Kiss that KSA goodbye!

Thursday - 9/11/2008, 7:11am EDT

By Max Cacas
FederalNewsRadio

One of the biggest frustrations for those seeking employment with the federal government is the lengthy application and hiring process. But now, a new initiative from the Office of Personnel Management seeks to make the endless federal hiring process a thing of the past.

Howard Weizman, OPM's Deputy Director, says that the new "End to End Hiring Roadmap", developed in partnership with the federal Chief Human Capital Officers Council, is designed to look at federal hiring from an entirely different, and needed, perspective: namely, that of an applicant.

Weizman told a news briefing at OPM headquarters yesterday that the new federal hiring roadmap, which is being distributed to all agencies, is in part the result of asking recent applicants a very simple question: "what do you think?"

We did a focus group with a number of new hires, and the constant thing that we heard from people was "they never told me where I was in the process", or "I never heard back from the agency", or "they never updated the website where I was supposed to see where I was in the process."

The CHCO council's Hiring and Succession Planning subcommittee talked to other agencies and harvested their best practices and success stories. What emerged, says Weizman, is a roadmap which he says is divided into five different areas: Workforce Planning, Recruitment, Hiring, Security and Suitability, and Orientation.

Weizman says another plank of the end-to-end hiring roadmap replaces long application forms with smaller, more clearly written applications, and also does away with the cumbersome and much loathed Knowledge, Skills and Abilities narrative; the KSA.

Now that the agencies have the new "end to end" or E2E roadmap in hand, the next step is to begin figuring out how to implement the requirements for newer shorter job applications, more timely information to applicants, and other criteria in their human capital management plans. To that end, agencies will be required to include their own baselines for E2E in their FY08 Human Capital Management Reports (HCMRs) due December 15 of this year. They will be expected to report their progress throughout the coming fiscal year.

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On the Web:
OPM - End-to-end Hiring Initiative (pdf)

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