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Recruitment Policy Studio

Federal Section
Hiring Toolkit

Hiring Process


The following tasks are the responsibility of the hiring manager: Collaboration and Communication between the Human Resources Office (HRO) and Hiring Manager
  • Collaboration and communication are key to successful hiring efforts
  • Develop a contract between the HRO and manager that includes “who does what and when”
  • Sample questions for the HRO and manager to explore
    • Where are the skills gaps in the organization?
    • Is it a mission-critical occupation (MCO)?
    • What types of positions are required (series, grade, MCO, etc.)?
    • Is it a hard-to-fill position or hard-to-find skill?
    • What are the security requirements associated with the position?
    • Are any incentives associated with the hard-to-fill positions or hard-to-find skills?
    • Is funding approved for incentives?
    • What is the expected timeline for a typical hiring process?
    • How many candidates will be on the certificate?
  • Click here for the Recruitment Strategy Meeting Guide Word Icon
  • Click here to watch the Collaborating for Success video
Request for Personnel Action (RPA/SF 52)
  • The party responsible for the following tasks may vary from agency to agency per agency internal processes and procedures
  • Responsibilities of the hiring manager
    • Complete RPA/SF 52
    • Submit the RPA/SF 52 for approval
  • Considerations
    • Learn internal agency procedures to process an RPA/SF 52
    • Ensure accuracy and completeness of the RPA/SF 52
    • Receive and validate budget approval identified in the workforce plan
Review PD
  • The hiring manager is responsible for accurate and current PDs
  • Process for PD Review
    • Ensure it is accurate, up to date, and complete (i.e., identifies the series and grade, competencies)
    • Identify any changes or updates to the position
    • Verify the risk level designation and the sensitivity level
  • The PD should be developed during the workforce planning phase
  • Standardize PDs for like MCOs and customize as required
  • Click here for more information on position descriptions Adobe Acrobat Icon
The following are HR and Hiring Manager responsibilities:
Job analysis confirmation Assessment tool identification
  • Assessment tool must be “validated” in accordance with uniform guidelines
  • Determine if a tool needs to be updated or if development and validation of a new tool is needed
  • Agencies are not required to validate an OPM-developed assessment tool
    • Click here for more information on Assessments
    • Click here to access the Assessment Decision Tool (ADT)
    • Click here for the Assessment FAQ
    • The Difference between Assessing in the Competitive Service and Excepted Service (READ MORE)
      • Assessing individuals for positions in the excepted service is very similar to assessing individuals for positions in the competitive service. There is one major exception – OPM qualification requirements. Excepted service positions filled under Schedules B and D are subject to OPM qualification standards. Excepted service positions filled under Schedule A and C (political appointees) are not subject to OPM qualification standards.
      • Even though the positions may or may not be subject to OPM qualifications, agencies must still evaluate the individuals to ensure the potential selectees have the competencies necessary to perform the duties of the position to which appointed.
      • Rather than using numerical scores, individuals are assessed against agency-established criteria and placed in one of two or more pre-defined quality categories.
      • Preference eligibles are listed ahead of non-preference eligibles in the quality category into which they are placed. Preference eligibles with a 10 percent or more disability are placed in the highest quality category (ahead of the non-preference eligibles).
    • Click here to view Other Assessment Methods
Determining Ranking Methods
Rank and Select Using Category Rating Rank and Select Using Numerical Scores
  • Applicants are assessed and given numerical scores
  • Apply veterans’ preference by adding points (five or ten) to numerical score
  • Rank by score order (highest to lowest)
  • Select from among the top three candidates in accordance with veterans’ preference
  • Click here for more information on Veterans’ Preference and numerical scoring
  • EXCEPTED SERVICE: Click here for information on Options for Excepted Service (READ MORE)
    • An evaluation of the qualifications of applicants may be conducted at any time before an appointment is made. Once the evaluations/assessments are complete agencies will assign ratings to the individuals. Then agencies can generally choose from among three ranking and selection methods when filling jobs in the excepted service: 1) the ranked list, 2) the unranked list, and 3) a category rating-like process.
      1. Ranked list – Individuals are assessed against criteria which produces a numerical score. Preference eligibles who earn a passing score receive 5 or 10 points, as appropriate, which are added to their score. Applicants are then listed in score order and selection is made from the highest-ranked three names available on the list. Preference eligibles with a 10 percent or more disability are placed at the top of the list, and thus achieve the highest ranks. Agencies cannot select a non-preference eligible veteran over a preference eligible veteran with an equal or higher score without going through the applicable pass over procedures.
      2. Unranked list – Applicants who meet basic eligibility criteria are listed by veterans’ preference category: 10 percent or more disabled veterans, other 10-point preference eligible veterans, 5-point preference eligible veterans, and then non-preference eligible veterans. Agencies cannot select a non-preference eligible veteran until the preference eligibles are exhausted or the agency has gone through the proper pass over procedures with respect to the preference eligibles that are remaining.
      3. Category rating- like process – Under 5 CFR part 302.105, agencies may establish their own systems for applying veterans’ preference provided that such a system results in preference eligible applicants receiving at least as much advantage as they would under the numerical ranking or unranked selection methods.
The following are primarily HR responsibilities:
  • Creating an effective JOA
    • Review agency public notice requirement policy
    • Write a clear, concise, accurate, and complete JOA
    • Specify the length of time the JOA will be open
    • Review with hiring manager for completeness and accuracy
  • Post on USAJOBS.gov
The following are primarily HR responsibilities:
  • Receive applications during the JOA open period
  • Notify applicants of receipt of application

Close JOA

The following are HR responsibilities:
  • Screen application to ensure that minimum qualifications and legal requirements are met
  • Ensure applicant meets selective placement factors or quality ranking factors (if applicable)
  • Screen applicants based on suitability risk designation, if applicable
  • Rank applicants based on assessments
  • Determine if applicants are entitled to selection priority based on CTAP, ICTAP, and RPL
The following are HR responsibilities:
  • Notify applicants detailing whether or not they are qualified for the positions
  • Issue a Certificate to the selecting official (hiring manager)
    • Rank eligible candidates
      • When ordering a Certificate of Eligibles, use the following categories in the following order:
        • Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP), Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP), and Reemployment Priority Listing (RPL)
        • Eligibles removed from consideration due to erroneous certification
        • All 10-point preference eligibles who have a service-connected disability of 10 percent or more
        • All remaining candidates in rank order
      • Within each entitlement group, rank eligibles in order of numeric ranking including veterans’ preference or in alphabetical order
    • Notify eligible candidates who are referred on the certificate
Tasks within this section are primarily the responsibility of the hiring manager:
  • Coordinate between the HRO and the Security Office regarding the investigation requirements associated with making an official offer
  • Tentative job offer and acceptance
    • Audit certificate for compliance with laws and regulations
    • Extend tentative offer
    • Notify remaining eligibles at the appropriate time that a selection was made
  • HRO plays a key role in ensuring follow-up with the applicant is conducted as required to obtain accurate, complete and timely information
  • Initiate investigation at the appropriate level for the position to be filled
  • Allow selectee to accept or decline job offer and make necessary arrangements with current employer
  • Request release dates and request for SF 85 for current Federal Employees