OPM has told agencies to make greater efforts to keep job seekers up to date on the process, which would benefit current federal employees who have applied to change jobs as well as outside applicants.

“Based on data from a USAJOBS applicant survey, the majority of applicants indicate that they are notified when their application is received; however, later notifications at key touch points of the process are not provided as consistently,” OPM said in a memo.


It added that those same concerns were voiced in a March hearing on the federal hiring process before a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs subcommittee.

In addition to when an application has been received, OPM said, agencies should be “diligent” in notifying them “upon completion of qualifications assessments and whether or not the applicant was referred to the selecting official; and whether or not the applicant was selected.”

It said that such regular communications are “key to maintaining the engagement and interest of applicants, particularly in cases where the hiring process involves multiple steps or when there is a risk of losing the applicant to a competing employment offer.”