The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is authorizing an interim extension to the government wide direct hire authorities (DHA) for Scientific, Technical, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) positions, Acquisitions, as well as Cybersecurity and related positions where they identified severe shortages of candidates and/or critical hiring needs.
OPM is amending the authority by adding two occupational series, data science (GS-1560) and operations research (GS-1515) to support agency efforts to expand artificial intelligence capabilities in the Federal government.
This authority expires September 29, 2024 or until OPM terminates this authority, whichever occurs first.
Direct Hire Authority
Direct hire authority is granted to agencies with specific hiring needs in one or several job series. The Office of Personnel Management allows agencies with this Delegated Examining Authority — often referred as Direct Hire Authority — to advertise job openings, rate applicants, establish their own eligibility lists and registers, conduct interviews and hire.
This offers a fast track for agencies when they find a qualified applicant and need to expedite the process to bring them on board as soon as possible. Direct hire agencies may forward their critical need occupations lists to state agencies to find suitable applicants.
The following list of direct hire positions will help you explore vacancies. Click on the occupation title to review the occupation qualifications and you will find a direct link to all vacancies in that occupation that are listed on USAJOBS. We also provide interviews with active federal employees on many occupations that you can read to discover how they feel about their job.
Scientific, Technical, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM)
Cybersecurity and Related
Appointments Under Direct Hire Authorities
Individuals may be appointed into the occupations identified above at the specified grade levels (or equivalent) nationwide. They may be appointed to competitive service career, career-conditional, term, or temporary positions, as appropriate.
Hiring agencies must identify and use proper assessment tools for the positions being filled with these direct hire authorities to determine who is qualified for the covered positions. Applicants must be assessed in the order in which the applications were received and select any qualified applicant in an order that approximates order of receipt.
When I was recruiting and had direct hire authority, we were able to pick up several employees the same day they applied and upon completion of their interview. These appointments are often made at the end of the fiscal year. If agencies don’t fill a position before September 30, they may lose the position the following year.
Explore your options, apply for as many vacancies as you can find to improve your chances. Direct hire authority can work to your favor in many instances.