Vendor picked for USAJobs revamp

USA Jobs

The Office of Personnel Management has selected a vendor to redesign the agency's online jobs site so that it is easier to use and appeals to people in the private sector considering a job with the federal government.

As soon as this week, OPM is expected to announce the winning vendor that will revamp USAJobs as part of the Recruitment One Stop e-government initiative. The decision is awaiting final approval from OPM Director Kay Coles James.

"Our goal is to compete with the private sector," said Norm Enger, director of OPM's e-government programs. When job-seekers come to USAJobs, Enger said, they should be attracted to it and eager to submit their resume. "We will have a place to attract the best and the brightest."

Applicants inside and outside government have long criticized the federal hiring process as slow and cumbersome. Federal job vacancy announcements are hard to understand and hard to find, and applicants get little feedback once their resumes are submitted.

The new USA Jobs site is expected to change all that. For instance, it will offer easy job searching, better display of information, improved readability of job announcements, the ability by applicants to check the status of their resume once submitted, and immediate feedback on certain items such as the applicant's eligibility for a particular job, said Claire Gibbons, project manager for the Recruitment One Stop program.

OPM expects to unveil the new site — at least the first iteration of the new site — in January. By July 2003, the site will integrate seamlessly with agency business processes and automated assessment tools.

One of the barriers to creating a new streamlined hiring process, Gibbons said, is that applicants may still submit hard copy applications and may use any format. Also, agencies must implement business processes to support receipt of electronic applications.

Gibbons and Enger were speaking Dec. 13 at a conference presented by Federal Sources Inc. and Potomac Forum Ltd.

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