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Governmentwide Special Studies

Monday, November 6, 2000
MSG-090
MEMORANDUM FOR: 
Human Resources Directors
From: 
Steven R. Cohen Associate Director Office of Merit Systems Oversight and Effectiveness
Subject: 
Governmentwide Special Studies

In support of our ongoing effort to improve the hiring process at a time when the government is competing intensely with the private sector for talent, the Office of Personnel Management will conduct three special studies during the first two quarters of Fiscal Year 2001. For each of these studies, we will contact a small number of agency personnel offices Governmentwide. We request your cooperation and support as we collect this information which we plan to use in order to help improve the Federal staffing process.

The first study will look at why people choose to work for the Federal government. We plan to ask a small, random sample of recently hired employees to respond to an Internet survey about why they chose to work for the Federal government. We will ask personnel offices for the employees to be surveyed to provide us with the contact information: email, telephone number, and work address.

A second study will benchmark how much time Federal employers take to fill jobs and identify factors that facilitate or impede timely staffing. We plan to call agency personnel offices about a small, random selection of hiring actions. We will ask the local personnel officer to provide us with several dates that are useful in tracking the various stages of the hiring process, from the initiation date of the personnel action request to the enter-on-duty date of the new employee. Additional information will be collected from both agency personnel specialists who are familiar with the actions and officials who made the selections.

The third study will determine how agency personnel offices currently conduct, use and value job analyses as they relate to recruitment, assessment, and selection activities. We plan to ask a small number of agency personnel offices with active hiring programs to identify one human resource specialist and two supervisors or managers who have conducted or participated in the conduct of job analyses. We will interview these individuals to collect information on job analysis activities and on how the results are used. We also plan to ask each human resource specialist for a copy of any internal guidance on conducting job analyses.

Because of the importance of these studies to the improvement of our hiring process, we ask you for your cooperation. Please alert your personnel offices that we may soon contact them and ask for their assistance. We have tried to ensure that our information collection activities will not be overly burdensome on any one office.

Thank you for your support.