New System to Select Manager Candidates

September 21, 2012

The Office of Personnel Management by January hopes to roll out a new, standardized system of assessing and selecting supervisory candidates.

OPM’s Deputy Chief Human Capital Officer Mark Reinhold told the National Council on Federal Labor-Management Relations on Wednesday that OPM reviewed its management selection process as part of a new performance management plan.

“We’ve found, historically, a lot of inconsistency in the way that we assessed candidates for supervisory positions,” Reinhold said.

OPM has sometimes focused on the technical competencies of supervisory candidates, and largely ignored their managerial skills, he said. Management experts agree that choosing new supervisors based simply on their technical skills can be a mistake, because those candidates may not know how to most effectively manage subordinates.

OPM is working on a uniform set of competencies that standardizes how supervisory and technical skills are weighted, though the proportions have not been finalized. Reinhold said OPM is holding focus groups with supervisors to find that right balance, and hopes to submit the findings to OPM Director John Berry soon.

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