Trump executive order relaxes hiring standards for federal jobs

The order intends to place more value in a job applicant's skills over their educational background

U.S. President Donald Trump signs an executive order related to reforming the hiring process for federal jobs in a meeting of the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board in the East Room of the White House on June 26, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

On Friday, June 26, President Donald Trump signed an executive order intended to make federal jobs more attainable by placing more emphasis on skillset and less on education achievement of a job candidate in the hiring process.

As reported by The New York Post, the order was created and signed as an effort to make a more even playing field for those seeking federal employment. More than two-thirds of American adults do not have a college degree. Therefore, this merit-based approach would provide job seekers with adequate ability but without a degree access to more opportunities.

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“The federal government will no longer be narrowly focused on where you went to school, but the skills and the talents that you bring to the job,” the president said during the signing ceremony at the White House.

According to the order, federal agencies will convert from a college-degree based hiring method to more of a merit-based hiring method. The former method “excludes capable candidates and undermines labor-market efficiencies,” the order says.

The federal government is the nation’s largest employer with about 2.1 million civilian workers.

The signing coincided with a meeting the President had with the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board. His daughter and senior advisor Ivanka Trump is the policy co-chair, and according to the president, was the leading force behind the order.

Ivanka stated that she would like to see private sector employers adopt a similar hiring policy as well.

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“This will allow us to better recognize the talents and competencies of all Americans we hire,” Ivanka stated.

Applicants with college degrees will still be eligible to apply and receive said federal jobs, but it will no longer be a requirement for some job openings. The acting chief of the Office of Personnel Management, Michael Regas, said he is on board with the new standards because the old ways were “limiting opportunity for those with diverse job backgrounds.”

“Those without a degree are at a major disadvantage in the federal hiring process. While education credentials are critical in many lines of work, such as the medical and legal field, this is far less clear in other areas,” stated Regas, who oversees all hiring for federal jobs.

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