The Washington Post

USAJobs revamp: Is the site any better? Users say no


Note: earlier versions of this blog post incorrectly identified the publication that first reported problems with the USAJobs Web site. The error has been corrected.

Eight days after launching what it described as a new and improved Web site for federal job seekers, the Office of Personnel Management is still working to clear up major glitches that are blocking access for many users.

Among the bugs in the new version of cited by users: Search results that don’t get displayed, pages that are slow to load or don’t load at all, a “so sorry--come back later page,” a mediocre search engine and job postings that disappear before the deadline.

“According to USAJobs the only positions San Diego are 91 ‘multiple locations’ jobs for the Forest Service,” wrote Brian Wade on the USAJobs Facebook site Tuesday afternoon. “The only employer with [federal] jobs in San Diego area is the Forest Service?”

His frustration was echoed in recent days by dozens of Facebook users. “Is this the Government’s way of implementing a hiring freeze, without actually implementing a hiring freeze?” Dee Dee Wolf of Arlington, Va. wrote.

The Office of Personnel Management, which took control of the site from a government contractor, blamed the bugs on volume, not technical issues: A slew of new visitors has overwhelmed the site since its re-launch on Oct. 11, said Angela Bailey, the agency’s associate director for employee services.

OPM is trying to increase the number of people who can log on at one time, officials said.

On Tuesday, Bailey released a statement on the agency’s efforts to clear up the problems, first reported by Federal Computer Week.

“While 94 percent of the traffic is successfully accessing the site, 6 percent of users may get a message to try back later,” Bailey said. “Naturally, this has caused some frustration. To resolve most of the issue, we have amplified our social media messaging to request people who have been temporarily turned away to hit the REFRESH button on their browser or the F5 function key. This will free up their computer to access the new USAJobs site.  To further address the volume issue, we have installed more search servers.”

Users continue to complain of other problems, however. Because of new security requirements, job-seekers have to reset their passwords and security questions.

USAJobs, renamed USAJOBS 3.0, is the federal government’s most widely used Web site. It processed 21 million applications last year. OPM spent 18 months on an overhaul after ending a contract with, which had managed the site. The goal was to make postings compatible across agencies and hasten the application process.


Lisa Rein covers the federal workforce and issues that concern the management of government.


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