Issue Briefs

Following is the summary of a recent report by OPM on initiatives to increase the representation of Hispanics in the federal workplace, for many years the most under-represented demographic group when compared with the overall American workforce.

In compliance with Executive Order 13171, this report provides the most recent statistical data on Hispanic representation in the career Federal workforce. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) continues to move forward to fulfill the People and Culture pillar of the President’s Management Agenda which seeks to help agencies address any barriers that inhibit recruiting and hiring new talent. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2015, OPM highlighted improving the quality and diversity of new hires, with special emphasis placed on the recruitment, hiring and retention of Hispanic talent into the Federal workforce.


The percentage of on-board Hispanic permanent Federal employees increased to 8.5 percent in FY 2015, up slightly from 8.4 percent in FY 2014.

Recruiting Hispanics in the Senior Executive Service (SES) was challenging in FY 2015, which resulted in a decrease of new hires from 5.5 percent in FY 2014 to 4.1 percent in FY 2015. However, the total percentage of on-board SES employees remained at 4.4 percent, unchanged from FY 2014.

OPM continues efforts on monitoring the retention of Hispanics. The percentage of Federal employees resigning from Federal service who were Hispanic decreased from 8.5 percent in FY 2014 to 8.2 percent in FY 2015.

The top professions in which Hispanic individuals were hired into Federal service were:

• Nurse,

• Medical Officer,

• Auditing,


• Contracting, and

• Social Work.

The top administrative professions included:

• Customs and Border Patrol Agent,

• Information Technology Management,

• Miscellaneous Administration and Program Series,

• General Inspection, Investigation, Enforcement, and Compliance Series, and


• Social Insurance Administration Series.

In terms of states with the highest percentage of Hispanics among permanent Federal workers, New Mexico led with 27 percent of the workforce. Rounding out the top ten states were Texas, Arizona, California, Florida, Colorado, New York, New Jersey, Nevada, and Connecticut.

Next Steps

As part of the People and Culture Cross-Agency Priority Goal of the President’s Management Agenda, OPM, the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the Presidential Personnel Office (PPO) started the planning and analysis for a nationwide Hiring Excellence Campaign (the Campaign or HEC) to prepare agencies to “Connect with Top Talent” from communities across America. Pilot sessions were successfully conducted in FY 2015. The campaign was officially launched in FY 2016.

The Campaign emphasizes the need for collaboration between hiring managers and human resources professionals and focuses their efforts on using the full-range of recruitment and hiring tools to attract top talent from diverse communities and hire highly-qualified individuals. Through the Campaign’s virtual and in-person sessions, hiring managers and HR professionals receive expert guidance on how to:

• Establish effective collaborative relationships to improve outreach, recruitment, and hiring outcomes

• Use USAJOBS tools to attract and recruit diverse, qualified applicants

• Design and use assessments to identify top candidates

• Leverage hiring authorities and flexibilities to select quality candidates

• Strategically use data to analyze hiring trends and inform recruitment and hiring decisions


OPM will continue to collaborate and fully support the Hispanic Council on Federal Employment (Council). The Council meets quarterly to bring together leaders from the Hispanic community, Human Resources (HR), Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO), and Diversity and Inclusion (D&I). The Council advises the Director of OPM on specific practices and recommendations related to the recruitment, hiring, retention, and advancement of Hispanics in the Federal workplace.

In addition to the initiatives described, OPM continues to provide technical assistance to agencies on applicant flow data. OPM recognizes applicant flow data as an important tool that can be used to assess the effectiveness of recruitment and outreach, and thus inform future hiring efforts. Analysis of applicant flow data assists agencies in identifying barriers and implementing successful practices at each stage of the hiring process, including application, qualification, referral and selection.

Looking Ahead

In light of the persistent low representation of Hispanics in the Federal workforce, OPM and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) agreed to a recommendation from the Hispanic Council on Federal Employment (HCFE), to require Federal agencies with at least 1,000 full-time equivalent employees to conduct a barrier analysis on Hispanic employment. This analysis will include employees at the GS-12 through SES levels to identify and eradicate barriers to equal employment opportunity. The barrier analysis will consist of the following elements: Workforce Analysis, Root Cause Analysis, Solution Development, and Best Practices. OPM is currently working with EEOC to finalize the memorandum instructing agencies to conduct the analysis. We expect to start the analysis in 2017.