Hiring Guide for ManagersFt. Sam Houston Civilian PersonnelAdvisory Center (CPAC)January 9, 2019

The FSH CPAC Manager’s Guide to HiringJanuary 2019The Fort Sam Houston Civilian Personnel Advisory Center (CPAC) isunder the Civilian Human Resources Agency (CHRA). CHRA’smission is to provide comprehensive Human Resources (HR)services across entire lifecycle of civilian employment, fromrecruitment to separation, for all civilian personnel within theDepartment of the Army across multiple personnel systems.There are several “Stake-holders” involved in this hiring process: the hiring official, the HR Liaison (at the G1organization/command), Manpower/Budget G8, the CPAC HR Specialist, Applicants, and Selectee. Eachoffice is important and contributes to the overall hiring process as well as contributes in the Time to Hire (T2H)and fill a vacancy. The one key person is the hiring manager who must plan for the transition of the individual(incoming and outgoing), the work to be performed (PD), as well as the selection, onboarding and developmentof the employee.This Hiring Guide is intended to help our managers serviced by the Ft. Sam Houston Civilian PersonnelAdvisory Center (CPAC), understand the hiring process, supplement any command specific guidance, and theimportant role hiring officials have in every phase. The information below lays out the essential steps of thehiring process after the hiring official has identified a need to fill a vacant position, received approval to fill theposition, and has contacted the CPAC. This guide will help the manager maneuver through the various stagesof filling a civilian position including the “Pre-Request for Personnel Action (RPA)” process, the creation of theRPA, the announcing of the position, post-announcement phase, the selection phase, and finally – onboardingthe new civilian to the organization!Page 2

The FSH CPAC Manager’s Guide to HiringJanuary 2019Hiring a civilian has many steps (or phases) and is a team effort. The CPAC supports and advises the managerin every phase of the employment cycle. In the exhibit above, CPAC directly supports the tasks highlighted ingreen. Our goal is to hire a civilian in 80 days or less (this includes the CPAC and manager time). The hiringprocess is broken down into phases. The different phases are Pre-RPA time, Initiation of the RPA, VacancyAnnouncement, Referral list to the manager, Referral list returned to the CPAC, Commitment of the selectee(firm job offer); fingerprinting, security, background checks, drug testing, and physical security clearance asdescribed in this chart below:Pre-RPA ProcessThis is the beginning of the process for filling the vacancy. After conferring with your command HR liaisonand or resource management team for necessary approvals. The hiring manager or subject matter expert shouldalways review the civilian position description (PD) for their vacant position. Reviewing a positions duties toensure they are up to date and in line with the mission should occur whenever there is a vacancy, beforerecruiting for the position.Page 3

The FSH CPAC Manager’s Guide to HiringJanuary 2019Positions Descriptions (PD) are structured documents assigning work to a given position. They provide the major dutiesand responsibilities; tell what tasks are completed for each major duty or responsibility and describe the function of thework in relation to other positions in the organization. Positions descriptions should NOT be over inflated to reach aspecific pay plan, series or grade.The Classification Process at the CPAC:1) Our team members evaluate the positon not the person2) Our team members evaluate the total position in accordance with the OPM classificationstandards (i.e., technical/ administrative authority, scope & effect etc.)3) Our team evaluates each position on its own merit, we do not compare the work of similarpositions4) We consider the intent of the classification standard its basis and the differences betweengrades when making classification decisions.This classification stage is critical in filling your vacancy. It is the hiring manager’s responsibility to ensure thePD is correct. Here are the classification stages. If you have any questions about classification, beforesubmitting your Request for Personnel Action (RPA), please contact your servicing CPAC ClassificationSpecialist!After ensuring the positions properly classified you are ready to start the recruitment process.Page 4

