employees, regardless of where they work in the agency.

We will support our employees by offering modernized training and tools, especially on emerging priorities such as data analytics, advanced technological systems and changes in tax requirements. Employees will be trained with the necessary skills to serve a taxpayer base that is increasingly diverse and complex in terms of tax situations and demographics.

Enhanced skills development will be coupled with a forward-looking talent management strategy, allowing the IRS to identify human resource needs more effectively based on workload demands, business needs and tax legislation. Our talent management strategy will focus on supporting employees’ needs and clear paths for career development. Recognizing the importance of cultivating the next generation of managers and leaders, we’ll focus on succession planning while encouraging the transfer of institutional knowledge.

Critical Hiring Needs. The IRS prioritizes hiring mission critical positions based on agency needs, including those related to: tax reform, cybersecurity, IT modernization and infrastructure, data and analytics, filing season, and identity theft.

Objectives and Supporting Activities

  • Enhance and expand ways to gather employee feedback.

  • Promote flexible work-life options, identifying ways to ensure employees on mobile, remote, Alternate Work Schedule or other arrangements can participate seamlessly.

  • Protect equal opportunity, promoting diversity and inclusion through all steps of the employee lifecycle.

Employee Engagement. 67% of IRS employees responding to the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) in 2017 felt engaged at work.


  • Make innovative training, tools and support accessible to employees.

  • Expand development opportunities (e.g., job shadowing, rotational programs).

  • Create career ladders and career-mapping tools to provide transparency and predictability into skill requirements and expectations.

  • Develop mentoring programs and promote cross-functional exposure and networking.

  • Identify emerging leaders and increase leadership development efforts to provide a strong talent pipeline to fill key positions.

  • Develop standard processes for knowledge transfer when employees join or leave the agency.

  • Redesign the Employee Resource Center, IRS intranet and other knowledge management platforms to improve information sharing across functions and business units.

Career Progression

IRS employees say developing opportunities for career progression is the best way to ensure a well-equipped, diverse, flexible and engaged IRS workforce. (Based on a 2017 survey conducted by CFO)

  • Refresh retention and recruitment strategies to streamline hiring and focus on critical skills.

  • Increase emphasis on forecasting of resource needs and analysis of workload demands.

  • Integrate workforce planning into strategic planning efforts throughout the agency.

Measuring Success

Employee Engagement - Percentage of employees that say they feel engaged in their work as measured by Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) index of relevant questions from the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS).

Trends and Challenges

Supporting an Evolving Workforce

A large portion of the IRS workforce is nearing retirement, with 27 percent eligible to retire by the end of FY18. Moreover, the group that represents our next generation — those aged 25 or younger — makes up less than half of one percent of our workforce. Succession planning and knowledge transfer are critical to passing on the leadership skills and institutional knowledge necessary for continued effective tax administration.

In addition to preventing knowledge gaps, we must also develop a workforce capable of responding to the demands of the future. This means attracting, developing and retaining employees with advanced skillsets. Developing leaders from our current workforce will make this evolution successful. We must also train and equip employees with the skills and tools necessary to operate in an increasingly digital and data-enabled world.

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