OPM promises more secure, streamlined USAJobs

Thursday - 9/1/2011, 6:12am EDT

Emily Kopp, reporter, Federal News Radio

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By Emily Kopp
Reporter
Federal News Radio

The Office of Personnel Management is hoping USAJobs 3.0 will integrate agencies' hiring sites and make some of President Barack Obama's hiring reform promises a reality.

The latest version of the Web portal is set to launch Oct. 13.

"We are not going to deliver the 'son of USAJobs.' We are going to deliver something completely new and different," OPM associate director for employee services Angela Bailey told reporters during a news conference in Washington, D.C. Yet, she said, "It's going to have the same look, feel, structure and things that people are used to."

The current version of USAJobs is run by Monster Government Solutions, a private firm. Bailey said having Monster run the site posed two main problems.

First, Monster stores applicants' information with data from its other non-government sites. Hackers have repeatedly targeted USAJobs.gov and lifted individuals' information. Bailey said the government will keep all USAJobs data on its own servers.

"By its nature, when something's not commingled, it becomes more secure," she said.

Second, proprietary technology makes it difficult for USAJobs.gov to "talk" with other agency hiring websites. Bailey said USAJobs 3.0 uses "open architecture" and standard code so it can be better integrated with agency and vendor sites.

Bailey said that would provide several benefits to both agencies and job applicants. Agencies will be able to notify candidates of their application status with a click of the mouse. While agencies are supposed to do that now, the lack of integration between sites makes it cumbersome. With the new site, agencies would have "no more excuses," she added.

Human resources staff will be able to analyze data more easily and generate reports more quickly to aid recruiting. OPM intends to "push" helpful recruiting information to agencies, Bailey said.

Applicants will also be able to import data from one job application to another so they do not have to retype everything when applying for multiple jobs at once.

Users will receive more detailed searches on information about job trends, including locations and hiring schedules. USAJobs will be offline from Oct. 6-12, when OPM transfers data to the new site. OPM is directing agencies to close current job openings by Oct. 6 and wait until Oct. 13 to post new ones.

OPM launched the current version of USAJobs in January 2010.

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