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Reforming The Government Hiring Process

November 19, 2010 - 10:10am


Wednesday, Deputy Secretary Daniel Poneman and I met with leaders from across the Federal government to share our progress in the our Department’s hiring reform efforts.

Six months ago, President Obama called on all executive departments and federal agencies to overhaul the way we recruit and hire. As the President said, in order to deliver the results Americans expect and deserve, the government must attract the most talented Americans -- but today, many highly qualified individuals are deterred by the complexity and inefficiency of the hiring process.

He said that Americans must be able to apply for federal jobs through a commonsense process, agency managers and supervisors should play a leadership role in recruiting and selecting candidates, and agencies must be able to select and hire high-quality candidates efficiently and quickly.

The Department of Energy has already made substantial progress in implementing these changes, and Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry invited Deputy Secretary Poneman to discuss DOE’s accomplishments at yesterday’s meeting. In his remarks, the Deputy Secretary Poneman emphasized that hiring reform is a top priority for Secretary Steven Chu. All organizations at the Department are required to implement the Department's hiring reform action plan.

In particular, the Deputy highlighted the Department's "Time-to-Hire Tracking and Reporting System" as a key tool in our efforts. Last July, the Department launched this system to track the competitive hiring process in nine measurable phases and to assign human resources, hiring managers, and job applicants as owners of each phase. This tool enables us to see where the bottlenecks are and to better determine their root causes, whether they are related to performance issues, process inefficiencies, system barriers, or seasonal factors. As Deputy Secretary Poneman stated, "If you don't measure it, you don't manage it." The Partnership for Public Service (see In Focus on page 18) has recognized this DOE’s approach to tracking and reporting this metric as a best practice.

As a measure of the Department's success, we have reduced the end-to-end time-to-hire from 174 calendar days for Fiscal Year FY 2009 to 100 days for FY 2010. Our goal is to reduce the time to 80 days by end of FY 2012, including a target of 50 days to extend a job offer to the candidate. As the Deputy often emphasizes, the people who work at the Department are our greatest asset. You can watch his remarks in this video, (between the 18:53 and 31:35 minute marks):

The full video, which includes presentations by OPM Director John Berry and HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, is available on the HUD website. Please visit the Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer's DOE Hiring Reform website for additional details on DOE's Hiring Reform efforts and results.