The Federal Hiring Process: Can It Meet Today’s Government Requirements?

The federal government is going to be hiring a large number of new employees. Is the federal hiring process up to the task of hiring a large number of well qualified new federal employees and can they be hired in time for an agency to accomplish its mission? Send in your opinion and evaluate the players in this process in our latest survey.

From the stimulus plan to the debate on health care in American, the federal government is involved. Big government is not only big, it is getting bigger.

The estimates of the number of new federal employees to be hired ranges to as high as 600,000. John Berry, the Director of OPM, wants to revamp the federal hiring process to make it more efficient. Whether this effort will be successful or how long it will take to make it successful is open to question.

From the perspective of an outsider, there appears to be a certain amount of chaos in the federal system. For example, the federal government has passed a "cash for clunkers" program. The program has been extended and is in disarray as auto dealers are complaining about not getting paid under this program for cars that have been sold. And, a few days after the government announced it is tripling the number of new federal employees and contractors to get rid of the backlog, the administration has announced that the program will end in a few days. Perhaps these new employees will be reassigned or perhaps they will be let go shortly after they were hired. In effect, some of these employees will be hired after the program has ended although there may still be a back log depending on how long the hiring process takes to bring them into the agency and to have them learn how to do their jobs.

Perhaps this disarray will be temporary. Or, perhaps, as the federal system tries to rapidly employ many new people, the result may be hiring hundreds of thousands of new employees without having a well thought out plan to determine whether the new feds will have the qualifications necessary to do whatever they are supposed to be doing. Will there even be time necessary for the agency to determine what the necessary qualifications are for the jobs to be filled?

Changing the hiring process will take awhile and agencies are hiring now. Many aspects of the stimulus bill passed earlier this year and just starting to go into effect and agencies are hiring new people to implement this and to meet their responsibilities under new laws (and with higher budgets).

Is the federal hiring process up to the task of bringing in qualified employees in a timely manner? How do you rate the overall performance of your agency and of the Office of Personnel Management in the federal hiring process?

Take our latest survey and send in your written comments with the survey. We will summarize the results and highlight representative comments in the next few days.