The Office of Personnel Management is currently moving forward with new initiatives to hire and retain cyber talent, the most notable the upcoming CyberCareers.gov website.

CyberCareers.gov, set to be launched by this January, will be a new resource to attract and retain cyber talent, and in particular cybersecurity talent. It will feature new federal cyber-related opportunities and provide resources to help individuals further their career in the field.

“What we’re finding is there are a ton of tools out there, but this is a community of all the tools that they have,” said Veronica Villalobos, principal deputy associate director for employee services at OPM.

The DHS is planning to implement its Cybersecurity Surge Corps in January 2017, which will entail a “team of experts who can go out to different agencies as needs arise,Villalobos said.

Villalobos also noted the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been making progress with various efforts to help find and attract cyber talent. The agency is on track to hire 6,500 new cyber professionals by January.  

The success of finding new cyber talent has been due in large part to the DHS job fair hosted last summer, where the agency received 1,400 applications in advance plus 2,000 more walk-in resumes, said Angela Bailey, the department’s chief human capital officer.

At the event, 120 jobs were offered on the spot, with most of the new employees beginning six weeks after the hiring fair. DHS will continue to look through the resumes of the other applicants in the coming months.

“There’s a lot of talent out there in the United States that really does want to work for us in this space,” Bailey said in Federal News Radio. “But our ability to reach back in and keep that talent part of the process is going to be really important.”

OPM intends to hold a new cyber and IT hiring fair for all government agencies sometime next year. Plus, the agency hopes to add additional cybersecurity occupations as a direct hiring authority with revised pay and compensation programs.

OPM has made efforts to improve the user experience for the federal job portal USAJobs.gov. The next major update includes two new dashboards to help government agencies make better recruitment decisions, said Michelle Earley, program manager for USAJobs.gov.  

The first will provide agencies with data about web traffic related to job announcements. The second will allow agencies to compare job announcements with similar jobs listed by other departments.

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Chandler Harris is a freelance business and technology writer located in Silicon Valley. He has written for numerous publications including Entrepreneur, InformationWeek, San Jose Magazine, Government Technology, Public CIO, AllBusiness.com, U.S. Banker, Digital Communities Magazine, Converge Magazine, Surfer's Journal, Adventure Sports Magazine, ClearanceJobs.com, and the San Jose Business Journal. Chandler is also engaged in helping companies further their content marketing needs through content strategy, optimization and creation, as well as blogging and social media platforms. When he's not writing, Chandler enjoys his beach haunt of Santa Cruz where he rides roller coasters with his son, surfs and bikes across mountain ranges.
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