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Frequently Asked Questions Assessment Policy

How are occupational questionnaires – or the use of occupational questionnaires – connected to Hiring Reform? How do they help?

In the Presidential Memorandum (Section 1: Directions to Agencies), the second item specifies that valid, reliable tools are to be used for assessing applicants (http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/presidential-memorandum-improving-federal-recruitment-and-hiring-process).  Occupational questionnaires improve the applicant experience by reducing the burden of having to supply lengthy KSA (knowledge, skills, and abilities) essay responses when submitting an initial application.   

The use of occupational questionnaires has become especially relevant given the impact of (and some agencies' reliance on) technology to recruit, screen, and assess applicants; the high applicant volume agencies receive; and the current goal to decrease the time it takes to hire.

Other benefits of using an occupational questionnaire include that it does not require extensive measurement expertise to create, it is relatively inexpensive and efficient, it has high face validity for applicants, it can be used to assess a wide variety of competencies, it is easy to automate, and because there's not a 'right answer' for applicants to pick, test security is not an issue.

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