You’ve been hearing a lot lately about the President’s Hiring Reform Initiative but you probably haven’t seen too much of it yet. What can you expect?
The “Go Live” date is November 1, 2010. At that point, Federal vacancy announcements must abide to:
· Eliminate written essay-style questions (KSAs)
· Allow individuals to apply with resume and cover letters
· Use Category Rating
· Ensure manager responsibility and accountability for hiring
· Improve quality and speed of hiring
· Notify applicants about their status
· Conduct action planning
What Does All of This Mean?
Since “KSAs” are familiar to most, I won’t dwell on an explanation … suffice it to say that Hiring Officials will now be evaluating applicant KSA’s using a series of multiple choice questions about you and your experience.
Resumes and cover letters are nothing new either – but now a resume & cover letter are sufficient to apply for a federal job. No longer will you have to supply an Application for Federal Employment, OF-612. Just be sure your resume has all the information required for consideration. If you’re not sure what that required information is, there’s a resume builder at www.usajobs.gov that will help you create the functional resume you’ll need. [What Your Resume Must Contain.pdf]
Cover letters are probably familiar to most too – but the details for developing them may be fuzzy. Procedures for devising them may vary from agency to agency so be sure to review the “How to Apply” section of each job announcement to find out what should be included. It’s listed in the lower portion of the job announcement as well as on a “floating” menu on the right hand side. If you can’t locate the cover letter information, you should contact the agency that posted the announcement. If the announcement has closed, you can contact the human resources office of the hiring agency for additional information and assistance.
Category rating will be used to evaluate candidates. This replaces the “Rule of Three”. Here’s how the “Certificates of Eligibles” will be determined: For applicants found basically qualified for a job (i.e., they meet OPM’s minimum qualification standards), their qualifying experience will be evaluated against pre-defined, job-related criteria that’s separated into a least two categories (e.g., Highly-Qualified & Qualified; Well-Qualified & Qualified, etc.). These criteria will be defined prior to starting the recruitment process by analyzing each job according to “Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures”. Competencies and knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA) identified during the job analysis will serve as the foundation for an employer’s assessment strategy.
Hiring Managers are now accountable for recruiting and hiring highly qualified employees and supporting their successful transition into Federal service. That means they must be actively involved in the process.
Improved quality & speed in processing job applications comes under the heading of “E2E” which refers to the End-to-End Hiring roadmap. This Roadmap explains each of the five hiring steps, it shows how they are strategically linked, it gives step-by-step instructions on how the Federal hiring process and it establishes key measures Government-wide for effective hiring.
Confused yet? The transition for some may be difficult but for others, the transformation will be seamless.
Looking forward to Hiring Reform? You may want to reserve those opinions until after November 1st!
OPM’s End-to-End Hiring Initiative (E2E) envisions a comprehensive set of integrated components encompassing
• Workforce Planning
• Security & Suitability
Recognizing that applicant experience in the hiring process is a key factor in early job satisfaction and retention, E2E places a major focus on improving outcomes for applicants. Specifically, the E2E Roadmap strives to ensure that applicants receive timely and clear communications to manage their expectations, and-once hired- are acculturated quickly into their new organizations and become productive members of the Federal workforce.
Along with OPM’s private industry partners in this Initiative, HR application vendors stand ready to provide needed infrastructure, automation and service.
It is unfortunate that these key agency partners were not including in the early phases of this Initiative. The extensive knowledge and experience that thay have in using technology to transform federal human resources would have been a valuable addition to the report, especially in identifying opportunities for integration and interoperability and in metrics/measures.
In the Michael Hager letter of August 29, 2008, he pointed out:
“One of the critical parts of this initiative will require agencies to track and measure all associated actions. Therefore, we strongly encourage agencies to utilize the CHCO Council network to share any best practices, including automated tools that might be useful for implementing and tracking progress such as those included in USA Staffing on the End-to-End Roadmap.”
However, there are a number of actions that OPM could take in the short-run to jumpstart progress on the initiative. OPM could start by “opening up” portions of the E2E process that are currently closed.
Current State: Private employers have found “Resume Search” to be a valuable part of their Hiring Toolkit but very few federal agencies conduct such searches as part of their recruitment process. The exceptions are those few agencies that maintain “Applicant Supply Files.” Today USAJOBS contains over 1.4M resumes of citizens who have expressed interest in government employment as well as separate data base subsets that contain the resumes of individuals who have expressed interest in working for a particular agency. This is very valuable and largely untapped resource.
OPM Enabling Action: OPM could publish web services or integration standards that would enable agency recruiters to search USAJOBS resumes within agency systems, including commercial hiring management systems being used by agencies.
Current State: There are a number of commercial hiring management systems that have been in use in government agencies for many years, meeting agencies merit promotion and competitive hiring requirements, generating required DEU information, gathering and reporting data that is critical for agencies Uniform Guidelines reviews, all the while meeting agencies stringent security, privacy and accessibility requirements. The systems are highly configurable and flexible in the way that question-and-answer based assessments and rating and ranking regimes are built and used. Also, these systems have proven their value and effectiveness in over 10 years of use in federal agencies. However, current OPM restrictions prevent their use in Luevano/ACWA jobs that require ACWA assessments or rating schedules.
OPM Enabling Action: OPM could publish web services or integration standards that would enable agency recruiters to access ACWA services via agency systems, including commercial hiring management systems. As an alternative, OPM could establish “certification standards” that would enable commercial hiring management systems to conduct the full suite of ACWA assessments.
Current State: While e-QIP is part of the E2E roadmap, it is not apparent that e-QIP is integrated with agency systems involved in the end-to-end process.
OPM Enabling Action: OPM could publish web services or integration standards that would enable agency recruiters to access e-QIP services via agency systems, including commercial hiring management systems.