Back to Top

Governmentwide Recruitment Guidance to Develop a Pipeline for National Service Participants to the Federal Workforce

Friday, November 15, 2013
Heads Of Executive Departments And Agencies
Katherine Archuleta Director
Governmentwide Recruitment Guidance to Develop a Pipeline for National Service Participants to the Federal Workforce

On July 15, 2013, President Obama signed a Presidential Memorandum entitled “Expanding National Service Through Partnerships to Advance Government Priorities.” The Memorandum directed the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to develop and issue guidance regarding strategies to help agencies recruit individuals who have participated in national service programs into the Federal workforce. This memorandum sets forth OPM’s initial guidance on this important issue.  For your reference, the Presidential Memorandum is available at

As we face challenges ahead, the need to bring exceptional talent into public service has never been greater.  Participants in our national service programs have transferable skills, work experience in areas aligned with agency missions (e.g., emergency and disaster services, education, environmental stewardship, economic opportunity, healthy futures), and a commitment to continue serving the public through the career civilian service.  They are a source of talent that can enhance an agency’s workforce capacity to achieve its mission and should be included as part of your overall recruitment strategy. 

Your agency may use the recruiting strategies listed below to support the goals of the Presidential Memorandum to build and leverage the national service talent pipeline.  The list is not finite, and agencies should add to it with their own approaches and best practices.

• Analyze the future demands of your agency’s workforce and identify appropriate occupations, competency requirements, and hiring strategies that align with national service experiences.

• Establish and develop a relationship with the Corporation for National Community Service (CNCS) and the Peace Corps to better understand the value of national service experience to the Federal workforce.

• Work with CNCS to build lists of stakeholders in the national service field with whom you can conduct outreach relating to open positions.  With CNCS, research the labor market to identify national service talent sources with needed skill sets and then craft appealing public service recruitment messaging accordingly. For example, use agency websites and local resources to source this talent pool where they live and work.

• Use the “Spotlight” feature on to attract national service participants in applying for opportunities at your agency as part of your overall recruiting efforts.  Posting job opportunity announcements on USAJOBS (even for excepted service positions for which such posting is not required) ensures the broadest possible access to potential applicants from all segments of society.

• Publicize job postings throughout the national service field by working with nonprofit organizations that serve as host organizations for national service members
• Partner with CNCS and OPM to educate agency hiring managers, human resources professionals, and other key stakeholders on the mission of CNCS to help raise awareness of the source of talent developed by CNCS
• Include standardized language in your job opportunity announcements to be developed by OPM, which emphasizes the value of national service experience to your agency
• Expand your social media outreach to include national service stakeholders and participants to reach broader, targeted audiences and to raise awareness of your agency’s mission and career opportunities
• Seek out collaborative recruiting relationships with colleges and universities, technical and trade schools, professional associations, and student organizations to improve outreach effectiveness and to broaden access to employment opportunities for students and recent graduates through the Pathways Programs (see

• Partner with OPM to educate national service participants on how to find and apply for Federal jobs, how to locate information on the Federal hiring process, the resume writing process, and career opportunities in the Federal Government.  You may post OPM-developed outreach materials and videos on your website (see and 

Agencies may use existing hiring authorities to appoint national service participants to Federal positions.  These authorities include non-competitive eligibility for returning Peace Corps and Volunteers In Service To America (VISTA) volunteers.  See for a complete list of existing hiring authorities.

To enhance your agency’s understanding of how national service participants can add value to your workforce, OPM will be hosting a symposium in December to introduce you to all the various national service programs and the types of experience gained through those programs.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact Ms. Kimberly A. Holden, Deputy Associate Director, Recruitment and Hiring, at 202-606-8097 or

cc:    Human Resources Directors