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Jobs Online at the U.S. Geological Survey

By Robert Hosenfeld

Would you like to work for the U.S. Geological Survey? It’s easy for you to apply and it’s easy for managers to hire because the information and tools are on the "Survey City" website.

A Government First -- Instant Determination of Eligibility

The most innovative tool within Survey City is OARS (Online Automated Recruitment System). OARS is a first-in-government system that allows you to apply online by just answering a number of questions. Your responses to these questions allow the system to automatically determine eligibility and qualifications and notify you immediately by e-mail that your application was received. And, it tells you if you are qualified for the position.

No Paper for Managers

Within minutes of the midnight closing of a vacancy announcement, OARS automatically rates and ranks applicants and issues an electronic certificate directly to the desktop of the selecting official. Managers can review the applications and resumes of the certified candidates online. They can then e-mail the applicants to set up interviews. When the manager makes a selection, the system automatically notifies all applicants by e-mail. In addition, OARS generates numerous reports that allow human resources staff to analyze trends in employment and extract data to meet various needs. And it’s all in a totally paperless recordkeeping environment. OARS is revolutionary!

Other Features Are Coming

USGC human resources staff plan to add other features to Survey City, and many components are in various stages of development. For example, the training management system will, when completed, take an employee’s request for training through the approval process and the financial obligation process and send it directly to the vendor. The future system will process the evaluations, create an all-employee skills bank, and provide numerous, easily-generated training reports–all online.

We believe that tools like OARS leverage current technology in ways that both improve our capabilities and enhance our relationships with all our customers–applicants, employees and managers alike.

About the Author

Robert Hosenfeld in a Personnel Officer at the U.S. Geological Survey in Reston, Virginia. You may reach him at

March 2000