Federal Manager's Daily Report

fedweek.com: hiring process transformation budget 2021

The White House’s budget proposal released this week says the administration will continue to pursue “transforming” the hiring process, including through building on pilot projects in which subject matter experts are more involved in determining which applicants are referred to the hiring manager.

In comments similar to those that have been voiced by many observers, a budget document says that the hiring process “is slow and awkward, typically requiring at least 14 steps.


The process frustrates hiring managers and potential employees and causes agencies to lose qualified candidates, who frequently abandon their pursuit of a federal job during the course of the lengthy process.”

It cited a pilot program at HHS and Interior that used subject matter experts in determining whether an applicant was qualified for the position in place of self-assessments by candidates, which MSPB recently said commonly are over-inflated.

A half-dozen agencies will adopt that approach in 2020 and guidance will be issued to apply it government-wide, it said.

The administration further “intends to eliminate degree requirements for federal jobs when not inherently necessary to perform the duties of a position, and to identify other instances where degrees are used as a poor proxy for specific competencies sought in job candidates.

Over-reliance on degrees can be a barrier to entry into federal service, and it can also prevent current civil servants who possess relevant skills, training or experience from transitioning into emerging fields within the federal sector.”

The budget also again calls for authorities—requested in the past but not approved by Congress—to expand temporary hiring of highly qualified experts, expand job interchanges between the government and academia and nonprofits, and loosen the time limits on temporary and term hires.

Management Agenda Report Cites Pilot Projects, Outlines New Goals

Test of Subject Matter Expert Involvement in Hiring Called Successful

Federal Manager’s Handbook, 5th Ed.