How federal hiring reforms will affect managers

The president of the Federal Managers Association weighs in.

By Dorothy Ramienski
Internet Editor
Federal News Radio

Now that the Office of Personnel Management has announced changes to the federal hiring system, what should federal managers expect?

That’s one question Patricia Niehaus, national president of the Federal Managers Association, hopes to answer.

“It’s a good first step and I think we’re changing a process and a system that’s been in place for many, many years, so I think this may be the comfort level for a lot of people to take smaller steps rather than do a wholesale change and totally change everything dramatically.

The FMA is hoping the changes will make it easier for managers to hire the most qualified applicants. Niehaus said she anticipates it will also make the process more flexible.

“It is a much more agile approach. The benefit there is that a lot of new people coming into federal service would look at the KSAs and think — ‘This is just too much trouble. I’ll go down the road and get a job with a private company instead’. . . . [and] with newer employees who haven’t had any experience with government, it really does not put us in an attractive light as an employer.”

As the changes do start to occur, Niehaus said the FMA is going to look forward to hearing from its members to let the organization know how things are progressing.

“We have members all across the government, so we’ll get all different perspectives from the different managers there as to how it works for them.”

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