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Recruitment & Selection

Hiring Options

Agencies can consider several hiring options to meet their needs in filling SES positions.

Publish a vacancy announcement: Agencies are required to publish information about vacancies to be filled by initial career appointment in USAJOBS. Vacancies must be advertised for at least 14 calendar days and must be open to all Federal employees in the civil service at a minimum. Agencies follow their merit staffing requirements for recruitment & selection.

Reinstate a former SES member: Agencies may fill positions with former SES members eligible for reinstatement. The appointee must have prior career service in the SES and have successfully completed an SES probationary period or been exempt from probation. There is no time limit after leaving the SES for reinstatement of an eligible appointee. Reinstatement may be noncompetitive or agencies may apply merit staffing requirements at their discretion. Agencies must determine that the individual meets the qualifications requirements of the position to which reinstated, but the individual need not receive a new Qualifications Review Board certification. Separation from the SES must not have been for reasons of performance, for disciplinary reasons, or a resignation in lieu of removal for these reasons.

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Reassign a current SES member: SES members may be reassigned within their agency to any SES position for which they are qualified, but career appointees must have 15 days advance written notice (60 days if the reassignment is between commuting areas).

SES career appointees may not be involuntarily reassigned within 120 days of appointment of a new agency head or a new noncareer supervisor who has authority to make an initial appraisal of the appointee's performance.

Transfer a current SES member: A career appointee may be transferred only with the consent of the appointee and the gaining agency, except where there is a transfer of function between agencies. The appointee must meet the qualification requirements of the position to which transferred.

Appoint an SES Candidate Development Program (SES CDP) graduate: Merit staffing procedures apply to the Recruitment & Selection of individuals for an OPM-approved SES candidate development program. An individual who successfully completes the program and is certified by an OPM Qualifications Review Board (QRB) may be appointed to the SES without further competition. Although rare, agencies under certain circumstances may elect to request OPM approval for a CDP whose candidates are selected through agency-wide, not civil service-wide, competition. Graduates of these programs may be approved by a QRB but must compete for their first SES career appointment.

Make a noncareer appointment: Agencies may make SES noncareer appointments to general (not career reserved) SES positions. Agencies must obtain a noncareer appointment authorization from OPM for each appointment. There is no time limit on the appointment, but the individual serves at the pleasure of the appointing authority. The appointing authority determines that the individual meets the qualifications requirements.

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