10:47 am, May 29, 2015

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  • Hiring reform hype
    The goals of the hiring reform initiative announced over a year ago in the President's memorandum are laudable; however, Mr. Berry has established a definite pattern of over-claiming the government's accomplishments toward achieving these goals. The touted major decrease in the use of derided KSAs masks the fact that KSA narratives are essential for making the nuanced decisions involved in HR staffs' assessments of applicants' relative degree of psossession of the necessary job-related skills and abilities in order to assign them to given category rating quality levels. Resumes - and even less cover letters - typically don't provide sufficient information to accomplish this; so agencies as a second step in the applicant process typically go back and request KSA narratives from applicants deemed to be at least minimally qualified, thus delaying the hiring process. The cited decrease in the time to effect hires is unfortunately being driven, based on extensive anecdotal information, by subterfuges such as cancelling recruitment actions whenever any delays are encountered, and requiring hiring managers to restart the process from scratch in order to avoid having to include such "on the clock" delays in timeliness. The category rating examining methodology has drawbacks that are not acknowledged, e.g., the requirement to refer all eligibles in the top category to a hiring manager often results in referral lists being issued containing hundreds of names to fill a single vacancy, much tothe dismay of the horing manager. Space does not permit further discussion, but Mr. Berry's comment about internships not currently counting as government service can't go unchallenged. Other than the Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP), other intern-type programs including those under the Student Career Employment Program (SCEP), the Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program , and the former Federal Career Intern Program (FCIP) all so count. Mr. Berry has obviously been misinformed.
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