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Hiring Reform

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The ability of agencies to perform their missions effectively and efficiently depends on a talented and engaged workforce, and reforming our hiring system will help to further strengthen that workforce. Improving the Federal Recruitment and Hiring Process is Phase I of President Obama’s initiative to overhaul the way the Federal Government recruits and hires the federal civilian workforce. The Memorandum is based on issues that job seekers and employees alike have brought to the attention of OPM, and it is designed to help agencies build the workforce needed to achieve important goals. The initiative focuses on ensuring Americans are able to apply for Federal jobs through a commonsense hiring process and agencies are able to select high-quality candidates efficiently and quickly. Moreover, under the new reform, agency managers and supervisors will assume a leadership role in recruiting and selecting employees from all segments of our society and human resource offices will provide critical support to these efforts.

Eliminating Essay-Style Questions KSAs, or Narrative Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities Essay Questions, may deter highly talented individuals with limited time from seeking a position in the federal government. Many agencies have already eliminated the requirements that applicants respond to essay-style questions when submitting their initial application materials for any Federal job. Instead, individuals are now able to apply for Federal employment by submitting resumes and cover letters or completing simple and plain language applications. In result, job seekers and applicants both save time and money.

Flexibility for Managers No longer will hiring managers be limited to make a selection among only the top highest scoring applicants. Instead, agencies will be provided with a larger number of qualified applicants by using the "category rating" approach (as authorized by section 3319 of title 5, United States Code), rather than the Rule of 3 approach. Veterans continue to be eligible for preference and are encouraged to apply.

Reducing Time-to-Hire In addition to increasing the quality of agency hiring, agencies are steadily decreasing the time from when an agency posts a job opportunity announcement to the time of hire. One focus area of agencies is to substantially reduce the time it takes to hire mission-critical and commonly filled positions. A method to do so includes sharing lists of best qualified applicants for commonly filled government-wide occupations and eliminating the need for applicants to apply more than once to a range of similar positions.

Application Status Updates Throughout the hiring process, applicants will be better informed. Throughout key stages of the application process, individuals applying for Federal employment will be notified through USAJOBS about the status of their application. Applicants are also encouraged to contact the point of contact listed on the job opportunity announcement.

For more information, click Hiring Reform.


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This page was last modified on 20 November 2013, at 18:10.

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