DoD has become the latest agency to formally lift its own hiring freeze following the end of the general government-wide freeze, but like several others it will continue to be sparing in hiring.

A memo from Deputy Secretary Robert Work, notes that the OMB memo ending the general freeze directs agencies to produce reform plans with an eye toward restructuring and downsizing their workforces. “To ensure that the Department of Defense is postured for success when we submit our reform plan to OMB, deliberate leadership focus on the necessity and prudence of DoD recruitment and hiring actions is imperative,” it says.

He said the Pentagon expects components to “scrutinize carefully all recruitment and hiring actions and undertake to recruit or hire only when such are wholly consistent with the principles, requirements and actions set forth in the OMB memorandum.”

Such considerations are to include whether the duties reflect current and projected needs, whether the duties can be assigned a lower grade, and whether any changes to workforce structure can be accomplished in a “timely and efficient manner.”

He urged the use of temporary and term employees–who can be terminated more easily than permanent employees–to address newly emerging or short-term needs. Use of military personnel to meet those needs “should be avoided,” and “contracted services may not be used to compensate for the impacts of hiring constraints, vacant civilian positions, or emergent requirements that are more appropriately or efficiently met with civilian personnel.”