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Government's 80-day hiring goal on track

By Ed O'Keefe

Federal agencies are on course to start hiring new job applicants with a quicker, resume-based system in November, government hiring managers said Tuesday.

President Obama in May ordered federal agencies to hit the gas on hiring, giving officials until November to cut the federal job application process to an average of 80 days by switching from a reliance on lengthy essays to shorter application forms and resumes. The efforts are part of Obama's campaign pledge to make the government an attractive employer to a wider pool of job seekers.

Most, if not all agencies will be ready by November, but changes will continue for several years, said Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry.

"November isn't the end date of hiring reform," he said. "That is the date that we'll be moving to a resume-based world." Hiring managers must keep focused on the issue in the coming years, because "Even when we do achieve and reach the goal of 80 days and good quality applicants, if you take our eye off that ball, we'll be missing it," he said.

Kathy Ott, acting deputy undersecretary for civilian personnel policy at the Defense Department, said the Pentagon's hiring reform plans "go out several years." The department, the government's largest civilian employer, hired 163,000 new civilian workers this fiscal year, a process that averaged 119 days for new hires and 42 days to hire someone for the openings from within the department, she said.

The Department of Veterans Affairs -- the government's second largest employer -- is training more than 3,800 human resources officials about the new hiring policy, said Annie Spiczak, VA associate deputy assistant secretary for human resources.

The training should help ensure agencies can focus on meeting the tight 80-day turnaround and still hire qualified candidates, Berry said.

"I don't want people just making knee-jerk selections to artificially meet an 80-day deadline," he said. "The goal is to be able to improve our process so we can do a better job."

Berry also said he hopes the administration later this fall announces proposed changes to the Federal Career Internship Program, a two-year internship for college students who are often get hired as full-time employees. Federal unions pan the program as a backdoor way to selectively hire applicants.

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below

By Ed O'Keefe  | September 14, 2010; 12:47 PM ET
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Workplace Issues  
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Next: Harry Reid to Lady Gaga: I hear you


Rush to hire with the knowledge you can't fire?

Sort of like the $862 billion Stimulus that didn't stimulate squat.

Posted by: cibor | September 14, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Simply amazing!!!!!!!! After 50 years of Communism, Cuba says it doesn't work and is firing 500,000 Government workers. Yet we find our current Administration going the other way and doing what Cuba found out doesn't work. Guess the US is acting stupidly!!

Posted by: Jimbo77 | September 14, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

B A L O N E Y!!!!

There is no reform on the process EXCEPT a modified power point for the jerkles at the top! This article is as phoney as the leadership that is talking this SPEW!

A dare anyone to go and apply for a VA (or many of the other agencies) accountant job! Or a professional, career position that you obviously qualify for... You will submit your resume that you spent hours building on USAJOBS. THEN you will be shot to an Application Manager program. Don't have an account? YOU CAN'T APPLY! Create an account. THEN, you must answer 15 pages of stupid questions that could EASILY be taken from your resume. Additionally, you must answer a few pages of questions concerning your experience to the position, which also could clearly be taken from the resume. Failt odo ANY of these things... NO CONSIDERATION! NONE! It's a farce and a waste of time and effort!

These clowns have not learned how to screen a simple resume. They want a complete SF171 on a 2 page resume. If they can't get that, they'll add pages of questionairre...

Most of it to pre-screen with words and phrases... why? Because they are TOO LAZY and unqualified to examine the resume for REAL qualified applicants. oh! they claim their are too many. BULL! Do you job... train those staffing spec to screen resumes for a professional position. If the person worked 15 years as a GS-510-13 and is applying for a GS-510-14... there should be NO REASON on this earth that they qualifiy for most of those positions. If the manager is looking for a specific specialized skill... FIND THAT OUT IN THE INTERVIEW.. not from an application on key words and phrases.

Lastly, ALL OPM and HR MUST be placed on performance for pay... There is too much abuse and violations that go unaccounted... because they think they are above the law or regulations when they make mistakes. An example... try to question anyone's decision to disqualify you for a position on the Navy's HR Resumix. Ha! It will take you days to hunt down the POC of the announcement... the Resumix support are worthless. Oh, they will say the POC is on the announcement. Well, if you are applying for 50 announcements and it took them 2 months to screen them... how on earth do they expect anyone to have a copy of the announcement... when the screening goes by a different number than the announcement number. Discharge any resumix and application manager program... announce the position and provide an email to apply. NOTHING else!

Posted by: darbyohara | September 15, 2010 7:03 AM | Report abuse

Comments are also negative when it comes to this administration. Get over yourselves and think positive for a change you might find you like yourselves a little better.

Posted by: laj0321 | September 15, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Hiring would be much more expedited if they would make a three question form instead of a resume: loyalty to the President, race or other oppressed status, and illiteracy. Applicants could submit them by making their marks.
3 positives: GS-14
2 positives: GS-11
1 positive: not hired
0 positives: Gitmo

Posted by: jiji1 | September 15, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

The reference to the Federal Career Intern Program (FCIP) as being for college students is incorrect. While the program is called an “internship” there is no requirement, nor is it used, to bring college students into the federal government. Federal agencies have been using the FCIP for a majority, and in some cases all, of their new hires. This is not what the FCIP was designed to do or be. In fact, the program has grown from 400 hires in its first year to 26,709 FCIP hires in 2009. Additionally, the FCIP circumvents merit principles and veteran’s preferences. NTEU believes that the FCIP should be ended.

Colleen M. Kelley
National President
National Treasury Employees Union

Posted by: nteu-pr | September 15, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

@ Colleen M. Kelley...

AGREE totally. I see it daily in our Navy (outside the beltway) activity.. and it is happening throughout DoD. It needs to STOP!

I remeber an article back in the spring that they (OPM) were suppose to investigate this. But nothing ever happened. Never heard a thing since.

Of course I bring the subject up to management and they get upset because I am questioning it. But most of them are too new to govt to understand what the purpose of the intern program was designed for...

I am all for getting quality college students into the workplace, and even into the govt. But as Ms. Kelley states, it is management's way around the hiring principles. In fact, many of the interns are not students until they get on-board and then a majority of them start suckin the training funds to complete their graduate degree -- then they are called students. This has been going on for a few years. And now with the stupid rule to not enforce time-in-grade, many of these newly interns are quickly promoted and many are now sitting in management... because they played the "good ole' boy" game for a few years... glad I am soon to retire and get far away from this mess!

Posted by: darbyohara | September 16, 2010 7:29 AM | Report abuse

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