DHS launches 'largest customer experience hiring initiative’ with hundreds of technologist positions

sarayut Thaneerat/Getty Images

The agency’s recruitment initiative comes in response to President Joe Biden’s 2021 executive order seeking to streamline the “government-to-customer delivery process.”

The Department of Homeland Security announced on Thursday that it plans to hire hundreds of technologists to improve its public-facing services in what it calls “the largest customer experience hiring initiative of any federal agency.”

DHS said in a press release that the influx of new technologists “will support efforts at DHS agencies and offices to digitize services and to reduce administrative burdens by eliminating millions of hours of paperwork and improving access to benefits.”

"We are asking technologists from across the country to consider the call of public service to make a significant impact in the lives of travelers, disaster survivors, those accessing citizenship and immigration services and the many other customers who depend on DHS for critical services,” Eric Hysen, DHS’s chief information officer, said in a statement.

The hiring drive comes after DHS initiated an agency wide review of its customer experience and service delivery efforts in response to President Joe Biden’s December 2021 executive order aimed at streamlining the American public’s access to federal government services. The order, in part, sought to improve “the government-to-customer delivery process.”

DHS said that the recruitment drive will support ongoing efforts across the agency and its sub-agencies to strengthen customer experience outcomes under President Biden’s executive order. Some of the initiatives DHS cited include the Transportation Security Agency’s implementation of mobile driver’s licenses; the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s streamlined online disaster assistance application; and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ digitization of applications and services for immigrants. 

"I have made it one of our department's top priorities to modernize our delivery of services by harnessing technology and other innovations," DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement. "Together, we can improve the customer experience for the millions of individuals with whom we interact every day, while advancing equity, protecting individuals' rights and liberties, and increasing our openness, transparency and accountability." 

DHS’s webpage for hiring customer experience technologists notes that the agency “has well over one billion interactions with the public every year, including with some of our country’s most vulnerable populations (asylum seekers, refugees, disaster survivors) who cannot afford to deal with slow, outdated processes and systems when they try to access services.”