Here’s where I break down my thoughts on what has and has not changed with federal hiring and what this might mean for your job search. In short, COVID has increased the need to expand the federal workforce especially in areas such as public health and medicine! Also, special shout-out to the incredible and extremely dedicated folks working in public health, especially those in the federal workforce, who are battling the pandemic every-single-day. Thank you!
· Virtual career fairs: COVID might have put a damper on face-to-face interactions with federal job recruiters and hiring officials at hiring fairs, but many federal agencies have already adapted to virtual interactions. Keep an eye out for virtual federal career fairs and you can do this by visiting agency websites to see if they’re offering any. A lot of agencies have already made the change to virtual career events where you can apply and sometimes even get an interview on the spot. This is worth a try! Keep in mind, virtual careers fair likely means the use and introduction of new technologies and we know that new technologies (while great) often take time to learn how to properly use. That said, try to be patient and flexible as you go through this process!
· Experience/Skills: If you have special skills or experience in public health, medicine, caregiving, or emergency response (with or without a college degree) take a look at USAJobs.gov and focus your search on these and similar career fields. There’s a huge demand right now for folks who have the know-how in these areas! Now and in the coming years, I suspect that Congress and federal agencies will focus on expanding funding and resources for these areas and we’re already starting to see how this is increasing the demand for federal workers in these fields.
· Hiring timelines: here’s one area where I think job seekers might feel more of an impact. Timelines for federal hiring (which are not awesome to begin with) are likely experiencing a slow-down for a host of reasons: transitioning to new technologies for hiring and recruiting takes time, some federal employees are finding COVID a good time to retire which also stresses the HR professionals/systems, and there’s also an influx and demand for additional federal employees in critical fields. All of this taxes the HR system. My suggestion here is to be patient, keep applying, and factor in longer wait-times as you search for federal jobs.
Questions, comments, and thoughts? I’d love to hear from you. Reach out to me at email@example.com.