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Improving Job Applicant Services in Human Resources Offices

Thursday, November 2, 2000
Heads Of Executive Departments And Agencies
Janice R. Lachance Director
Improving Job Applicant Services in Human Resources Offices

The Federal government must make top-notch service to job applicants a priority if we are to be a player in today's highly competitive job market. Because of the competition for talent, we must make certain that our human resources offices are efficient and responsive to the needs of applicants for Federal jobs.

Our success in getting Federal employment information to job seekers through OPM's USAJOBS network is well documented. Recent data indicate that 92% of users are highly satisfied with their USAJOBS experience. Now that we have achieved maximum advertising of our jobs, reduced applicant paperwork, and established the option of applying for jobs electronically, we need to make sure we deliver great "customer service" to all the people who apply.

There are several steps we can take. First, provide applicants better feedback about the status of their applications. Your human resources offices should let them know when their applications are received, provide contacts in vacancy announcements they can speak with and ask questions of, and use email addresses in addition to phone numbers. Second, we need to make better use of technology to achieve quality customer service. OPM's USA Staffing system is one example offering a complete automated package for the staffing process, including feedback to applicants. USA Staffing keeps applicants posted about the status of their application. It also enhances your ability to quickly respond to inquiries from applicants and selecting officials by providing status reports. I recommend strongly that you implement this or a comparable system. Third, we have learned from NPR that the best way to improve service is to get continuous feedback from those experiencing our services. You should, therefore, put in place a method for regularly reviewing feedback from job applicants—both successful and unsuccessful—about what they thought of your process.

As always, OPM is here to help Federal human resources offices improve service to job applicants. I encourage you to call on OPM to assist you in any way to find and hire the right people for your jobs. For more information about USA Staffing or staffing advisory services, please contact my Associate Director for Employment Service, Ms. Carol Okin at (202) 606-6500 or

cc: Human Resources Directors