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Title 5 Part 300 → Subpart D

Title 5 → Chapter I → Subchapter B → Part 300 → Subpart D

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations e-CFR

Title 5 Part 300 → Subpart D

e-CFR data is current as of December 11, 2019

Title 5Chapter ISubchapter BPart 300 → Subpart D


Title 5: Administrative Personnel
PART 300—EMPLOYMENT (GENERAL)


Subpart D—Use of Commercial Recruiting Firms and Nonprofit Employment Services

§300.401   Definitions.

For purposes of this subpart:

(a) A commercial recruiting firm is a profit-making entity which, by contract, supplies individual candidates for consideration for specific Federal vacancies, in accordance with the requirements set by the Federal agency.

(b) A nonprofit employment service is one legally established as nonprofit under State law. It may be operated, for example, by professional societies, organizations of college graduates, social agencies, or a State or local government. Federal agencies may not, however, use a nonprofit employment service sponsored by a partisan political organization. By contract, a nonprofit employment service supplies individual candidates for consideration for specific Federal vacancies, in accordance with the requirements set by the Federal agency.

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§300.402   Coverage.

This part applies to filling positions in the competitive service; positions in the expected service under Schedules A, B, and C; and positions in the Senior Executive Service.

[57 FR 10124, Mar. 24, 1992]

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§300.403   When commercial recruiting firms and nonprofit employment services may be used.

An agency may use a commercial recruiting firm and/or a nonprofit employment service in recruiting for vacancies when:

(a) The agency head or designee determines that such use is likely to provide well-qualified candidates who would otherwise not be available or that well-qualified candidates are in short supply;

(b) The agency has provided vacancy notices to appropriate State Employment Service and OPM offices; and

(c) The agency continues its own recruiting efforts.

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§300.404   Use of fee-charging firms.

(a) Federal agencies are prohibited from using commercial recruiting firms and nonprofit employment services which charge fees to individuals referred to Federal positions. Federal agencies may not consider a candidate referred by a commercial recruiting firm or nonprofit employment service if the individual has paid or is expected to pay any fee to the firm or service.

(b) The prohibition in paragraph (a) of this section does not apply to registration fees paid by individuals to nonprofit employment services operated by professional organizations when the registration fee is imposed regardless of whether the registrant is referred for employment or placed.

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§300.405   Requirement for contract.

(a) A written contract awarded in accordance with procedures stipulated in the Federal Acquisition Regulations is required between the Federal agency and a commercial recruiting firm or nonprofit employment service. The contract will satisfy the “written request” required by 18 U.S.C. 211. That statute prohibits the acceptance of payment for aiding an individual to obtain Federal employment except when an employment agency renders services pursuant to the written request of an executive department or agency.

(b) The contract must include the qualifications requirements for the position(s) to be filled and also provide that the firm or service will:

(1) Screen candidates only against the basic qualifications requirements for the position(s) specified by the Federal agency in the contract and refer to the agency all candidates who appear to meet those requirements;

(2) Refer to the Federal agency only those applicants from whom the firm or service has not accepted fees other than those permitted under §300.404(b) of this part;

(3) Not imply that it is the sole or primary avenue for employment with the Federal Government or a specific Federal agency; and

(4) Recruit and refer candidates in accordance with applicable merit principles and equal opportunity laws.

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§300.406   Agency responsibilities.

(a) The purpose of a commercial recruiting firm or nonprofit employment service is to serve as an additional source of applicants. Once recruited, applicants must be evaluated and appointed through regular civil service employment procedures.

(1) For a competitive service position, an individual must be appointed in accordance with the terms of applicable competitive service procedures.

(2) For an excepted service position, an individual must be appointed in accordance with the terms of the applicable appointing authority and the requirements set out in part 302 of this chapter.

(3) For a Senior Executive Service position filled by career appointment, an individual must be appointed in accordance with the competitive process described in 5 U.S.C. 3393.

(b) In order to use commercial recruiting firms or nonprofit employment services, agencies are required to:

(1) Make known that applicants may apply directly to the Government and thus need not apply through the commercial recruiting firm or nonprofit employment service;

(2) Give the same consideration to candidates who have applied directly and candidates referred from the commercial recruiting firm or nonprofit employment service; and

(3) Follow all requirements for appointment, including veterans preference, where applicable.

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§300.407   Documentation.

(a) Agencies are required to maintain records necessary to determine that using commercial recruiting firms or nonprofit employment services is cost effective and has not resulted in the violation of merit system principles or the commission of any prohibited personnel practice.

(b) When requested by OPM, agencies will provide reports on the use of commercial recruiting firms, based on the records required in paragraph (a) of this section.

[53 FR 51222, Dec. 21, 1988, as amended at 60 FR 3057, Jan. 13, 1995]

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§300.408   Corrective action.

Upon evidence of failure to comply with these regulations, OPM may, pursuant to its authority, order the agency to take appropriate corrective action.

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