Fiscal Year 2016 Federal Veteran Hiring Results and Federal Hiring Programs

On September 12, 2017, the federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM) released the results of Fiscal Year 2016 (Oct 1, 2015-September 30, 2016) veteran hiring for the executive branch of the federal government. The report, titled “Employment of Veterans in the Federal Executive Branch,” normally runs about a year behind the period it covers, so the report issued in September 2017 is the most recent report.

According to OPM, more than 71,000 veterans entered federal employment in FY16, bringing the total number of federally employed veterans to 635, 266 – up 11,000+ from FY15. Veterans represent approximately 31% of the federal workforce–up five percent since 2009. In 2009, the President issued Executive Order 13518, “Employment of Veterans in the Federal Government,” starting a government-wide effort to improve veteran employment in federal agencies called “the Veterans Employment Initiative” (VEI).

The federal government has established a dedicated veteran’s employment web site for federal agencies, veterans and other interested parties at The site is a great source for obtaining information about federal employment and deals not only with veteran hiring, but also with veteran-spouse/survivor hiring.

Veterans can be hired into federal jobs through several different methods. There are two ways for the government to advertise (called a job announcement) for a federal job: Merit Promotion and Delegated Examining. Both types of announcements are posted on the federal job web site: Most, but not all veterans, are eligible to apply for a federal job; we’ll cover the details in another article. Eligible veterans can only apply to a Merit Promotion announcement if the announcement allows employees outside the agency posting the announcement to apply for the job. For example, if the announcement is from the Department of Homeland Security and only Homeland Security employees can apply, veterans would not be able to apply. Under Merit Promotion procedures, when veterans can apply for a federal job, the veteran is not given “preference” in the hiring process – they simply get to apply as if they were already federal employees.

If the announcement indicates that any US citizen can apply, it is called a “Delegated Examining” (DE) or “Public” announcement. Any veteran can apply to one of these postings. When a veteran applies to a DE announcement, the veteran may be eligible for “preference” in the hiring process. Preference does not guarantee the veteran a job, but the chance of being referred to the hiring manager increases.

Most veterans can also be hired without going through the Merit Promotion or DE announcement process. There are two ways for this to work. First, any veteran, whether disabled or not, may be appointed to a GS11 or lower position without competition. The authority to hire a veteran this way is called Veterans Recruitment Appointment, or “VRA”. The second way is when a veteran has been rated at least 30% disabled by the Department of Veterans Affairs. In this case, the veteran can be appointed to any General Schedule position (GS1 through GS15) without competition. Obviously, networking is important for either of these special appointment authorities to result in a veteran being hired. LVERs should be working with local federal agencies to promote veteran hiring, especially through these two special authorities as they reduce the time for the hiring manager to recruit and fill a position from months to days. If you are not familiar with federal veteran hiring processes and authorities, check the FedsHireVets web site or talk with your state DVET or ADVET.

Helping prepare a veteran for any job, including a federal position, means the DVOP must ensure the individual has a terrific resume, which is a key part of the federal application process. In a future article, we’ll talk about federal resumes and how they are different from a private sector resume and why.

With more than 2 million jobs, the federal government can be a rich source of employment for your veteran clients.