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Welcome to the Hiring Reform Blog

Welcome to the Hiring Reform blog, a weekly discussion on all things hiring!

Hi Abigail,

Thanks for the questions, good ones.

1. Does the current wording still allow agencies still free to use this hiring authority to meet their projected workload and attrition-based needs? It seems that the current language will greatly limit the use of internships for trade-skills training.

ANSWER: The proposed regulations do not specify the types of positions that must be filled under Pathways. Therefore, agencies choosing to use Pathways for projected workload or attrition should be able to do so.

2. If agencies *are* able to use their projected workload and attrition-based needs to hire under this authority, what are the caps - if any - on the number of people hired that can be converted non-competitively to career or career-conditional status?

ANSWER: There are no plans in the immediate future to impose any caps on agencies. Any decision to do so in the future will be announced and identified.

3. Is there anything in the proposed legislation that precludes or allows the use of community-based cooperative education m

ANSWER: There is nothing in the proposed Pathways regulations that prohibits agencies from entering into an agreement with an educational institution. I hope this answers your concerns.

 Posted 2:15 PM by Abigail Waters

How will appointments made through the new Pathways Internship Program differ from those made through SCEP? Specifically: 1. Does the current wording still allow agencies still free to use this hiring authority to meet their projected workload and attrition-based needs? It seems that the current language will greatly limit the use of internships for trade-skills training. 2. If agencies *are* able to use their projected workload and attrition-based needs to hire under this authority, what are the caps - if any - on the number of people hired that can be converted non-competitively to career or career-conditional status? 3. Is there anything in the proposed legislation that precludes or allows the use of community-based cooperative education models for the training of interns? In other words, can a training program work partner an educational institution under the new rules to create a customized educational program that integrates an academic course of study with work-related training? Is there someone that I could contact with additional questions on the new legislation? Thanks,


How will appointments made through the new Pathways Internship Program differ from those made through SCEP? Specifically: 1. Does the current wording still allow agencies still free to use this hiring authority to meet their projected workload and attrition-based needs? It seems that the current language will greatly limit the use of internships for trade-skills training. 2. If agencies *are* able to use their projected workload and attrition-based needs to hire under this authority, what are the caps - if any - on the number of people hired that can be converted non-competitively to career or career-conditional status? 3. Is there anything in the proposed legislation that precludes or allows the use of community-based cooperative education models for the training of interns? In other words, can a training program work partner an educational institution under the new rules to create a customized educational program that integrates an academic course of study with work-related training? Is there someone that I could contact with additional questions on the new legislation? Thanks,

Hi James

I am sorry to hear that you've not been deemed “best qualified” for positions you believe you should have been selected for.

     The federal government does not use an applicant's race as a hiring component in any of its hiring practices; to discriminate in employment is against United States law, federal employment statues and is contrary to the goal to ‘hire the best talent' as public servants.

     While I understand your disappointment at not being a ‘best qualified’ candidate in the application and qualifications process, you could understand it to mean simply that others who have applied for that position were evaluated to have better qualifications than you, not that you've been discriminated against.

It may be helpful if you review and update your resume.

Please continue to apply for the positions you feel you qualify for.

Good luck in your search!

____________

Post Date: 9/15/2011 at 8:17 AM Author: James Barth Title: Job Selection process is not even screened based on qualifications Post: If that were the case I would be hired, however; I do believe this. I think that the job selection is a little more selective in the Macon Georgia area for instance and they are basing it on Race, perhaps the whole OPM is like that. The reason I state this is: I am a sevice disabled veteran with a compensable injury, I am also an expert in my industry field,I work for the State of Georgia, and have worked for Lockheed in the past, however; I always get back the same response, I am not a veteran with a compensable disabilty, and I do not meet the best qualified either. I find that all just a little more than curious as I listed everything should someone screening have cared to read it. What I believe is this. Had I not been White I would have been the "Magical Fit for the job". But what can you expect when we have a president that has used that race card more times than I care to count. It is funny how EEOC guidelines does not affect OPM. Man what a joke


If that were the case I would be hired, however; I do believe this. I think that the job selection is a little more selective in the Macon Georgia area for instance and they are basing it on Race, perhaps the whole OPM is like that. The reason I state this is: I am a sevice disabled veteran with a compensable injury, I am also an expert in my industry field,I work for the State of Georgia, and have worked for Lockheed in the past, however; I always get back the same response, I am not a veteran with a compensable disabilty, and I do not meet the best qualified either. I find that all just a little more than curious as I listed everything should someone screening have cared to read it. What I believe is this. Had I not been White I would have been the "Magical Fit for the job". But what can you expect when we have a president that has used that race card more times than I care to count. It is funny how EEOC guidelines does not affect OPM. Man what a joke

Eric, hi and thanks for your question.

