Daily Dose: It’s Progress Report Time for Federal Hiring Reform

As Federal Eye columnist Joe Davidson pointed out for the Washington Post today, a year has passed since President Obama announced he would be “revamping” the federal hiring process. These were the reforms that were supposed to eliminate KSAs in favor of more traditional job applications and (at least in theory) shorten the hiring process to 80 days.

But several agencies failed to meet Obama’s initial six-month goal, with just the departments of Commerce, Defense and Veterans Affairs and NASA in good shape last fall, according to OPM. The administration hasn’t provided a progress report since, and though it initially said reforms would happen quickly, Berry later cautioned that full hiring reform would take years to complete.

One year of federal hiring reforms: Is it any better?

We all know how much more painful hiring in the public sector than in the private sector used to be. Jumping through the bureaucratic hoops can dissuade potential employees from considering public service and put lots of extra pressure on current employees to “pick up the slack” while vacancies are waiting… and waiting… to be filled.

It’s important to find out whether Obama’s changes are having their intended effects. And the one-year milestone creates a perfect opportunity for GovLoop members to give a grade to their Commander-in-Chief. Hiring reform was supposed to speed up the hiring process, reducing headaches for applicants and getting talent to the table for agencies. It’s your turn to weigh in…

Has your agency noticed a speeding up of the hiring process? If so, how important has that been for your agency in terms of productivity and job satisfaction?


“Daily Dose of the Washington Post” is a blog series created by GovLoop in partnership with The Washington Post. If you see great a story in the Post and want to ask a question around it, please send it to [email protected].

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Nancy Cox

I work the Civilian Recruitment Program for the 412th Test Engineering Group here at Edwards. The “rules” are a bit different for the S & E career field thus my experience outside of that is a bit narrow. However, our experience with the “reform” has not been pleasant. Prior to January 2011 we used two hiring authorities that worked similar to Direct Hiring Authority, Expedited Direct Hiring Authority and the Defense Career Intern Program. These programs allowed us to hire quickly without the need to post job announcement and select from a certificate. With the amount of hiring we do to man flight test positions here at Edwards that was a blessing. Due to hiring “reform” however, we are back to selection from certificates making hiring the best and brightest arduous to say the least. We have lost three candidates in the past two months because of the wait. That’s a big deal for us.
Here’s my suggestion, strip all the bureaucracy from the hiring process and implement Direct Hiring Authority across the board. That one step would save much needed dollars for the federal bottom line as well as break the stereotype regarding the government hiring process.
Final thought….OPM can dress the pig called the hiring process in Gucci…it’s still a pig.