Agency aims to play matchmaker with new hiring tool

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence is developing a tool that would better match job applicants with positions in federal government, similar to e-Harmony, the online dating site.

The tool initially would be used for jobs within the intelligence community and then later expanded to the entire federal government. ODNI leads the intelligence community and comprises nearly 16 separate agencies, including the Homeland Security Department and the CIA.

"People don't think of ODNI as a place of employment; we want to change that," said Jane Homeyer, ODNI's deputy chief human capital officer. Homeyer said the current job application process through USAJOBS contains too much human resources speak.

The new tool, similar to e-Harmony, will aim to match a person's skills with federal vacancies and then steer candidates to jobs that jibe with those qualities.

Since ODNI includes so many agencies, there are a range of potential matches between applicants and vacancies, Homeyer said. "[ODNI] needs to get people interested. We need to give them a tool and find out where they fit in best," she added.

ODNI has discussed the new tool with the Office of Personnel Management and the Partnership for Public Service, and will finish testing and launch its first phase in the next six to eight months.

Homeyer said OPM sees the value in expanding the tool across government. "We intend to do the tool for the federal government at large," she said. "We see no reason not to." OPM did not return a call seeking comment.

Homeyer hopes the new tool also will save money by avoiding background checks for candidates who apply for jobs they are unqualified for, as well as help retain employees. The "investment makes us well-served across the board, [and] we think it's something that will help with streamlining hiring," she said. "A comprehensive set of reforms."

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