The Office of Management and Budget opened its playbook on Nov. 1 on how to infuse the federal workforce with new talent.

In an 18-page memorandum, OMB Director Shaun Donovan and Office of Personnel Management acting Director Beth Cobert laid out the administration's Hiring Excellence plan to draw new talent into the federal government.

Related: Read the memo

"The federal government has a unique opportunity to attract talented individuals from multiple sectors to work on a variety of compelling missions," the memo said. "However, too often, implementation challenges and myths related to the hiring process get in the way of bringing in top talent and advancing skilled employees."

The plan highlights three objectives to help broaden federal recruitment and streamlining the application process, including:

  • Better collaboration between supervisors, hiring managers and HR departments to strengthen the hiring process.
  • Enhancing workforce planning and strategic recruitment to open the applicant pool.
  • Improving talent assessment strategies to find qualified applicants.

The memo provides seven strategies for agencies to achieve those objectives and lays out a timeline for them to implement the during the Hiring Excellence Campaign 2017.

On Nov. 14, OPM will provide agencies with "relevant hiring data" to help them identify hiring strengths and weaknesses.

A month later, the agencies will select a team of officials, led by their respective chief human capital officers, to manage its Hiring Excellence initiatives. The agencies will also choose at least three of the seven objective strategies to prioritize and submit them to OPM.

Both OMB and OPM will assess the agencies’ Hiring Excellence teams and plans and provide feedback by mid-January 2017.

Cobert originally announced the Hiring Excellence plan in May as a kind of successor to the original Recruitment, Engagement, Diversity and Inclusion, or REDI, plan that was laid out by former OPM Director Katherine Archuleta.

Much like the REDI plan, Hiring Excellence relies heavily on data. The memo outlines how the Hiring Excellence teams should integrate data from the CHCO Hiring Manager Satisfaction Survey, General Services Administration Benchmarking Survey data measuring HR services satisfaction, diversity data, Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey data and recent human capital audits and evaluations.

Agencies will report their progress in September 2017 and continue to report quarterly using the HRStat review mechanism. CHCOs will meet quarterly with Labor Management Council representatives to identify best practices, while agency heads will brief OMB on their progress.

The Hiring Excellence plan is a way to update OPM’s playbook for bringing in new talent and retaining it, which has become paramount as the bulk of the current workforce edges closer toward retirement.

OPM will offer a series of "train-the-trainer" and virtual training sessions to help agencies implement Hiring Excellence programs, tentatively scheduled for early 2017.

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