Hiring efforts take to the Web

Hiring efforts take to the Web<@VM>Major programs

BY TONY LEE ORR | GCN STAFF

The Office of Personnel Management has removed an impediment to efficient hiring: It has put its flagship application program, USA Staffing, online.




Who's In Charge



Janet L. Barnes

Chief Information Officer



Robert M. Huley

Assistant CIO of Plans, Policies and Oversight



Eugene A. Walker

Information Technology Architect



Lonnie D. Dixon

Director, Network Management Center



Bernard L. Springer

Director, Applications Development Center



Edgar T. Arold

Director, Washington Technology Center





TOP CONTRACTORS

(in millions, April 1999 - March 2000)


































American Management Systems Inc.$6.4
IBM Corp.5.0
National Computer Systems Inc.2.6
Compuware Corp.2.0
Dell Computer Corp.1.3
Applied Management Systems Inc.0.7
Marcom Production Service0.60
Dynamix Corp.0.6
GTSI Corp.0.4
Saga Software Inc.0.3
TOTAL$19.9


IT Spending is on the rise




Sources for this GCN Inside include the Office of Personnel Management and Input of Chantilly, VA.



The Web-enabled applicant-processing software provides a host of automated tools useful to human resources professionals, an agency spokesman said.
OPM information technology staffers, along with personnel research psychologists and experts in staffing and examination of applicants, developed the software in-house, the spokesman said.

The software provides access to the OPM database of competencies, an extensive collection of job-specific tasks with required skills, he said.
The database is based on a survey of 177,000 federal employees, with input from supervisors, managers and personnel professionals, he said. Thousands of job-seekers have used USA Staffing online.

The hardware

The Oracle8i database resides on a Hewlett-Packard LH4 server with four 550-MHz Pentium III Xeon processors. The server runs Microsoft Windows NT 4.0. Web-hosting and routine software maintenance services, as well as programming support for system modifications and enhancements, are provided by OPM's Technology Support Center in Macon, Ga.

Agency personnel managers can use the tool to generate vacancy announcements, which they can upload with a single mouse click to USAJOBS, at www.sajobs.opm.gov, a component of the software. And the software helps them develop assessment tools that meet the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Process, he said.

Users access the program via the Internet or through a LAN or WAN connection, OPM said. Internet access requires nothing more than a PC and a browser.

The software also analyzes applicants' job qualifications, rating and ranking job seekers automatically. The software flags the records of veterans, who receive preferential treatment.

The system maintains the records in a reader-friendly format that helps hiring staff to review applications, he said.

Job seekers, who apply for positions by answering a questionnaire on the Web site, benefit as well, OPM said. Users can take advantage of multiple assessment options such as knowledge, skills and ability requirements.

The software also allows for the use of competency-based crediting plans, structured interview scores and written test scores.

Those using the system to apply for a federal government job are notified about the status of their application and subsequent referral for employment, the spokesman said.


The agency's USAJOBS Web site gives visitors access to listings of more than 15,000 government job vacancies worldwide.


Personnel managers can use the software to keep track of questions posed by applicants, and the rules, regulations and guidelines required for public-sector hiring, he said.

Upgrades and new functions will continue under the guidance of the agency's IT staff, OPM said. Future plans include resume imaging, better application tracking and extensive management reporting functions.

' Central Personnel Data File. OPM uses this database to maintain human resources information on 1.8 million civilian executive branch employees. The database provides statistical information to the White House, Congress and news media, as well as other organizations and individuals. FedScope, an online application at www.fedscope.opm.gov, lets users analyze, chart and export the database's most in-demand information.

' Retirement Systems Modernization. Through this initiative, the agency expects to improve the services the government provides to participants in the Civil Service and Federal Employees retirement systems. The upgrade project's components include eliminating a current paper record-keeping system and developing tools that will let participants calculate and model retirement benefits.

' USAJOBS. Run by OPM, USAJOBS is the federal government's official Web site for jobs and employment information. The site, at www.usajobs.opm.gov, provides access to federal, state and local government job information stored in a database of more than 15,000 listings of job opportunities worldwide.

' Human Resources Data Network. Operated under the direction of the OPM-sponsored Human Resources Technology Council, the Human Resources Data Network project is addressing the need for better automated methods of exchanging federal human resources information governmentwide. The network team's goals are to enable the electronic sharing of personnel data among agencies, to streamline and improve governmentwide personnel reporting methods, and to eliminate the need for paper employee records. The council is overseeing the multiyear project.

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