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OPM looking for STEM workers

The Office of Personnel Management is exploring the possibility of issuing a government-wide direct hire authority for certain science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and cybersecurity positions. 

“The [OPM] is aware that individuals with the knowledge, skills, and ability to perform in [STEM] and cybersecurity occupations are in heavy demand and that this demand could, perhaps, be affecting mission critical functions,” OPM Director Jeff Pon wrote in a memo to agency chief human capital officers.

A direct-hire authority, or DHA is an appointing hiring authority that the OPM can give to federal agencies for filling vacancies when a critical hiring need or severe shortage of candidates exists, but certain criteria must be met as the authority allows an agency to skip significant portions of the traditional competitive hiring process.

Pon said that in order to determine whether agencies will meet those requirements, in the coming weeks, OPM will be issuing a survey.

“The data we need will be both qualitative and quantitative – to get a better picture of how the hiring process is working today, and better understand any challenges you may indicate you have encountered in trying to recruit for these positions,” Pon said. “When you receive your survey I urge you to respond honestly, thoughtfully, and promptly,” he added.  

Read the memo here.

Reader comments

Mon, Jun 11, 2018

This is funny to say the least. I have applied to countless jobs in the STEM and Cybersecurity Field only to hear crickets back in return. If the Feds really want to get top notch people in then how about they better than Direct Hire positions for jobs in the NOVA area because a lot of people do not want to live in that rat race of a region to work.

Fri, Jun 8, 2018

When I retired a few years ago, my command wanted to hired only contractors (engineers). And the engineers could not state an opinion, correct a mistake, and only did what they were told to do. Now, they want to hire STEM - why?

Fri, Jun 8, 2018

If OPM really wants STEM workers they will have to increase pay and benefits; not cut both.

Fri, Jun 8, 2018 Johnathan Kiel Texas

Based on my experience, I find it odd that they are so desperate for STEM experts. Since retirement as a USAF Senior Scientist, I have applied at several other Federal Agencies and even as a temporary annuitant but with no positive responses.

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Edward A. Zurndorfer Certified Financial Planner
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