USA Staffing Onboarding platform’s effort to make hiring easier garners top innovation award

The Office of Personnel Management significantly upgraded its USA Staffing Onboarding platform in 2015, but agencies may not have realized its true value or benefits until the last six months.

The coronavirus pandemic made clear, more than ever before, the ability to bring new employees on board in a “touchless” and seamless way.

As of the end of July, OPM spokesperson Tim Rice said agencies used USA Staffing Onboarding to bring 211,622 new employees into federal service, and transmit over 1 million forms and 1.4 million documents electronically to the electronic official personnel file (eOPF) system in fiscal 2020.

More specifically, Rice said the Department of Veterans Affairs used USA Staffing’s Onboarding capability to manage the onboarding process for over 20,000 new hires in the third quarter (April through June) of 2020.

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The value demonstrated over the last six months and for the time and money savings more broadly brought to agencies by the platform, OPM received the top Igniting Innovation award from ACT-IAC on Sept. 2.

The project was one of 40 finalists for this annual competition to highlight technology innovations in the public sector.

Attendees at the two-day virtual event picked the USA Staffing Onboarding platform for the top Igniting Innovation award, earning 68% of the total vote.

“USA Staffing Onboarding interface was built to meet agency needs for an automated, standardized onboarding capability. Onboarding users benefit from an automated forms process allowing new hires to efficiently complete forms on-line by answering an ‘ask once, use many’ customized questionnaire,” OPM wrote in its competition narrative. “It also allows agency HR professionals to manage forms and communicate with new hires using a streamlined, standardized and automated process. It is seamlessly integrated with the main staffing functions of USA Staffing and is designed to accommodate agencies’ unique onboarding processes. Onboarding has integrated identity management systems to reduce time to provide key new hire data by transmitting data securely and automatically.”

OPM’s Rice added the USA Staffing Onboarding capability also scored an 88 on the 2019 Verint [formerly ForeSee] E-Gov Experience Index, which places its usability in the top 5 for the 2019 E-Government Rankings.

The use of USA Staffing Onboarding platform continued to be important during the pandemic. Last year, OPM says its customers used the portal to onboard 253,338 new hires and transmit more than 1 million forms and documents into electronic personnel files last fiscal year, It’s likely agencies will meet or surpass that figure in 2020.

OPM also credits, in part, USA Staffing for cutting the time it takes to hire new employees down to 98 days in 2018 from 105.8 days on average in 2016 and 2017. The data for 2019 is not yet available.

Past winners of the overall price for Igniting Innovation also include the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, the New York City Department of Transportation, the Health Resources and Services Administration in the Department of Health and Human Services.

Other Igniting Innovation award winners included:

  • Incubator Award: (For innovations that are not yet in production but have the greatest potential) Counterfeit Drug Detector from Precise Software Solution Inc.; the Robotics Academy at Florida International University
  • Game Changer Award: (For disruptive innovations that create significant new or different solutions or deliver a major breakthrough on a longstanding problem) Opioid360 by Deloitte and Google; StrongMind Virtual Reality Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Therapy, from Veterans Health Administration and ERPi
  • Transformer Award: (For innovations that repurpose existing solutions in new or different ways resulting in new or broadened applicability and uses) GrantSolutions Recipient Insight from HHS; USA Staffing Onboarding at OPM
  • Impacter Award: (For innovations with the greatest magnitude of results and benefits) Advana Defense Analytics Platform at the Defense Department; U.S. Census Modernization Project , from Adobe and the Census Bureau.