Paul Nakasone: Defense Department Reports Faster Recruitment of Cyber Workforce Personnel System

Gen. Paul Nakasone, commander of U.S. Cyber Command and director of the National Security Agency, said the Pentagon is benefiting from a faster hiring process for cyber employees following the launch of a new personnel system, Federal News Network reported Tuesday.

The Cyber Excepted Service helped the Department of Defense reduce the time required to hire workers from 111 days to just 44 days, Nakasone said at a recent meeting with the House Armed Services Committee.

Using the new system CES, Congress allows the department to skip some steps in the recruitment process to hire candidates directly. Officials said they use the system at job fairs for on-the-spot job offers.

“We have done over 21 different fairs. We’ve interviewed over 2,700 people. We’ve provided over 90 acceptances for job applications,” Nakasone said. “My perspective, early phase, is I’m a supporter of it. I look forward to continuing to utilize it.”

Kenneth Rapuano, principal cyber advisor at the department, said the agency aims to transfer nearly 15,000 existing civilian positions to CES. Moving to the new personnel system will make employees eligible for potentially higher, market-based salaries and possibly faster promotions, according to the Pentagon.

The department has 403 jobs converted to CES as the system is still in its experimental stage. CYBERCOM, the Joint Force Headquarters-DoD Information Network and the chief information officer’s office currently are the only defense organizations allowed to use the excepted service authority.

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