August 3, 2009 at 3:08 pm #77113
as quoted from Thomas.gov
Federal Hiring Process Improvement Act of 2009
To provide for improvements in the Federal hiring process, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the `Federal Hiring Process Improvement Act of 2009'.
SEC. 2. DEFINITION.
In this Act, the term `agency'--
(1) means an Executive agency as defined under section 105 of title 5, United States Code; and
(2) shall not include the Government Accountability Office.
SEC. 3. STRATEGIC WORKFORCE PLAN.
(a) In General-
(1) DEVELOPMENT OF PLAN- Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act and in every subsequent year, the head of each agency, in consultation with the Chief Human Capital Officers Council, shall develop a strategic workforce plan as part of the agency performance plan required under section 1115 of title 31, United States Code, to include--
(A) hiring projections, including occupation and grade level;
(B) long-term and short-term strategic human capital planning to address critical skills deficiencies;
(C) recruitment strategies to attract highly qualified candidates from diverse backgrounds; and
(D) streamlining the hiring process to conform with the provisions in this Act.
(2) INCLUSION IN PERFORMANCE PLAN- Section 1115(a) of title 31, United States Code, is amended--
(A) in paragraph (5), by striking `and' after the semicolon;
(B) in paragraph (6), by striking the period and inserting `and'; and
(C) by adding at the end the following:
`(7) include the strategic workforce plan developed under section 3 of the Federal Hiring Process Improvement Act of 2009.'.
(b) Hiring Projections- Agencies shall make hiring projections made under strategic workforce plans available to the public.
(c) Submission to the Office of Personnel Management- Each agency strategic workforce plan shall be submitted to the Office of Personnel Management.
SEC. 4. FEDERAL JOB VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENTS.
(a) Targeted Announcements- In consultation with the Chief Human Capital Officers Council, the head of each agency shall--
(1) take steps necessary to target highly qualified applicant pools with diverse backgrounds before posting job announcements;
(2) clearly and prominently display job announcements in strategic locations convenient to such targeted applicant pools; and
(3) seek to develop relationships with targeted applicant pools to develop regular pipelines for high-quality applicants.
(b) Public Notice Requirements- The requirements of subsection (a) shall not supersede public notice requirements.
(c) Plain Writing Requirement-
(1) DEFINITION- In this subsection, the term `plain writing' means writing that the intended audience can readily understand and use because that writing is clear, concise, well-organized, and follows other best practices of plain writing.
(2) REQUIREMENT- Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, all Federal job announcements for competitive positions shall be written in plain writing.
SEC. 5. APPLICATION PROCESS AND NOTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS.
(a) Application Process- Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act and in consultation with the Chief Human Capital Officers Council, the head of each agency shall develop processes to--
(1) ensure that vacancy announcements are open for a reasonable period of time as determined by the head of the agency to allow targeted, highly qualified applicants from diverse backgrounds time to submit an application;
(2) ensure that vacancy announcements include contact information for applicants who seek further information about the announcement;
(3) review and revise the hiring process of the agency to create a streamlined and timely system for hiring decisions;
(4) allow applicants to submit a cover letter, resume, and answers to brief questions, such as questions relating to United States citizenship and veterans status, to complete an application;
(5) allow applicants to submit application materials in a variety of formats, including word processing documents and portable document format;
(6) not require any applicant to provide a Social Security number or any other personal identifying information unnecessary for the initial review of an applicant for a position;
(7) not require lengthy writing requirements such as knowledge, skills, and ability essays as part of an initial application;
(8) not require the submission of additional material in support of an application, such as educational transcript, proof of veterans status, and professional certifications, unless necessary to complete the application process;
(9) ensure that applicants are given a reasonable amount of time after the closing date of the job announcement to provide additional necessary information; and
(10) include the hiring manager in all parts of the application process, including--
(A) targeted recruitment;
(B) drafting the job announcement;
(C) review of the initial applications;
(D) interviewing the applicants; and
(E) the final decisionmaking process.