The FSH CPAC Manager’s Guide to HiringJanuary 2019STAFFING & RECRUITMENTSTEP 1 – Submit Recruitment PackageRecruitment PackageThe hiring manager or HR liaison should create a request for recruitment via the Request for personnel actionentry tool (RPA entry tool) in AutoNOA. The organizations resource manager and or HR liaison must approvethe hiring action prior to sending the action to CPAC. (Non- fill actions are usually submitted for processingvia DCPDS or AUTONOA please contact your HR liaison or HR specialist if you have questions)Once your request arrives at the CPAC one of our classification specialist will review the action, the attachedposition description and position designation tool forms (PDT). If all documents and information are in orderour team will complete a position build and flow the request to our staffing specialist for action.STEP 2 – Priory ProgramsOnce your action has entered staffing the priory placement programs must be appropriately cleared. The AutomatedStopper and Referral System (ASARS) will refresh daily. Staffing specialist will be notified of any potential matchesvia e-mail and will take necessary action to appropriately clear or place mandatory candidates.Our Staffing team member will also open up the Special Consideration Tracker (SCT) and ensure refer any viablecandidates entitled to consideration prior to proceeding with recruitment. SCT candidates are not mandatoryplacements, however, they are entitled to receive priority consideration. Therefore viable candidates will be sent tomanagement for consideration and decision on placement prior to other qualified candidates.STEP 3 – Strategic Recruitment Discussion, Job Analysis and Assessment QuestionnaireStrategic ConversationThe strategic conversation is a key element in the planning process for an effective, efficient hiring process,which will result in hiring the right person for the right job in a timely manner. Once the hiring officialdetermines there is a need to fill a position, whether it is new or existing, it is incumbent upon the manager tocontact the HR Specialist to discuss the position itself, recruitment strategies, and any current or potential issueswhich could impact the hiring process.Job AnalysisThe rating criteria used to determine which applicants will be referred for selection are based on an in-depthanalysis of the job. The HR Specialist will work closely with the hiring official or the SME to determine themajor job duties and identify the duties that are most important. Analysis of the job entails a review of theposition description, classification standard, qualification standard, etc., to ensure the duties are fullyunderstood.Page 5

The FSH CPAC Manager’s Guide to HiringJanuary 2019Once the major duties have been identified through the job analysis, the HR Specialist will work with the hiringofficial or the SME to identify the competencies needed to successfully perform those major duties. Candidateswho do not have the outlined competencies and/or experience may not be qualified for the position. During thisprocess, it is necessary to determine if the requested competencies or experience are essential or desirable.Failure to do a complete job analysis can result in a less than satisfactory referral list. If a critical duty was notidentified in the job analysis, the competency list may not include related skills to this critical duty, andapplicants on the referral list may not have all of the qualifications necessary to perform the job.Assessment QuestionnaireAssessmentsDuring the Strategic Recruitment Discussion with management, the HR Specialist and hiring official willdiscuss the appropriate assessment questionnaire to use to identify the best qualified group for this particularvacancyTwo parts:1) Eligibility Assessment Tied to area of consideration (Who May Apply) HR confirms eligibility to be hired before referral2) Occupational Questionnaire Responses determine inclusion in “best qualified” group Assess job related skills, abilities and knowledgeHR Specialist reviews eligibility and minimum qualifications as indicated via the assessment questionnaires andsupporting documentation.Good, constructive questions give the hiring official and HR Specialist a better sense of the applicant’s ability tofulfill the vacancy requirements. The hiring official collaborates with the HR Specialist in developing questionsfor the vacancy announcement. All questions must be specific to the advertised position and should be in linewith OPM qualification standards.STEP 5 – Vacancy AnnouncementThe hiring official, with advice from the HR Specialist, will determine the Area of Consideration (AOC) for theVacancy Announcement. The hiring official can choose to advertise using Merit Promotion procedures,Delegated Examining (DE) Unit procedures or both, please note, the HR Specialist must obtain approval toutilize DE procedures.The Merit Promotion Plan is in accordance with statutory and regulatory guidance from the Office of PersonnelManagement (OPM), Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Army (DA). Merit PromotionPage 6

