DoD Lifts Agency Hiring Freeze

The Department of Defense has announced that it is officially lifting the agency’s civilian workforce hiring freeze, but with some restrictions.

The Defense Department has announced that as of May 3 it will be lifting the agency’s hiring freeze on its civilian workforce.

The memo, issued by deputy secretary of Defense Robert Work, cautioned that although restrictions are no longer in place, he expects “components to scrutinize carefully all recruitment and hiring actions and undertake to recruit or hire only when such are wholly consistent with the principles, requirements and actions set forth in the OMB memorandum.”

The OMB memo referenced is the one issued last month by OMB director Mick Mulvaney which officially rescinded the hiring freeze.

“Although the OMB memorandum lifts the government-wide hiring freeze established by the President’s memorandum of January 23, 2017, it directs each agency to develop and Agency Reform Plan. To ensure that the Department of Defense (DoD) is postured for success when we submit our Reform Plan to OMB, deliberate leadership focus on the necessity and prudence of DoD recruitment and hiring actions is imperative,” said Work.

The memo also added that any future recruitment and hiring actions need to take into account the following:

  • Whether the duties of the position, qualifications and skills or the organizational placement reflect mission needs
  • Whether the duties can be assigned to lower organizational levels
  • Whether appropriate changes to the position can be accomplished in a timely and efficient manner

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Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.