Federal Government Recruiting Utilizing Direct-Hire Authority



direct hire authority federal government

Understanding Direct-Hire Authority (DHA) can facilitate filling mission-critical positions within your agency. Direct-Hire Authority provides your federal government recruiting team an effective way to reach and hire for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Medical) and Cybersecurity/IT positions. The Direct-Hire Authority is provided to fill vacancies where there is a critical hiring need or a severe shortage of candidates exists.  

What is Direct-Hire Authority?

Direct-Hire Authority was established from an Executive Order allowing agencies to streamline the recruitment process and expedite the onboarding process for top talent. It sets parameters for an agency director to use the Direct-Hire Authority to fill those vacancies that are a top priority within STEM and Cyber/IT arenas. Many of the recent Direct-Hire Authorities are open until 2023. Agencies can look at opening additional authorities, as needed, to ensure they are operating at peak performance, as long as the request is designated mission-critical.

Why are the Direct-Hire Authorities specific to STEM and Cyber positions?  

Of no surprise, based on operational requirements and geopolitical issues, many agencies across the federal government are facing mission-critical obligations associated with jobs that support STEM and Cyber programs. These concerns have forced the federal government to address potential employment gap issues influenced by the current middle level and senior managers who are now entering retirement age. According to the Office of Personnel Management’s FedScope data, more than one-third of the federal government’s IT workforce is age 55 or older. Understanding and addressing this employment gap requires agencies to look at creative ways to recruit and retain young tech talent. The Direct-Hire Authority allows agencies to reach new candidates more effectively and hopefully shortens the recruitment process for that critical top talent.  

Who benefits from the Direct-Hire Authority?

The Direct-Hire Authority allows the head of an agency to determine whether there is a severe shortage of candidates or a critical hiring need for positions under certain conditions that justify a DHA. Once the determination has been established the agency can begin to exercise that authority. “This means that IT managers who are looking to hire in critical roles which cannot get people to fill those critical roles can get the head of the agency to authorize direct-hire authority for those roles,” noted Margaret Weichert, Deputy Director of Management at the Office of Management and Budget and current acting director of OPM.

OPM provides a detailed fact sheet as to how agencies can apply for Direct-Hire Authority to enhance their IT and STEM recruiting efforts.

For more details as to how agencies are utilizing Direct-Hire Authority, listen to our recent webinar where our panel discussed the influence of Direct-Hire Authority as a critical element to their talent recruitment.

The Acendre team continues to pioneer enhancements with recruiting. We are ready to share our ideas and how they work within Acendre’s integrated HR systems. Contact us today.



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