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Hiring Reform: Skype’s the Limit

Originally posted to Unleash the Monster

By Joyce Ceconi

There is a lot of excitement and anticipation for how agencies will be revamping their hiring practices after the recent Presidential
to make the hiring process faster and easier. This week, we want to
give kudos to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) for its use of
innovative technology in the recruiting process.

NGA is a Department of Defense combat support agency and a member of the national Intelligence
Community (IC). NGA develops imagery and map-based intelligence solutions for
U.S. national defense, homeland security and safety of navigation.
provides timely, relevant and accurate geospatial intelligence in support of
national security objectives.

When it came to recruiting the best talent to support the agency’s mission, it went virtual. NGA
announced that they would be using Skype technology for the first time to
conduct interviews as a way to reach a broader pool of candidates while
reducing the costs that are associated with the interview process.

In an article I was reading on GISUser.com, Ee Yeh, the program manager in NGA’s Recruitment
Center, explained how the
NGA participated in virtual career fairs to find a pool of candidates which
resulted in nearly 8,500 participants visiting the agency’s booth, 600
submitting applications, and 100 participating in interviews. The follow up interviews were conducted via
Skype. “NGA wanted to reach a
diverse and highly skilled population,” said Yeh.

It is this type of innovation that federal agencies need to integrate into their hiring processes. We hope
that we continue to see other agencies taking aggressive steps to modernize
their recruiting and hiring processes to make them faster and easier.

As we see agency’s take these steps, we’ll highlight them here on Unleash the Monster. If you have
an agency example that you want to share, leave us a comment and we’ll share
the story here.

Leave a Comment


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Scott Span

One word – AWESOME! As a Gen Y who embraces technology and is a tad critical of the government hiring process, and an organizational development and change consultant who works with the government on retention and engagement matters, this is a great step in the right direction of embracing technology for recruitment. I would be curious to see not only the cultural demographics of those who interviewed via Skype, however also the generational demographics.

Stephen Peteritas

No reason you can use web 2.0 stuff for interviews. It felt weird at first having a shirt and tie and sitting in front of a computer for and interview but after the initial shock, for lack of a better word, it was like any other interview I’ve done.

Candace Riddle

Using Skype is a great way to conduct long distance interviews.
@Savi – You can share documents and your desktop on Skype as well. It is a convenient little add on that you can download.
I am currently an M.A. Diplomacy student at Norwich University. Last semester I used Skype to coordinate a Mooot Court with five of my fellow students. We were spread out from South Carolina to Hawaii, but through the power of Skype, were able to meet in live session and work on a shared document. (Which by the way resulted in us WINNING the trial)


That is so awesome…As Stephen noted below, we used Skype when I interviewed him…Only advice I have is don’t do it from a coffeeshop 🙂

Stephen Peteritas

I’m not sure if this falls under the “easier” tag in the Pres. mandate but using these tools in interviews in the long run is much more efficient in the cost savings area.


Thanks for all the comments and personal experiences. Perhaps we should do a post on the things that you should do when being interviewed using Skype. Steve, want to start it and we’ll post it on the Monster blog? 🙂

Beyond Skype, what other technologies do you think the government should be using to make the hiring process easier?

Kent Cunningham

Many tools similar to Skype also offer recordings, file storage, and testing / grading for remote interviews and exams. With these being cloud based solutions as well, the IT impact is minimal and consumers simply access the tools through their browser. As someone who has been working from home for over 15 years, these tools are critical to my success and now they can be delivered with enterprise-ready controls as well.

Stephen Peteritas

Agreed Kent, some people don’t know what a lot of these tools can really do. Hence why some people have negative views of teleworking.

Rachel Correll

I hadn’t thought of using Skype for recruitment purposes. That would be beneficial for our organization at times. Less expensive than paying for travel expenses.

Martha Garvey

I heart Skype, because it made it possible for me to have a long, powerful interview with the terrific intern we ended up hiring this summer. I was in NYC, he was in Paris. (