If you’re in the market for a federal career in IT or national security, the job hunt just got a little easier.
USA Jobs, the federal government’s primary career-listing site, now has two distincts portals for openings in national security as well as science, technology, engineering and math to help job seekers sift through open positions more easily.
USA Jobs has been around for more than 25 years and has gone through several redesigns, though prospective and current federal employees have complained that the database is too big and difficult to search. There are more than 1,100 jobs posted per day, on average.
Though there are other entry points to public service, like social media, referrals and agency-specific job sites, most federal agencies rely on USA Jobs to publicize vacancies. It’s also widely used by recruiters and human resources personnel to communicate openings.
To make it more user-friendly, the Office of Personnel Management has given the site several makeovers over the last few months. In February, a portal was created exclusively for federal internships. Another similar one was created for tech-focused applicants.
More than 500 federal agencies use USA Jobs to post openings for a range of work from the entry level to the executive suite. In 2019, USA Jobs was searched by users more than 1.4 billion times.
The federal government is actively trying to recruit for cybersecurity and IT positions, of which there is a global shortage that is fueling competition between employers. In some ways, the government is at a disadvantage.
For one, the hiring process is slow in government because of a shortage of human resources personnel and red tape surrounding the merit system. The federal government’s time-to-hire has hovered around 100 days in recent years.
Federal agencies are also in the midst of reassessing their telework, which they have acknowledged is a powerful recruitment incentive. Remote positions on USA Jobs often garner hundreds of applicants shortly after they post.
Today’s job candidates are also leaving their posts for more workplace flexibility, meaningful assignments, pay and advancement opportunities, according to an April study by the consultancy McKinsey & Company.
Molly Weisner is a staff reporter for Federal Times where she covers labor, policy and contracting pertaining to the government workforce. She made previous stops at USA Today and McClatchy as a digital producer, and worked at The New York Times as a copy editor. Molly majored in journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.