Lankford, Braun Seek to Streamline Federal Employee Hiring Practices

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Senator James Lankford (R-OK), lead Republican on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Government Operations and Border Management, along with Senator Mike Braun (R-IN), lead Republican on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety, introduced the Inspired to Service Hiring Improvements Act focused on modernizing and streamlining federal hiring processes to provide more flexible career paths and address agency needs. The introduction of the bill follows recommendations of the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service and its final report entitled “Inspired to Serve.”


“Currently it takes nearly three months to hire new employees. The best and the brightest typically cannot wait three months to hear back on a job, and I have not heard of a single private company that tells a potential hire that they will get back to them in three months,” said Lankford. “With so many federal employees eligible for retirement, we need to ensure the federal workforce is equipped and prepared to hire and train employees in the days ahead. This is a fix that will not only ease the frustration of federal hiring but will save taxpayer dollars & ensure high quality service to Americans.” 


“The state of our federal hiring process can take several months – time that neither the employee nor the employer can afford to lose. This is not the way a well-run government entity should run, and this behavior certainly wouldn’t fly in the private sector”, Braun said. “I’m happy to cosponsor the Inspired to Serve Act, which will help streamline & improve this dysfunctional federal hiring process.”


In March, Lankford participated in a hearing for the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Government Operations and Border Management, entitled, “Chief Human Capitol Officers at 20: What is needed to empower CHCOs to Ensure HR practices support agencies’ mission success.” 




  • Flexibility for temporary and term appointments: When the need for the services of an employee is not permanent, the head of an agency may make a temporary appointment for a period not more than 1 year; or a term appointment for a period of 1-10 years. A temporary appointment may be extended in increments of up to 1 year, to a maximum of 3 total years of service; a term appointment of less than 6 years may be extended in increments up to a maximum of 6 total years of service.
  • Criteria for granting direct hire authority to agencies: Extends across government an authority granted to the VA which gives direct hire authority in the event of a “severe shortage of highly qualified candidates.” All agencies currently have direct hire authority in the event of a “severe shortage of candidates,” but this provision would reduce the threshold and make it easier for agencies to directly hire not just when there is a shortage of candidates, but a shortage of highly qualified candidates.
  • Expedited hiring authority for recent college graduates and post-secondary students: Raises the limits on these appointments from 15 percent to 25 percent of the total number of individuals hired by the agency head the previous year.