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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:

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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