The Federal Communications Commission’s human resources chief said the agency has become “the most hated job in America.”
In an interview with The Wall St. Journal, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said the FCC has grown increasingly difficult to recruit from within the agency.
He said he’s looking to replace about 1,200 of the agency’s 3,000 full-time employees, who have been given the ability to retire with a two-year severance package.
He also wants to remove more than 1,000 employees, including some with seniority, that are “no longer necessary to the mission of the commission.”
The FCC has been one of the nation’s largest employers of technology workers, particularly in the areas of technology and media, since the agency was created in 1947.
But the FCC’s recruitment efforts have been criticized for being focused on “white-collar” jobs.
For example, the agency said in its first recruiting pitch in 2018 that its new hiring plan would focus on the “greatest talent” who have “the best qualifications for the most challenging jobs in America” and who are willing to work at a lower salary than those in their fields.
The FCC also said it would hire fewer white-collar candidates, though those efforts have since been scaled back.
In addition, the FCC is trying to improve its hiring practices in a way that is focused on skills in the technology sector.
Pai said he wants to hire more women in tech, but the agency is not hiring at the same pace it did last year.
In January, the commission announced it was going to increase the number of female employees on its board from six to eight.
The FCC’s recruiting efforts have caused friction between Pai and President Donald Trump, who has taken a hard line on hiring from within his administration.
In December, Pai called Trump “a big fan of technology” and said the president had encouraged him to get rid of the FCC.
Pai told the Journal the FCC would not be removing all people who do not meet those criteria, but he said he was open to “changing the process.”
He also said the commission would look to change the agency in “some way” and would be open to a merger.