FBI Hiring Blitz

January 14, 2009

Looking for a job? Want to work for the Federal Bureau of Investigation? Your chance has arrived. The FBI is hiring nearly 3,000 people.

Audio Transcript

Mr. Schiff: Hello, I’m Neal Schiff and welcome to Inside the FBI, a weekly podcast about news, cases, and operations. Looking for a job? Want to work for the Federal Bureau of Investigation? Your chance has arrived. The FBI is hiring nearly 3,000 people.

Mr. Raucci: “Twenty-one hundred support employees and about 850 special agent positions.”

Mr. Schiff: And the FBI is making it easy for you to apply. You can do it on the Internet.

Ms. Hubbard: “Visit www.fbijobs.gov and apply online.”

Mr. Schiff: The FBI’s hiring blitz is on right now, with openings not only at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C., but also at many of the FBI’s 56 field offices around the United States. At Headquarters, John Raucci is the Assistant Director of the FBI’s Human Resources Division. He hopes many of the applicants can start working by this coming September.

Mr. Raucci: “Well, we have benchmarked our success and we want to make sure that we have everyone on board and ready to fill the new positions by September 30th. So that’s our critical date. We want to make sure all of the applicants are on board by that date because that’s when we believe we will get the optimum use out of all the new employees and new hires.”

Mr. Schiff: Can background investigations on all these hires be completed at least on a majority of the applicants?

Mr. Raucci: “Sure. And we have streamlined a lot of our time-to-hire processes by utilizing electronic workflow tools. Also, we now enjoy the benefit of hiring those young men and women that are coming out of the military service or other prior employment where they had some type of a clearance.”

Mr. Schiff: Everyone knows the FBI has special agents gathering intelligence and investigating crimes. Raucci says there’s a lot of different jobs available for those who wish to support those efforts.

Mr. Raucci: “Well we’re looking for men and women of all walks of life. But in particular this year in our non-agent positions, we’re looking for automotive mechanics, electronic technicians, engineers, and of course IT and computer science people. Now for our agent positions, of course you have to have a minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree and then of course have some type of pre-Bureau work experience.”

Mr. Schiff: How important is that background check and can you give us and can you give us an idea of what it’s like?

Mr. Raucci: “The background investigation of course is very important because we want to make sure that we not only hire young men and women that are the best and the brightest, but we also want to make sure that they will pass our fitness and character review because you have to have a clean background to make sure that you can hold a Top Secret clearance. Now the background investigation includes a polygraph examination; a drug test; credit and records checks; and of course you cannot have been convicted of any type of felony.”

Mr. Schiff: With 850 special agent positions available, there are some criteria to consider.

Mr. Raucci: “We look for individuals that have academic credentials in the area of computer science, law, accounting, engineering, or, for example, a person who has any Bachelor’s Degree but speaks a foreign language. And the foreign languages, the critical skills that we’re looking for this year, for example, are Chinese, Farsi, Hindi, Pashto, and any of the other Arabic languages.”

Mr. Schiff: For sure there is a difference between an FBI special agent and a member of the professional support staff. Raucci says both are important and the FBI is ready for you.

Mr. Raucci: “Special agent positions are those that, the workforce that carries a firearm. They make arrests. They serve warrants. Or they represent the FBI in areas of national security. Professional staff employees are those who support the agent workforce. They may be intelligence analysts, Laboratory science personnel, security professionals, human resources, or general management people.”

Mr. Schiff: Gwen Hubbard is an Assistant Section Chief in the Human Resources Division. She says that when you make application to the FBI, you have the opportunity to pick an area of the country in which you would like to work.

Ms. Hubbard: “There are more mega-postings which list various locations for the same position. Applicants are allowed to select one geographic location where they most desire to work. And this year the interest in working for the government has far exceeded our expectations with well over one million hits to the website and 98,000 applications thus far.”

Mr. Schiff: Let’s talk about the website. People can go onto the Internet and apply for jobs at the FBI?

Ms. Hubbard: “Absolutely. They can actually visit www.fbijobs.gov and apply online. They can peruse through the vacancies. They may search the vacancies by location or by critical skill set and apply right online and we’re processing applications as soon as we receive them.”

Mr. Schiff: In the recruiting game, to use a pun, this could be like additional ammunition for you in recruiting new employees because years ago it was maybe just career days and running advertising in newspapers and magazines, and now you’ve got the world wide Internet.

Ms. Hubbard: “Absolutely. We have moved away from the traditional recruiting methods and we are utilizing the Internet far greater than ever before. Additionally, the FBI targets skilled professionals by partnering with numerous organizations; professional associations; civic organizations; faith-based, and other diverse organizations throughout the country to implement specific programs to help feed our recruitment pool with talented and diverse professionals.”

Mr. Schiff: How do people go about making application with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and once they apply, what should they expect next?

Ms. Hubbard: “All applicants, again, must apply online at www.fbijobs.gov and once they apply online, all applications are being reviewed by FBI officials. Those who are deemed most competitive will be contacted by an official FBI representative and scheduled for an interview. This interview may be conducted in person or telephonically by one of our field offices representatives or Headquarters representatives. Those who are ultimately afforded and accept a conditional job offer will undergo the background investigation and they will be required to complete the SF-86 online within five to seven days. They will undergo a polygraph test, a drug test, and also submit to a full scale background investigation.”

Mr. Schiff: Will applicants who are not selected be notified of their status?

Ms. Hubbard: “Absolutely. Applicants who are not selected will be contacted via e-mail within 45 days of the closing date to be advised of their status. We highly encourage applicants, please do not contact the FBI telephonically for status as this will significantly delay the processing over 98,000 applications. We ask that you give us time to review applications and update statuses via the Internet. And remember, FBI vacancies will continue to be posted online throughout the year, and we encourage you to visit the website periodically.”

Mr. Schiff: Back to John Raucci. As Assistant Director he is the hiring chief at the FBI and has served many years as a special agent, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of a field office, and Special Agent in Charge of a field office.

Mr. Raucci: “I believe that the FBI is an extraordinary place to work. We offer a job and a position for all different people of all walks of life, and I encourage everybody to go to our website and check out the FBI because I think they’ll be surprised. We have something for everyone.”

Mr. Schiff: More than 2,000 non-agent jobs available at the FBI. There are 850 special agent positions open at the FBI. Now’s your time to apply. Click over to www.fbijobs.gov and make application. Take a shot. You may hit the bulls-eye. That concludes our show. Thanks for listening. I’m Neal Schiff of the FBI’s Office of Public Affairs.

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