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U.S. Office of Personnel Management - Ensuring the Federal Government has an effective civilian workforce

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Performance & Accountability Reports (PARS)

Strategic Plan 2002-2007

OPM Goals

Goal 1

Objective 4

Increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the Federal hiring process and make Federal employment attractive to high-quality applicants of diverse backgrounds.

There is an immediate opportunity to improve recruitment and retention of Federal employees. OPM will work with Federal agencies to improve the attractiveness of public service, in part by communicating the Government’s exciting mission and career opportunities. Our focus on attracting and selecting highly-qualified applicants leads to a better fit to the job which, in turn, supports retention. The current workforce is aging; many employees are retirement eligible, and new employees are difficult to attract and retain. There is a general perception that our hiring process takes too long and may not provide well-qualified candidates.

37% of OPM employees are of a minority race or national origin.

We plan to assist Federal agencies in their recruitment efforts through e-Government initiatives and technology-based methods such as Recruitment One-Stop (an initiative to improve the process of locating and applying for Federal jobs); to position the Federal Government as the first stop for job seekers; to improve the quality level of new hires, and to decrease the amount of time it takes to source candidates. In another effort to streamline recruitment and hiring, we will conduct "Virtual" Job Fairs. OPM will provide initial recruitment and competency assessment strategies that focus on Government hiring for critical occupations, such as those for the proposed new Department of Homeland Security.

We will simplify the application process by making it easier for individuals to understand how to apply for Federal jobs. Additionally, we will develop strategies that will enhance employment opportunities for veterans, minorities, women and persons with disabilities.


  • Involve line managers in recruitment and selection process.
  • Identify Governmentwide solutions, rather than agency by agency, to increase transparency to applicants.
  • Collaborate with groups representing veterans, minorities and people with disabilities to expand the pool of high-quality applicants.
  • Reduce regulatory burdens that hamper Federal hiring.
  • Increase recruitment through e-Government initiatives.
  • Develop operational models of preferred practices in hiring.
  • Introduce technical improvements that capitalize on the efficiencies and effectiveness of Governmentwide applications, including competency-based qualifications, organizational climate and organizational performance.
  • Provide data that demonstrates the link between applicant recruitment and assessment, organizational climate and organizational performance.
  • Support the Pledge to Applicants. (see sidebar on previous page)

Performance Indicators/Measures

The measure of success for a hiring system is its ability to place the right people into the right jobs in a timely manner. We know we have done this when the workforce is able to meet agency strategic goals. To establish this link between hiring and agency mission accomplishments, OPM uses data from its Central Personnel Data File on hiring and retention. Examples of hard data on hiring are:

  • Reduced hiring cycle-time;
  • Increased number of Federal hires who represent population targets; and
  • Increased number of applicants who are recruited through technology-based means.
  • In addition, OPM directly surveys its customers such as agency leadership, human capital professionals and employees in general. We survey the Senior Executive Service, Human Resources Directors, Human Resources Specialists, and, for the general workforce, conduct the Governmentwide Survey. A sample of survey responses are:
  • Federal applicants report the application process was clear and understandable;
  • Federal agencies adopt one or more preferred practices methods to improve hiring (e.g., more valid assessment procedures);
  • Increase in number of human resource directors and line managers who agree the Federal hiring process is more efficient and effective;
  • Number of HR directors and line managers who agree they fill jobs with quality hires; and
  • Increase in the number of applicants who are assessed through preferred practices.


"...we must confront the tough problems, not avoid them and leave them for others. This is never easy, but it’s what conscience demands and what leadership requires. We must keep the long view, and remind ourselves that we’re here to serve the public’s long-term interests."

President George W. Bush, SES speech, October 15, 2001


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Goal 1

    Objective 1
    Objective 2
    Objective 3
    Objective 4
Goal 2

    Objective 1
    Objective 2
Goal 3

    Objective 1
    Objective 2
    Objective 3
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