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News Release

Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Contact: Communications & Public Liaison
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Announces Progress Made In Hiring Reform Implementation

Washington, D.C. - Today, John Berry, Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and Council Chair of the Chief Human Capital Officers (CHCO) Council, discussed the progress made thus far on hiring reform implementation during the CHCO Council Full Council Meeting.

"I am proud that all Federal agencies have begun delivering on our commitment to improve the hiring process," said OPM Director John Berry. "Hiring reform implementation is critical for us because it allows the Federal Government to attract, recruit, and hire top talent."

On August 1, 2010, Federal agencies submitted preliminary Hiring Reform Action Plans to OPM and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) after President Obama issued a memorandum to Federal agencies directing them to overhaul their hiring procedures.  In his Memorandum, President Obama directed Federal agencies to:

  • Dramatically reduce the time between when a job is announced and is filled.
  • Eliminate essays as an initial application requirement.
  • Use shorter, plain-language job announcements.
  • Accept resumes from applicants, instead of requiring them to submit complex applications through outdated systems.
  • Allow hiring managers to choose from among a group of best qualified candidates, rather than limiting their choice to just three names, through expanded use of "category ratings."
  • Notify applicants in a timely manner through

OPM and OMB are working with agencies to help them improve their Action Plans to improve hiring speed and quality. Agency action plans will evolve as agencies make progress implementing their reform activities and as they learn from each other smarter ways to hire great employees. 

OPM is also using multiple methods to measure hiring reform progress. A small, recently completed, statistically valid sample of agency Job Opportunity Announcements (JOAs) found significant improvements in their brevity, simplicity, and understandability.

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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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