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Overview

This guide covers the engineering selection process, from resume review to turning over a candidate to HR for an offer.

Are you looking to apply for a job?

You’ll find job announcements for 18F Engineering on the Join the Technology Transformation Services (TTS) website.

Step-by-step process

The process surrounding the standard engineering hiring process varies depending on the hiring action used — but the standard process consists of:

  1. The 18F Engineering Hiring team performs a resume review to determine if a candidate will be phone screened. The TTS Talent team then performs a specialized experience review of the candidate, ensuring they will be able to be offered the position should they pass the interviews.
  2. The TTS Talent team schedules a phone screen with the candidate and a representative from the 18F Engineering Hiring team. The 18F Engineering Hiring team then determines if the candidate will be interviewed.
  3. The TTS Talent team notifies the candidate of their selection, and passing candidates are asked to provide or perform technical pre-work. The candidate provides or completes the technical pre-work.
  4. The TTS Talent team schedules the candidate for interviews with members of the Interview team.
  5. The Interview team holds a debrief meeting to share information gathered about the candidate through interviews.
  6. The 18F Engineering Hiring team meets with a representative from the TTS Talent team to perform final selection. Then, the candidate is provided to the General Service Administration (GSA)’s Office of Human Resources Management (OHRM) team, who performs the final review and extends an offer.

The candidate is always notified of the outcome of each determination step, either of a continuation of the process, selection for an offer, or declination. We hope that candidates will have a positive experience of TTS regardless of the outcome, and consider re-applying for future positions.

Who is involved

There are a few people in play in the selection process:

  • The candidate who has applied for a job.
  • The TTS Talent team, who acts as the point-of-contact between candidates and others in the hiring process. They advocate on behalf of candidates while navigating the larger organization, keep everything in order, and are the glue that make hiring possible.
  • The 18F Engineering Hiring team, who perform resume reviews, phone screens, wrap-up interviews, and selection of qualified candidates for job offers. Typically this team is made up of the Director of Engineering and at least one Engineering Supervisor who is handling hiring tasks.
  • The Interview team, who are made up of volunteers from 18F and the Technology Transformation Service:
  • The GSA OHRM team, who ensure selected candidates meet the legal requirements for eligibility for job offers and extend offers to candidates (among other duties).

How candidates enter

A majority of candidates entering our hiring process are in response to applications to a job announcement posted on the Join TTS website. When this happens, candidates are reviewed in a group, sometimes called a cohort.

Running a hiring group

  1. The 18F Engineering Hiring team collaborates with the TTS Talent team to post a job announcement.
  2. The candidate submits their resume to this job as specified in the job announcement.
  3. The TTS Talent team gives resumes to the 18F Engineering Hiring team for review.
  4. The 18F Engineering Hiring team collects volunteers for the Interview team and performs Interview training to prepare them to mitigate unconscious bias, among other things.
  5. The standard engineering hiring process above is followed for each candidate.
  6. The 18F Engineering Hiring team runs a retrospective to improve the process for next time.

Submitting a single candidate for review

In some cases, we are able to submit candidates for interviews directly without a previously established job announcement. This is referred to as a reserved hire, and there are limits to the kinds of terms we can offer to these candidates. Speak with the TTS Talent team to discuss the specifics further.

Changes to the process

While we’re always looking to improve, we do not make changes to our process while reviewing a hiring group unless there are egregious errors. This helps ensure consistency and fairness into the process. It also lets us collect statistics and compare results between groups, letting us take a more data-driven approach to hiring.

These guides are an open source project.

Hiring training

We have training sessions for the folks who want help with hiring. You’ll find these events on the 18F Engineering calendar; here are links to the slide decks for each:

Intro to Engineering Hiring (30 minutes)

An introductory session, covering the overall hiring process, how selection works, our standards, and the parts of hiring that are common for all roles.

I think this session might be the most interesting for everyone, not just people who’re participating in the process.

Resume Review (30 minutes)

For those who will be reviewing resumes. Covers our resume review rubrics (“crediting plans”), how to apply them to a resume, and some tips and tricks for reading resumes. There’ll also be a chance to practice on some sample resumes and get some experience before you do it for real.

Interviewing (1 hour)

For those conducting interviews, both technical and core values. Covers our interview process and guides, and how to interview effectively. We’ll spend some time practicing interview questions on each other, to get a bit of experience before we start.