Executive Order seals OPM hiring reforms

By Max Cacas
Federal News Radio

President Barack Obama on Tuesday signed an executive order designed to create faster hiring processes and more opportunities for applicants.

After months of work and lots of speculation and discussion, the program to reform the federal hiring process has been announced.

In the executive order, the President called for the elimination of Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs) essays and the ability of job applicants to apply using resumes and cover letters.

Agencies are also directed to use what’s called a ‘category rating’ approach, rather than the older, ‘rule of three’ approach, under which managers only select employees from among the three highest scoring applicants.

These changes are to go into effect no later than Nov. 1, 2010.

OPM is also preparing a pilot program to test the new ROWE or, Results Only Work Environment, in which supervisors are expected to allow workers to have almost unlimited flexibility to determine their schedules as long as they complete their work.

In a survey conducted by Federal News Radio as part of our HReInvented special report, federal employees had mixed feelings about the new hiring reform policies being discussed. The survey was conducted in April 2010.

Carol Bonosaro, president of the Senior Executive Association, tells Federal News Radio she thinks this is just the start of the federal hiring reform process.

Hear what Senior Correspondent Mike Causey has to say about the changes here.

Stay tuned to Federal News Radio for the latest from the OPM press conference Tuesday and what the changes mean for federal employees.

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