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Senate approves federal hiring reform bill

By Ed O'Keefe

By The Post's Federal Diary columnist Joe Davidson:

The effort to improve the federal hiring process is on a roll.

Last week, President Obama ordered a series of actions designed to revamp the way Uncle Sam hires. Late Tuesday, the Senate approved the Federal Hiring Process Improvement Act of 2010.

The legislation, passed with unanimous consent, would require the heads of executive agencies to develop a strategic workforce plan designed to, among other things, streamline the hiring process. The plan also would include recruitment strategies to bring in highly qualified workers from diverse backgrounds and to meet gaps in critical skills.

Like the reforms outlined in the presidential memorandum signed May 11, the legislation, which still must be approved by the House, would allow applicants to apply using cover letters and résumés, as is the practice in the private sector, instead of writing essays on their knowledge, skills and abilities.

Agencies also would be required to give job candidates notice of the status of their applications or provide them with the ability to check that on their own. The bill calls for officials to develop a plan to fill vacancies within 80 calendar days. And the legislation would put into law the president's order that job announcements be written in plain language.

The bill was sponsored by Sens. Daniel K. Akaka (D-Hawaii) and George V. Voinovich (R-Ohio), the chairman and top Republican, respectively, of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs federal workforce subcommittee.

"I am pleased that the Senate unanimously passed this legislation to fix the broken hiring system," Akaka said. "The federal government must adapt to meet the best practices of the private sector for hiring in order to be the nation’s employer of choice. Federal Hiring Process Improvement Act will make sure efficient, common sense hiring practices are used government-wide and that these practices last through time."

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

By Ed O'Keefe  | May 19, 2010; 11:15 AM ET
Categories:  Congress, Workplace Issues  
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Comments

There need to be more roadblocks, rather than less in increasing the size of the federal government.

Posted by: yetanotherpassword | May 19, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

They have never heard of State Employment / Unemployment agencies, that pay out millions in this economy to people who are looking for work.

Why not mate the job to the unemployed prospect on Unemployment and get the country working again?
Their was this thing invented by Our Pal Al back in the 80's called the internet, and another thing called a data base program that would match an unemployed person with a job in their area.....


WOW What a Concept...

Won't get fooled again in 2010!....
If they are going to ignore US, then they can join us in the unemployment line...
SECURE THE BORDERS NOW!

Posted by: TDickson1 | May 19, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

I think this will be helpful for those looking to get their first federal job, like myself (I'm currently a contractor). Making them fill the position within 80 calendar days is completely fair, too!I'd like to find out more information about this--seems like a great idea to me!
Also, I don't know who wrote about unemployment agencies but if you're an educated adult that's had a "real" job, they really don't help that much. The only thing I ever got from an unemployment agency was denied additional benefits (healthcare, food stamps) and a resume writing class that I definitely did not need, as I'm a writer and tutor students on writing resumes! The job market is hard and any steps the government wants to take to help out citizens get a federal position, I'm completely open to it!

Posted by: influential81 | May 19, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

I think this bill was long overdue, it’s best for the country especially when you are competing in the global arena instead of limited to geographical boundaries. I got all the qualifications and clearances for applying (Masters in Management, VCP, MCSE, PMP, ITIL) and lot of experience as a federal contractor but federal application clearly favor people and mention that veterans get preference (I am proud to support Veterans) or prior government job history 3+ something like that. The point is if the federal government is looking for quality workforce at par with real commercial world then something must happen otherwise we are as a nation won’t have much edge compared to rest of the world. Remember World is flat, people must realize that fact.

Posted by: openminded4 | May 19, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

ummm..hello.. . So this act is great, but did anyone assess how many HR folks this will take to get this done? I mean..if HR has to provide feedback 4 times in each announcement (lets assume an agency has 10 announcements out and 30 people applied per announcement). How is it that HR is going to accomplish a typical process plus provide feedback? HR has been obliterated in scale backs. We no longer have HR staffing of yesteryear. We have 1 HR person for our small agency of 50 feds. So this one person not only must deal with hiring, they must deal with other HR issues that come to her door. I think while the Act is nice, it wont work unless you have staffing to accommodate this. As it is in larger agencies, such as DoD, I recall being in a room of 50 people trying to process in. That was just 1 room! There were others. So not only is it a daily grind of inprocessing, there are retirement and exit processes and OH! dont forget benefits, and other HR issues that they must deal with. I miss going to HR when I had a question about retirement planning, or insurance issues, or anything. Now I get an email with a website as the method to deal with HR issues.

Posted by: IGotLotsToSay | May 20, 2010 3:26 AM | Report abuse

ummm..hello.. . So this act is great, but did anyone assess how many HR folks this will take to get this done? I mean..if HR has to provide feedback 4 times in each announcement (lets assume an agency has 10 announcements out and 30 people applied per announcement). How is it that HR is going to accomplish a typical process plus provide feedback? HR has been obliterated in scale backs. We no longer have HR staffing of yesteryear. We have 1 HR person for our small agency of 50 feds. So this one person not only must deal with hiring, they must deal with other HR issues that come to her door. I think while the Act is nice, it wont work unless you have staffing to accommodate this. As it is in larger agencies, such as DoD, I recall being in a room of 50 people trying to process in. That was just 1 room! There were others. So not only is it a daily grind of inprocessing, there are retirement and exit processes and OH! dont forget benefits, and other HR issues that they must deal with. I miss going to HR when I had a question about retirement planning, or insurance issues, or anything. Now I get an email with a website as the method to deal with HR issues.

Posted by: IGotLotsToSay | May 20, 2010 3:27 AM | Report abuse

woops..hit the submit button twice...not sure how that happened.OK OK so it was the coffee!....sorry bout that!

Posted by: IGotLotsToSay | May 20, 2010 3:30 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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