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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

Fri, Jul 20, 2018 MikeM

I hear Russia and North Korea are full of top-notch security professionals. And apparently they know quite a bit about US government operations already. If they could get around the immigration issue, it would be a win-win, da.

Thu, Jul 19, 2018 Don NVA

Check out the Corp. world where you may get better pay/benefits & you can still help protect America as a Gov't contractor while leading innovation & development. Check out General Dynamics/GDIT.

Thu, Jul 19, 2018 Sam USA

Top qualified Cybersecurity and Systems Management personnel are in heavy demand. Private companies such as Citi, Home Depot Targets all pay salaries in excess of $1 million for their top people and give them fully paid for health care and stock options and bonuses. For what the government pays all they can get is third string players.

Thu, Jul 19, 2018

I am ready to be hired in a STEM field. I have a graduate degree in biology and 20 years experience in teaching and research. I don't require more pay or benefits. I require a job in science. I have applied hundreds of times. I am a government employee now, but not in a STEM field. Switch me over to STEM now. I am so ready. I know people with graduate degrees in meteorology from American universities who applied for jobs at NOAA and were told they were not qualified. I know an engineer with a graduate degree and a PE who was told she was not qualified to work for the NRCS because she lacked education. You don't need to look all that hard for qualified people. You need to stop telling qualified people they are not qualified.

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.

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Edward A. Zurndorfer Certified Financial Planner
Mike Causey Columnist
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