The Trump Administration has released guidance on implementing an executive order (EO) for agencies that emphasizes hiring based on skills rather than whether the potential hire has a college degree.

The EO, issued on June 26, gave OPM 120 days to change job classifications and qualifications with new standards which the White House said would transform the Federal hiring process “to replace one-size-fits-all, degree-based hiring with skills-based hiring.”

The guidance, from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), states that “heads of all executive departments and agencies [are] to ensure that within 180 days of the EO issuance, candidate selection decisions shall include assessments that do not rely exclusively on educational attainment to determine the extent to which candidates possess relevant knowledge, skills, competencies, and abilities.”

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OPM will partner with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to meet the requirements of the EO over the next 120 days. Next steps include:

  • Each agency identifying a lead point of contact who will coordinate with OPM to oversee their agency’s implementation of the EO requirements;
  • The points of contact will participate in upcoming virtual focus groups to share experiences, best practices, insights, and concerns regarding implementation with OPM and other agency leaders;
  • OPM and OMB will host listening sessions with outside experts on assessments and competency-based hiring; and
  • OPM and OMB will also host a joint industry and Federal Sector Day to highlight assessment products and best practices.
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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.