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Kiran Ahuja: OPM Seeks to Expand Federal Talent Pool With New Hiring Approach

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The Office of Personnel Management has issued guidance meant to encourage federal hiring managers to assess potential candidates based on skills rather than relying solely on the applicants’ educational attainment or self-evaluation of their capacity to perform a job.

OPM said Thursday a skills-based hiring approach will work to help agencies value the learned ability of a person applying for a federal civilian position regardless of where the applicant acquired skills.

The office’s new guide implements an executive order signed by former President Donald Trump in June 2020 to reform hiring practices in the government.

“Given today’s booming labor market, the federal government must position itself to compete with other sectors for top talent,” said OPM Director Kiran Ahuja.

“By focusing on what an applicant can do—and not where they learned to do it—skills-based hiring will expand talent pools by making it easier for applicants without a bachelor’s degree to demonstrate their skills and will help remove barriers to employment for historically under-represented groups.”

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