Friday, June 12, 2009

Federal Government Knows about Hiring Practice Corruption, but Won't End It

Here are excerpts from a 2003 Government publication called "Reforming Federal Hiring: Beyond Faster and Cheaper" It shows that they know there is massive abuse.

"Hiring highly qualified people is one of the most important factors in developing a successful organization. Accordingly, the overall purpose of a hiring system is to identify, attract, and hire the candidates who can best meet the needs of the organization. Because the Federal Government must be answerable to the American public, it is particularly important that its hiring decisions be based on merit and support the public’s interests.

"On the other hand, making selections that are influenced by non-merit factors can result in hiring candidates who do not possess the skills necessary to perform the job. Poor selections can result from taking shortcuts in: defining the needs of the job; recruiting from the best sources; or assessing candidates. These poor selections can then ultimately increase costs and decrease productivity.

Public Notice and Recruitment: Excepted service positions do not require “public notice” as defined in the competitive service. This means that agencies are not required to notify OPM of vacancies for which applicants outside the agency may apply and are not required to post those jobs on USAJOBS. Nevertheless, these positions are still subject to the merit system principles (in what way?).

"Our research suggests that information about excepted service positions is frequently difficult to find. These positions are often not posted on USAJOBS or the agency’s Web site because they are not required to be posted. For instance, MSPB surveyed Federal Career Interns, and a quarter of them reported that it was difficult to find out about internships in their agency.82 Furthermore, agencies that hired career interns cited college recruitment as a leading recruitment method.83 While college recruitment can be an effective recruitment strategy, it can exclude from consideration qualified individuals not currently pursuing a college degree.

"To address inefficiencies and inequities in the Federal hiring system, the Government has created a number of sanctioned alternatives to the competitive examining process. For instance, the Federal Career Intern Program and other excepted service hiring authorities do not require traditional competition in which applicants are rated and ranked. However, some of these alternatives can impede fair and open competition and advancement based solely on relative ability. In addition, they can result in unsound hiring decisions and can actually create disincentives to invest resources in good recruitment and assessment practices.

"While excepted service appointments do not require agencies to follow competitive examining procedures, the process is still in a real sense competitive (yeah sure!). Applicants submit an application, and their qualifications are evaluated against what is needed to perform the job (Not a chance these days!) . However, recruitment and assessment rules are not as proscriptive as those in the competitive service. Unfortunately, this fact can also serve to reduce fair and open competition and advancement based solely on relative ability.

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