Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration

Office of Audit

NEW EMPLOYEES ARE BEING HIRED MORE QUICKLY; HOWEVER, IMPROVEMENTS ARE
NEEDED TO CORRECT SOME HIRING
MONITORING DATA

Issued on November 27, 20112

Highlights

Highlights of Report Number:  2013-10-007 to the Internal Revenue Service Deputy Commissioner for Operations Support and Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement.

IMPACT ON TAXPAYERS

Hiring quality employees quickly is important to the IRS, as it hires a large number of employees each year.  The IRS divisions and Human Capital Office have taken action to reduce hiring timelines.  However, they will need to continue to focus on keeping hiring timelines low and making additional improvements.  If not, as the economy improves and the IRS competes more with the private sector, the IRS may encounter difficulties attracting highly qualified candidates.  This could impact the IRS’s ability to meet its mission of providing America’s taxpayers top quality service.

WHY TIGTA DID THE AUDIT

This audit was requested by the IRS and addresses the major management challenge of Human Capital.  The overall objective was to assess actions taken by the IRS divisions to monitor and improve the efficiency of hiring new employees.

WHAT TIGTA FOUND

The IRS divisions and Human Capital Office have taken action to monitor and improve the efficiency of hiring new employees.  Most improvements resulted from automating time‑consuming manual steps in the hiring process and monitoring in‑process hiring.  For example, in a little more than two years, the Information Technology organization has cut the time it takes to hire new employees by more than half.  As a result, it is close to meeting the Office of Personnel Management 80-calendar-day hiring goal.  Similarly, the Wage and Investment Division has taken action to reduce hiring timelines and is also close to meeting the Office of Personnel Management hiring goal. 

The Small Business/Self-Employed Division uses a hiring process that is based on bringing large groups of employees on board at the same time for training and orientation purposes.  While this may result in efficient training and orientation programs for enforcement personnel, it can take up to 200 calendar days to hire employees, which results in not meeting the hiring goal.

In addition, TIGTA determined that data for monitoring the time taken to hire new employees was not always correct.  TIGTA identified that IRS Human Capital Office report data was incorrect for nine (38 percent) of the 24 Information Technology organization hires in TIGTA’s sample.  The incorrect data occurred because the incorrect certificate (a list of applicants that is certified by the IRS Human Capital Office) was selected for manually rated and ranked applications.  Finally, the IRS Human Capital Office did not correctly enter the date the rating and ranking package was returned from the hiring manager.  As a result, IRS divisions cannot rely on the reports to monitor in‑process hiring or to identify when hiring delays occur. 

WHAT TIGTA RECOMMENDED

TIGTA recommended that the Director, IRS Human Capital Office Employment, Talent, and Security, deactivate certificates that are not used, provide guidance to employment offices for selecting the correct certificates, and correct computer report-writing programming to ensure the correct date is used in calculating hiring timelines.

IRS management agreed and implemented corrective actions to deactivate certificates and provide guidance.  IRS management also provided alternative corrective actions to monitor and emphasize quality review so hiring timelines can be accurately calculated.  In addition, the IRS provided technical comments, which were incorporated into the report as appropriate.

READ THE FULL REPORT

To view the report, including the scope, methodology, and full IRS response, go to:  

http://www.treas.gov/tigta/auditreports/2013reports/201310007fr.html

E-mail Address:   TIGTACommunications@tigta.treas.gov

Phone Number:   202-622-6500

Website:   http://www.treasury.gov/tigta