Browsing: HR Management

OPM leads cyber workforce focus groups

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The Office of Personnel Management is hosting a series of focus groups to garner solutions for beefing up the government’s cybersecurity workforce. Starting today, OPM called on dozens of cybersecurity professionals and hiring managers to discuss strategies and best pratices for recruiting and retaining highly skilled workers. During the three-hour sessions, participants were given a list of potential solutions and asked to rank them as being the best or worst options for attracting cybersecurity workers. Possible areas of focus include: -Establishing a governmentwide cybersecurity certification process -Mapping a governmentwide cybersecurity career path -Create a new occupation definition, classification,  qualification and standards -Invest more in…

A closer look at Hatch's proposed workforce cuts

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Last week, I untangled Sen. Orrin Hatch’s error-filled claims that the government has grown “at breakneck speed” under Obama. Today, let’s look a little further at what the Reduce and Cap the Federal Workforce Act seeks to accomplish — and whether it will actually have a noticeable effect on limiting the government’s size. The bill would require agencies (excluding the CIA, FBI, Secret Service and Executive Office of the President) to tell Congress how many employees they currently have, and how many they had as of Feb. 16, 2009. If any agencies except for the Defense and Homeland Security departments…

Federal Career Intern Program: What do you think?

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Are you a hiring manager or HR official who has used the controversial Federal Career Intern Program to bring on new employees? Do you find it to be an efficient, useful hiring tool? Is it better than the standard hiring process, and if so, why? Or have you seen your office abuse its authorities to sidestep veterans preference, merit principles and hire managers’ favorites, as unions allege is frequently the case?  Federal Times is interested in hearing your impressions of FCIP — how it works, its upsides, and its downsides. Feel free to e-mail me at slosey@federaltimes.com if you’d like to talk.…

DHS wants "disposable" direct hire authority

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The Office of Personnel Management tends to look askance at agencies’ requests for direct hire authority to fill critical needs. OPM asks for reams of information and has some quite specific guidelines for agencies that want to sidestep the normal federal hiring process. The Homeland Security Department, looking to hire federal employees to fill jobs currently done by contractors as part of the government “insourcing” initiative, is trying to tweak the system a bit in order to fill critical needs, DHS chief human capital officer Jeffrey Neal said yesterday at a congressional hearing. DHS is asking OPM for something it…

Who knew hiring reform could be so exciting?

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The Office of Personnel Management really pulled out all the stops at today’s event announcing President Obama’s reforms to the federal hiring process. Held in an auditorium at OPM’s E Street offices, it had the feel of a campaign event, with U2’s “Beautiful Day” playing on loudspeakers before the event as media, special guests and OPM employees took their seats. Marvin Carraway, one of the Pentagon Force Protection Agency officers credited with stopping a gunman at the Pentagon subway station March 4, was on hand as one example of an exemplary federal employee. He got a standing ovation. OPM director…

FLRA launches partnership training program

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Still a little fuzzy on how these labor-management partnerships are supposed to work? You might want to sign up for new training courses that will be offered in May and June by the Federal Labor Relations Authority and the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. FLRA and FMCS said yesterday that the two-day training programs are meant to teach federal managers and labor representatives about bargaining rights and obligations. Day One of each session will cover bargaining rights and obligations, including pre-decisional discussions and so-called permissive subjects. Day Two will teach you how to set up and maintain an effective labor-management…

Harding on collective bargaining: Noncommittal

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Not much news out of this morning’s confirmation hearing for Gen. Robert Harding, President Obama’s second nominee to head the Transportation Security Administration. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, asked him whether he’d commit to pursuing collective bargaining rights for TSA employees. Harding said he hadn’t reached a decision, and said he would talk with “TSA employees and stakeholders” before deciding whether to press the issue. Obama’s first nominee, Erroll Southers, took a similar stance during his confirmation hearing in November, saying only that he would study the issue. But that noncommittal stance was enough to earn him a hold from…

Training program award nominations due Friday

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Does your department have an innovative and successful training program? Has it measurably improved your department’s performance? Then your department might have a shot at a Deming Award. But you’ll have to move fast — the nomination period closes this Friday. The Agriculture Department’s Graduate School awards the W. Edwards Deming Award annually to a federal government organization or a civilian or uniformed branch of the military that has a great training and workforce development program. To qualify, a program must: Have begun no earlier than Feb. 19, 2007 — three years prior to the nomination deadline. Be based on outcomes…