FDA to pilot new hiring process in spring 2018: 4 things to know

The FDA plans to launch phase one of a pilot program to streamline its hiring process in spring 2018, Federal News Radio reports.

Here are four things to know about the pilot.

1. The agency's No. 1 priority is decreasing the amount of time it takes to fill a vacancy, which takes between 150 to 550 days for many positions. A minority of FDA hires in fiscal year 2016 — 34 percent — reported they were satisfied with the hiring experience, according to a report the FDA released in November.

2. For the redesigned hiring process, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, requested agency officials address five common pain points reported by hiring managers and applicants: timeliness, accuracy, quality, customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction.

3. Under the pilot program, human resources officials at the FDA will determine concrete deadlines and work to address hold-ups early on in the process. To support the pilot, the agency plans to deploy an IT dashboard so that hiring managers are able to track where recruits are in the hiring process.

4. The pilot will first roll out at the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research and its Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, which collectively have 140 vacant positions.

"Getting people to come here and work for FDA isn't the problem," Melanie Keller, acting associate commissioner for scientific and clinical recruitment at the FDA, told Federal News Radio. "Once they are interested, it's the hiring process that's so difficult to get them here. Many candidates give up halfway through."

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