The expansive list of federal hiring authorities has seen mixed responses from agency human resource offices, with some saying that options help them to fill critical positions, while others say that the increasing number and complexity of hiring authorities does more damage than good.
But according to the Government Accountability Office, the Department of Defense has had success over the past five years in using such authorities to expand their substantial civilian acquisition workforce.
“The Department of Defense has used human capital flexibilities extensively to hire, recruit and retain its civilian acquisition workforce. Since 2014, usage rates for hiring flexibilities — alternatives to the traditional, competitive hiring process — have generally increased,” an Aug. 15 report said.
“DoD leadership has encouraged its hiring personnel to use these flexibilities, such as direct hire authorities, to reduce the length of the hiring process. From fiscal year 2014 to 2018, DoD used hiring flexibilities for 90 percent of its approximately 44,000 civilian acquisition workforce hiring actions.”
According to data collected by the DoD’s Human Capital Initiative, the civilian acquisition workforce increased by nearly 17 percent over that period, going from 134,808 employees in 2014 to 157,318 in 2018.
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