Press Release

September 23, 2011

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Maryland) today joined Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI) and Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Maryland) in introducing the Federal Hiring Process Improvement Act of 2011.  Senator Ben Cardin (D-Maryland) was also an original co-sponsor. This legislation would streamline the Federal hiring process to conform to private sector best practices. 

In the coming decade, close to 50 percent of the federal workforce will be eligible to retire, making the development of the next generation of federal workers even more vital. Some federal agencies still take as long as 200 days from the date of a vacancy to hire — delays that compromise federal recruitment, jeopardize government operations, and waste taxpayer dollars.  The federal government needs to adapt, just as the private sector has, in order to recruit the next generation of federal workers.

“This legislation is a common sense approach that will streamline and improve the hiring process for federal jobs so we can ensure that the most qualified, talented people are hired,” said Senator Cardin, a member of the Budget and Finance committees.  “Recruitment is the backbone of every well-run organization, and it’s time that the federal government modernize and upgrade its recruitment process to make it more efficient and effective.”

“Whether it is a firefighter saving lives, an agent protecting our borders, a scientist pioneering new research, or a nurse caring for our veterans, we owe it to taxpayers and the next generation of public servants to build a better hiring process and to ensure that those with the desire to serve our country are able to do so,” said Congressman John Sarbanes.

“The Obama Administration has made great strides in improving the federal government’s broken hiring process,” said Max Stier, president and CEO of the nonprofit, nonpartisan Partnership for Public Service. “We applaud Sen. Akaka and Rep. Sarbanes for introducing this important legislation that will not only makes these reforms permanent, but also enable our government to attract and hire the talented and skilled workers necessary to meet the wide range of challenges faced by our nation.”

This legislation would: 

  • Require agencies and departments to develop a comprehensive strategic workforce plan focused on hiring, recruitment, skills deficiencies, and potential process reforms;
  • Move the federal government to a resume- and cover letter-based application system;
  • Shorten the federal hiring process to an average of 80 days after a vacancy has been posted;
  • Better integrate hiring managers into all stages of the hiring process and provide them with greater flexibility in final decisions; and
  • Require government-wide data collection and reporting on the efficacy of the hiring process.