FCW Forum | Reader’s Corner
More flak about federal hiring
Readers highlight more problems with the federal hiring process
A recent article on FCW.com highlighted “8 reasons why the government hiring process doesn’t work,” drawing on reader comments we received in response to an earlier article. As is often the case, the comments begot more comments. Here is a roundup of the latest reader feedback.
- "I think it's funny that the application process itself didn't make the list of why the government hiring process doesn't work. The government frequently requires an applicant to supply extremely detailed information usually not found on a professional résumé: long essays, writing samples, and certification of educational and professional facts that occurred long ago. They require all of this information upfront, whether or not you have a snowball's chance in Hades of getting the job. A lot of good potential employees just couldn't be bothered with such a lopsided process. The government probably needs the information, but only from final-round candidates."
- "Résumé padding and outright lying are rampant. I now carefully craft my '20 questions' with essay questions to match critical yes/no or multiple choice questions. Then, if a candidate's résumé or essay questions don't support their other answers, I get them thrown out. Even with all that extra work and reference checking, I've hired some astounding liars. 'Background checks' are a complete joke. In one case, the background check for a new hire was completed after their probationary period and showed serious flaws that would have disqualified the person."
- "When the hiring manager tells you that you must lie to get past the automated/HR part of the system, you know there is something wrong. You must pick the optimum answer to each question and answer that way to score high enough to beat out the other people who overinflate their qualifications. I was told that once the résumés get to the hiring manager, 90 percent shouldn't even be holding a job in IT."
- "It took me three solid years of diligently applying [for a government job], and I endured most of what people seem to crab about (particularly the 'fix is in' aspect). But I kept at it for my own reasons, and I'm in a job I love doing good work. It's true, that 'good government job' isn't going to walk up and grab you, but they are out there. Better feedback and shorter turnaround would fix most of the problem."
- "The amount of time wasted applying for positions that do not really exist — someone is slated for the job, but regulations say you have to advertise it — is incredible. How many people slave over that application? And then, after the selection is made with no interviews, start applying for the next position that is advertised? This is not just an IT problem, this is a governmentwide problem."
- "I was asked to interview for a government position and to provide pay information to 'verify employability.' Then the government representative went back to my company to harass them about the difference between my pay and the contract amount. That just is unethical to use a ruse to try to finesse contracting issues."