OPM creates hiring pool to speed applications

Applicants will be able to fill out a single application for multiple agencies

Applicants for several entry-level posts in the federal government can apply to multiple agencies with a single application under a new hiring pool program, the Office of Personnel Management announced.

The hiring pool shared register program currently applies to only entry-level Budget Analysts (GS 5, 7 and 9) and Information Technology Specialists (GS-9), according to OPM.

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Under the new program, which is part of an ongoing hiring reform initiative, OPM will create a shared register providing a hiring pool of eligible and qualified applicants for current job opportunities at multiple agencies in multiple locations.

“This gives applicants an opportunity to be considered for these positions through a single application process,” the agency said.

When agencies use the system, OPM will send a list of  the best qualified candidates for that vacancy. The agency then has 30 days to review the list.

“This will keep the process timely on behalf of the applicants,” OPM said.

The goal of the program is to help federal agencies speed up the hiring of high quality applicants into critical positions.

"Shared registers are an innovative tool to help federal agencies address some critical staffing challenges," OPM Director John Berry said in a written statement. "OPM is evolving this tool to help agencies and the high quality applicants they need to connect quickly and efficiently."

In 2009, OPM established shared registers for 12 common occupations. Based on feedback from agencies and from the Chief Human Capital Officers Council, the registers were closed and retargeted to two specific entry-level occupations, which were deemed to provide the most effective use of the registers.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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Reader comments

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 FreddieFed

Back to the Future - I think NOT! There was a time when agencies trusted OPM to establish and maintain registers. That was when OPM had the best "personnel" minds in government on staff with years of experience and seasoning. These staff used to publish in prestigious refereed publications and were tapped by industry to speak and to serve on study committees. They had respect and trust because they earned it and states copied the systems and processes they established as being the "state of the art.". That was the 1960's and early 1970's. Today, whatever experts still exist, work in the Departments and agencies (and contractors.) They look at OPM's initiatives with absolute disdain because there is little competence and ZERO trust. ALLOW OPM to pre-screen applicants??? Not happening!!

Tue, Sep 6, 2011

Now if only they do away with that self rating system as well that lets anyone say they are an "Expert" when they actually know very little. All those self proclaimed experts are taking jobs that should belong to people who really have the knowledge!

Tue, Sep 6, 2011 Agnes Besong Lanham

I fully agree with this new innovative idea of on stop each all. It will save tax payers money, more efficient and less work for the HR to create each separate job in each Division within the same Agency. I am hoping that someone will do the same as far as Security Clearances are concern. I have been evaluating that area to see how the Fed could save money. I left one Federal Agency and went to the other while clearance was just completed. The other Agency could not adjudicate, they conducted a full blown background check when the other Agency's background check just came out less than a month. I believe that in that case, finger prints still need to be done but it is a waste of money and time to launch a full scope background check if OPM has just approved a background check that is less than 1 month or two. Then the other Federal Agencies do not accept "Top" or "Secret" clearances completed by DoD, Homeland Security, Dept. of State or other Agency which is highter than the MBI. They still have to investigate full blown for MBI. I can't comprehend that. Again, finger prints and other things can be run against that person but not full blown to waste funds. This is another area just like you are doing now with converting the Hiring process, that needs to be examined as far as budget constraint at this critical time in our Country.

Sun, Sep 4, 2011 FedHRXpert

Shared registers for two entry level occupations - what a great idea! Actually, this is the old method used to fill federal jobs that was done away with in the early 1980s. At the time, HR officials convinced agency mgmt officials they could fill jobs faster with better qualified eligibles. Since then agencies tripled and quadrupled funding and staffing of agency HR offices to administer delegated recruiting and examining programs they are currently carrying out. Current and projected budgetary constraints call for a return from the current stovepipe of decentralized HR offices performing the same examining redundancies to more efficient model like the old shared registers for filling like occupations. Currently, a decentralized network of HR offices within each agency, in the same building or across the street from each other or across town from each other and within the same state recruit and examine applicants for the same occupation to fill jobs only within their immediate offices. There is no sharing of applicants or sharing of best qualified lists, etc. requiring applicants to apply to each vacancy separately even within the same building, same neighborhood, same town, etc. Shared registers will significantly reduce examining redundancies for the same occupation currently performed by each HR office. The establishment of two shared registers for filling two entry level occupations leaves leaves a balance of 470 federal occupations warranting similar efficiencies. Qualification requirements are minimal for entry level jobs so there is no reason for applying this efficiency to the remaining 470 entry level occupations. With today's technology, there is no reason why these shared registers should be restricted to within a metropolitan, statewide or regional area. For maximum efficiencies,these entry level shared registers should allow for placement of eligibles at all levels i.e. locally, metro wide, statewide, nationally and internationally. Chief Human Capital Officers (CHCO's)are leading the charge to stop these kinds of efficiencies from eroding their fiefdoms. This is demonstrated in the article's reference to an earlier attempt by the OPM to establish 12 common occupational registers which militant CHCOs took a dim view of pressuring OPM to back down and scuttle those registers then. Nevertheless, congress and the President must be resolute in consideration of the taxpayer, best use of public funds, considerate of applicants currently required to apply for the same occupation at different agencies separately and the need to simply be much more efficient.

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