HR University Logo, Teaching the Business of HR; and CHCO Council seal



Recruitment Policy Studio

Federal Section
Hiring Toolkit

Hiring Authorities/Other Hiring Options


Veteran Appointing Authorities


Why Appoint Veterans?

Ready Supply of Needed Skills: Veterans and transitioning military service members are ready to supply the very skills the Federal Government needs. Veterans have acquired a wealth of knowledge, skills, and competencies through practical workforce experience. The cutting edge training and education they have received during their military service is transferable to those skills oftentimes being sought by agencies in filling open positions. In addition to these intangible and valuable skills, the Veteran brings a unique sense of leadership and teamwork to your team. They understand the commitment to achieving organizational goals and objectives and have demonstrated the ability to work efficiently and effectively within multi-cultural environments.

Besides the discipline and work ethic that military service instills, Veterans and transitioning service members have technical skills in areas of critical importance: acquisition, information technology, communications, security, information gathering, and medical technology. Many already hold required security clearances for some Federal positions.

Veterans may be hired under the following three authorities:

  1. Veterans' Recruitment Appointment (VRA) (Formerly, Veterans' Readjustment Appointment) (READ MORE)
    What it provides: VRA allows appointment of eligible veterans up to the GS-11 or equivalent. Veterans are hired under excepted appointments to positions that are otherwise in the competitive service. After the individual satisfactorily completes 2 years of service, the veteran must be converted noncompetitively to a career or career-conditional appointment.

    When to use it: VRA can be a good tool for filling entry-level to mid-level positions.

    Who is eligible: VRA eligibility applies to the following categories:
    1. Disabled veterans;
    2. Veterans who served on active duty in the Armed Forces during a war declared by Congress, or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized;
    3. Veterans who, while serving on active duty in the Armed Forces, participated in a military operation for which the Armed Forces Service Medal was awarded; and
    4. Veterans separated from active duty within 3 years.

      Note: In addition to meeting the criteria above, eligible veterans must have been separated under honorable conditions (i.e., the individual must have received either an honorable or general discharge).
    Benefits to the hiring manager: VRA allows a manager to fill positions using an alternative to the traditional hiring process.

    To hire a VRA eligible veteran:

    STEPS
    1. Consider strategic workforce planning needs.
    2. Determine recruiting strategy. Consider recruiting from known veteran sources such as veterans transition centers and other veterans organizations that would provide a diverse applicant pool.
    3. Determine if the candidates are eligible under this authority.
    4. Evaluate or assess the qualifications of the candidates.
    5. Subject to veterans' preference, appoint any VRA eligible who meets the qualification requirements for the position.

    Applying Veterans' Preferences: If an agency has two or more VRA candidates and one or more is a preference-eligible veteran, the agency must apply the veterans' preference procedures in 5 CFR part 302.

    After 2 years of satisfactory service, the agency must convert the veteran to career or career-conditional appointment, as appropriate.
  2. 30 Percent or More Disabled Veterans (READ MORE)
    What it provides: This authority enables a hiring manager to appoint an eligible candidate to any position for which he or she is qualified, without competition. Unlike the VRA, there's no grade-level limitation. Initial appointments are noncompetitive temporary appointments of more than 60 days or term appointments. The agency may convert the employee, without a break in service, to a career or career-conditional appointment at any time during the employee's temporary or term appointment.

    When to use it: This authority is a good tool for filling positions with transitioning veterans.

    Who is eligible: Eligibility applies to the following categories:
    1. Disabled veterans who were retired from active military service with a disability rating of 30 percent or more; and
    2. Since 1991 or later, disabled veterans rated by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) (within the preceding year) as having a compensable service-connected disability of 30 percent or more.
    Benefits to the hiring manager: A 30 percent or more disabled veteran appointment is an effective way to appoint eligible disabled veterans, without having to use traditional competitive examining procedures, to any position for which they are qualified without issuing a vacancy announcement.

    To hire a 30 percent or more disabled veteran:

    STEPS
    1. Consider strategic workforce planning needs.
    2. Determine recruiting strategy. Consider recruiting from known veteran sources such as veterans transition centers and other veterans organizations that would provide a diverse applicant pool.
    3. Determine if candidates are eligible under this authority.
    4. Evaluate or assess the qualifications of the candidates.
    5. Appoint an eligible, disabled veteran who meets the qualifications for the position to a temporary appointment of more than 60 days or to a term appointment.

    You may convert the appointment, without a break in service, to career or career-conditional at any time during the temporary or term appointment. Veterans' preference does not apply and no announcement is required.
  3. Veterans Employment Opportunities Act of 1998 (VEOA) (READ MORE)
    What it provides: Veterans Employment Opportunity Act of 1998, as amended (VEOA) is a competitive service appointing authority that states agencies must allow preference eligibles or eligible veterans to apply for positions announced under merit promotion procedures when the agency is recruiting from outside its own workforce. ("Agency," in this context, means the parent agency, i.e., Treasury, not the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Defense, not Department of the Army.) A VEOA eligible who competes under merit promotion procedures and is selected will be given a career or career conditional appointment. Veterans' preference is not a factor in these appointments.

    When to use it: Only when filling permanent, competitive service positions under agency merit promotion procedures.

    Who is eligible: VEOA eligibility applies to the following categories of veterans:
    1. Be a preference eligible OR veteran separated from the armed forces after 3 or more years of continuous active service performed under honorable conditions. Veterans who were released shortly before completing a 3-year tour are considered to be eligible. ("Active service" defined in title 37, United States Code, means active duty in the uniformed services and includes full-time training duty, annual training duty, full-time National Guard duty, and attendance, while in the active service, at a school designated as a service school by law or by the Secretary of the military department concerned).
    Benefits to the hiring manager: The VEOA allows managers to consider highly qualified, non-status veterans without using traditional competitive examination procedures.

    To hire under the Veterans Employment Opportunities Act of 1998 (VEOA)

    STEPS
    1. Consider strategic workforce planning needs.
    2. Determine recruiting strategy. Consider recruiting from known veteran sources such as veterans transition centers and other veterans organizations that would provide a diverse applicant pool.
    3. Announce the vacancy on USAJOBS.
    4. Determine if candidates are eligible under this authority.
    5. Determine the most qualified candidates. Determine which applicants are qualified, rate them based on their qualifications, and issue a selection certificate in accordance with the agency merit promotion plan (Consider VEOA applicants with other status candidates).
    6. Select a candidate. If a VEOA eligible is selected, he/she is given a career-conditional or career (as appropriate) appointment.

Resources