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Virtual Hiring Manager’s Guide Blog Series: Section One – Schedule A Hiring

Collage of individuals from left to right: woman in raincoat, man with glasses and jacket, man looking down, and native traditional skirt.

The Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) offers this blog series to assist NIH Hiring Managers with meeting their workforce representational diversity aims by providing resources specific to the Native American community. EDI's American Indian/Alaska Native Portfolio Strategist, Ms. Ashley Wells, has provided practical tips for recruiting Native American talent to the National Institutes of Health and links to resources for further information.

Please note, some of the articles are intended only to provide examples of available sources. This material is not intended as an endorsement or recommendation by the NIH. This blog series is provided as an informational resource, not intended to replace policies, guidance, or procedural compliance established by your Institute, Center, or workgroup.

This blog series will be divided into three sections, providing information on Special Hiring Authorities, Diversifying Recruitment, and Outreach Resources.

Section One | Special Hiring Authorities provides resources on special appointment authorities that may be used to appoint specific groups of individuals who meet the respective eligibility requirements for positions at the NIH.

Section Two | NIH Internships includes strategies and resources to ensure equity in internal and external hiring practices when actively recruiting interns from diverse backgrounds. Coming in August.

  • Summer Internship Program (SIP)-Scientific Internships
  • Pathways Internship Programs
  • Third-Party Internships
  • NIH Management Intern Program
  • Resume Writing Tips

Section Three | Diversifying Recruitment includes outreach resources to ensure the hiring process is accessible. This blog will provide information to help recruit Native Americans to the NIH in scientific and administrative careers. Coming in September.

  • Candidate Resources
  • Professional Organizations
  • Advertising and Outreach Resources
  • Social Media
  • Executive Orders

Throughout the series, Did You Know? facts will be shared with information about Native American culture and identity. These facts are included to help start the conversation on implicit biases, which is a critical topic that the National Commission on Diversity and Inclusion believes factors into the success or failure of attracting, recruiting, and retaining diverse professionals at most organizations.

Scheduling A Hiring

There are several hiring authorities available to the NIH to assist in garnering a diverse applicant pool. These include Schedule A Hiring, Veterans Appointing Authority, Direct-Hire Authority, and Student/Recent Graduate Hiring (Pathways). In this segment, we will discuss selected hiring authorities that are important options available to the agency for hiring persons with disabilities, veterans, students, interns, and for filling vacancies when a critical hiring need or severe shortage of candidates exists. This article will highlight Schedule A Hiring:

Schedule A Hiring Authority (Schedule A) is a special hiring authority for people with intellectual, psychiatric, and severe physical disabilities. It is designed as a non-competitive hiring tool to assist Federal agencies with increasing the employment of people with disabilities. It can be used to fill a variety of positions that are permanent, temporary, or internships in a range of career fields. Using the Schedule A Hiring Authority allows federal agencies to tap into a highly qualified, skilled, and diverse talent pool through an expedited hiring process by allowing agencies to review resumes and hire individuals without public notice. The Corporate Recruitment Unit in the Office of Human Resources can assist with accessing and reviewing the resumes of Schedule A candidates.

To be a candidate eligible for hire or promotion under Schedule A, an individual must meet the following criteria:

  • An individual must have an intellectual, psychiatric, or severe physical disability, and;
  • He or she must meet the qualifications of the position.

How does the Schedule A process work?

  • Once you have identified a hiring need, contact your servicing Human Resources (HR) Specialist or Selective Placement Program Coordinator (SPPC) and express your desire to consider using Schedule A to bring new talent onto your team. Using Schedule A at the beginning of the hiring process, and before posting a vacancy announcement, is the most efficient use of the authority.
  • Explain what competencies the ideal candidate should possess and what functions are essential versus non-essential.
  • HR will assist you in finding qualified candidates for the position you wish to fill by providing you a list of Schedule A candidates from several available databases.
  • Interview the Schedule A candidates to see if one possesses the skills to align with your hiring need. If the individual does, consider making an offer and adding the individual to your team. Be mindful to ensure the individual feels included once they come on board.

Online Resources:

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