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OPM Announces Adjustments to Annual Time-to-Hire Metrics

Moving forward, agencies will be expected to count all employees hired and provide additional details about the length of the hiring process.

The Office of Personnel Management on Tuesday announced that it is updating the requirements for how agencies should report their annual time-to-hire metrics to include recent innovations in the federal hiring process, and to provide more detailed data on how long it takes to hire a new worker.

OPM has been tracking how long it takes to hire new federal workers since 2008. Until this year, agencies were only required to detail how long it took to hire someone through USAJOBS, measuring from when a hiring need is validated until the new employee’s first day at work.

In a memo to agency chief human capital officers, OPM Director Dale Cabaniss announced that beginning this year—reporting on fiscal 2019—agencies must include the time to hire for all new employees, not just those hired through a USAJOBS post, and they must now provide two numbers: the length of time from when a hiring need is validated until the new employee starts work, and the time from the hiring need until the new employee accepts a tentative job offer.

Cabaniss said the changes came following feedback from agencies, and so that the time-to-hire metric could capture recent hiring process innovations, like the successful pilot programs to engage subject matter experts and an interview process akin to the private sector spearheaded by the U.S. Digital Service last year.

“After collaborating with agencies and getting feedback from stakeholders, OPM is updating the time-to-hire guidance,” Cabaniss said in a statement. “The new guidance will give agencies a clearer picture on hiring practices so they can better accomplish their mission and provide service to the American people.”

Agencies on average have improved the time it takes to hire new employees in recent years: in fiscal 2018, the hiring process took 98.3 days, compared with 105.8 days in fiscal 2017. But OPM’s goal is for the governmentwide average to fall to 80 days.

The shift to provide information on how long it takes for a candidate to accept a tentative job offer can provide agencies a more distinct picture of how they are doing, as the gap between that date and an employee’s first day can be the result of a number of factors outside of an agency’s control.

The deadline for agencies to provide their fiscal 2019 data is March 20.