Agencies are successfully chopping hiring times down

From “HUD shows how hiring reform can work” by Jason Miller on

“The Department of Housing and Urban Development went from being the poster child for the dysfunctional federal hiring process to being a model of what others are striving for.

“HUD reduced the time and steps it takes to hire a new employee significantly over the past year. It is one of the few agencies that already met President Obama’s goal of 80 days to bring in a new employee.

“And HUD is not alone. The departments of Defense, Energy and Veterans Affairs are among the agencies that are making progress in reforming their hiring processes and the time it takes to bring new people on board.

“Kathleen Ott, DoD’s acting deputy under secretary of defense for civilian personnel policy, said the Pentagon got its average to 79 days.

“Energy is down to 100 days, said Daniel Poneman, deputy secretary. Poneman said their goal is 80 days by the end of 2011.

“VA reduced its hiring time by 22 percent, from 102 days to 82 days over the last year.

“But it’s at HUD where they not only saw their averages decrease but the changes ushered in a new culture, said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan and HUD Chief Human Capital Officer Janie Payne.

“Payne said one example of how this culture change has taken root is in the HUD’s Office of Housing where Joe Smith, the general deputy assistant secretary, required all his managers to have training, monitors progress, reviews roadblocks and sets high objectives to ensure success.

“In fact, across HUD managers can’t hire unless they take training.

“OPM Director John Berry did not offer any governmentwide statistics on the hiring reforms, including average time it takes to hire a new employee or how agencies are moving to resumes and away from the knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) essays.

“Berry said he didn’t want to add another reporting burden on agencies. Agencies must report annually on hiring processes in December so if OPM asked them to do the reporting by November, it would double the reporting.

“OPM said in October that the average time across government to hire someone was down to 110 days.

“Few agencies also discussed their progress in getting rid of KSAs and moving to a resume system.”

I talked to Jason about this development in the hiring reform process on the show today. You can hear our conversation by clicking on the audio link.

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