(b) Notification Requirements-
(1) IN GENERAL- In consultation with the Chief Human Capital Officers Council, the head of each agency shall develop mechanisms under which each applicant for a Federal job vacancy shall receive timely notification of the status of their applications or provide the applicant the ability to check on the status of their applications.
(2) CONTENTS OF NOTIFICATION- A notification to an applicant under this subsection shall include--
(A) notice of receipt of an application not later than 5 business days after the application was received by the employing agency;
(B) an explanation of the hiring process and an estimated timeline of the next actions in the process;
(C) notice the qualification and status of an applicant after all applications for the applicable position have been initially reviewed and ranked;
(D) notice of the qualifications and status of the applicant after all interviews for the applicable position are completed;
(E) for all applicants selected for an interview, notice of the ongoing process if selected, including the process for any needed security clearance or suitability review, not later than the date of the interview; and
(F) notice to nonaccepted applicants that the applicable position is not open not later than 10 business days after the date on which--
(i) the selected candidate has accepted an offer of employment; or
(ii) the job announcement has been cancelled.
SEC. 6. APPLICANT INVENTORY.
(a) In General- Section 3330 of title 5, United States Code, is amended--
(1) by redesignating subsections (e) and (f) as subsections (f) and (g), respectively; and
(2) by inserting after subsection (d) the following:
`(e)(1) The Office of Personnel Management shall establish and keep current a comprehensive inventory of individuals seeking employment in the Federal Government.
`(2) The inventory under this subsection shall--
`(A) be made available to agencies for use in filling vacancies;
`(B) contain information voluntarily provided by applicants for employment, including--
`(i) the resume and contact information provided by the applicant; and
`(ii) any other information which the Office considers appropriate;
`(C) retain information for no longer than 1 calendar year;
`(D) not include information relating to--
`(i) the application of the applicant for a specific vacancy announcement; or
`(ii) any other information relating to vacancy announcements; and
`(E) shall provide for a mechanism to allow--
`(i) applicants to update resume contact information; and
`(ii) agency officials to search information in the inventory by agency and job classification.'.
(b) Effective Date- The amendment made by subsection (a) shall take effect 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act.
SEC. 7. TRAINING.
Not later than 120 days after the date of enactment of this Act--
(1) in consultation with the Chief Human Capital Officers Council, the Office of Personnel Management shall develop and notify agencies of a training program for human resources professionals to implement the requirements of this Act; and
(2) each agency shall develop and submit to the Office of Personnel Management a plan to implement the training program.
SEC. 8. REDUCTION IN THE LENGTH OF THE HIRING PROCESS.
(a) Agency Plans- In consultation with the Chief Human Capital Officers Council, the head of each agency shall develop a plan to reduce the length of the hiring process.
(b) Requirements- To the extent practical, the plan shall require that each agency fill identified vacancies not later than an average of 80 calendar days after the date of identification of the vacancy.
(c) Reports- Each agency shall submit an annual report to Congress on the period of time required to fill each vacancy, and whether vacancies are cancelled or reopened.
SEC. 9. MEASURES OF FEDERAL HIRING EFFECTIVENESS.
(a) In General- Each agency shall measure and collect information on indicators of hiring effectiveness with respect to the following:
(1) RECRUITING AND HIRING-
(A) Ability to reach and recruit well-qualified talent from diverse talent pools.
(B) Use and impact of special hiring authorities and flexibilities to recruit most qualified applicants.
(C) Use and impact of special hiring authorities and flexibilities to recruit diverse candidates, including veteran, minority, and disabled candidates.
(D) The age, educational level, and source of applicants.
(E) Length of time between the time a position is advertised and the time a first offer of employment is made.
(F) Length of time between the time a first offer of employment for a position is made and the time a new hire starts in that position.
(G) Number of internal and external applicants for Federal positions.
