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News Release

Tuesday, January 25, 2005
Contact: Chad Cowan
Tel: 202-606-2402

Director Kay Coles James Announces the Office of Personnel Management Beat Its Own 45-Day Hiring Model Goal During 2004

Federal human resources agency fills 450 federal jobs in 2004 in an average time of 36 days per job

James challenges other agencies to elevate timely hiring as a priority

Washington, D.C. U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director, Kay Coles James, today announced that the agency has continued to make progress in overhauling its own internal hiring processes and continues to set a high standard in the time it takes to hire new employees. In 2004, OPM made 450 selections in an average of 36 days.

"If timely hiring is a management priority, results follow," said James. "Fixing the hiring process in the federal government can be achieved if agency officials take ownership of the problem and work diligently to improve their internal processes. Federal job applicants should take note, we've proven it can be done, averaging 36 days to hire each new employee at OPM. There's no reason the same can't happen at all other agencies and departments."

In a memorandum issued May 6, 2004 to the heads of federal departments and

agencies, Director James encouraged all agencies and departments to adopt a 45-day hiring model developed by OPM human resources policy experts and program officials.

The results of OPM's increased hiring efficiency were reported from January through December 2004. James, who is President George W. Bush's principal advisor on federal human resources issues, held OPM executives accountable for results that reduced the agency's average hiring time to 36 working days, down from 52 days.

"I am proud that team OPM has achieved this goal in a consistent and determined manner," Director James added. "It takes a true partnership between hiring officials and the human resources office to reach this kind of result."

"The federal government competes with the private sector for the best and brightest people, and it is imperative that we be competitive. The best improvement we can make is to ensure the private sector doesn't consistently beat Uncle Sam to the punch by hiring the best and brightest before we can," the Director concluded. "By reducing red tape and proactively reaching out, OPM has shown that agencies can attract and hire quality applicants in ways only dreamed of a few years ago."

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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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