OPM launching federal hiring toolkit, new interactive dashboard to reach cross-agency goals

Tuesday - 7/1/2014, 2:04pm EDT

By Stephanie Wasko
Special to Federal News Radio

Improvements to the federal hiring process are on the horizon.

The Obama administration released an update on Performance.gov June 30 that showed agencies are on track to have phase one of the federal hiring toolkit developed sometime by September. The toolkit would educate and enable human resource staff to recruit and hire more effectively. The first phase focuses on recruitment strategies. Agencies plan to develop Phase 2, which deals more directly with hiring, by the beginning of 2015.

The toolkit is one of several efforts to "increase the ability of agencies to recruit and hire the best talent from all segments of society."

The Office of Personnel Management also plans to launch an interactive dashboard to Senior Executive Management this month to help agencies collect and use data to create a more engaged workplace, according to the update.

The toolkit and dashboard are parts of a broader set of milestones agencies are pursuing. These include improving federal recruiting and hiring, using Senior Executive Service officials more in workforce management and continuing to promote employee engagement, according to the administration's cross- agency goals progress report.

Agencies also are looking to be more strategic with outreach and recruitment, especially in areas of science, technology, engineering and math, and IT, stated the report. Part of this involves the Office of Personnel Management, Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Science and Technology Policy helping agencies develop fellowship programs by creating a President's Innovation Fellows "toolkit." According to the update, OPM is finding ways to better use data in the recruiting process and to attract workers for specific positions that need to be filled.

According to summary, OPM also plans to look at the Pathways program that chief human capital officers found inadequate in the most recent Partnership for Public Service survey. But the summary didn't offer any further details on what OPM plans to do.

The report also highlighted that agencies "will commit to having their senior leadership and their SES hiring officials actively involved in the hiring process, including development of job descriptions and job specifications, actively recruiting, and interviewing candidates."

The hiring process for bringing in these SES leaders also needs evaluation, according to the report. Agencies already have created a draft for a new hiring model with the help of the presidential leadership workshop. Agencies will pilot the new model starting in September.

The administration said SES officials should be the base for building a better federal management team. Once SES staff is hired, agencies "will commit to and prioritize continual SES development," the report stated. This includes a situational mentoring program and coaching network, cross-government leadership development opportunities and engagement of SES members in the interagency rotation program.

OPM and the White House will implement these milestones in late summer of 2015.

The SES will continue to promote the cross-agency goal of increased employee engagement. The administration established a Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey dashboard to help SES and other management officials use data to improve employee engagement in their agencies.

The update also stated the Department of Transportation, Department of Energy, the Social Security Administration and OPM are piloting Phase 1 of GovConnect, which uses new approaches for efficiently placing employees to best use their skill sets and create a more engaged workplace environment.

The administration wants to improve employee engagement by having agency workforce leaders set clear goals and review progress, hold SES and other managers accountable, and use data for future planning.

The administration will look at results from the FEVS and CHCO Management Satisfaction surveys to see how agencies are improving in their hiring processes, SES involvement and employee engagement.

Stephanie Wasko is an intern with Federal News Radio.

The Obama administration has set new cross-agency priority goals for managing government as part of its 2015 budget. Federal News Radio examines the eight areas identified by the White House in our special section 2014 Cross Agency Priority Goals.

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