(2) HIRING MANAGER ASSESSMENT-
(A) Manager satisfaction with the quality of new hires.
(B) Manager satisfaction with the match between the skills of newly hired individuals and the needs of the agency.
(C) Manager satisfaction with the hiring process and hiring outcomes.
(D) Mission-critical deficiencies closed by new hires and the connection between mission-critical deficiencies and annual agency performance.
(3) APPLICANT ASSESSMENT- Applicant satisfaction with the hiring process (including clarity of job announcement, reasons for withdrawal of application should that apply, user-friendliness of the application process, communication regarding status of application, and timeliness of hiring decision).
(4) NEW HIRE ASSESSMENT-
(A) New hire satisfaction with the hiring process (including clarity of job announcement, user-friendliness of the application process, communication regarding status of application, and timeliness of hiring decision).
(B) Satisfaction with the onboarding experience (including timeliness of onboarding after the hiring decision, welcoming and orientation processes, and being provided with timely and useful new employee information and assistance).
(C) New hire attrition.
(D) Investment in training and development for employees during their first year of employment.
(E) Other indicators and measures as required by the Office of Personnel Management.
(1) IN GENERAL- Each agency shall submit an annual report of the information collected under subsection (a) to the Office of Personnel Management.
(2) AVAILABILITY OF RECRUITING AND HIRING INFORMATION- Each year the Office of Personnel Management shall provide the information under subsection (c)(1) in a consistent format to allow for a comparison of hiring effectiveness and experience across demographic groups and agencies to--
(A) Congress before that information is made publicly available; and
(B) the public on the website of the Office.
(c) Regulations- Not later than 180 days of the date of enactment of this Act, the Office of Personnel Management shall prescribe regulations directing the methodology, timing, and reporting of the data described in subsection (a).
SEC. 10. REGULATIONS.
(a) In General- Except as provided under section 9(c), not later than 120 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Director of the Office of Personnel Management shall prescribe regulations as necessary to carry out this Act.
(b) Consultation- The Director of the Office of Personnel Management shall consult the Chief Human Capital Officers Council in the development of regulations under this section.
SEC. 11. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.
There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary for the Office of Personnel Management to carry out this Act for fiscal year 2009 and for each subsequent fiscal year.
August 3, 2009 at 3:12 pm #77119
A news story from Next.gov (am sure the only one of several)
Senate Committee OKs Hiring Bill
By Brittany Ballenstedt 07/31/09 08:28 am ET
The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee approved a bill on Wednesday to streamline the federal recruiting and hiring process. The bill (S. 736) requires agencies to:
* develop strategic workforce plans to address hiring projections and critical skills gaps in the workforce; post clear job announcements in plain writing;
* no longer require "knowledge, skills and abilities" essays; provide timely notification to applicants of their application status;
* keep an inventory of all applicants who elect to be considered for other federal vacancies, measure the effectiveness of hiring efforts and reforms;
* and take no more than 80 days from the time a manager decides to fill a vacancy to the time an offer is made for the vacant position.
Federal hiring reform is considered by many as key to recruiting and hiring top talent into federal information technology jobs, and it looks like this bill gets to the bottom of many problems in the process. While the federal application process has been electronic for years, it has only made the process easier for agency human resource managers and has not reduced the burden on the applicant, many chief human capital officers say. In addition to these reforms, it seems to me that agencies could make good by leveraging in technology and Web 2.0 tools to better facilitate the hiring process and communicate with applicants.
August 3, 2009 at 6:13 pm #77117
Thanks for posting this, Henry. Seems like the steps here are very positive - also opening the door to further diversification of job postings (seems like I see CIA ads all over the place aready).
August 4, 2009 at 2:37 am #77115
This is a great first step in changing the Federal Government Hiring Status Quo. Now I hope the agencies will have due diligence and follow the procedures laid out. Thanks for sharing.
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