The FSH CPAC Manager’s Guide to HiringJanuary 2019procedures set forth procedures and requirements which assure internal qualified candidates (often referred asstatus applicants) are considered for assignment to positions in the competitive service. However, the DEauthority is an authority OPM grants to agencies to fill competitive civil service jobs with applicants external tothe Federal workforce, Federal employees who do not have competitive service status, and Federal employeeswith competitive service status. The DE announcement is open to all U.S. Citizens.Appointments made by agencies through the DE authority are subject to civil service laws and regulations. Thisis to ensure fair and open competition, recruitment from all sectors of society, and selection on the basis of theapplicants’ competencies or experience (5 U.S.C. § 2301).The vacancy announcements created by the Fort Sam Houston CPAC, may be open up to 10 days. The allannouncements are advertised via the USAJOBS website the prior steps are completed the staffer will send out a Review of the Vacancy Announcement throughthe USA Staffing-Upgrade system. The manager will have 2 days to review the Vacancy Announcement. Themanager should review, edit, correct and make inputs to the Vacancy Announcement prior to the sending itback to the staffer.Please Note: That if the manager does not return the Review within 2 days, the staffer will automaticallyrelease the Vacancy Announcement.STEP 6 – Qualification Determination and Referral ListQualification DeterminationThe HR Specialist uses the OPM Operating Manual: Qualification Standards for General Schedule Positionsand the Job Grading Standards for Trades, Craft and Labor Positions as guides to determine the basicqualifications of each applicant.Qualification standards outline the necessary basic eligibility requirements for occupations and for each grade inthe occupation. They specify the minimum quality level and amount of experience required and often alloweducation as a substitute for experience. Qualification requirements for basic eligibility may include, but are notlimited to any or a combination of the following:General and/or specialized work experienceHigh school educationVocational/technical trainingCollege or university educationSpecific major fields or courses of studySpecific registrations, licensure, or certificationsOther selective placement factorsUsed by HR Specialists to evaluate candidates' qualifications for positions are based on the OPM Standards.The minimum qualification standards are used to determine those persons who are eligible for considerationbecause they meet the “basic” requirements for the occupation.Page 7

The FSH CPAC Manager’s Guide to HiringJanuary 2019In addition to the basic qualifications, the HR Specialist incorporates the assessments, identified by the hiringofficial during the strategic recruitment discussion, to determine best qualified candidates for referral.For delegated examining (DE) candidates, the HR Specialist in the Delegated Examining Unit (DEU) Cell takesveteran’s preference into consideration in the rating and referral process. DEU lists are prepared usingCategory Ranking.Using Category Ranking, qualified candidates will be placed into one of three (3) broad quality groups - BestQualified (BQ); Highly Qualified (HQ) and Qualified (Q).A hiring official may select any candidate from the top category. However, to preserve veterans' preferencerights, hiring officials may not select a non-veteran while veteran's preference eligibles are still available in thesame quality category.When there are fewer than three (3) candidates in the highest quality group, that group may be merged with thenext lower quality category. When merging quality categories, veterans’ preference eligibles from the nextlower category are placed above the non-preference eligibles in the newly merged quality category. If, whenfilling multiple vacancies, there are insufficient numbers of candidates in the Best Qualified category,candidates from the Highly Qualified category may also be referred. However, officials may not select acandidate from the HQ category if BQ candidates are still available for selection.Within a category, preference eligible veterans will be listed above all non-preference eligibles. There is nohierarchy amongst the preference eligible veteran categories. CPS and CP vets are given additionalconsideration in that they are always placed in the highest category; other preference eligibles are placed at thetop of the appropriate category based on their final score.Once the Vacancy Announcement is closed. The staffer will wait two additional days prior to pulling theReferral Certificate so to capture all mailed and faxed applications. Our goal is to issue referrals not later than14 days from the date of the announcement closing.Expedited Referral List (ERL)In an effort to improve time to hire, your servicing CPAC, Human Resource (HR) Specialist is authorized toissue expedited referral lists (ERL’s). You will document your decision to receive an ERL within theAutomated Nature of Action (AutoNOA) Recruit Fill tool or on the Strategic Recruitment Discussion (SRD)form. When requested, you will receive a list of all applicants who self-certify that they meet minimumqualifications (a cut-off score of 70 and above), PRIOR to the HR Specialist verifying qualifications andeligibility for appointments.Your servicing HR Specialist will be available throughout the recruitment process to provide guidance andinstruction on each stage of the ERL process. An ERL is requested via the AutoNOA recruit/fill tool or duringthe SRD, however you will have up until the announcement close date to request an ERL. Once theannouncement has closed an ERL may no longer be requested. You have up until the ERL stored list issuance toopt out of receiving an ERL. After the announcement has closed the HR Specialist will apply a cutoff score ofPage 8

