HReinvented: OPM's new database cuts hiring by 3 weeks

Friday - 4/9/2010, 6:48am EDT

By Jason Miller
Executive Editor
Federal News Radio

The Office of Personnel Management estimates its new centralized job applicant registers should reduce the time to hire by as much as three weeks.

OPM director John Berry says in a memo to department secretaries Wednesday that the agency has set up hiring registers in 12 of the 14 most common positions.

"Once you identify a hiring need, just have your HR director submit a request to us," Berry writes. "We'll filter the 100,000-plus certified applicants for the location and grade you're looking for, determine who meets minimum qualifications, apply veterans preference and determine who is in the highest category based on their preference status and scores on the assessment. This process takes us only 2-3 business days."

Berry announced OPM's intention to create these pools of qualified candidates last June.

Berry says registers exist for jobs in fields such as financial management, contracting, human resources, information technology, office support and security.

OPM also will add two more of the most commonly filled positions in the near future, Berry writes.

Berry says agencies no longer have to develop an announcement, issue the announcement, wait for applicants to apply, look at all of the names and applications, rate/assess the applicants, apply veterans preference and issue the certificate because OPM will do all of these processes for them.

"This is a great opportunity for you to address some of your staffing challenges," he writes. "There are over 100,000 great applicants on these registers, and I urge you to request certificates as soon as possible."

Berry has time and again said one of his major goals is to fix the hiring process. The agency also has been hosting workshops with the Partnership for Public Service to improve these processes.

For more of our series looking at changes to the federal hiring process, HReinvented, click here.

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