 

I'm sorry I cannot speak to the particulars of what the HR person told you, but as a matter of fact; federal government positions are never assessed or 'qualified' based on the salary of the applicant for that position.

 

We encourage you to continue to apply for the positions you feel you qualify for, and in the event that you're in a conversation with an HR specialist, don't forget to point up your wealth of knowledge, skills and ability to perform the duties of the position as advertised on USAJOBS.

And most importantly, in the resume/application that you submit for the 1750 positions that you desire, make sure you indicate how your experience answers that Agency's need, as reflected in the Job Opportunity Announcement.

 

I hope you find this useful…good luck in your search.

I am an Instructional Technology Specialist for a state university [employed over 6 years]. The average candidate does not have the type of experience, that I have. I provide online instructional design services to professors utilizing the Blackboard Learning Management System and various other specialized instructional technologies. If an Instructional Systems or Distance Learning positions is advertised, and I answer the questionnaire honestly with the highest ratings, I think that I should at least get an Eligible rating, instead with some positions I have never received any notification as to what happened. I was actually told by one HR contact that the reason I was not rated Eligible was because my current salary was too low for the advertised position [I work for the state and regardless what Salary.com says, the state does not pay as well as the federal government]. This HR contact went on to explain that since my salary was too low then in reality I didn't actually have the specialized experience for the position; however, when I checked the OPM website, I found no reference that tied salary with specialized experience. Also there are other agencies where I was referred to positions. Thus, it seems that different agencies have different hiring practices. *** The positions that I mainly apply for is 1750 – Instructional Systems Series**** If an HR Specialist were to classify my current State Position for an equivalent Federal Occupation, it would fall under, "GS-1750 Instructional Systems". I rarely see this position advertised at a 7/8/9 GS rating. Over the last two years of applying to federal vacancies most of the Instructional Systems Specialist positions are posted at GS 11/12/13. ------------------------- If and applicant has all the KSA's to perform the position, should not meeting the Pay of a Grade Level disqualify him/her from meeting the minimum qualifications? Is the HR's assessment instrument Valid when Pay is concretely tied to specialized experience? ***


What is USAJOBS 3.0?

 

Over the past year, the Federal Government has made tremendous strides in streamlining the hiring process under the President’s Hiring Reform Initiative (http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/presidential-memorandum-improving-federal-recruitment-and-hiring-process).  In order to continue to make progress, executive departments and agencies collaborated to enhance the Federal employment search portal, USAJOBS. 

 

The latest iteration--USAJOBS 3.0, is planned for implementation in October 2011.  Different from the current version, USAJOBS 3.0 has an increased capacity to provide applicants, hiring managers, and human resource professionals with information to improve the recruitment and hiring process, as well as provide robust and secure data standardization and sharing.

 

OPM will provide regular updates to agencies through multiple venues, including this email, blog, a bi-weekly newsletter to agencies, and through social media outlets, including GovLoop, Facebook, and Twitter. 

 

USAJOBS 3.0, What to Expect: A common repository for storing applicant resumes and all associated documents.

 

* Centralized access to recruiting tools, templates, policy, and guidance

* Integrated data collection points between USAJOBS and agency back-end Talent Acquisition Systems

* A common repository for storing applicant resumes and all associated documents

* More robust government-wide analytical reporting for use by agencies, OMB, and OPM

* Enhanced resume mining capabilities (i.e., via special hiring authorities)

* Improved logic for applicants that asks targeted questions based on previous responses

* Enhanced search capabilities

* Applicant tools to support and encourage career exploration (e.g., “if you like this job, you may also be interested in these”)

 

Discontinuation of Employer Services

 

* The first major change with 3.0 is the discontinuation of Employer Services, which has already been communicated with your agency points-of-contact. 

* On July 1, the ability to post and edit new jobs via Employer Services ended. Recruiters are now only able to view resumes, communicate with candidates, and close out existing announcements.

* All job opportunity announcements must have a closing date no later than August 1. 

