For the Security Assistance Command, its greatest asset is its people – the Soldiers and civilians who serve as the Army’s Face to the World – executing a foreign military sales process that builds partner capacity in support of Army readiness.
Because people are the center of gravity to achieving USASAC mission priorities, the hiring process is critical to maintaining a workforce that requires knowledge and skills that range from military supply, logistics, and transportation, to resource management and cultural awareness.
A new hiring policy and an updated hiring handbook were developed at the request and direction of USASAC’s Commander Maj. Gen. Jeff Drushal. The update was based on employee feedback, an employee “Get After It” working group (workforce volunteers who addressed various 2018 Command Climate Survey issues), and three different reviews of the command’s previous policy.
The three reviews included: self-identification from the workforce responses on its 2018 Command Climate Survey, a technical review through Lean Six Sigma, and a comprehensive external review from its higher headquarters, Army Materiel Command.
“The updated policy will help build trust throughout the command,” Drushal said. “People are our strategic advantage, and we will invest the time and resources needed to hire in an equitable, effective and efficient manner. We will apply fair, consistent, impartial and transparent techniques throughout the hiring process.”
Rick Calnon, director of USASAC’s Human Resources office, said all three reviews helped to build the new policy and hiring handbook. The responses and focus on the command climate issues joined with the technical review by a USASAC Lean Six Sigma team that strenuously evaluated issues and provided recommended courses of action for senior leadership.
“When this was followed by an external review from AMC, it really validated our findings,” Calnon said.
The policy maintains the same standards for hiring at all levels based on the merit system principles and explicitly forbids prohibited personnel practices as defined by the Office of Personnel Management. It also sets what Calnon refers to as the three “Cs” all hiring selections will be based on: competencies, character and communication.
The only variables in the policy correspond to the selecting and approving officials for grade levels; for example, the approving officials for all GS-13s and above are the deputy to the commanding general or the commanding general. And while all hiring panels have the exact same requirements for panel members and execution of the process, the policy emphasizes “the judicious use of hiring panels as instructed by the secretary of the Army.”
“We are really proud of the policy because it addresses the legal, ethical and moral aspects of hiring,” Calnon said.
Calnon also emphasized its transparency. “We are making the hiring policy and handbook available to anyone and everyone, meaning those external to the command and to those already in our workforce. There should be no questions on how we are doing this, and we want every applicant to be competitive and know the process is exactly the same for every candidate,” he said.
The hiring handbook, which complements the hiring policy, is a reference tool for employees, especially if they are asked to sit on a hiring panel for an open position within the command.
“The handbook will help to educate current and potential employees about the fair hiring process” at USASAC, Calnon said.
He envisions these new processes will have a “RIPPLE effect” throughout the command having the Right Individual at the Proper Place with a Lasting Effect.
Calnon credits Drushal and his “Get after it” Command Climate Survey working group with driving many of the issues for the update that allowed multiple reviews and buy-in to ensure a legal, ethical and moral basis for hiring actions.
“Our strategy is not only to hire the best people, but to keep them,” Calnon said. “Our intent is build a climate of trust and transparency, and the best place to start is with your hiring policy.”