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Obama Wants To Speed Up Gov’t Hiring

From a cheering Washington Post:

Obama wants federal agencies to hit the gas on hiring

By Joe Davidson and Ed O’Keefe
Tuesday, May 11, 2010; A01

If you’ve spent months trying to get a job with the federal government, things are about to get easier.

President Obama plans to instruct federal agencies to radically overhaul the process now used to hire government workers. The change is expected to cut in half the time it takes to fill vacancies and allow the government to better compete with the private sector for top talent.

Oh, joy!

It’s been a long time coming. The Government Accountability Office has been calling for changes since 2001, and a host of outside voices have criticized the byzantine nature of federal hiring, with its stacks of paperwork and endless rounds of interviews that can keep an applicant hanging for months

Perhaps hiring takes so long because it is government bureaucrats who are doing the hiring.

Those seeking federal jobs apply through the USAjobs.gov Web site, which categorizes available positions by city and type. They must write essays, known as KSAs, that assess their knowledge, skills and abilities. Once the KSAs are submitted, a response can take months, if applicants get one at all.

The job application is an ‘essay’? Doesn’t that discriminate against non-English speakers? Or can it be in any language?

And what is the topic? If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?

Obama’s plan, to be announced Tuesday morning, would cut hiring time to about 80 days from the date a vacancy is announced to the point a candidate is hired. In some agencies, it can take up to 200 days to process a hire, and 140 days is not uncommon.

The time lag is considered a big deterrent for workers like Jamie Doyle, 30, who are interested in bringing their skills to government but can’t afford to wait months for their applications to be considered.

Doyle, of Philadelphia, said she gave up on government work because of the slow process. She received job offers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and a national security agency, but they came long after she had accepted a position with a private institute

Employment at a national security agency usually requires an extensive background check, where investigators are known to question your first grade teacher.

Is Mr. Obama going to halve the time allotted for that?

"The president is committing the power of his office to the importance of this issue, which is trying to streamline our hiring process," said John Berry, director of the Office of Personnel Management.

Although some government managers may like the current process because it weeds out certain applicants, calls for a hiring overhaul have come from across the spectrum, including unions, good-government groups, Democrats and Republicans.

Unions, ‘good government groups’ (aka liberal fronts) and Democrats want to speed up hiring? Then by all means we must.

The changes ordered by Obama would be obvious to an applicant from the beginning of the process. The dreaded KSAs would be dropped in favor of a system in which applicants submit résumés and fill out applications, as they do when applying for jobs in the private sector…

Obama also wants to get managers more involved in the process of deciding on new hires, rather than leaving the final approval to an agency’s personnel office.

"The most important part of the process is the final interview," Berry said. "Those interviews really can’t be done by HR professionals. They need to be done by hiring managers that are the closest to the job."

Agencies also will be required to tell applicants where they stand at four points in the process: when their application is received, when the applicant is deemed qualified or not, when the applicant is referred for an interview or not, and when the person is selected or not.

The changes are important not just for the mental health of job seekers, officials noted. They also will cut hiring costs and save taxpayer money.

How exactly will this “cut costs and save taxpayer money”? It sounds like a lot more is going to be required of those doing the hiring. And they will have to do it a lot faster.

Moreover, the sooner you have more people on the government payroll, and start them earning the outrageously high government salaries and pensions, the more it costs the taxpayer.

But what does anyone in the government know about cutting costs or saving money, anyway?

"We need to make sure that every taxpayer dollar counts," said Jeffrey Zients, the administration’s chief performance officer. "So there’s a real urgency to improving the performance of government. . . . It is clear that the major component for improving performance is people."

What a laugh. When most people talk about “improving the performance of government,” they aren’t talking about speeding up how quickly people are hired for government jobs.

They probably are thinking just the opposite.

The president has placed Berry and Zients in charge of the revamping, which is expected to take six months…


This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, May 11th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

7 Responses to “Obama Wants To Speed Up Gov’t Hiring”

  1. Right of the People says:

    Oblah-blah doesn’t care about the background checks since none of his people have gone through them and I bet he doesn’t expect them to either.

    I seriously doubt Barry could pass the background check I had to go through to get my job with the Border Patrol. Of course the first thing to be a government employee you have to be a US citizen and there’s some doubt right there. I’m willing to bet he’s in favor of changing that rule so we can hire some of his newest voters that just crawled over the border.

  2. proreason says:

    I hope they don’t ask anybody for their papers.

    That’s illegal.

  3. NoNeoCommies says:

    “They’ve gone Plaid!”

  4. JohnMG says:

    …..”The change is expected to cut in half the time it takes to fill vacancies…..”

    “The president has placed Berry and Zients in charge of the revamping, which is expected to take six months……”

    That soon, huh? Do these clowns ever listen to what comes out of their own mouths?

    But as a practical nature, I understand what’s going on. More “government hiring” will help the sagging employment figures in time for the next reporting period.

    Obama needs some good news on that front to offset the soon-to-be unemployed politicians come November.

    • proreason says:

      “More “government hiring” will help the sagging employment figures in time for the next reporting period. ”

      or more impacfully, in time for the next election.

      It’s not just the number who are hired….there is a multiplier effect of perhaps millions of people in the queues to be hired, only some of which will be, but all of whom have expectations. And all of whom will have an inclination to vote for who they expect to hire them.

      It could add up to a ton of votes.

    • JohnMG says:

      Makes me wonder if Obama has ever bought anything with his own money. But I agree, pro, everything he does is done with the goal of consolidating his own power and authority.

      And on the question of authority, does he even have it in his power to mandate such changes in hiring practices at that level? I seriously doubt it, but he has nothing but contempt for the rule of law, and prefers issuing edicts.

      He is the “king”, you know.

  5. confucius says:

    Obama must be pissed it took him 710 whole days to get to the White House.

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