The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) recently issued guidance to Federal agencies to assist in the implementation of the President’s three-part call to action plan to address barriers to employment for the long term unemployed.
In January, President Obama issued a call to action to employers, communities, and Federal agencies to take steps to reduce barriers to employment, encourage recruitment, and facilitate hiring of the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have the skills, experience, and a desire to work.
OPM’s guidance, issued through a memorandum to the Chief Human Capital Officers Council, outlines ways in which OPM will work with agencies to ensure there are no unnecessary barriers facing the long term unemployed. For example, agencies are encouraged to focus on the applicants’ qualifications, rather than gaps in employment, and to ensure that job announcements do not require applicants to be currently or recently employed. The guidance also outlines strategies for recruitment.
“As the Chief HR Officer for the Federal Government, I take very seriously our responsibility to be a model employer,” said OPM Director Katherine Archuleta. “This includes, as the President directed, to ensure that qualified and talented individuals who have a desire to work are not prevented from applying or obtaining Federal employment solely due to a gap in employment or financial difficulties endured through no fault of their own. It is crucial for this Administration that these Americans receive fair treatment and consideration for employment by Federal agencies.”