Agencies close in on goals to revamp hiring processes

Agencies are reporting progress with efforts to overhaul hiring processes and have made strides toward meeting recruiting reform objectives as directed by a 2010 presidential memo.

A Dec. 2 memo from Angela Bailey, associate director of employee services at the Office of Personnel Management, detailed what steps agencies have taken in response to President Barack Obama’s memo last year on improving the federal recruiting process.

Over the past eight months, OPM met with all chief human capital council agencies to discuss progress in areas such as enhancing the quality and speed of hires, removing "knowledge, skills and abilities" narratives and accepting resumes, Bailey wrote.

“In these meetings, several successful practices emerged that we thought would be of interest to other agencies,” she added.

Some of those successful practices entailed agencies implementing dashboards to streamline processes. The Energy Department (DOE) deployed an internal dashboard to track the hiring action through each of the steps which alerts managers to possible red flags in meeting targets.

OPM also integrated an internal dashboard to track all vacancies against the 80-day model in real-time. The dashboard also identifies any barriers and monitors the processing time by HR specialist and hiring manager.

Other agencies focused on the managerial aspect of the hiring process. The Veterans Affairs Department, for example, created a repository of interview questions for frequently filled jobs to help managers during the interview process. And DOE’s new policy requires managers to select interview panels, preschedule interview times and develop interview questions before receiving the certificate of eligibles.

Bailey also pointed out that several agencies have taken steps to establish “strategic” partnerships between human capital/resources staff and hiring managers by creating strategic conversation templates and job aides regarding the hiring process, service-level agreements, and category rating.

About the Author

Camille Tuutti is a former FCW staff writer who covered federal oversight and the workforce.

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