It’s looooong overdue: The Obama administration this week ordered an overhaul of the federal recruitment and hiring process.
For those of you who aspire to work for the federal government when you separate from the military, that’s great news. We’ve all heard the nightmare stories about the application process for a civilian job with the federal government. It’s a byzantine system established in the late 1800s, and it typically takes months to get a response, if applicants get one at all.
That should improve significantly by November. On Tuesday, May 11, President Obama signed a memorandum calling for a sweeping overhaul of the outdated hiring system.
“To deliver the quality services and results the American people expect and deserve, the federal government must recruit and hire highly qualified employees, and public service should be a career of choice for the most talented Americans,” Obama said in the memo. “Yet the complexity and inefficiency of today's federal hiring process deters many highly qualified individuals from seeking and obtaining jobs in the federal government.”
The memorandum calls for the elimination of lengthy application processes, including the dreaded KSAs – essay-style questions for initial applicants that assess their knowledge, skills and abilities. The overhaul also includes a reduction in the time it takes to hire mission-critical and commonly filled positions, and a greater involvement by managers in the hiring process.
“Americans must be able to apply for federal jobs through a common-sense hiring process, and agencies must be able to select high-quality candidates efficiently and quickly,” the president wrote. “The ability of agencies to perform their missions effectively and efficiently depends on a talented and engaged work force, and we must reform our hiring system to further strengthen that work force.”
The change is expected to cut in half - to 80 days - the time it takes to fill vacancies and allow the government to better compete with the private sector for top talent.
Now, that makes a lot of sense.