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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the: (1) major problems that federal agencies were having in recruiting and hiring qualified entry-level employees; and (2) effectiveness of Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and federal agency actions in addressing those problems.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Office of Personnel Management 1. The Director, OPM, should, as a means of improving documentation of agency personnel records used in the hiring process, incorporate into OPM evaluation program effectiveness reviews of agencies' systems for monitoring the timeliness of staffing actions.
Closed - Implemented
This recommendation was adopted by OPM for its fiscal year 1991 governmentwide reviews.
Office of Personnel Management 2. To better ensure that fair and open competition remains the hallmark of entry into the federal civil service, the Director, OPM, should revise and update its direct-hire procedures to provide criteria that agencies can use to determine which plan of direct hire is most appropriate to their fluctuating needs.
Closed - Implemented
FPM Letter 332-25, issued on August 1, 1991, provides new procedures for agencies to follow when making direct-hire appointments.
Office of Personnel Management 3. To better ensure that fair and open competition remains the hallmark of entry into the federal civil service, the Director, OPM, should revise and update its direct-hire procedures to require agencies, as a condition of using direct-hire authority, to maintain complete personnel records and to document the results achieved through recruiting efforts.
Closed - Implemented
FPM Letter 332-25, issued on August 1, 1991, provides new procedures for agencies to follow when making direct-hire appointments.
Office of Personnel Management 4. To better ensure that fair and open competition remains the hallmark of entry into the federal civil service, the Director, OPM, should revise and update its direct-hire procedures to incorporate direct hire as a part of its evaluation efforts and require agencies in their internal personnel management evaluations to assess whether the use of direct hire complies with merit system requirements.
Closed - Implemented
FPM Letter 332-25, issued on August 1, 1991, provides new procedures for agencies to follow when making direct-hire appointments.
Office of Personnel Management 5. To better ensure that fair and open competition remains the hallmark of entry into the federal civil service, the Director, OPM, should revise and update its direct-hire procedures to ensure that the requirements of open and fair competition are clearly specified in delegations of direct-hire authority designed to facilitate college recruiting by agencies.
Closed - Implemented
FPM Letter 332-25, issued on August 1, 1991, provides new procedures for agencies to follow when making direct-hire appointments.
Office of Personnel Management 6. The Director, OPM, should develop a model recruiting program for agencies to use as a reference in designing their individual recruiting efforts. This model should incorporate procedures for developing recruiting strategies and for measuring the success of recruiting activities and operations.
Closed - Implemented
OPM now has developed a model recruitment program, components of which will be discussed in the new FPM chapter which currently is in the clearance process. The model program also will be included in a new "recruiting foundations" course now under development.
Office of Personnel Management 7. The Director, OPM, should determine why information it provides to agencies is not being communicated to recruiters by the agencies, and in cooperation with the agencies, establish a recruiters' network to better communicate with and receive feedback from agency recruiters on OPM recruiting initiatives and policies.
Closed - Implemented
OPM expects to be operationally testing the automated Employee Information Clearinghouse by the second quarter of FY 1994. It will include information on employment, recruitment, training initiatives, personnel policy updates, student employment programs, etc. Agencies will be able to provide feedback on the quality and effectiveness of the system through an on-line assessment feature. OPM developed a formal training course, "Recruiting Foundations for Program Managers," to deal with the lack of professionalism in recruiting. The training course provides line managers and human resources specialists with tools necessary to plan, build, upgrade, and manage their recruiting programs. Given the government's current business environment, establishing a recruiter's network is not necessary.

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