Monday, December 7, 2009

DHS Hiring Situation

I have been receiving a number of emails from readers with questions about the DHS hiring process. They had seen DHS inspector jobs listed on and submitted their applications. They had been through various stages of the application process and been told that they would be notified in 4 to 5 weeks of the status of their application. They hadn’t heard anything and wanted to know if I had heard anything about delays in the hiring process. 

Now, I obviously cannot check up on individual job applications. The application process has a number of checks and balances worked into the process to ensure the privacy of the applicants. There may be someone in the DHS HR process that could run down individual application status, but I certainly don’t know that person. Even if I did, I would be hard pressed to come up with a legitimate reason for that person to violate DHS and government rules to give me access to personal information on job applicants. And to be fair, none of the readers have asked for specific information about their particular job application. 

So here is what I do know about the situation for DHS and the hiring of chemical security inspectors. First, DHS was given specific authorization in the DHS appropriations bill to increase the number of their authorized full time personnel in order to expand the number of chemical security inspectors. Part of position increase was set for fiscal year (FY) 2010 and more was authorized for FY 2011. It is likely that the new chemical facility security legislation that will probably pass sometime next year will include authorization (but not necessarily appropriations) for some additional inspectors over that number. 

DHS will be having their next Chemical Security Academy (CSA) class in January. The people who will be attending that class have been selected and should have been notified of that selection, sometime before Thanksgiving. If you had completed interviews before Thanksgiving and have not received notification of selection, you were most likely not selected. I would like to think that DHS has a non-selection notification process, but with recent experience in the job search process I know that such a non-selection notification is very rare. 

I have been told by a very reliable source that DHS has announced their next round of hiring on that site, but a quick check today on did not show any chemical security positions in DHS NPPD. That application period may, however, be over. I don’t know what the class date for that announcement is, but I am sure that once that round is completed, filling the next CSA class, DHS will be starting the next round of the hiring process. It would seem reasonable to assume that the hiring process is now limited by the number of slots for the CSA. 

Most job offers attract multiple applications. In today’s economy the number of applicants is very high, giving DHS a large number of quality applicants to choose from (and an even higher number of unqualified applicants to screen out). If you don’t get hired on your first application; and you did at least get an interview, by all means apply again for the next round. As I have told each of the readers who have asked, persistence must count for something.

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