Direct Hiring Methods
Veteran Recruitment Appointment (VRA)
What it Provides: VRA allows agencies to make non-competitive appointment of eligible veterans up to the GS-11 or equivalent grade level. Veterans are hired under excepted appointments to positions that are otherwise in the competitive service. After the individual satisfactorily completes 2 years of service, the veteran must be converted noncompetitively to a career or career-conditional appointment.
When to Use it: VRA can be a good tool for filling entry-level to mid-level positions. Agencies can also use VRA to fill temporary (not to exceed 1 year) or term (more than 1 year but not to exceed 4 years) positions. Veterans employed in a temporary or term position under VRA will not be converted to the competitive service after 2 years. Note: There is no limit to the number of times a veteran can be appointed under VRA.
Who is Eligible: VRA eligibility applies to the following categories:
- Disabled veterans;
- Veterans who served on active duty in the Armed Forces during a war declared by Congress, or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized;
- Veterans who, while serving on active duty in the Armed Forces, participated in a military operation for which the Armed Forces Service Medal (AFSM) was awarded, to include the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; and
- Veterans separated from active duty within the past 3 years.
How to Use it:
- Step 1: For positions up to a GS-11 (the promotion potential of the position is not a factor), determine if the candidate is eligible under this authority. There is no minimum service requirement, but the individual must have served on active duty, not active duty for training. (NOTE: For Veterans who have less than 15 years of education, there is a training or education requirement.)
- Step 2: Verify eligibility: The documentation should show that the veteran was discharged or released from active duty in the Armed Forces under honorable conditions (i.e., with an honorable or general discharge), service dates and any campaign or expeditionary medals.
- Step 3: Subject to veterans’ preference, appoint any VRA eligible who meets the qualifications requirements for the position. No announcement is required.
- Step 4: Apply veterans’ preferences: If an agency has two or more VRA candidates and one or more is a preference-eligible veteran, the agency must apply the veterans’ preference procedures in 5 CFR part 302.
Benefits to the Agency: VRA allows a manager to fill positions quickly by appointing eligible Veterans to positions for which they are qualified, up to and including GS-11 or equivalent, without issuing a vacancy announcement.
30 Percent or More Disabled Veteran
What it Provides: This authority enables a hiring manager to appoint an eligible candidate to any position for which he or she is qualified, without competition.
Unlike the VRA, there is no grade-level limitation. Initial appointments are time-limited, but must last more than 60 days; however, you can noncompetitively convert the individual to a permanent status at any time during the time-limited appointment.
When to Use it: This authority is a good tool for filling positions at any grade level quickly. This authority can be used to make permanent, temporary (not to exceed 1 year) or term (more than 1 year, but not more than 4) appointments in the competitive service.
Who is Eligible: Eligibility applies to the following categories:
- Disabled veterans who were retired from active military service with a service-connected disability rating of 30 percent or more; and
- Disabled veterans rated by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) as having a compensable service-connected disability of 30 percent or more.
How to Use it:
- Step 1: Determine if the candidate is eligible under this authority. A VA letter or military discharge papers substantiating the service-connected disability is required, along with documentation of an honorable or general discharge. Discharge documentation should show that the veteran was discharged or released from active duty in the Armed Forces under honorable conditions (i.e., with an honorable or general discharge), service dates and any campaign or expeditionary medals.
- Step 2: Appoint an eligible, disabled veteran who meets the qualifications for the position to a temporary appointment of more than 60 days or to a term appointment. Note: You may convert the appointment, without a break in service, to career or career-conditional at any time during the temporary or term appointment. Veterans’ preference does not apply and no announcement is required.
Benefits to the Hiring Manager: A 30 percent or more disabled veteran appointment is an effective way to quickly appoint eligible disabled veterans to any position for which they are qualified without issuing a vacancy announcement.