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9 Steps in the Government Hiring Process

9 Steps in the Government Hiring Process

When you apply for a government job, you enter an invisible process that’s mainly out of your control as an outsider. Government agencies are bound by regulations and laws when managing job applications. It ensures that all job applicants get a fair chance.

However, a few application portals, like USAJobs managed by the US government, allow its applicants to track their job application progress. This facility reduces the number of emails and phone calls that the HR department receives because the people can look for necessary information themselves through the portal.

Here are some of the fundamental processes that the HR department follows through the government job hiring process. The process can be longwinded, and the hiring manager and HR department would contact you if they’re interested in bringing you on board.

Posting Closes

After sending your job application, you should wait for the department to close the job posting before getting a response from them. Government job vacancies always have a deadline that the applicants have to follow. The deadline helps the government agencies manage the number of applications they get to continue the hiring process without bringing more applicants in the middle of the process.

To be fair, the HR department ensures that they don’t accept any applications submitted after the closing date. They don’t allow the management to consider applications turned in late because this would mean that they’re treating the late applicant and the early applicant with the same lens.

Application Screening

When the HR department is certain that they have all the applicants that the government agencies may consider, they go through each application and check if all the applicants meet the minimum requirements for the job. For example, suppose the job posting specifies that an applicant must have an undergraduate degree. In that case, all the applications that don’t demonstrate a completed undergraduate degree are removed from the applicant pool. Therefore, it’s crucial for all applicants to clearly and succinctly mention how their skills, abilities, and knowledge is in line with the job they’re applying for.

Final List Compilation

After all the applicants go through the initial screening to see if they fall under all the minimum requirements, the hiring manager and the HR department work together to shortlist the final applicants that they’d like to call for an interview. To do this on fairgrounds, this decision is purely based on the applicant’s information in the application. Considering the department in the government agency you’re applying to, you may be contacted by the HR department asking you to for additional information like writing samples and professional references.

Scheduling Interviews 

The hiring manager or the HR department only calls the applicants they want to call in for an interview. Suppose the applicant decides to withdraw from the application process. In that case, the hiring manager can either continue the application process with one less candidate or contact the next most qualified person on the list who didn’t end up on the final list before. This decision depends on how closely qualified the next applicant, from the original group of applicants, was.

If you’re selected and called for an interview, the hiring manager would either interview you over the phone or in person. Some job vacancies receive a huge number of applications, so for that, the HR department chooses to interview people over the phone for initial screening.

Conducting Necessary Reference and Background Checks 

During this stage of the process, many governmental and non-governmental organizations run reference and background checks on the applicants. Because of time and cost, the government agencies can’t perform background checks on all the people who’ve applied. The advantage of running checks at this stage is that there’s no delay in the process if a person turns down the offer. Some organizations choose to wait until after the interview to don’t have to run checks on the people they won’t end up hiring.

Conducting Interviews 

The group of final people typically comprises of 3 to 5 people. However, the number of shortlisted people and the number of officials conducting the interviews mainly depends on how long to entire process will take. If there are only a few finalists, the procedure only takes a week to get done with all the interviews.

Selecting New Hires

Once all the interviews are conducted, the HR department works with the hiring manager to decide which person will get the job offer. The team also ranks other interviewees in order – in case the shortlisted finalist declines the job offer.

Making Job Offers

A job offer is made to the final applicant. It’s commonly done verbally so that both parties can negotiate the start date, salary, and benefits. After that, the office issues a letter that documents the final offer sent to the finalist.

Accepting Job Offers

The final candidate formally accepts the offer, either in writing or verbally. After that, the organization starts with the necessary paperwork to join the team on the date agreed upon.

Please note that this process can be long in some government departments because of the additional security clearance. For instance, the Department of Homeland Security requires all recruits to go through a security clearance process, which can extend between fifteen days to a year – commonly takes around three months.

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By |2021-02-02T21:18:38+00:00February 2nd, 2021|Blog|0 Comments

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