New Rule Expected To Speed Government Hiring

Compiled By Staff
November 27, 2009

A new government regulation will allow heads of civilian agencies to hire acquisitions staff directly under certain circumstances, rather than requiring job candidates to undergo the full standard federal application process.

Government Executive reports that the Office of Personnel Management finalized a rule this week stating that when agencies can demonstrate a shortage of strong candidates for certain acquisition positions, they will be permitted to hire directly. As a result, the normally lengthy hiring process is expected to be shortened. The regulation will be taking effect from March 24, 2010 through September 30, 2012.

"This is big news, especially for job seekers who are trying to get into the federal government," said Derrick Dortch, a federal careers expert who participated in an online chat through The Washington Post. "The Defense and Homeland Security Acquisition field is growing and there will be a great deal of insourcing that will be taking place. With direct hire authority, agencies can have hiring events and also put out job announcements and quickly identify and hire qualified applicants. This would significantly cut down the application process for those selected."

Earlier this year, the Partnership for Public Service reported that the federal government will need to fill about 600,000 jobs over the next four years. But some job seekers were concerned about the amount of time it took to apply for such positions.

John Palguta, vice president for policy at the Partnership for Public Service, noted that the new regulation is an important one. "This is one additional arrow in the management quiver," he told Government Executive. "It basically says you've got a hunting license. Under the regulations prescribed by OPM, go out and find some great acquisition people."

In a related story, Forbes reports that the federal government is continuing to hire throughout the country, and many high-paying government positions are still open. A job as a legislative advisor working for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in Washington D.C., for example, pays as much as $200,000 annually. A "resolutions and receiverships specialist" can work for the FDIC in Dallas and receive a salary of close to $170,000. And the chief of operations for the National Weather Service in Maryland can earn as much as $177,000.

Forbes noted that the jobs are listed through the Department of Commerce and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

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