Hiring Reform Compliance is Fast Approaching, Are You Ready?

Originally posted to Unleash The Monster

The clock is ticking as we’re about a month away from the deadline for federal agencies to have their hiring reform initiatives underway.

In June, OMB Director Peter R. Orszag set expectations in a memo for federal agencies to make considerable progress in four key areas of hiring:

* Map an end-to-end hiring process

* Produce ‘plain English’ job announcements in fewer than 5 pages

* Establish applicant status notification at 4 points throughout the hiring process

* Engage hiring managers throughout the hiring process, including drafting announcements, reviewing applications, interviewing and selection

At Monster, we’re working with federal agencies helping to ensure that they have a process in place to address all of the critical areas outlined by OMB. It seems that almost anyone who touches any aspect of the hiring process is clear that the need for significant improvements is vital. Yet, the real challenge is getting the right plan in place and sticking with it over time.

Although time is of the essence, there are still ways for agencies to tackle these objectives. In fact, our team has developed a framework that agencies are using to comply with all of the latest requirements from OMB and OPM to reform the hiring process, enabling the hiring of over 600,000 new employees by 2012. Below, I’ve outlined some brief tips that correlate with OMB’s objectives:

Map the Current Hiring Process

Get a clear picture of your end-to-end hiring process, from the time a manager identifies a hiring need until the person selected starts his/her first day on the job.

Develop Compelling Job Announcements

If you don’t understand your job announcements, no one else will. We’re all familiar with the “keep it simple” mantra so write your job descriptions in plain English to attract qualified people making it easy for them to find your agency of great interest.

Applicant Status Notification

Figure out how to assess your agency’s options for application notifications so that you can best achieve the 4 points of notification. Is your agency getting the most out of your current process? If not, what should be improved?

Engage Hiring Managers in All Critical Parts of the Hiring Process

HR can work hand in hand with hiring managers throughout the hiring process. Determine the best way to communicate to create a process for active participation so that hiring managers are there at every level in the recruitment and hiring process.

Reorganizing your agency’s hiring process will take some heavy lifting, but I think that the goal of hiring 600,000 new employees by 2012 will only be achieved through improvements in the hiring process which will ease many of frustrations felt by many, especially seekers, and makes the federal government a very appealing employer.

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Myron H. Daldrup

This is a good post. I have often reviewed job postings and was confused as to what was expected. The duties and desired experience sections of the announcement are there to help understand the expectations, however, sometimes the wording still leaves applicants at a loss.

Another consideration is the current practice of our agency to have applicants rate themselves (1 – 5) on specified abilities and experiences. For some announcements, only a certain number of applicants are referred. It’s become general practice for applicants to rank all factors as 5 no matter what the truth might be. It is a belief that this has become necessary in order to be referred for consideration. And although the accompanying resume is suppose to support the rankings, by the time the resume is reviewed by those who have intimate knowledge of the position, the applicants have already been placed on the referral list potentially edging out other qualified candidates.