Federal Manager's Daily Report

Use of hiring apps would help address the well-established troubles the government has in attracting younger applicants but they have both practical and legal drawbacks, and MSPB publication has said.

“It is clear that to reach and attract highly sought applicants, agencies can no longer rely exclusively on USAJOBS or job fairs,” it said. “The new generation was raised on technology and expects their potential employers to meet them where they live—their smartphones and social media.”

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“The major benefits to using apps are how fast, easy, and convenient they are to match applicants to employers and potentially for applicants to apply and be screened. In addition, today’s generation wants to work in a technology-rich environment, not one where technology is an afterthought. Using today’s digital technology in the recruitment and hiring process demonstrates a firmer commitment to that. Finally, the judicious use of AI to match and screen applicants could help reduce the number of applicants who are not qualified,” it said.

However, it added that use of hiring apps “will take a sufficient resource commitment by the agency to set up, maintain, and implement the app’s activities in line with federal hiring regulations. Do the apps allow for fair and open competition? Can the apps be combined with other recruitment tools to reach all segments of society? Do the screening tools make valid distinctions among applicants? How can agencies measure the effectiveness of these tools? Furthermore, an easy, convenient process will likely draw a larger number of applicants which can create more work for HR specialists and hiring managers.”

It concluded: “It will take much thought and intention to successfully integrate apps into an agency’s recruitment process, and even more to use them for screening applicants. Therefore, apps are not a magic wand that will solve all the problems of the federal hiring system. However, advanced technology is changing the hiring process. An effective app dedicated to recruiting students and recent graduates may improve their knowledge of, interest in, and ability to apply for federal employment.”

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