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Understanding Special Hiring Authorities

Did you know that the Federal government has special hiring authorities for Veterans? These special hiring authorities allow agencies to hire eligible


Veterans non-competitively. Non-competitively? It simply means that you can be hired without competition. Let's use an example:


Let's say you're at a career fair and your meet a recruiter. They explain about their agency and the current vacancies and there appears to be a mutual interest. You leave your resume and eventually receive a call from a hiring manager for an interview. After the interview has been completed, you receive an offer for the position and of course you accept.


Does it seem like I missed a few steps or that it was too easy? Well yes, there are some things that happen behind the scenes, but because you're a Veteran eligible for a special hiring authority, you skipped past all of that! So here's what you missed: Typically, once you apply for a position, all applications are batched and then subsequently evaluated for qualification. Once qualified, applications that are best qualified and/or Veteran qualified are passed on to the hiring manager to choose from. This process can take anywhere from days to months. In the earlier example, the candidate was excluded from a batch of applications and was simply qualified and passed to the hiring manager.

Does it always happen this way? No but it can happen in this way and it happens more than you may know.


So what are the special hiring authorities?

  • Veteran's Recruitment Appointment (VRA): Eligible for positions up to GS-11, non-competitive hire, for eligible veterans. 5 point preference: Veterans found qualified will have 5 points added to their application score. 10 point preference: Veterans who possess a service connected disability or who meet certain eligibility criteria are awarded 10 points to their application score. The minimum application score is 70 points.

  • 30 percent or more Disabled Veteran: Eligible for positions of any grade, non competitive hire, for Disabled Veterans with a service connected disability rating of 30% or more.

  • Veterans Employment Opportunities Act of 1998 (VEOA): Permits eligible Veterans the ability to compete for jobs that would normally be available to status employees.

  • Schedule A authority: Not specifically for Veterans, however can be used to appoint eligible veterans who certain disabilities.

  • Military Spouse Appointing Authority: Non-competitive hiring authority for military spouses who meet certain eligibility criteria.

Federal hiring can be overwhelming and at times seem impossible. But gaining Federal employment is not impossible and there are flexibilities and initiatives designed to minimize these issues. If you need help, we are here!

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