step toward meeting California's HR needs.


"We need to find talented people to work in the state," she said, "and if we can get retired people who want to go back into the work force part-time, I think that is fantastic."


As government moves to fill those needs, HR experts say public-sector technology initiatives like Boomerang mirror what has been going on for some time in the private sector.


"You pick your profession: They all maintain job pages, job banks. So having one that is just focused on these government workers seems like a good idea," said Charles Ingersoll, senior client partner and head of the government practice of global recruiting firm Korn/Ferry International.


Recent studies suggest that such efforts are becoming increasingly common in the public sector.


The International Public Management Association for Human Resources studied such efforts in the public sector. In its most recent surveys, the organization found that 57 percent of responding organizations utilize some type of automated applicant tracking application, system or solution.


Twenty percent use a homegrown IT solution or system for applicant tracking.


For those organizations without an existing automated applicant-tracking application, 40 percent plan to implement one in the near future.


 As in the Boomerang program, the Internet plays a significant part in technology-based recruiting. Seventy-six percent of respondents said applicants could contact human resources, ask questions or request information via the Internet. Fifty-one percent take applications online.


Overall, 44 percent of responding organizations said they use some type of Web-based recruiting tool.



Simple Solution

As a piece of technology, Boomerang is deliberately simple, to the point of being stripped down. Virtually all registrant information can be filled in with a mouse click or a pull-down menu: last agency worked for, skills and experience.


 "We decided to have as few fields for questions as possible. You don't want to come in as a retiree and give this big old explanation of what you are doing. That's why we ask them just to go through this list and check the box for what you want to

Photo of Adam Stone Adam Stone  |  Contributing Writer

A seasoned journalist with 20+ years' experience, Adam Stone covers education, technology, government and the military, along with diverse other topics. His work has appeared in dozens of general and niche publications nationwide.