Sens. James Lankford, R-Okla., and Mike Braun, R-Ind., have introduced legislation that seeks to streamline Federal hiring processes to allow for more flexible career paths, and to better address agency needs.

The bill comes after the Commission on Military, National, and Public Service made recommendations to improve hiring practices at the Federal level.

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“Currently it takes nearly three months to hire new employees. The best and the brightest typically cannot wait three months to hear back on a job, and I have not heard of a single private company that tells a potential hire that they will get back to them in three months,” said Sen. Lankford in a press release.

According to the senator’s office, the bill would accomplish the following:

  • Offer flexibility for temporary and term appointments, allowing the head of an agency to make temporary appointments for periods of less than one year, and between one and 10 years with flexible extensions available;
  • Provide criteria for granting direct hire authority to agencies which would alter the threshold required for a direct hiring authority during a “severe shortage of highly qualified candidates”; and
  • Raise the limits on appointments for recent college graduates and post-secondary students from 15 percent to 25 percent of the total number of people hired by an agency head the previous year.

“With so many Federal employees eligible for retirement, we need to ensure the Federal workforce is equipped and prepared to hire and train employees in the days ahead,” said Sen. Lankford. “This is a fix that will not only ease the frustration of Federal hiring but will save taxpayer dollars & ensure high quality service to Americans.”

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.