Every federal agency has two groups of employees that hold the key to who gets hired: Those in the personnel office and those who carry out the agency’s mission.

For the most part, these staffs don’t collaborate as they should, and their broken relationship is a big reason that government has a lot of trouble identifying and hiring the most talented people.

Top Obama administration officials acknowledged Tuesday that the disconnect between hiring managers and human resources staff is so big, and has been for years, that experts are traveling to federal offices across the country in a campaign to get the groups to work together.

“Our priority is this: How do we compete for the top talent in the country?” Beth Cobert, acting director of the Office of Personnel Management, said in a meeting with reporters to discuss a campaign called “Connecting with Top Talent,” part of a broader effort to improve what many experience as a broken hiring process.

OPM officials said they are traveling to federal offices in 33 cities across 19 states to bring hiring officials and the subject experts they are tasked with helping into the same room for a day.

The problem is widely known by those inside and outside government. Federal government job seekers feel as if their résumés go into a black hole. Hiring can take months. The most talented people don’t make the cut.

Read More: Washington Post

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