Islamabad Politics Report: A special authority called Cyber Excepted Service is helping the nation’s newest unified combatant command to streamline and expedite its recruitment and hiring processes.
The CES gives U.S. Cyber Command hiring managers the discretion to hire people directly and make on-the-spot job offers through agile recruitment sourcing outside the traditional confines of the USAJobs platform, Cybercom officials said.
Authorized in the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2016, the CES granted the secretary of defense the authority to establish Title 10 civilian cyber workforce to carry out the responsibilities of Cybercom and other organizations within the Defense Department.
This initiative includes Cybercom, Joint Force Headquarters Department of Defense Information Network, the DoD chief information officer for cybersecurity, the Defense Information Systems Agency and the service cyber components. The CES maintains Title 5 provisions such as appeal rights, attained career status, protections, federal benefits, retirement and performance management, officials said.
Under the CES, Cybercom now brings on new hires under the excepted service, or GG, grades, instead of the competitive service, or GS grades. The CES places high value on experience, officials explained, which transcends the typical time-based approach in the competitive service. Promotions in the CES are qualification based with no time-in-grade requirements required for advancement, they added.
First Public Hiring Event
Cyber Command teamed up with the Air Force Personnel Center for the command’s first-ever public hiring event May 8 in Silver Spring, Maryland. Co-hosted by Cybercom and AFPC’s Air Force Civilian Service talent acquisitions team, the event featured on-site resume reviews and interviews, with multiple qualified individuals receiving job offers. More than 400 people attended the event, with 500 more candidates registering online, officials said.
Cybercom hiring managers screened more than 300 resumes, resulting in same-day interviews for 70 people and 18 on-the-spot job offers. Positions hired include those for cyber operations, acquisitions and support. Officials said they expect more offers to come as they review the remaining resumes.
The two organizations followed up at a community job fair here May 23. Cybercom recruiters talked to prospective candidates and collected more than 200 resumes to consider for current and future positions. JFHQ-DoDIN and DISA also recruited at the job fair.
“These were an enormous success for the command and an important milestone as we just elevated to a combatant command on May 4,” said Air Force Col. Bill Norton, Cybercom’s director of manpower and personnel. “This is absolutely huge for the command, as the competition of cyber talent is hypercompetitive.”
More Hiring to Come
Cybercom is far from finished with the CES hiring. Looking forward, the command will be recruiting at the San Antonio CyberTexas Job Fair on Aug. 14, again on Fort Meade on Sept. 12, and in Baltimore at the Cyber Maryland Job Fair on Oct. 9.
“The cyber field is in demand and growing daily,” Norton said, noting that the CES offers a fast-tracked route to join Cybercom and jump into a “dynamic operating environment with unique challenges.”