The FSH CPAC Manager’s Guide to HiringJanuary 201970 and issue the ERL to you. All applicants that self-certify that they meet the specialized experience,conditions of employment, and any other applicable screen out criteria will be on the ERL. The SME and/orpanel will have 14 days from the issuance of the ERL to determine which applicants are in the best qualifiedcategory. You, as the hiring manager, may NOT participate in this process.Referral ListReferral list came in many forms. Specifically,Merit Promotion (MP): This list is used for the consideration of current and former governmentemployees. Qualified applicants are referred to you in alphabetical order and in the category under which theywere referred (promotion, transfer, reinstatement, VEOA, etc.).Delegated examining (DE): The DE list is used when jobs are announced to the public at large.Category rating procedures are used so applicants are placed in three pre-defined quality categories (BQ, HQ,and Q). Veteran preference must be used for categorical rating methods. The referral list instructions willaddress specific selection criteria.Expedited Referral List (ERL): (May only be used for Merit recruitments) this list is used for theconsideration of current and former government employees. Qualified applicants are referred to you inalphabetical order and in the category under which they were referred (promotion, transfer, reinstatement,VEOA, etc.).All referral lists (Merit Promotion, DEU, etc.) will be issued with an expiration date of 15 days from the dateof issue. If the referral list is not returned within the 15 days, the hiring official may submit a writtenrequest, outlining the reason for the delay and the requested extension date, to the HR Specialist. If thereferral list is not returned during the extension period, the hiring official must submit a written request foran additional extension. The written request must include the reason for the delay and the requestedextension date. Extensions to referral lists (individually or in combination) should not exceed 90 days fromthe original date of issue. Failure to return a selection within 90 days may result in the cancelation of yourrecruitment action.STEP 7 – SelectionReviewing ResumesThe basic flow and readability of an applicant’s resume represents their ability to communicate in writing andorganize their thoughts. How duties and experience are described may give some indication of the applicant’sreasoning process, which is a fair and necessary attribute to evaluate in the selection of a candidate.1. The first and most important factor for the hiring official to consider is the applicant’s possession of criticalcompetencies and specific experience related to the advertised position. Notes should be made of otherunique qualifications that may enhance job performance and may set the applicant apart from the others.Page 9

The FSH CPAC Manager’s Guide to HiringJanuary 20192. Next, education, training, professional licenses, and certificate information should be reviewed. Educationalrequirements should be treated as a skill and noted to determine if the applicant’s educational backgroundfurther supports or enhances the position requirements.Interviewing Applicants (Attch 3 & 4)Who Conducts the Interview?The hiring official should conduct the interview. However, the hiring official may designate another person or apanel with knowledge of the position to be filled to conduct the interview. It is recommended that youincorporate diverse panel members when using interview panels and that all panel members are at the samegrade level (or above) as the position that the interview is being conducted for.Importance of the InterviewInterviews are strongly encouraged because this is an opportunity to gather additional information from theapplicant. The resume is only a brief description of the individual’s background. An interview may providemore information that can be used during the selection process. It can be especially useful in evaluating suchskills as oral communication and interpersonal skills that are not otherwise easily measured in writing. Theinterview also provides an opportunity for a face-to-face information exchange.Interviewing TechniquesInterview questions should always elicit job-related information relative to the competencies for the position forwhich the candidate is applying. Questions should be prepared in advance to ensure that all candidates aretreated in the same manner. Generally, the same questions should be asked of each candidate. However, followup questions may be used to obtain additional or clarifying information in order to assess an individual’sspecific qualifications for the position.All applicants should be allotted the same amount of time for the interview, with time allowed for the applicantto ask questions of the interviewer(s).In all cases, it is a good idea to record notes to eliminate the need to recall key points from memory. It is alsohelpful to note the date, time, place, and length of the interview. A copy of the interview questions and the nameof individual(s) who conducted the interview should be on file. This information is very critical in the event thatan Equal Employment Opportunity complaint is filed and such information is requested.It is permissible to ask all candidates to bring writing samples, such as reports, publications, or technical articlesto the interview.Checking References (Attch 5)After reviewing the resume and conducting an interview, the interviewer should have a clear indication of thetop applicants for further selection consideration. The next step is to check references, which preferably shouldPage 10

