The Office of Personnel Management wants to make it easier for users of its flagship website USAJobs.gov to find career information, search for developmental opportunities across government and use their online profiles as dynamic, digital resumes.
“USAJobs has served as a job board for over 20 years,” Michelle G. Earley OPM’s USAJobs Program Manager, said in an interview with GovLoop. “And so [over] the last couple of years, we’re really transforming it into a federal career portal. A federal career portal is about connecting the talent to career information, whether that’s opportunities, job opportunities, developmental opportunities, career sites to learn more about an organization and their mission or even career events.”
One of the biggest changes coming to USAJobs.gov this fall will be the ability for federal employees to use their accounts to find developmental opportunities across government. The change was set into motion earlier this year when the government’s existing Open Opportunities platform was brought under OPM’s USAJobs.gov website. It was previously housed at the General Services Administration.
The Open Opportunities platform caters to feds looking for professional development opportunities and managers looking for their help, whether it’s helping with research about artificial intelligence, lending design skills or providing contracting expertise. The website was rebranded under USAJobs.gov in January after outgrowing its intended purpose at GSA, which was to serve as a platform for promoting digital-focused engagements. It has since evolved to include a range of professional development opportunities, so the move to OPM was a natural fit.
“What already exists in Open Opportunities today is people can identify their skills and their area of interest,” said Lisa Nelson, USAJobs Engagement Manager. “And that’s been something that we wanted to take on in USAJobs.”
The Open Opportunities website has about 5,000 accounts today, but the expectation is that number will grow as more federal employees with USAJobs.gov accounts are exposed to this capability. Today, USAJobs.gov has more than 12 million profiles, which includes non-federal users.
Once the integration between USAJobs.gov and Open Opportunities is fully complete, users will have a single profile in USAJobs. “So you will have one login.gov account to get into USAJobs, where you will have one profile that you can use to apply to both job opportunities, as well as these developmental opportunities,” Earley said.
The benefit for employees is they can amass new experiences and aggregate that information on their USAJobs profile. This feature gives the employee a greater ability to express that experience in one place, Earley noted. In the future, OPM wants information about a user’s job and developmental history to drive a better search experience on USAJobs.gov.
Another benefit of this single profile is that it’s searchable. So when federal employees fill out their skills, that information can be seen by others, including peers looking for experts on a particular topic or even managers seeking top talent. These changes will promote greater collaboration and connect people across government, Nelson said.
“The work is underway in that we’re working on updating the user profile,” Earley said. “And then the final integration of those products is slated for early fall of this year.”
OPM is also engaging other agencies on this effort, including the Agriculture Department’s Office of Customer Experience and GSA’s Centers of Excellence.
“Everything we set out to do starts with user research, [and iteration] through design,” Earley said. She added that her team’s work is not only about developing code for an improved user experience but also change management, building awareness and helping communities thrive.