May 2, 2022
Orginially published on Federal News Network
Federal agencies typically struggle to hire and retain qualified candidates. Part of it is the stiff competition from the private sector, which often has the advantages of higher pay and cutting-edge technology to entice applicants. But the federal hiring process is also notoriously lengthy, opaque and subjective, which can prevent highly qualified applicants from pursuing a job, let alone getting selected for a vacancy.
That last issue is what the June 2020 Executive Order on Modernizing and Reforming the Assessment and Hiring of Federal Job Candidates seeks to resolve. The EO directs agencies to rely less on college degrees, and more on skills and competency-based hiring assessments. The Office of Personnel Management has extended the deadline for complying with this EO twice. Current guidance states that the EO must be implemented for at least 50 percent of jobs by May 30, 2022. Full compliance is expected by the end of the year.
But implementing hiring assessments for the sake of federal compliance shouldn’t just be a check off the list. “Agencies have an opportunity to realize the true potential and power of better assessing candidates for the nation’s largest workforce – and for some of the most mission-critical jobs,” said Shannon Kobus, manager of Industrial/Organization Psychology Services at Monster Government Solutions.