Question: Doesn’t the government realize that its hiring process is too slow, especially for those of us with student debt?
Answer: It does, and a recent change in law should help at least a little.
That change allows agencies to bypass standard hiring processes for qualified applicants who have graduated from college within the past two years. Similarly, agencies can now offer temporary jobs to qualified students and later convert them directly to permanent status if they meet certain standards.
However, implementing rules are needed first, and even then, the policies will apply only in entry- to mid-level professional or administrative jobs, and only to 15 percent of such vacancies. Other requirements also continue to apply, such as the need to qualify for a security clearance in certain positions.
Still, the Partnership for Public Service, an organization that advocates for efficient government, predicted the changes will help expand the slim ranks of younger federal employees — 6 percent are younger than 30, a quarter of the private-sector rate. “By giving highly qualified students and recent graduates a leg up in the hiring process, agencies can begin to close the gap,” said Max Stier, president and chief executive.