Since 800,000 federal employees are probably now receiving their furlough notice instructions today, this will include human resources specialists and hiring managers. It’s time to think about how the shutdown will affect federal hiring and federal job search for thousands of jobseekers. Remembering the furloughs of 1995 and 1996, here’s what happened with federal job hiring due to the furlough and the lack of a government budget. Here’s what’s already happening with today’s hiring due to a potential furlough and the Continuing Resolution that continues today.
CURRENT APPLICATIONS SUBMITTED FOR USAJOBS ANNOUNCEMENTS ARE NOW AND WILL BE FURTHER STALLED: For thousands of active federal job seekers who currently have applications submitted on USA.GOV, their applications will be further stalled for weeks and months if the human resources specialists are furloughed. The federal hiring process is long and complex, even without a furlough. The furlough will be very difficult for human resources specialists and managers who are trying to hire for new positions.
CURRENT POSITIONS THAT ARE POSTED ON USAJOBS WILL BE CANCELED: Many current vacancy announcements will be cancelled, due to the time of the deadline of the position closing, the lack of time to review the applications and manage the hiring process. If the HR Specialists are furloughed, they cannot handle the new applications efficiently or at all. The positions will eventually be re-posted, but it will be a couple of months from now, in order to catch up with hiring activities that are in progress at the time of the furlough. Many job seekers who have applications in process will check their application status and find that the position is cancelled. This is happening now.
CURRENT FEDERAL JOB SEEKERS ARE WAITING FOR WHAT’S NEXT: Thousands of current federal job seekers are waiting for responses to their active applications. The HR specialists have already notified jobseekers that they are Best Qualified or Referred to a Supervisor, but that’s it. Activities have stalled due to lack of budget. The positions may be cancelled. This is very discouraging for job seekers who are waiting for responses and who need a job to pay for their mortgages and their bills.
FEW JOBS POSTED ON USA.GOV: Currently the number of active positions posted on www.usa.gov is very light. Many agencies have frozen all job postings or hiring, due to the lack of budget and uncertainty of the budget for next year for hiring new employees. Today there are 1117 jobs available in Washington, DC open to All US Citizens. There are 2238 positions open to Status job seekers. The “Status” applicants are current federal employees, veterans and persons who can take advantage of special hiring programs (some spouses, individuals with disabilities). These positions could get cancelled if there is a furlough.
SLOW RECOVERY OF FEDERAL HIRING: When the FY14 Budget is finally passed the vacancy announcements will be posted, and the hiring will go back to normal. But the process will be slower, due to the time needed to catch up on the thousands of jobs that the government typically hires. With Federal Hiring Reform of 2012, the HR specialists were really speeding up with the hiring process. But now if furlough happens, they will be backed up with applications, announcements and processes.
LESS INDIVIDUALS HIRED IN 2014: The government hired approximately 309,000 new positions in 2009, the latest full-year statistic according to Office of Personnel Management. So, for 2013, if the government was on track to hire about 300,000, they may have trouble doing this with the available funds until the end of the Fiscal Year, Sept. 2013.
LOSS OF JOB SEARCH MORALE: With the job market being uncertain already, unemployment at just under 9%, Americans need permanent, temporary or term government jobs to return to normalcy in America. The federal hiring process is already complex, long, especially with possible security clearances. This slow budget process, threat of furlough is dramatically affecting the morale of job seekers who aren't seeing timely responses to their applications.
BIG PROBLEMS FOR FEDERAL EMPLOYEES AFFECTED BY BRAC: Thousands of federal employees are seeking new positions due to their agency BRAC programs. The furlough will cause major job search and relocation problems for federal employees and managers who are continuing to manage changing organizational missions, relocate, and maintain a daily working morale through difficult organization and program mergers and relocations. The employees affected by BRAC may be furloughed, and this will affect their agency relocation plans, as well as job search efforts.
A GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN AND FURLOUGH WILL HAVE A NEGATIVE EFFECTIVE ON THE JOB RECOVERY IN AMERICA. A government shutdown and furloughs of government workers, which includes hiring managers and human resources specialists, will hurt the job market and the unemployment rates of America. This will NOT be a positive step toward recovery and jobs for Americans. The government needs to stay in business and get back to business with a working budget today!