The latest news, trends and information to help you with your recruiting efforts.

Posted January 19, 2012 by

How to Fill Out an Application for a Federal Government Job If You’re a Veteran

Kathryn Troutman shares her secrets for military veterans in applying for a federal government job on The Woman’s Connection.

Kathryn is known as the Federal Resume Guru. She invented a new resume format – the Federal Resume – after the U.S. government eliminated the long, burdensome application – SF-171. Her first book, Federal Resume Guidebook, set the standards for federal resumes and created an entire resume writing and job search industry for career professionals.

Posted January 12, 2012 by

Time to Hire of 105 Days Better Than 135, But Fed Govt Should Still Be Ashamed

Mark Mehler and Gerry Crispin of CareerXroadsBy Mark Mehler and Gerry Crispin

Bill Leonard’s recent HR Magazine article, Wanted: Shorter Time to Hire, was an eye-opening update on the May 2010 executive memorandum directing the US Office of Personnel Management (and other Federal agencies) to reform their hiring process. The original memo called the candidate experience into question with meaningless, subjective essays and an average 135 days time-to-hire (never defined) being singled out.

To put the challenge into perspective Bill’s article notes that each year the federal government receives 21 million applications to fill 350,000 openings (that add to, replace or support 2.1 million Federal employees). (more…)

Posted November 23, 2011 by

11 Mistakes Federal Job Seekers Should Avoid

Federal job seekers often are frustrated with, overwhelmed by or puzzled over the complex federal hiring process. In their new book, Find Your Federal Job Fit, authors Janet M. Ruck and Karol Taylor explain that the “federal application process, which is unlike any other, can be cumbersome and confusing at times. It is based on a set of laws and regulations that were written for a specific purpose. Over time, layers of new laws were added. Eventually they created a morass of rules that now make up the federal hiring system.”

Federal job seekers, especially those just starting their searches, often make mistakes during the application process that could easily be avoided. Ruck and Taylor highlight 11 mistakes that many federal job seekers make, and how to avoid them. The errors include: (more…)

Posted October 18, 2011 by

Half day college recruiting conference at GWU

This past April, The George Washington University, RECSOLU, and worked together to pilot a half day college recruiting conference (FedCollege) for federal government employees involved in the recruitment of college students and recent graduates. We hoped that 50 attendees would join us but we were delighted when 72 showed up and created an oversold event! (more…)

Posted October 18, 2011 by

Federal Agencies Cutting Jobs — Even Military, Intelligence Aren’t Safe

Not even the nation’s ranks of spies will be safe from federal budget cuts, according to a recent article at   Major cuts to the intelligence community’s $80 billion annual budget could result in widespread job cuts across the various spy agencies.   With a mandate to cut federal spending by $2.1 trillion over the next decade, every government agency is at risk of job cutting, including the military.

Over the past two months, multiple military branches have announced personnel reductions totaling more than 67,000.  Meanwhile, the United States Postal Service, which is facing financial insolvency resulting from significant declines in mail volume and retiree health benefit prefunding costs imposed by Congress, has proposed a plan that would cut its workforce by 220,000 between now and 2015 (100,000 of which would come from attrition). (more…)

Posted November 14, 2010 by

Lawsuit May Have Killed the Federal Career Internship Program

Colleen Kelley of the National Treasury Employees Union

Colleen Kelley of the National Treasury Employees Union

An important decision by a key administrative agency that the Federal Career Intern Program (FCIP) violates a statute relating to veterans’ preferences illustrates one of the fatal flaws in this program, the leader of the nation’s largest independent union of federal employees said.

President Colleen M. Kelley of the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) has been leading the fight to curb widespread agency misuse of the FCIP and eliminate the program, which circumvents traditional civil service merit hiring principles. “I welcome this highly significant decision by the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), which ratifies NTEU’s longstanding position regarding the illegality of the FCIP,” said Kelley. NTEU filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the MSPB. NTEU also has a pending suit, which is a more broadly based challenge to the FCIP. That suit challenges the program as applied to all employees, not just veterans, and is awaiting a ruling in federal district court. NTEU is seeking the prospective elimination of the FCIP along with the conversion of all FCIP hires to the competitive service without loss of pay or benefits.

The cases at issue in the MSPB decision involve two disabled veterans, one of whom was seeking a job with the Department of Veterans Affairs. The Board said it identified two specific legal flaws in the FCIP. The first flaw is that the program improperly permits agencies to classify a position as being in the excepted service—rather than in the competitive service—after a vacancy announcement is issued, and even after applications are received. The second, the MSPB said, is that the positions can be placed in the excepted service without a showing, as required by statute, that such a decision is “necessary” for conditions of “good administration.”

In one case, a veteran alleged he was unable to apply for a position because he was not aware of vacancies; openings to be filled under the FCIP are not subject to the same public notice requirements as are competitive service jobs. In the other, a veteran applied for one of nine VA vacancies under an announcement limited to eligible veterans—but the agency filled all nine positions using the FCIP.

The FCIP was designed to provide two-year structured training and development internships; instead, a number of agencies have come to use it for all new hires. Often, agencies use it to undercut the competitive hiring process in ways that limit promotion opportunities for current employees.

The MSPB decision comes at a time when the Office of Personnel Management, acting in response to a presidential directive earlier this year, is reviewing the FCIP and making recommendations to the administration about the future of the program.