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In June 2009, President Obama ordered the streamlining of the Federal government hiring process. The memorandum from the Office of Management and Budget M09-20 states that: “The current Federal hiring process is lengthy and encumbered by burdensome requirements and outdated technology systems.“
The Department of Defense, the DoD, is meeting this directive through its Hiring Reform initiative. Put simply, DoD Hiring Reform is the DoD’s project to remove any unnecessary barrier to hiring. This will make the DoD human resources division, the Defense Civilian Personnel Advisory Service, or DCPAS, more efficient. DoD can’t function without a large pool of civilian talent. Since over 700,000 civilians work for the DoD, Hiring Reform is a good strategy for the DoD to meet its personnel needs.
DoD employment is an attractive career path for people with a variety of training. Multilingual people and dentists, accountants and executives will find job openings through DoD human resources, DCPAS. Moreover, DoD employment offers Federal benefits including retirement savings plan and health insurance. No matter how attractive the salary and benefits are, however, the DoD will find it difficult to fill open positions if the hiring process is inefficient.
Hiring Reform is particularly challenging to the DoD human resources department, due to the DoD’s large size, number of divisions, complexity of hiring authorities, geographical dispersion and outdated staffing tools. Nevertheless, DoD’s management made meeting these challenges one of its top five strategic goals for the year, its performance goal: simplifying the hiring process.
In May 2010, President Obama issued additional information on how to change the gatekeeping website for Federal positions, to be in place by November 2010. DoD Hiring Reform responded by creating its own initiative addressing the four essential phases of hiring: planning the new position, attracting candidates, making hiring decisions and shaping new hires’ early experiences. DCPAS created webpages with tool kits for hiring managers to download. In addition, DCPAS added webpages with instant resources full of useful information for hiring managers, such as tips on recruiting and selling the job to attractive applicants. Making applications and decisions easier makes DoD employment even more appealing to candidates.
The DoD Hiring Reform initiative is divided into several key focus areas, one being the active involvement of managers in hiring. DCPAS’ Hiring Manager tool kit to help managers in this enhanced role is just one result of Hiring Reform at the DoD.