By Mark Van Scyoc Royalty-free stock photo ID: 285175268


Details on federal hiring changes expected this week

By Mark Van Scyoc Royalty-free stock photo ID: 285175268 

Draft guidelines for minimizing agencies' reliance on college degrees when hiring for civil service positions should come this week, according to a senior Office of Personnel Management official.

OPM Deputy Associate Director for Strategic Workforce Planning John York, speaking at a Sept. 16 FCW event, said the guidance -- which covers implementation of President Donald Trump's June 26 executive order on "Modernizing and Reforming the Assessment and Hiring of Federal Job Candidates," was nearly ready for agency review. The guidance will be finalized by Christmas, he added.

The executive order calls on federal agencies "to prescribe a minimum educational requirement for employment in the Federal competitive service" only when a degree or other educational qualification "is legally required to perform the duties of the position in the State or locality where those duties are to be performed."

Instead, York explained, the "EO requires agencies to develop skill- and competency-based assessments for every job they advertise in the competitive service." This new approach could be especially beneficial when filling IT jobs, he added, noting that "in many parts of the government, cybersecurity experts are hired by a system that pre-dates the existence of cybersecurity."

Many details must still be worked out regarding a change that York called "the biggest shift in federal hiring in almost 40 years." Those include standards for the assessments, and the development or procurement of the systems for administering such tests. He said OPM was working toward shared services to support agency's assessment efforts.

Reader comments

Tue, Sep 22, 2020

To change hiring in the federal government they must eliminate a good percentage of minions they call management. This includes GS15's who cheat on telework, bash hard working employees every time they get a chance. They hire friends rather than having a fair and open process of evaluating qualified applicants. They also need to reduce the number of SES and Title 46 bloats who find their way into civil service via their management friends.

Fri, Sep 18, 2020

It's a big corruption in the government when it comes to hiring. Let's first start with nepotism, then bullying by hiring managers or upper leadership. The process is so subjective, if a specialist doesn't have the training or knowledge of evaluating candidates. Let's not talk about getting referred to hiring official, but never get an interview. The entire system should be revamped! Fraud and more FRAUD!!

Fri, Sep 18, 2020

At the Big Outfit in Bethesda, managers would tailor design job descriptions for their friends and relatives. They would get executive officers to also examine the job description document and make sure that the position would only rate the managers pal as the most qualified. Other hard working folks that deserved a chance at a promotion were discouraged from applying and the ones that did, they would be harassed, ignored, called trouble makers. This is such a blatant way of operating what supposedly is to be a fair system of evaluation. It is time that the management at all levels responsible for such activities be held responsible and terminated as fast as possible.

Fri, Sep 18, 2020

They should address the following, Make sure each posting includes an outside offering. Only keeping job postings internal is an indication of fraud. They know they have an internal choice and want to limit the competition. Fraud. I know it because I have been on hiring boards and this is what they did. Secong tailoring the questions to the person they want to hire, Fraud. Third, not giving Veterans a fair shot at the position by keeping the posting internal, Fraud. Fourth, not even using USAJOBS to post positions. The FBI uses FBIJOBS to hide their positions, Fraud. Unless you reform the policies that enable unfair hiring the rest is bull

Thu, Sep 17, 2020 Adam

What bothers me about the hiring process is that you can be filtered out of a selection by someone that has no idea about the job you are applying for. They should screen candidates on common sense criteria, but let the hiring official / agency make the determination if you are qualified.

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