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News > Hiring an ART - Pt 2: The process
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 Air Reserve Technician applicants must submit a package by the 25th of each month.
 Applicants are ranked and the top three are sent to the selecting official at the hiring unit.
 The Special Examining Unit is the heart of the hiring process and ranks all applicants.
The  ART Hiring Process
The ART Hiring Process
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 Hiring an ART - Pt 1: Where it begins - 10/20/2009
 Hiring an ART - Pt 3: Improvement - 12/9/2009
Hiring an ART - Pt 2: The process

Posted 11/10/2009   Updated 11/10/2009 Email story   Print story


by Tech. Sgt. Christian J. Michael
22nd Air Force Public Affairs

11/10/2009 - DOBBINS AIR RESERVE BASE, Ga. -- This is part 2 of 3 in a series on the Air Reserve Technician program and hiring process.

Hiring Air Reserve Technicians requires the cooperation of a number of agencies, including the Reserve unit with the vacant slot, the Special Examining Unit at Robins AFB, Ga., and with smaller coordinating agencies at Air Force Personnel Center and Air Force Reserve Command.

The Hiring Process

The ART hiring process begins with a supervisor who needs an ART position filled. The supervisor is regarded as the "selecting official." The SO initiates what's called a "Request for Personnel Action" with his or her local personnelist, depending on the size of the unit, which opens the vacant position and then submits all required paperwork regarding the request. The personnelist then completes the RPA package and sends it to Air Force Personnel Center, who coordinates the request with the SEU. The job is then posted on www.usajobs.gov for applicants to search and apply for a given vacancy.

To apply, applicants complete a package: Resume or Optional Form 612, ATAFR 202, ATAFR 209 (if aircrew), Standard Form 15 (Vet's pref) and copy of Defense Department Form 214. Applicants must also be prepared to join or already be a member of the Air Force Reserve and send the package to the SEU by the 25th of each month. The SEU tries to rate all packages within 30 days. Rated packages are then stacked in a register. The SEU then sends a notification of rating to the applicant, the register as a "Certificate" to the Selecting Official with the most qualified on top.

"The certificates are a bit like a weapon magazine with names ranked by qualification, determined by veteran's preference and prepared to fire with the most qualified round on top," said Ms. Pat Nichols, SEU manager. "We rank each application based on their resume, military or federal civil service backgrounds and veteran's preference."

The selecting official must choose from the top three-qualified individuals. By-name requests do not allow the official to select below the top three choices, nor do they give any weight to one of the potential top three. Rather, they only ensure the package is reviewed thoroughly but nothing more. Should one of the top three choices decline the offered position or be later disqualified, those below will shift upward to join whomever is left as a new top three.

The official makes a selection and sends back to the SEU, which sends the application, rating and selection from the certificate to the next stage, depending on whether the position is enlisted or officer.

All enlisted packages are routed directly to AFPC, who then staffs the issue, reviews the selection and processes the action. Upon completion and approval of selection, AFPC sends the package back to the SEU, who extends the job offer to the applicant. If the applicant accepts the position, the hiring process finalizes, and the applicant assumes the job.

Officer packages are routed from the SEU through the Air Force Reserve Command ART Officer Career Management Program at Robins AFB. The AOCMP vets the selection, extends the job offer to the applicant themselves and sends the package to the SEU for final review, should the applicant accept the hire.

The Special Examining Unit

The SEU is the heart of the hiring process, certifying that applicants are even capable of becoming ARTs. It is the main source for recruiting, rating, ranking and maintaining candidate inventories for ART employment nationwide. Because of the nature of the ART program, the SEU maintains open continuous announcements and standing registers of qualified and available candidates. In addition, the SEU announces one-time fill positions for a specific series, grade level/pay band or location. Now with a new emphasis on the ART program in the command, desks of rating officials are often covered with new applications.

Within the SEU, the process is a factory line of packages. First is the submission check: if a package fails to contain all necessary items, staffing specialists call the person twice and then e-mail them, hoping to avoid discarding a package when often only one small item is missing. After the submission check, a pre-sort occurs with all packages submitted by the monthly cutoff date. If unable to rate all packages, specialists look specifically for needed positions and applicants whose packages line up for them. Lastly is the rating process in which trained specialists judge each package according to job-specific criteria and rate an applicant for the desired job.

Actually rating the packages isn't all they must do to keep the process flowing. They must also train those new to the process itself.

"Our staff specialists spend a large portion of their day training selecting officials and AFPC officials (on the ART selection process) because of high turnover," said Ms. Nichols. "In addition, we ensure our own employees stay abreast of changes in procedures and policies, as well as embrace new processes and/or technologies."

Ms. Nichols said educating SO's, personnelists and other members of the hiring process is one of the most important parts of her job. Keeping them educated helps make the process faster and easier for everyone. Their goal remains to provide management with the best possible candidates to meet the challenges of a diverse and evolving Reserve mission. For more information on the SEU, call 1 (800) 223-1784, ext. 7-0113 or log on to http://www.afrc.af.mil/library/jobs.

To learn about the recent improvements and yet to come, read part 3 of 3, Hiring an ART: Improvement. Or, if you missed how ARTs are recruited and the benefits of being one, read part 1 of 1, Hiring an ART: Where it Begins.

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