The Pentagon has authorized DoD components to use short-cut “direct hire” authority to fill positions in a range of occupations through September 30, 2025.
Direct hire authority allows agencies to appoint candidates directly, without use of standard hiring procedures, into competitive service career, career-conditional, term, or temporary positions for which there is a severe shortage of candidates or a critical hiring need to fill positions that traditional hiring procedures aren’t filling.
The agency must use an assessment method to determine whether a candidate is qualified but after such a determination the candidate may be hired—subject to meeting suitability and security clearance requirements—without being formally ranked and without veterans preference applying.
OPM in an early February memo stressed to agencies that direct hire is available, along with several other special hiring authorities, in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. However, DoD also has standing authority to use direct hire for filling certain positions.
In a memo the Pentagon’s central personnel office has authorized its use for positions:
– in maintenance activities, such as maintenance of weapon systems, hardware, equipment, software, installation infrastructure, or any combination; designated with a cyber work role code;
– in the acquisition workforce responsible for managing any services contracts necessary to the operation and maintenance of programs;
– in medical or health professions designated as a shortage category or critical need occupation;
– in childcare services for which there is a critical hiring need and a shortage of childcare providers;
– in which a finance, accounting, management, or actuarial science degree or a related degree is required; and
– for assisting and facilitating business transformation and management innovation.
Also, the authority extends to positions in science, technology, or engineering needed for development of new systems or to maintain existing systems – or any category of acquisition positions designated as a shortage or critical need category (excepting those in a Science and Technology Reinvention Laboratory for which a qualified candidate is required to possess a bachelor’s degree or an advanced degree, or for which a veteran candidate is being considered).