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CBP hopes job app will smooth hiring

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Customs and Border Protection wants more quality candidates for thousands of new agent and support personnel positions, and it is hoping a speedier hiring process -- which includes a new job-application status app -- will help.

President Donald Trump's "border wall" executive order called for CBP to hire 5,000 additional Border Patrol agents and 500 CBP air and marine agents. However, according to CBP Acting Director Kevin McAleenan, that’s only part of the picture.

The goals, McAleenan wrote in a July 18 blog post, mean the agency also must hire mission support personnel, fill slots left open by departing agents and fill staffing gaps across its frontline uniformed components:  the Office of Field Operations, U.S. Border Patrol, Air and Marine Operations and the Office of Trade.

The agency, he said, has been moving to streamline its hiring practices since 2015, when it began implementing dozens of process improvements.

The updated process, McAleenan said, is a “hiring hub model” that lets the agency weed out unqualified applicants faster.  He also said the agency has streamlined its polygraph procedures to process more applicants in less time, while still maintaining its high candidate standards.

Days before McAlleenan’s blog post, CBP rolled out a new mobile app that he said would be a key part of the hiring process. The “CBP Jobs” app allows applicants for CBP officer, Border Patrol agent, air interdiction agent, marine interdiction agent and agricultural specialist positions to track their status in the process. However, those applicants must have already received a temporary job offer from the agency, CBP said.

The agency plans updates that will allow applicants to schedule interviews and fitness tests, further speeding the application process.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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