OPM Initiatives Will Improve Hiring/Recruitment Process

May 8, 2008 – 6:26 pm

U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Deputy Associate Director for Talent and Capacity Policy Angela Bailey today outlined for Members of Congress actions OPM is taking to ensure the Federal Government has an effective civilian workforce.   Testifying at a hearing coinciding with Public Service Recognition Week, Bailey told the Senate Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia about initiatives to improve the hiring process, streamline job announcements for entry-level positions, and selection methods for the Senior Executive Service (SES). 

“We are well aware the Federal hiring system has evolved over many years into a cumbersome process and hiring takes far too long,” said Bailey.  “That is why we have expanded our efforts by partnering with several agency Chief Human Capital Officers to launch a new, holistic and systemic view of the hiring process.”   

This initiative focuses on five interrelated components – workforce planning, recruitment, hiring, suitability and security, and orientation – that work in concert to create an efficient and effective hiring process.  By September, OPM will issue a Governmentwide standard for the hiring process, along with a “how to” guide that includes successful practices, templates, and scripts for communicating with applicants.

As a subset of this initiative, OPM is also streamlining job announcements and creating templates agencies may use when advertising for entry-level positions.  “We have replaced the legalese and pages of extraneous information that were not necessary to announce a job,” said Bailey.  “It also advertises upfront two of the most important issues of concern to new professionals – pay and benefits.”  Pilot projects are also underway to attract seasoned executives in the Senior Executive Service (SES) whose resumes clearly demonstrate the extent of their experience and accomplishments.

To help agencies better address their hiring needs at both ends of the employment spectrum, OPM sent Congress a legislative proposal to allow agencies to rehire annuitants on a part-time and/or time-limited basis, without a salary offset.  These experienced workers, with their institutional knowledge can help the next generation of employees integrate into an agency’s workforce by serving as mentors and knowledge management facilitators, thus providing a seamless transition from generation to generation. 

Bailey concluded, “If anything, OPM believes these efforts will prove it is possible to challenge difficult and esoteric processes, and, more importantly, create solutions that do not compromise our principles.”  

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