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2011 Game Changer: Ryan O'Leary

Manager, human capital consulting, PDRI, Arlington, Virginia

September 29, 2011
Related Topics: Employee Screening, Internal Recruiting, HR Technology, Workforce Analytics, Top Stories - Frontpage, Awards
Ryan O'Leary

Ryan O'Leary is changing the way people find government jobs.

As manager of human capital consulting at federal contractor PDRI Inc., O'Leary leads a team creating the job-discovery portion of a portal for what President Barack Obama has called the "9/11 generation" of veterans and another team that is changing how the nation's largest employer selects workers.

"Ryan is always pushing the envelope," says Elaine Pulakos, president of PDRI, which creates talent-management systems. "He's always thinking about new, better and innovative ways of doing things that will produce better returns for his customers."

The veterans' portal will offer a battery of assessments that identify interests, mechanical and verbal reasoning, and work experience.

The assessments include job experience outside the military because some military jobs aren't present in the civilian workforce, but users might have held jobs in high school, for example, that help qualify them for available positions.

Based on their results, veterans receive feedback about the types of jobs that are the best matches for their profiles and are linked to actual openings.

In a separate project for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, O'Leary is improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the government's selection and hiring process. Because of complaints about the old system, Obama ordered all government agencies to reform their hiring processes.

Enter O'Leary, 35. He has developed a system in which applicants complete assessments online and are scored based on key competencies required to perform a specific job. The results are sent to the hiring agency. "It totally changes the way that the government is going to do its hiring and improves the quality and efficiency of getting people in the door," says Pulakos, who nominated O'Leary for a Game Changers award.

"If we can hire the best people for public service and then train them and evaluate and reward their performance, we can maximize the human capital of federal government," O'Leary says.

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