Brito: Army Works to Refine, Improve Talent Management

Brito: Army Works to Refine, Improve Talent Management

Lt. Gen. Gary Brito presents an award to a soldier.
Photo by: U.S. Army/Ashley Hayes

The Army continues to refine and build its talent management system so it can recruit and retain the best, the service’s top personnel officer said.

Testifying before the House Armed Services personnel subcommittee, Lt. Gen. Gary Brito, Army deputy chief of staff for personnel, stressed that the Army will continue to prioritize its people.

“The Army’s No. 1 priority remains our people,” he said Feb. 8. “All of our Army’s personnel programs and initiatives are focused on taking care of our people with dignity and respect and building a culture of trust and cohesion.”

Leaders also continue to focus on how to “acquire, develop, employ and retain the very best talent,” he said. This includes persevering through the challenges of recruiting during the COVID-19 pandemic, Brito said.

“We have a very challenging recruiting environment right now, largely due to COVID and some other environmental factors, but [we’re] very aggressively working through all of that,” Brito said. “I'm very proud of where our talent management efforts are going.”

In fiscal 2020, the Army “increased end strength, decreased accessions and increased retention” over fiscal 2019, according to a Rand Corp. study on recruiting and retention.

Looking ahead, the Army will use new technology and programs to ensure that its talent management system can meet recruitment and retention needs, Brito said.

“Personnel readiness is critical to Army readiness,” he said. “New technology, programs, policy, innovation and management models are transforming the Army’s personnel systems and will provide our soldiers and civilians with more opportunities to excel and improve our ability to compete for and retain talent.”

One key change is rolling out the Integrated Personnel and Pay System-Army, Brito said. Also known as IPPS-A, it is an electronic, data-driven system that brings personnel, pay and talent management information into one place.

The Army National Guard is already using the system, and the Army plans to roll it out to the Regular Army and Army Reserve in September.

“IPPS-A is the No. 1 human resource modernization effort for the Total Army,” Brito said. “IPPS-A is the Army's new web-based HR system, which when fully deployed will deliver a single comprehensive, data-rich HR and talent management system to the total force.”

In addition, programs such as the Army Talent Alignment Process, a decentralized, market-style hiring system that aligns officers with jobs based on their preferences, will help the force fill critical talent gaps, Brito said. These programs also will give commanders in the field the talent they need for specific jobs, he said.

“This talent marketplace gives leaders more flexibility to build a team of individuals with the needed skills, talent and experience,” he said. “It also gives individuals more control over their assignments and their career path.”