[IPAC-List] Job Qualifications

Mark Hammer Mark.Hammer at psc-cfp.gc.ca
Wed May 12 10:25:05 EDT 2010

The rant is entirely justified. My sense is that there are a lot of
folks whipping up hiring policy that don't always understand how things
actually work, where sources of delay lie, and how much each source of
delay realistically contributes.

To whit. The assumption of our oversight people here is that better HR
planning should translate into faster time to staff (one of the explicit
goals in the White House memorandum). Okay. So, I ask some 6,000-8,000
managers to tell me about a single staffing process. Part of what I ask
them is whether the staffing action was vacancy-driven, a newly-created
position, or simply ramping up capacity in a given area. If it was
vacancy-driven (which the preponderance are), I then ask them how much
advance warning they had before the departure of the previous incumbent.
Half the managers indicate less than a month. So, how the hell do you
"plan" for expedient replacement of staff who casually drop by your
office to tell you that they have accepted a position elsewhere, and
will be starting there in 2-3 weeks?

Many organizations here have responded to that challenge by creating
large pools of pre-qualified candidates, available for immediate
selection, but those are not without their own problems. One of the
problems is that the bigger the pool the longer it takes to create, and
the other of which is that the bigger the pool the less likely the
vacancy in your unit will be a good match for what's in the pool (since
the qualifications for entry to the pool will be a compromise). And,
when you consider how much security clearance plays a role in
determining whether a recruit is hirable these days, switching from
essay questions to resumés is unlikely to produce the large reductions
in time to staff that people aim/pray for.

But I digress. Things CAN be faster, but they still take time. Not
everyone can hire as quickly or shoddily, or with as little
organizational impact, as your local fast food chain, and not every
organization acts as much like a magnet for the right people as a gaming
software house. That's a message that needs to get out.

Back to the thread, already in progress.


>>> "Bryan Baldwin" <Bryan.Baldwin at doj.ca.gov> 5/12/2010 9:31 am >>>

Not to sound overly cynical, but why does it seem like when
organizations use a valid selection method (e.g, behavioral consistency
T&Es) but implement it poorly (e.g., using said instrument for thousands
of applicants), the solution is to replace it with something much less
valid (e.g., resumes/applications, point-based T&Es)? Or is this just
one more example of the rush to make the selection process as fast as
possible, regardless of the impact on utility (supported by their
suggested, highly suspect, metric of time-to-fill)?

On a related point, how exactly do they intend to get managers and
supervisors "more fully involved in the hiring process, including
planning current and future workforce requirements, identifying the
skills required for the job, and engaging actively in the recruitment
and, when applicable, the interviewing process"? I mean more power to
them, but I gotta think this is something many of have been struggling
with for years.

Kudos for trying to modernize the federal hiring system, but I wonder
if there is an appreciation for the enormity of what is being suggested
and the resources it will require.

End rant.

Bryan Baldwin
Staff Services Manager II
California Department of Justice
Division of Administrative Support
Personnel Programs
(916) 322-5446

>>> Mark Hammer <Mark.Hammer at psc-cfp.gc.ca> 05/12/10 6:16 AM >>>


Here is the link to the White House memorandum -
Makes for interesting reading.


IPAC-List at ipacweb.org

CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This communication with its contents may
contain confidential and/or legally privileged information. It is solely
for the use of the intended recipient(s). Unauthorized interception,
review, use or disclosure is prohibited and may violate applicable laws
including the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. If you are not the
intended recipient, please contact the sender and destroy all copies of
the communication.

More information about the IPAC-List mailing list