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Washington, D.C..- U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Associate Director for Strategic Human Resources Policy Nancy Kichak reaffirmed today the agency's commitment to fully "draw on the strengths of the nation's diversity" in building up the leadership ranks of the Federal Government, during a congressional hearing on the topic of diversity in the Senior Executive Service (SES).
"Federal agencies should be looking both outward and inward as part of their SES recruitment efforts," Kichak declared at a hearing before the House Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce, Postal Service and the District of Columbia. "Under the leadership of OPM Director Linda Springer during the last two years, OPM has expanded its efforts to reach the broadest possible pool of applicants for Federal jobs," she noted.
In reference to the agency's external recruiting activity, Kichak indicated OPM has been "vigorous" in its efforts to promote Federal employment widely, "in areas with diverse populations of potential applicants." Kichak pointed to the agency's innovative eight-part "What Did You Do at Your Job Today?" television ad series -launched last year- as well as proactive participation in Federal career day and job fairs around the country, both of which "have been targeted for their potential to help us build a highly qualified and diverse applicant pipeline."
"We are committed to the merit system principles and ensuring that all Americans receive equal access to Federal employment opportunities -and fair evaluation of their knowledge, skills and abilities- not only in the Senior Executive Service, but at all levels of the Federal workforce," Kichak emphasized.
Pointing to OPM's latest annual Federal Equal Opportunity Recruitment Program Report to Congress (http://www.opm.gov/feorpreports/), Kichak noted the Federal Government continues to be a leader in employing minorities. "The latest data shows overall increases in minority representation between 2005 and 2006, with minority groups better represented in the Federal Workforce than the Civilian Labor Force."
"Many of our future leaders in the SES are already serving as employees and managers in the Federal Government in lower-level non-SES positions," the OPM Associate Director stated. "It is important for Federal agencies to continue their efforts to develop these future leaders through leadership training and succession planning programs."
Candidate development programs at Federal agencies, for example, "must address the Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs) that OPM has identified as critical for assessing and developing future leaders," Kichak indicated. "The ECQs include fostering an inclusive workplace where diversity and individual differences are valued," she added.
Kichak indicated OPM has also provided agencies with the Strategic Leadership Succession Management Model, a tool which also shows agencies how to integrate diversity values into their leadership succession planning. "There is also a diversity component in our broader assessment of agencies' human capital management practices," Kichak stated, referring to OPM's Human Capital Assessment and Accountability Framework (HCAAF).
Our mission is to Recruit, Retain and Honor a World-Class Workforce to Serve the American People. OPM supports U.S. agencies with personnel services and policy leadership including staffing tools, guidance on labor-management relations and programs to improve work force performance.