Moonlighter Launches Jobs Website Helping Feds Switch Agencies

‘Lateral-Me’ is simpler and more transparent than USAJOBS, says co-founder.

Federal employees who are feeling restless have a new option in the job-hunting game.

Lateral-Me.com, a self-proclaimed “revolutionary” website that went live on Sept. 20, lists an array of internal federal job openings “with the intention of making hiring and applying for federal jobs easier.”

That’s according to co-founder and CEO Sylvia Sosa, who by day is a public health scientist at the Health and Human Services Department. The idea is both “to create opportunities and provide transparency,” she told Government Executive. “People don’t like the hiring process because it’s kind of secretive.”

With a layout more spare than the official federal recruiting site USAJOBS, Lateral-Me.com’s vacancy listings are free and available immediately. Alongside a simple template for applicants to fill out are listings such as: “Contract Specialist, Defense Finance and Accounting Service, GS-12, Updated 9/13/2016.” All GS levels are represented, and searches can be conducted using key words, location, description, job series and status as full- or part-time.

The site—with sections aimed at both job seekers and hiring managers--was created after Sosa and colleagues observed that three-quarters of job openings are never posted and most hiring in both the private and public sectors is accomplished through word of mouth.

“The founders would repeatedly hear from colleagues that they wish they could ‘just lateral someone’ over for a newly vacant position in the department,” the startup’s website reads. “They needed someone with a specific skill set, they were inundated with work, and simply didn’t have the time to wait months to find the right candidate through the formal external hiring process.”

Sosa received permission from ethics officers to form the startup company Lateral Me LLC with a dot.com address. Her site stresses that it is not an official federal program and receives no federal funds. “All hiring must follow Office of Personnel Management, department and agency hiring regulations, policies, and procedures,” the website says.

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