It has been said time and time again that one of the best ways to get young people interested in working for the Federal Government is to change its hiring process. It became no longer acceptable to have a Federal Agency take six months or longer to hire a candidate. In that time, potential hires sought other jobs and were hired in no time especially in the private sector.
What this caused was seeing the best and the brightest perceive the Federal Government as a place that is very slow to change, very bureaucratic and a place that is not interested in seeing young blood fill the halls of each agency.
I was one of those people that felt that way. In May of 2005, on the day of my graduation, most of my classmates had been hired by top accounting and marketing firms. I at the time had applied to over 20 federal jobs and had not heard back from any of them. I only began to hear from them in late October, early November of 2005. A good six months from when I first applied. I was pretty disappointed at this and realized that unless you were determined to be as patient as I was, nobody would be willing to go through this process.
I always wondered how hiring mangers felt about the situation. Well I guess they weren’t as happy as I was because the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is taking an unprecedented step in overhauling the federal hiring process and trying to make it more robust so that people, especially future young Feds, do not get discouraged by the whole process.
OPM on September 5, 2008, presented (in a 59 paged document) steps to cut down the time it takes to recruit at a Federal agency. One of the great initiatives is to cut down the hiring time from infinity to just 80 days or less.
The following links are great articles on this:
From OPM’s website:
From the Government Executive Magazine:
From the Federal Computer Weekly (FCW)
From the Federal Times:
I believe this initiative is a step in the right direction and I believe more work needs to be done, from having a clear and discernable job description on USAJobs that cuts out the unnecessary agency jargons to setting clear expectations on USAjobs on the expected hiring period.
This new initiative comes at the right time with the impending mass retirement of baby boomers.
I am excited at this hiring overhaul (as I have been a victim of the old process) and I look forward to more changes.
Chapter Liaison- Young Government Leaders 2008-2009
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