Private alliance forms to support public hiring reforms

Wednesday - 9/15/2010, 9:41am EDT

Elaine Pulakos, spokesman, Alliance for Hiring Reform

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By Suzanne Kubota
Senior Internet Editor
FederalNewsRadio.com

The federal government could be attracting the best and brightest candidates, but the hiring process is often the greatest obstacle.

"There's a gap in knowledge the government has," Dr. Elaine Pulakos with PDRI told Federal News Radio, "about how to use effective assessments for hiring."

Now, a new collaborative effort aims to fix that.

PDRI, HumRRO and Aon Consulting have joined forces to create the Alliance for Hiring Reform.

Pulakos, spokesperson for the alliance, said the private sector has more experience using assessment tools and the alliance wants to bring best practices to the government in this area.

While the Office of Personnel Management is starting a pilot using assessment testing covering 12 job series, Pulakos said the rest of government lags behind. She said there are a "great number" of people to educate at all agencies about the tools.

Pulakos told the Federal Drive, "OPM is in the process right now of getting ready to go live with their assessments and it's both an automated platform for delivering assessments" and a series of assessments. While the program, Pulakos said, will cover approximately a third of vacancies in the government like HR, contracts and finance, obviously that still leaves two-thirds of the jobs out.

Still Pulakos sounds hopeful about the alliance and the program.

"I see more energy now for getting good hiring processes in than I ever have in the past and I hope that this won't take so long. People in the government have been, I think, burdened by the hiring processes that they've been using for several years now. IT tools were implemented about 15 years ago thinking this was going to solve the hiring process issues that the government was facing, but in fact an IT tool in and of itself doesn't produce a good hire. You need good assessments to produce a good hire and now I think the government realizes that and they're moving out very quickly to get them in place."