27 September 2023

UNITED STATES: Call to modernise PS hiring

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A Commission charged with seeking ways of attracting Americans into the Public Service says Agencies need to modernise application pathways, increase internships and have more contact with prospective recruits at the university level.

It also urges reforms to help people better understand Federal hiring processes and job-search sites.

Over the past year, the National Commission on Military, National and Public Service has held hearings around the country seeking ideas on how to inspire more Americans to serve.

The Commission will make recommendations to Congress, President, Donald Trump and the American public by March 2020.

At their latest hearing, most Commissioners expressed concern because while Americans across the nation said they wanted to work in the Public Service, most found themselves less inclined when it actually came to applying for a job.

One Commission Vice-Chair, Mark Gearan said recruiting and hiring practices “are significantly out of touch with the realities of the modern workforce”.

Deputy Associate Director of Employee Services, Talent Acquisition and Workforce Shaping at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), Kimberly Holden (pictured) said the OPM was actively working to help Agencies build a stronger workforce.

“The most common barrier is the time it takes for Agencies to hire new employees, so OPM is working to help them implement more robust applicant assessment tools and introduce new hiring systems,” Ms Holden said.

“OPM offers training sessions for Agency hiring managers and is working to reduce the burdens applicants face by frequently working to improve the USAjobs website.”

However, she said many Agencies simply did not have the resources to actively recruit new workers, such as by visiting universities.

Washington, DC, 16 May 2019

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