The Office of Personnel Management on Monday launched its long-awaited revamped federal jobs Web site, the first step in reforming the government's hiring process, officials said.
The new version of USAJobs.gov simplifies the site's searching capability. OPM officials said a key change was adding more flexibility to refine job searches based on location, grade, salary and type of profession. The site, incorporating feedback from users, also includes updates on the status of positions as well as a candidate's application.
"Once you applied for a job [previously], it went into a black hole," said Christine Griffin, OPM deputy director. "That really has all been changed."
Instead of a home page crammed with links and pictures, the site's new landing page allows users to look for jobs by key word or location. After the results of the search are displayed, the user then can refine those results further according to salary or agency, without going to another page or starting another search. The search page also has easier features to refine searches by salary or agency.
"The [previous] home page had a lot of information, but one of the things we found is that a lot of people weren't using that information, because they found it overwhelming," said Kim Bauhs, OPM assistant director of recruitment and diversity.
The revamped site also has streamlined the feature for job seekers to keep documents on file to use for multiple applications and special Web pages for students, members of the Senior Executive Service, and applicants with disabilities, as well as links to a new site for military veterans seeking federal employment.
According to Griffin and Bauhs, the agency consulted with popular sites such as Facebook, and also conducted focus groups with students from The George Washington University. The six-month development of the site was included as part of the agency's $5 million annual contract with Monster Government Solutions, Bauhs said.
The Web site requires the active involvement of the hiring agencies to be effective, she said. Those agencies need to keep up-to-date the status of jobs and applications, and ensure that their hiring systems are in sync with the site's format. According to Bauhs, 73 percent of the agencies with representatives on the Chief Human Capital Officers Council are fully integrated with the site, and OPM plans to have total compliance within a year.
Bauhs said the new Web site was a critical first step in the process of hiring reform, but declined to say what the next steps would be, or when they would be rolled out.