OPM issues official rule change to boost IT hiring

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.

Reader comments

Tue, Apr 16, 2019

This is a real streak of intelligent thinking on hiring officials through OPM. who would want to work for the federal government when the elected minion squad of McConnel, Pelosi, Schumer, Warren, Cortez and all other elected officials rather reduce benefits, compensation, COLAs, and bicker with each other causing a government shutdown and loss of compensation. Grow up and smell the roses, if you want good people, good people should lead which we lack through out the federal government. The political appointees which include department and cabinet level individuals are also as clueless as possible when it comes to the federal work force concerns.

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