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OPM Debuts Cyber Careers Site

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Just about a week before President-elect Donald Trump plans to institute a hiring freeze for federal employees, the Office of Personnel Management is stepping up its cyber recruiting.

OPM this week debuted its new CyberCareers.gov site, which lists cyber-themed job openings—such as information technology security analyst for the U.S. Postal Service's Office of the Inspector General—as well as advice for hiring managers on how to recruit.

“Get the word out, far and wide," the site advises hiring managers seeking cyber talent. "When you want to advertise job openings or nurture pipelines into your organization, your best bet is ... advertising to job seekers with diverse thoughts, skills, backgrounds, perspectives, abilities and experiences.”

The site fits into a broader Federal Cybersecurity Workforce Strategy announced in July of last year; other parts of that plan include creating a "cybersecurity cadre" in the Presidential Management Fellows program.

OPM's Acting Director Beth Cobert has also discussed ways the federal government's hiring hub can learn from the Pentagon—for instance, by creating formal classifications for titles such as "cyberwarriors" or "cyber defenders" that describe specific skills.

“When someone says they are a Navy Seal or Army Ranger, we immediately know that means they have special advanced skills; that they are at the top of their game,” Cobert said in prepared remarks at the DIA Intelligence Information Systems Conference in August. “So when someone says they are a cyber defender, cyberwarrior, or cyber investigator, their level of expertise will be instantly understood and recognized.”

OPM is also trying to adjust hiring policies to help cyber talent flow seamlessly in and out of government; one such strategy is an “excepted hire” program called the Cyber Civilian Hire Service, which would allow some government professionals to bypass the competitive process when they move to other government jobs.

“The days when someone chose between a lifelong career in government or the private sector are by and large gone,” Cobert said in August. “So are the days when someone went to work for one company or agency and stayed there for decades, particularly among the next generation of workers."

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