* Total access to Employer Services will be discontinued effective October 1, 2011. So, be sure to print, download or retrieve any case files that might need to be maintained after October 1, 2011.


The time-in-grade requirement is a restriction that applies to Federal employees in competitive service General Schedule positions at grades 5 and above. These employees qualify for promotions to higher grades if they have: (1) At least one year of specialized experience equivalent in difficulty to the next lower grade level or (in some cases) the equivalent education; and (2) service of at least 52 weeks at their current grade. In some cases where Federal employees have education or have gained previous experience outside of the Federal Government they can apply for positions that are open to the general public. These are positions advertised as “WHO MAY BE CONSIDERED: United States Citizens.” You would be considered as an external candidate regardless of your Federal Government status but you will be required to meet the education and/or specialized experience requirements. I suggest you review positions advertised as stated above and review the qualifications requirements for the position. It was not necessary for you to quit your job to be able to move to a position with more promotion potential. I really hope this information helps.

Should the time-in-grade requirement of a Federal Employee not be abolished? My own experience has been that I spend 12 years in a GS-5 Federal position that had no promotion potential. But it was a steady, dependable position. And it was available when I needed a job! I found myself (suddenly)a single mom and sole support of the family, so I needed to take what I could get. I was well qualified, by experience from before I hired into that position (series), for higher graded jobs, but there weren't any available then. However, every time I applied for the higher graded jobs later, it was noted that I was a Federal employee (GS-5) and had not held a Federal grade of GS-6 or 7, so I was disqualified. How ridiculous! Yet, someone who had not served the Federal government faithfully for all those years--someone less qualified than I--could apply for and be hired into a GS-7 (or 9 or whatever) position because they did not have to have time-in-grade. Once one is hired into the Federal system he/she may as well forget seeking advancement--unless his/her particular position happens to have promotion potential to the grade she/he desires. The way I had to get around it was to QUIT Federal Service after my children were grown, and now try to re-hire at a higher grade. How ridiculous is that?!!!

Dear Mr. Murphy, 

Thank you for your insight and comments.

Several of the points you make are in fact key tenants of the President’s Hiring Reform Guidance and intent of a year ago.  A key theme that you talk to in your comments is the point that it takes time to change the culture of an institutionally imbedded system; in this case, how the Federal government hires.  We have made great inroads into improving the Federal hiring process over the course of the last year.  We also recognize there are areas for improvement; and we are working to improve those areas.  But as you indicate, it takes time to “turn the aircraft carrier” so to speak.

In short, over the last year, we have; in alliance with the Federal agencies, made a herculean effort to implement key hiring reform initiatives.  Some key results are that we have seen dramatic improvement in applicant satisfaction, hiring manager satisfaction and engagement in the process and the necessary collaboration and communication between the hiring official, the HR specialist and the applicant.

If you’d like to know more about the progress of Federal hiring reform, please visit:

http://www.opm.gov/HiringReform/Index.aspx

http://www.performance.gov/

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/presidential-memorandum-improving-federal-recruitment-and-hiring-process


The idea of wholesale reform in the Federal hiring process is a welcome relief to those of us who have encountered the immovable juggernaut that is Federal employment. Nonetheless new rules without proper oversight is sure to result in a less than ideal return on investment. In order for the processes to work the attitude of the employees have to change. My experience has been that the majority of the people in the HR departments for the various agencies are generally disinterested and uninformative when dealing with prospective applicants. I recently applied for a position where applicants were required to qualifiy on the basis of Specialized Experience OR Education. I happen to have a Juris Doctor yet I recieved a NOR stating I did not meet the minimum qualification. Fortunately I was able to get this issue corrected however my confidence in process going forward has been serverely shaken. Please ensure that the following factors become the mantra of all your hiring managers and support staff going forward. ACCURACY: Accurately evaluate the applications for all applicants. Some quality assurance resources would be helpful in this regard. TIMELINESS: Notify applicants in batches as to the status of their applications. If a candidate was eliminated in week one he or she should not have to wait ontil week 12 to recieve a status update. CONCISE APPLICATION TIMELINE Candidates should be notified of the tentative hiring date for a position. There should never be instances in which an announcement closes in April and candidates are still unaware of their status in mid June. HUMAN TOUCH: Please have your representative bring some enthusiasm to their day to day interaction with the civilian world. Put a smile in your voice and project confidence and energy.

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