The FSH CPAC Manager’s Guide to HiringJanuary 2019be verified using prior supervisors over personal references since these individuals have knowledge of thecandidate’s work performance. The current supervisor should only be contacted if the candidate has givenpermission, which should be indicated on the resume. It is also advisable to obtain more than one reference foreach candidate.Performance and other pertinent aspects of the candidate’s employment should be verified. The questionsshould focus on the candidate’s overall qualifications for the position and how the reference assessed thecandidate’s fitness for the job. Be sure to ask follow-up questions or ask for additional information aboutsomething that is not clear. It is advisable to verify the candidate’s current employment including position(s)held and dates employed. The hiring official may also ask the reference about the following (best practice: keepdocumentation of these questions and notes for future reference):.Applicant’s work relationshipsWork attitudeQuality of work productApplicant’s strengths and weaknessesIf the applicant should be recommend for the positionIf the applicant would be rehiredMaking a SelectionWhen you are ready to make a selection, you will do so by accessing the referral list that was sent to you viaemail. You will code all applicants as appropriate (i.e., selectee, first alternate, declined interview, etc.), andreturn the list to the HR Specialist. You are strongly encouraged to select one to three alternate(s) as well asyour initial selectee. In the event that your first choice declines the offer, the HR Specialist will be able toextend an offer to the designated first alternate without having to obtain an additional selection from you. Managersmust always annotate a justification as to why the selectee and the alternates have been selected. This will save criticaltime in the process.STEP 8 – Job OfferAfter the HR Specialist receives the selection notification, the HR Specialist will notify the selectee of theirselection, grade, and salary and make a Tentative Job Offer (at this stage, this is an inquiry only and not a joboffer we advise candidate not to take any irrevocable action).HR Specialist will negotiate all applicable requirements (salary if applicable, security, physical, drug test etc.)and notify the selectee that an official offer cannot be made until they have a completed the necessaryrequirements/paperwork has been completed and reviewed. The selectee is given 3 days to complete thepaperwork and, if applicable, submit the fingerprint card that is required. When all of the necessary steps havebeen completed, the HR Specialist will make an official offer to the selectee and set a firm EOD date. Themajority of the time, EOD dates are set in accordance with the start of a pay period. NOTE: There arecircumstances that may be approved where an EOD date may be set outside the beginning of a pay period.Note: Official job offers can only be made after all necessary verifications have been completed.Page 11

