OPM should consider revising its outdated qualification standards. Currently, for most positions, agencies can require only one year of specialized experience equivalent to the next lower grade level. Agencies must then define the specialized experience necessary to do the job, which can often be very narrow and difficult to screen for on a resume. Most applicants do not think to specifically address the specialized experience on their resume, as they are often applying to many different jobs at once. Also, it can be very difficult for managers and HR staff to determine the level of necessary experience that is appropriate for a particular grade. For example, the primary distinctions between GS-13 work and GS-14 work are the levels of supervision and the guidelines used for the job. Both of these aspects are extremely difficult to screen for on a resume.
My recommendation is to adopt the strategy most frequently used in the private sector and allow us to require multiple years of broad experience. For example, "Five years of human resources experience." The higher the grade level, the more years of experience required. In my experience in the private sector, this is overwhelmingly how resumes are preliminarily screened. A finer assessment of the applicant's qualifications would come from a structured interview. I believe this would rapidly increase the hiring process, as applications could be reviewed much more quickly in human resources without the use of subject matter experts. In addition, applicants would have a much clearer idea of the qualification requirements for the job and could easily determine whether or not they meet them.