Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Senate last night approved the Federal Hiring Process Improvement Act (S. 736) sponsored by Senators Daniel K. Akaka (D-Hawaii) and George V. Voinovich (R-Ohio) to streamline Federal recruitment and hiring processes.
Senator Akaka said: “The Federal Government must adapt to meet the best practices of the private sector for hiring in order to be the Nation’s employer of choice. The Federal Hiring Process Improvement Act will make sure efficient, common sense hiring practices are used Government-wide and that these practices last through time.”
Senator Voinovich said: “I am pleased the Senate has passed this common-sense legislation that will streamline agencies’ broken hiring systems. To be an employer of choice, the government must understand what the competition is doing and adapt to the changing environment. We must make sure our processes result in hiring the right person, at the right place, at the right time to get the job done for current and future generations of public servants.”
Senators Akaka and Voinovich head the Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia. In 2008 and 2009, the subcommittee held hearings to examine Federal recruitment and hiring processes, including ways to improve applicant satisfaction and better meet agencies’ needs. Witnesses testified that unnecessarily complicated applications and lengthy waiting times may discourage qualified applicants from seeking a career in public service and disadvantage agencies that need to fill vacancies. The witnesses agreed that Federal hiring must improve in order to attract the right candidates to fill critical skills gaps that will occur as a large portion of the Federal workforce nears retirement.
Among other provisions, the Federal Hiring Process Improvement Act requires agencies to:
- -Develop strategic workforce plans, addressing hiring projections and critical skills gaps in the workforce;
- -Post clear job announcements in plain writing;
- -No longer require “knowledge, skills, and abilities” essays, allowing applicants to submit resumes and cover letters;
- -Provide timely notification to applicants of their application status, taking no more than 10 business days after a position is filled to notify non-successful candidates;
- -Take an average of 80 days from the time a manager decides to fill a vacancy to the time an offer is made for the vacant position;
- -Keep an inventory of all applicants who elect to be considered for other Federal vacancies; and
- -Measure the effectiveness of hiring efforts and reforms.
Akaka and Voinovich introduced the Federal Hiring Process Improvement Act on March 30, 2009: LINK