USAJobs, the main recruiting website for federal careers, unveiled a tool to help agencies contact pre-vetted candidates and get positions filled faster.

The job portal now makes use of shared certificates, which is a strategy the Office of Personnel Management has been pushing as a way to allow recruiters to “share” candidates across departments.

“Pooled hiring reduces applicant burden by allowing job seekers to apply once and be considered by multiple agencies for selection,” said Veronica Hinton, OPM’ associate director of workforce policy and innovation in the announcement Dec. 1. “It also speeds time to hire for agencies who can fill vacancies from the shared certificate of candidates who have already completed rigorous assessments and been found qualified.”

Members of the Chief Human Capital Officers Council previously said that they’ve found such “bulk” hiring tactics successful for occupations that are in demand at more than one agency, like HR specialists and data analysts. It’s one of several tools OPM has identified to close longstanding skills gaps government-wide. That effort remains a top management challenge in fiscal 2024, according to the Office of Inspector General’s October report.

One of OPM’s newly stated goals for 2024 and 2025 is to generate 28 shared hiring actions resulting in 700 agency hires by Sept. 30, 2025, according to

Generally, agencies share certifications for positions that are similar in grade level, duty location and performance level.

Then, within selections must be made within 240 days of the certificate’s issue date. In the past, agencies have made dozens of appointments off one certificate.

The new functionality on USAJobs shows candidates that have already expressed interest in working for the federal government, so hiring managers likely have a greater chance of success when reaching out to them. Candidates on shared certificates have also already met minimum requirements or skills tests for the job, thereby also pushing them ahead in the process.

“Most agencies strive to fill their open positions within 80 days or sooner,” according to the Partnership for Public Service. In the past, that number has crept up to 100 days, and agencies have said they’re working on findings ways to cut it down.

The tool embedded in USAJobs allows recruiters to preview certificates to see if they can make contact based on candidates who opted-in to being discoverable. Its success, however, is contingent on agencies who initiate certificates sharing them, OPM said.

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.

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