OPM issues official rule change to boost IT hiring
- By Sherkiya Wedgeworth
- Apr 05, 2019
Agency leaders now have the direct hiring authority to boost the federal IT workforce when they deem there is a critical need or severe shortage of highly-qualified employees.
Hiring authority is currently exclusive to the Office of Personnel Management, but on April 3 the agency issued an official rule change giving that authority to the heads of federal agencies and department chief information officers and chief human capital officers.
“This flexibility will greatly enhance the government’s ability to recruit needed IT professionals,” an OPM memorandum states. “Leveraging [direct hiring authority] provides agencies with a ‘simple and strategic’ tool for attracting needed IT talent,” it adds.
OPM proposed the rule change back in October, citing the need to address a severe shortage of IT personnel, specifically security positions.
Under the rule change, such new hires cannot be appointed for more than four years, but agency leaders can make a special request for an additional four years.
“No individual hired under this delegation can serve in excess of eight years with the same agency, and an individual hired under this delegation cannot be transferred to positions that are not IT positions,” the memo states.
Pertinent information about each new hire—such as geographical location and salary rate—must be provided to OPM with 10 business days of the direct hire authority’s approval by the agency head.