A pilot project in which subject matter experts from nine agencies joined to produce a shared job announcement for a customer experience position proved successful, according to performance.gov.
It said that the result was that candidates were identified within six weeks of the vacancy posting—of whom half were selected by the hiring agencies and most of whom accepted the offers.
“Although there have been 7 successful subject matter experts based qualifying assessment pilots in the last year, this marks the first pilot that was government-wide,” a posting said. “Today, the majority of job announcements use qualifying assessments outside the self-assessment questionnaire so this pilot helped show an example of how agencies can think outside the box to fill competitive openings with top technical talent.”
It said the project involved subject matter experts coordinating with HR officials to document the required specialized experience in the form of competencies and proficiency levels and creation of pass/fail assessments to evaluate applicants against those requirements. Veterans preference was only reviewed among applicants deemed eligible after qualifying assessments were complete.
“One of the highlights of the process is that private sector applicants don’t need to know the typical tricks of federal employment, including much longer federal style resumes and the problem of over inflation on self-assessment questionnaires. In this process, SMEs are doing the evaluation, not the applicants; and, applicants with 2-3 page resumes are on equal footing as federal applicants with much lengthier resumes,” it said.
Of the initial applicants 31 percent were current federal employees, 10 percent contractor employees and 59 percent neither; of those deemed qualified, the percentages were 23, 25 and 52, and of those selected, 20, 27 and 53.
It said that scaling up such a project to be applied government-wide will require coordination among OPM and agencies; having talent teams within agencies that focus on the applicant’s experience; and use of technology to “help agencies walk through more effective hiring flows that encourage the use of alternative assessments.”