Update: The Federal Hiring Freeze

Laura Alexander – May 11th, 2017

The Partnership for Public Service has created an extremely helpful resource for applicants to federal government jobs. The federal hiring freeze was lifted on April 12, but at that time the Office of Management and Budget also directed agencies to submit plans for reducing the size of the federal workforce, so there's a lot to sort through. Remember, for more information on the hiring freeze itself and tips for your federal job search, you can always go back to our previous blog post on the topic.

From the Partnership, these are the main takeaways and tips:

1. The hiring freeze has thawed. On April 12, the Office of Management and Budget issued guidance to lift the government-wide federal hiring freeze. However, agencies were simultaneously directed to submit long-term restructuring plans designed to reduce the size of the federal workforce, which may lead to additional cuts or agency-specific freezes. Additionally, agencies can hire for previously-frozen Pathways Recent Graduate positions once again.

2. Some agencies are still frozen. Although there’s no longer a government-wide hiring freeze, some agencies are imposing their own moratoriums. As they establish long-term workforce reshaping plans, agencies are free to restructure within the guidelines set by the administration. The State Department, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Transportation Security Administration have announced that hiring freezes will remain in place at their agencies.

3. Learn who's staffing up. For job seekers eager to find their role in the federal workforce, the Department of Homeland Security is conducting a hiring surge related to increasing border security and other immigration related functions. In addition, every government agency has cybersecurity needs that must be met.

4. Prepare upcoming applications now. Summer is the time to get ahead on all federal job applications, from internships to full-time positions. Build a profile and federal resume on USA Jobs, become familiar with searching for open positions and spend some time researching agencies. USA Jobs continues to undergo upgrades, so check out the new site!

5. Follow along online. While the summer months are meant to be spent outdoors soaking up the sun, spend time online following and getting familiar with federal agencies. Most agencies maintain an active presence on social media and post information that is valuable for job seekers. Check out their student pages to make note of key upcoming deadlines and follow Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts to learn more about the work they do.

The Partnership for Public Service has also published a handy guide for interpreting the Office of Management and Budget's April 12 directives. You can find it here.