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News Release

Friday, October 01, 2004
Contact: Edmund Byrnes
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Director Kay Coles James Announces Partnership with HUD in Effort to Update Their Hiring Process; Great Progress Being Made

"It is with great pleasure that we thank OPM Director Kay Coles James and the team at OPM for their responsiveness to our call for assistance," said HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson

Washington, D.C. - In response to the Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson's request, and as a part of U.S. Office of Personnel Management Director Kay Coles James' resolve to update the federal hiring process, James directed OPM senior staff to partner with HUD in their efforts to bring about sustainable and measurable changes in their recruiting and hiring practices.

"OPM and HUD are working closely to streamline several personnel operations," said James. "Secretary Alphonso Jackson is committed to achieving real results. This ‘extreme makeover' will help HUD better manage its hiring practices and human capital efforts."

"It is with great pleasure that we thank OPM Director Kay Coles James and the team at OPM for their responsiveness to our call for assistance," said HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson.  "OPM has been a tremendous help, and I look forward to our continued partnership -- working with us to further reform long-standing problems."

"These actions have proven very helpful, and I look forward to our continued partnership in giving HUD's hiring process an ‘extreme makeover,'" said James.

Consistent with OPM's "Improving Federal Hiring" initiative and HUD's desire to reform its process, OPM has conducted what it calls an "extreme makeover" to evaluate HUD's recruiting and hiring practices.

Staff at OPM and HUD have been working side-by-side to identify opportunities to improve the time-to-hire.  Additionally, the information being taken from this "extreme makeover" is being shared with HUD's service centers, thus multiplying the effect it will have on the agency's hiring practices and ability to achieve results.

To date, OPM and HUD have conducted focus groups across the country with human resources staff, hiring officials, and recent hires to gather information about each group's experience in the hiring process; compiled data related to staffing activity at HUD for the past two years; identified all the steps necessary to fill a vacancy in the federal government (this information will be compared to the HUD process to identify potential redundancies and extraneous activities); and, compiled staffing metrics.  Among the most significant barriers to hiring timeliness OPM found in the review were:

  • Less than efficient approval processes due to centralized procedures and lack of delegation of authority;
  • Need for more effective coordination and planning;
  • Need for clarity in roles of managers and human resources staff during the hiring process; and
  • Lack of using effective automation processes.

HUD is already implementing many of OPM's preliminary recommendations to improve hiring timeliness.  The Department:

  • Eliminated two layers of  approval for hiring;
  • Implemented a Hiring Pipeline Report to track all recruitment and hiring actions to help in the attainment of the 45-day hiring model;
  • Established weekly meetings with General Deputy Assistant Secretaries and equivalent officials to discuss the status of each organization's hiring actions;
  • Examined its internal HR structure to implement the improvements recommended by OPM; and
  • Started utilizing the full range of USA Staffing functionalities.  (USA Staffing is a web-based system that allows users to create and post job announcements, develop and administer assessments, receive and evaluate applications, refer candidates, and communicate with job-seekers and managers efficiently.)
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OPM leads and serves the Federal Government in enterprise human resources management by delivering policies and services to achieve a trusted, effective civilian workforce. By Empowering Excellence in Government through Great People, we provide leadership and support to U.S. agencies on issues including human resources policy and oversight, background investigations, federal employee benefits, retirement services, guidance on labor-management relations, and programs to improve workforce performance. For more information, visit or follow OPM on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

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