Veteran preference in federal hiring

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With an effort in Congress to scale back veteran preference in federal hiring awaiting action by a House-Senate conference committee, a former top personnel official says there’s a better plan.

Jeffrey Neal, who was in charge of hiring for the Department of Homeland Security until he retired in 2011, says a Senate proposal to limit veteran preference to a single use is flawed because it does not take into account former service members’ high job turnover.

The Senate version of this year’s defense bill includes language that would give veterans one shot at going to the head of the hiring line: when they apply for a permanent federal job. Once they are working in government, they would not get the extra points they get now for other federal jobs.

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