The Internal Revenue is cutting the amount of time it takes to hire new employees by eliminating manual steps and sending automated email reminders to managers.

A new report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration found that the IRS has developed an adequate system to monitor and improve the timeliness of hiring new employees. TIGTA said the IRS has sped up the hiring process via system improvements and the use of hiring timeline tools and by creating appropriate performance goals and measures.

According to the report, the IRS has simplified important parts of the hiring process by eliminating time-consuming manual steps and sending automated emails reminding managers of upcoming deadlines. For example, potential employees can now make appointments to have their fingerprints taken at a local IRS office or other federal government facilities, instead of having local law enforcement take their fingerprints and mailing or delivering them to the IRS for processing.

But while improvements have been made in the hiring process, TIGTA determined that some of these changes, such as timeline calculators and follow-up email reminders to hiring managers, were not used in all of the IRS’s Human Capital Office Employment Operations offices to fully achieve their benefits. A timeline calculator generates critical dates for planning hiring steps so managers would know when individual steps in the hiring process need to be completed.

“Like many federal agencies, the Internal Revenue Service is faced with the major human capital challenge of replacing a large number of employees who are expected to retire or leave for other jobs over the next several years,” said TIGTA Inspector General J. Russell George in a statement. “As long as their efforts are accompanied by due diligence, the IRS is moving in the right direction by taking steps to reduce the amount of time necessary to fill vacancies.”

TIGTA recommended that the IRS Human Capital Office complete programming for Web-based status reports and provide guidance to ensure that its branch offices understand the use and benefits of tools developed to speed up the hiring process.

IRS officials agreed and stated that they have taken action on TIGTA’s recommendation to complete programming for Web-based reports. They further said they will issue guidance to all employment offices on when hiring timeline tools should be used. “The IRS remains committed to continuous hiring improvements,” said IRS human capital officer James P. Falcone.

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