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KSAs Going Bye-Bye?

Cool post by folks over at FedTimes

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As God is my witness, KSAs as an initial screening tool will fall.
– Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry, channelling Scarlett O’Hara in his address to the IRMCO conference this morning, and earning thunderous applause.
Seriously, though, Berry outlined the future role he wants knowledge, skills and abilities essays to play in the government’s hiring process. Some agencies will likely still require finalists for a job opening to write essays outlining their experience and special skills, Berry said, but they shouldn’t require KSAs from thousands of first-round applicants. “Whittle it down until you’ve got the pool of 10 or 20,” Berry said. “Make them write the essays, not the 10,000″ initial applicants.

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Eric Melton

When I was last job-shopping, I kept a giant KSA doc to cut/paste from. Otherwise it’s a full-time job just to apply for jobs. KSA essay writing is (was!) very inefficient, to say the least.


Yeah…I’m like everyone anti-KSA. But I do have to say – it is a barrier to entry that once you figure out can help you get to the top. Most people don’t know the game.

I think one of the nuances in the gov’t hiring debate is gov’t actually usually gets enough quantity of candidates but not enough in terms of quality and the right people. People often apply to jobs not qualified for, etc.

Patrick Madsen

I agree with the comments so far against KSAs. Although it should play a part in the final round, most of my students and alumni prefer not to apply to the government because of the amount of paperwork to fill out for each job.