Hiring Reform…Part V…Happy Anniversary…
May 11, 2011 at 1:39 pm #130228
Today marks the first anniversary since President Obama signed the infamous “memo”, directing Plain Old OPM (POO) to improve federal hiring.
So let’s take a look at Plain Old OPM’s Progress (POOP- how could I resist?) on Hiring Reform. Much to my surprise, you can easily find POOP on the Hiring Reform Website at: http://www.opm.gov/HiringReform/Progress/index.aspx.
Based on the 3 amateurishly produced reports listed; it’s more like poop than POOP.
In the first report: http://www.opm.gov/hiringreform/Progress/GW_data_hiring_reform_Q2.pdf
Chart 1. Time-to-Hire went from an average of 122 days in FY2009 to 105 days in FY2010 or an improvement of 13.8%. There was an outlier of 75 days for one agency, but we don’t know where they started from so we can tell if the agency improved its performance or not. BTW, OPM still promotes its 45 day hiring model (circa 2006?) (http://www.opm.gov/hiringtoolkit/docs_508/hiring_timeline_tool.htm).
Chart 3. Manager Satisfaction with the Federal Hiring Process (10 pt scale). On average managers rate their satisfaction increased from 7.20 to in Q1 of FY2011 to an astounding 7.23 in Q1 of FY2011. This is a huge jump of 0.42% (1.68% annualized). Again, the report shows an outlier, but we don’t know from where they started or who they are. On the bright side, this issue is easy to fix.
Chart 4. Applicant Satisfaction (Completers) with the Application Process (10 pt scales). Again, we see a big jump from 7.96 in Q1 of FY2011 to 8.11 in Q2 of FY2011. A 1.88% improvement, but it’s starting to look like we’re squeezing blood from a stone.
I will give POO credit that they put something up on the web. Unfortunately, it’s the bare minimum to comply with Hiring Reform and sets a terrible example. Once agencies figure out the bare minimum the charade is over and the genie won’t go back in the bottle.
Questions for POO: Why aren’t you using even an antiquated reporting tool like you have for Fedscope (http://www.fedscope.opm.gov)? Are we really limited to static pdf files with no supporting data?
To show progress, we need to see the root data: which agencies reported, number of vacancies; which series, number of applicants per vacancy, hires, veterans, scores/categories, etc, etc, etc. I shudder to think whether the data used was simply self-reported.
And while these charts could be seen as progress, even I’ll admit that it’s really too soon to tell. Sadly however, the biggest gains usually happen at the beginning before everyone tires. Sustainability is the key for really improving the hiring process, and that message should be taken to heart.
The third link of POOP shows a report called “Progress On President’s Hiring Reform Initiative Job Opportunity Announcements 2009 – 2010”. (http://www.opm.gov/hiringreform/Progress/Progress_JOA_2009-2010.pdf)
On the face of it, the graphs all point in the right direction showing progress. But according to this report, 77% of all vacancies posted in Q1 of 2011 require a “Resume and/or cover letter only”. And 89% of the time “KSA narrative/essay not required”. This is shockingly bad news. I went to USAJOBS and found a couple vacancies that only required resumes and realized that agencies simply require applicants to address the KSAs in their resumes and cover letters. What’s the difference? Resumes are not objective.
BTW, I love the small print of this report: which states: “Findings based on sampling of competitive service Job Opportunity Announcements”. What’s a sampling you ask? I just gave it to you.
It’s obvious that POO hasn’t defined clear goals and objectives for Hiring Reform for which agencies can be effectively measured against. These “reports” are a testament to that.
Before I go to celebrate this wondrous occasion, I ask POO (for the 3rd time) to please remove the “Applicant Notification” link on the main page.
Happy Anniversary and congrats on your POOP.
May 11, 2011 at 1:43 pm #130242
What are your top 5 things you would do if in charge of OPM on hiring?
Seems like some of your points are more easily changeable while others are pretty tough to actually implement
May 11, 2011 at 4:10 pm #130240
- Get rid of all fee based products and services from OPM. In particular, get rid of USA Staffing and create a certification program for private Automated Staffing/Talent Management Systems. Agencies would be required to use an OPM certified system.
- Focus on simplifying Policy and Oversight. Empower agencies to be innovative and get out of the way. Policies would be streamlined and appointing authorities narrowed. Oversight would be accountable. If an agency fails a DEU Audit, then those responsible would be terminated (including HR Directors and agency heads if they’re complicit). Private sector RPO’s using “certified” systems would become the standard. All agency hiring activity data (except personally identifiable information) would be published like Fedscope (only on a more up to date reporting tool). The increased level of transparency alone will ensure better hiring.
- Get rid of Category Rating and go back to rule of 3, but make it the rule of 10, 12 or 15. Get rid of the customary 70 point base in scoring. This alone raises the applicant quality and provides more equitable veterans preference.
- Terminate ACWA and end the hiring abuses around intern programs, etc.
- Work with the Congress to reform federal hiring (Title V in particular) wholesale or get an Executive Order and rule by edict.
May 12, 2011 at 5:01 pm #130236
It appears to me that Hr’s job is to provide the most highly quailfied “OR Nurse ot the VA”. Isn’t that what U.S. taxpayer customer wants? After all we are sort of stuck with an employee for threee years after we hire them. Having a spend “3 hours” to complete an applicaiton is a disincentive to those who don’t really want the job. It is not HR’s job to make it easier for the applicant or employee to apply for a job. Making application a two step process makes it harder for HR to do its job. So does the recession which means that HR went from receiving 60 to 300 applicaitons per application? How are they supposed to do more work in less time? (I don’t work in recruiting)
1. I would write more finely crafted job descriptions and vacancy announcements so less people were qualified for jobs, and HR would have less pointless work to do and could produce results more effectively and efficiently.
2. I would put job locations on every announcment so people would screen themselves out if they didn’t want to commute that far or drive in.
3. I would change from the command and control managment mentality to integrous, emotionally intelligent, appreciate inquiry, coaching leaders who compel their employees to high performance. This would result in engaged employees who are retained, and get HR off the hamster wheel of recruiting so they could work strategic and systemic problems.
May 12, 2011 at 8:54 pm #130234
I like #3…move to rule of 10 or so.
Interesting on #2. Basically move it to more of OMB style function for HR?
Agree – Lots of super cool stuff could do with modern Fedscope
May 12, 2011 at 8:56 pm #130232
That’s cool on HR dashboard piece…haven’t seen that yet
May 13, 2011 at 1:33 pm #130230
KSAs never left they just transferred the response from the application to your resume. Nothing changed.
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