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Recruitment Fairs Initiative

Friday, February 6, 2004
Chief Human Capital Officers
Recruitment Fairs Initiative

I want to thank each of you for your support of the recruitment fairs the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) sponsored last Fall. Over 16,000 job seekers were made aware of the wonderful career opportunities that exist in the Federal Government today. As the economy continues to grow, the race for talent becomes all the more important. In a couple of weeks, we will begin the next series of recruitment fairs and I am again requesting that you support them by attending as many fairs as possible. These recruitment fairs provide the venue for you to showcase the career opportunities your agencies can provide and to use the many staffing flexibilities available to recruit the talent you need.

The past recruitment fairs have attracted record numbers of applicants and I want to urge you to be prepared to take advantage of the flexibilities available to us to recruit high quality candidates. Advance workforce analysis and planning can ensure maximum use of flexibilities like direct hire and student career intern programs. Additionally, tentative offers can be made pending the outcome of security screening. OPM has taken a number of steps to provide agencies with additional appointing authorities and hiring flexibilities to ease some of the restrictions of title 5, including direct hire authority. A list of these authorities is attached. The next step is up to you, those in the best position to know the needs of your agencies and who have the hiring authority to exercise these flexibilities. Without the presence of an authorized hiring official at these recruitment fairs, we will miss an opportunity to increase the quality of our most valued asset, the Federal workforce. Therefore, we ask that you ensure there is an authorized hiring official available to meet with candidates at the recruitment fairs.

As with the application of other Federal hiring authorities, I ask that you emphasize with your staffs the fundamental importance of veterans' preference - both in spirit and the law. In this Nation, whose gratitude to those who serve has always been measured by how we treat our veterans, we, as human resources professionals, should value their service to our country and their willingness to continue to serve as a member of the Federal workforce.

As these recruitment fairs approach, please work with your Human Resources Director and management team to develop a recruitment plan that will include on-the-spot hiring. I am again requesting that you track results, offers and hires that come as a result of each recruitment fair your agency attends. In addition, I would appreciate any suggestions or recommendations you could offer that would improve your experience with the overall recruitment fair initiative and/or the recruitment activities that you are undertaking at the fairs.

OPM will continue to support your recruiting efforts by providing private interview rooms, onsite screening of candidates and referral of those eligible. Please remember that we are open to discussing other creative options to help you meet your recruitment needs and we will entertain your requests for expanded direct hire authority where it is justified under local or regional labor market conditions. Please address requests for such assistance to Ms. Judith A. Davis, Operations Officer, Center for General Government at (202) 606-2327 or

The next series of Recruitment Fairs in our Working for America campaign are:

Miami, Florida February 19, 2004
Denver, Colorado February 24, 2004
San Diego, California March 23, 2004
New York, New York April 20, 2004

In planning for the upcoming recruitment fairs, it would be helpful for us to obtain information on the type and number of positions you anticipate filling. Please complete and return the attached form to the address specified as soon as possible.
I sincerely appreciate your leadership and cooperation in seeking the best and the brightest for careers in Federal service.

cc: Interagency Task Force on Hispanic Employment
Human Resource Directors
Call to Serve Contacts