Recruiting For Your Roles

To attract highly qualified applicants who don't typically search USAJOBS, plan to advertise your announcement before posting using common private sector recruitment methods.

High applicant volume from USAJOBS often convinces agencies they don’t need to recruit for their positions. Recruitment is key to ensure a strong talent pipeline at the beginning of the process. If you give notice with a USAJOBS event (or otherwise ensure that information about the position is broadly/widely available, you may recruit for your posting with details from the JOA before applications are open.)

Use personal and professional referrals

Traditional networking is extremely effective for finding great candidates.

Tap your SMEs and hiring managers as recruiting partners

Engage hiring managers and SMEs in the recruitment process so they have a role in recruiting top talent. Work with them to pull listserves and social media groups where the posting should be announced, and test the content on the job announcement to ensure it resonates with the target audience.

Announce the position with sample text for people to post on social media

Providing sample language (tested with SMEs) and making it easier for people to spread the word will amplify the reach of your announcement. You can choose what langauge is best based on SME feedback on where their community finds job postings, specifically considering audiences of groups that may not be aware of government opportunities.

Post to free and popular targeted job boards

Consider finding popular job boards targeted to the audience you are trying to reach. See “Popular Technology Job Boards” for some ideas. If you have access to paid job boards, then additionally use those resources.

Mine resumes

The USAJOBS Agency Talent Portal allows you to search over a million resumes so you can encourage someone to apply (Applications must be submitted by the applicant).You should engage in focused recruiting so that good prospects from a variety of sources are encouraged to apply, and you can more effectively fill your positions, preferably with highly qualified applicants who are well-matched to your open position. To request an account, write to

Answer questions about your job posting via email or phone

Schedule conference calls to answer potential applicants’ questions, staffed by a panel of people involved with the hiring action. While these calls don’t help attract applicants, they improve the applicant experience by narrowing the pool to truly interested applicants who need specific answers to stay in contention.

To use this method, pre-schedule your informational call and include the time, phone number, and explanation of the types of questions you’ll cover in your job announcement. Alternatively, include a phone number or email address that will be staffed for the duration of your posting.

For example:

To address questions about the application process and requirements, {YOUR OFFICE} will offer several optional phone calls during the application period for this position. For details about the timing of those calls and how to participate, see[id].”