OPM reports progress on hiring reforms

Agencies are making progress in streamlining the federal hiring process as they field plans to eliminate unnecessary paperwork

Agencies are making progress in streamlining the federal hiring process as they field plans to eliminate unnecessary paperwork and cut the amount of time it takes to fill vacant positions, according to Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director John Berry.

In a Sept. 14 Web posting, Berry reported that all federal agencies have submitted preliminary Hiring Reform Action Plans to OPM and the Office of Management and Budget in response to a presidential directive to overhaul agency hiring procedures. Berry said OPM and OMB are working with agencies on their action plans to improve hiring speed and quality, adding that the plans will evolve as reforms are implemented.

In the action plans, agencies are expected to:

  • Dramatically reduce the time between when a job is announced and is filled
  • Eliminate essays as an initial application requirement
  • Use shorter, plain-language job announcements
  • Accept resumes from applicants, instead of requiring them to submit complex applications through outdated systems
  • Allow hiring managers to choose from among a group of best-qualified candidates, rather than limiting their choice to just three names, through expanded use of “category ratings” and 
  • Notify applicants in a timely manner through USAJobs.gov.

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