Federal Manager's Daily Report

A newly released budget document reflects the Trump administration’s initiatives regarding the hiring process, which it says “is cumbersome and frustrating for federal hiring managers and potential employees, and causes agencies to lose attractive candidates.”

“The administration is using tools at its disposal to create hiring and pay flexibilities in critical areas within the federal workforce where mission-critical recruitment and retention needs are currently unmet. For example, in the fall of 2018, OPM announced special hiring authorities for qualified applicants to fill a variety of STEM occupations, expanding a list previously comprised predominantly of medical professions,” it says. “Separately, DHS is implementing a new personnel system for its cybersecurity staff. This new system, authorized by Congress, provides for new career paths, hiring methods, and compensation for these mission critical cyber positions.”

It also pointed to the reduction in the background investigations backlog, “which can delay hiring in critical need areas such as cybersecurity”—down from a peak of 725,000 in April 2018 to about 550,000. “In addition, the administration is creating a new, modern executive branch policy structure that supports the new vetting approach. The new policy will be established formally in 2019” and meanwhile the administration plans to completely transfer the National Background Investigations Bureau from the OPM to the DoD.

Other areas of attention include making USAJobs more user-friendly; the addition of “a government-wide reskilling and employee development platform that facilitates micro-details”; and a request to lift the current limit on non-competitive hiring of interns after they have completed their internships.