Order seeks to place less emphasis on applicants with college degrees.awsDONOTREMOVE
President Donald Trump signed a new executive order on Friday to overhaul the requirements required by federal agencies while evaluating potential job candidates. The order seeks to place graduates and non-graduates on a more level playing field.
The new order mandates that agencies increase their usage of interviews and skill assessments to judge the qualifications of an applicant, instead of merely filtering them based on their educational achievements. While degree requirements won’t be done away with completely since certain positions like those in legal, medical, and technical fields require a certain amount of training and advanced degrees, this new order will enlarge the current pool of federal employee candidates and create an equitable hiring process, stated the Trump administration.
Ivanka Trump stated that this order would modernize the hiring and recruitment process for positions in the administration and place more emphasis on knowledge and skills instead of experience and college degrees. The OPM’s acting director Michael Rigas stated that his agency had prepared assessments for numerous federal positions and that the executive order would allow these assessments to be used for more positions. Online skill assessments would help applicants demonstrate their knowledge in areas relevant to the position they’re applying for, he said. Subject matter expert reviews would take the place of self-certifications as well, he added.
Rigas explained that non-graduate applicants often faced tremendous disadvantages while applying for federal jobs. While some jobs do require advanced degrees, many of them have no such need. He stated that the model of preferring college graduates was outdated in today’s global environment. In certain cases, candidates with degrees that were not relevant at all to the job were preferred over non-graduates – something the new order seeks to rectify. The new hiring system will be a merit-based model, he said.
The President termed the order to be a bold move, which would replace the degree-based hiring system in place in the administration. He appreciated the equality that this new order would bring to the table.
This executive order had been previously reviewed by the White House administration in its FY 2021 budget proposal.
An anonymous senior administration official stated that OPM would be working alongside federal agencies over the next few months to facilitate the proper implementation of the order. However, most of the heavy lifting will have to be done by the individual agencies themselves. Apart from certain exceptions, current federal statute laws prohibit the OPM and government agencies from setting any minimum educational qualification for federal positions. Only niche technical, scientific, and specific positions require degrees in a subject.
White House senior adviser and Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump stated that this move was among the administration’s plan to improve the conditions for federal employees. Congress had earlier approved paid family time-off for employees at the federal level.
She added that this order allowed the government to lead by example on how to recruit & retain the nation’s brightest minds.