Finding new feds

Friday - 4/3/2009, 4:42pm EDT

Amy Morris

As heard on sister-station WTOP

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The federal government wants to recruit new employees, but it isn't easy.

There are plenty of people who want to work for the federal government.

The problem is getting off square one -- the application process.

The Federal Hiring Process Improvement Act was introduced this week by Republican Senator George Voinovich of Ohio and Democratic Senator Daniel Akaka of Hawaii.

Q: What's so special about this bill?

A: Anyone whose tried to apply for a federal government job knows how cumbersome the process can be.

You can't just hand in a resume and a cover letter.

There are forms to fill out and processes to go through. It can be very involved, and the requirements are different for every agency.

This bill was just introduced on Monday.

It would streamline the requirements and simplify the entire process and would put it on par for applying for a private-sector job.

Q: What's the motivation behind the bill?

A: The federal government needs people. We've talked many times about how they are trying to hire people for thousands of jobs throughout the federal government, but a lot of people who've never worked for the government before find that very first step -- the application process -- a huge turnoff.

The Partnership for Public Service tells us that the problem isn't a lack of interest, but the application process itself, which is foreign to nearly everyone outside of government.

Q: Where's the bill now?

A: It was just introduced and there is a significant amount of support for it.

This is the starting point to have the dialogue for what needs to change in the application process, so this bill might not wind up being the final rule, but it is finally getting those wheels in motion to at least acknowledge that the process needs improvement.

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