Study: Hiring flexibilities produce talent

Most government managers who use hiring flexibilities say those techniques are more effective in producing quality newly hired employees than traditional ranking and selection procedures, according to a new study by the Office of Personnel Management.

The study, based on an online survey of the use of hiring flexibilities at eight agencies and  data from OPM’s central personnel data file, also found:



  • When hiring flexibilities, such as direct-hire authority, are used instead of traditional procedures, supervisors and human resources practitioners rated them as more efficient.



  • Despite the availability of OPM resources, such as the Hiring Flexibilities Resource Center, the majority of managers who participated in the survey don’t use them.



  • For the most part, managers and supervisors rely on their human resources staff members for information on hiring flexibilities.



  • The agencies surveyed have provided a modest amount of training on hiring flexibilities to their managers and HR staff members.


OPM Director Linda Springer said the purpose of the study was to obtain baseline data on the use, effectiveness and efficiency of hiring flexibilities and to use the information to help make policy decisions on those flexibilities.

Agencies participating in the survey were the Agriculture, Defense, Homeland Security, Interior, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs departments; Environmental Protection Agency; and Social Security Administration.

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