They'll be back
USAJobs, the Office of Personnel Management's online
jobs opening platform, will go dark for one week in October as administrators
overhaul the site in anticipation of a re-launch. USAJobs 3.0, as the revamped
site will be called, "will enable HR professionals and recruiters to mine
resumes for more specific applicant information to better target recruiting
efforts," OPM associate director of employee services Angela Bailey told
While USAJobs goes dark, between October 6th and
12th, no new federal job postings will be put online and OPM
officials are currently working with federal agencies to extend application
deadlines for jobs posted on the site. According to the Washington Post,
the site currently costs about $6 million a year to operate with the agency
planning to invest an additional $6 million in improvements over the next year.
Visitors to the new and improved USAJobs can expect a more streamlined
experience, with periodic updates of application statuses and the eliminating
of users having to enter their personal and professional data multiple times.
This overhaul is part of an ongoing effort by OPM to improve
the online fed job application process, coming on the heels of the May launch
of USAJobsRecruit an online community for federal agencies. Another
program called Assess, which seeks to replace "the complex knowledge, skills
and abilities statements traditionally completed by government job applicants
with testing tools for 12 types of positions frequently found across
government," is currently in a testing stage according to GovExec.
This re-launch is coming at an important time for both
agencies and their potential employees. With the job market continually in flux
government positions are increasingly attractive options for jobseekers and a
reliable online application platform is essential for both sides of the hiring
process. If USAJobs 3.0 is ultimately successful in improving the application
process for federal job openings it could maybe, just maybe, prove to be that
most elusive of things: the federal job sector actually setting a trend that
will be followed by the private sector. That in and of itself would qualify as
a minor miracle.