The FSH CPAC Manager’s Guide to HiringJanuary 2019STEP 9 - Security Verification & Pre-Employment ScreeningOnce the Tentative Job Offer has been accepted by the selectee, the staffer will verify that the selectee has theappropriate Security Clearance. The staffer will contact the Security Manager for the organization and requestsecurity verification.As stated previously, official job offers can only be made after all necessary verification have been completed.The staffer may be required to coordinate a physical/drug test depending on the position. These requirementsare typically found on the Position Description.Expedited Vetting:In an effort to streamline the hiring process and reduce time to hire the Army has recently approved theexpedited vetting process which may allow some employees to EOD more quickly. HR Specialist will completea pre-screening review of OF 306 and resume (includes additional docs ((e.g. DD 214, Transcripts, etc.,))provided at time of application); verify no Federal debarment or “Please Call alerts” exist.Initial Interim Suitability/Fitness determination will be made based on absence of derogatory information. Ifderogatory exist but, can be mitigated after review of OF 306 a candidate will remain eligible for expeditedvetting. Managers have the option (if in line with command policy) of having the candidate sign a memorandumof understanding, granting an interim clearance and allow a perspective employee to onboard. New employeeswill be required to complete the security process after they are active on the roles.The expedited vetting process is NOT an option in the following situations: Current Federal employees when reciprocity exists Special populations subject to additional background screening/ checks (CYS, Regular Contact withChildren, SHARP, PRP, etc.) If position has other Conditions of Employment that must be met prior to EOD (such as pre-employmentphysical, drug testing, credentialing, etc.) Reinstatement eligible with less than 2 year break in service Positions that are non-critical sensitive (Secret Security Clearance) Positions that are critical-sensitive or special-sensitive position (TS) Former military or contractor personnelStep 10 - Coordination of Release DateOnce all pre-employment requirements are completed by the selectee then a Coordination of Release datebetween the losing agency and the gaining agency. If the selectee is outside the federal government then aCoordination of Release will be coordinated with the private sector employer via the selectee.STEP 11 - Enter on Duty (EOD)Start dates are typically established at the beginning of the pay periods, however, unless stipulated bycommand policy employees may EOD at any time.Page 12

The FSH CPAC Manager’s Guide to HiringJanuary 2019The new employee will in-process at the CPAC on their first day of work. Employees are expected to havecompleted ALL required in-processing paperwork no later than the established timeframe. Employees musthave the appropriate forms of identification in order to properly in-process or the new employee may be senthome.U.S. law requires companies to employ only individuals who may legally work in the United States. In mostcases, the selectee must be a U.S. Citizen. During in-processing, we utilize a program called E-Verify todetermine the eligibility of the employee to work in the United States. Proper identification is needed for thisverification. If an employee fails to have all of the required identification, and we are unable to verify theirlegal status, they will not be permitted to start work.Page 13

The FSH CPAC Manager’s Guide to HiringJanuary 2019Attch 1: Strategic Conversation with Hiring Officials: What to expect as topics for discussionOrganization’s Mission and Goals Have there been, or will there be any changes to the organization’s mission or goals which could impactrecruitment (new skill sets needed?) What are the critical challenges facing the organization in the short-term and long-term? Strategic goals: [changes/additions and their expected impact on human resources] Organizational structure: [anticipated reorganizations, establishment of new positions, etc.]Position Description Is the position description submitted correctly? Does it need pen/ink changes? If significant changes are required, contact HR Specialist/Classification team for guidancePosition and Role What are the major responsibilities, duties, and tasks that you will need this person to perform? Approximately what portion of the person’s time would be spent on each of these key duties? How does this position contribute to the mission of the organization?Skills, Competencies and Experience What Knowledges, Skills and Abilities are needed to be successful in the position? What kind of professional experience is required and preferred for the position? What degrees/certifications/clearances are required and preferred?A determination will be made as to whether an already existing assessment questionnaire can be used or if acustomized assessment questionnaire will be needed, based on the hiring officials needs.Other Requirements Are there specific requirements that candidates should know to evaluate this job, including: travelrequirements, overtime, physical requirements and so forth?Recruitment Strategies Is the position difficult to recruit? If so, determine possible recruitment strategies. Was the hiring official satisfied with prior recruitment efforts? If not, why? Were there sufficient candidates in prior recruitment efforts? If not, why? Where would you find the best

(incoming and outgoing), the work to be performed (PD), as well as the selection, onboarding and development of the employee. This Hiring Guide is intended to help our managers serviced by the Ft. Sam Houston Civilian Personnel Advisory Center (CPAC), understand the hiring p