Recruiting and Retaining Individuals in State Transportation Agencies

National Cooperative Highway Research Progarm


This synthesis summarizes the state of the practice (in 2002) of recruitment and retention at state transportation agencies. The results of this synthesis are based on survey responses from 27 transportation agencies. The report includes:

  • Observations on recruitment and retention practices, including those in other industries with applicability to transportation
  • Demographic overview of state transportation agencies’ attributes that influence recruitment and retention
  • Historical recruitment and retention trends
  • Factors (internal and external) affecting recruiting and retention
  • General effectiveness of recruitment and retention
  • Best practices and program characteristics

The report summarizes a large volume of survey data collected on employee characteristics (education, professional classifications, experience, etc.); attitudes and beliefs (value of work, contribution, compensation and promotion, etc.); recruitment factors and strategies; reasons for employees leaving and returning; and retention factors and strategies. The report concludes that agency recruitment and retention programs must consider variation in agency size, staff makeup, jurisdictional responsibilities, political organization, services rendered, demographic characteristics, geography, turnover rates, and professional profile. Successful recruitment and retention practices should highlight attributes reported to be attractive by current agency personnel: a stable work environment, benefits, special training programs, and compensation packages. Retention strategies should address current and future salary plans and promotional opportunities.

Source Organization Location

Washington, DC

Operations Area of Practice

  • Leadership
  • Organizational Models
  • Position Descriptions, Recruitment and Retention
  • Training and Profesional Development

Organizational Capability Element

  • Leadership/Championship
  • Education, Training & Professional Activities
  • Organizational Structure/Staffing
  • Recruitment and Retention

Content Type

  • State-of-the Practice

Role in Organization

  • Director / Program Manager
  • Manager / First Line Supervisor
  • Principal Engineer
  • Researcher/Academic
  • Senior Engineer
  • Senior Manager

Publishing Organization


Document Downloads

Project Website

Recruiting and Retaining Individuals in State Transportation Agencies

Prime Contractor
Tom Warne and Associates, LLC
Issue Date
January 1st, 2003
Publication Number
NCHRP Synthesis 323
ISBN Number
Downloads Back to Search Results