The Department of Homeland (DHS) announced on September 8 a new hiring campaign for tech talent that will help the agency improve customer experience (CX).

The new hiring initiative follows President Biden’s executive order late last year that aims to improve how the Federal government services the public.

“The goal is to hire hundreds of mission-driven technologists with product management and customer experience expertise through the largest hiring initiative in any federal agency,” DHS said.

“Technologists will support efforts at DHS agencies and offices to digitize services and to reduce administrative burdens by eliminating millions of hours of paperwork and improving access to benefits, for example,” the agency said.

“I have made it one of our department’s top priorities to modernize our delivery of services by harnessing technology and other innovations,” said Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “Together, we can improve the customer experience for the millions of individuals with whom we interact every day, while advancing equity, protecting individuals’ rights and liberties, and increasing our openness, transparency, and accountability.”

The new initiative will aim at improving CX across a wide variety of areas including:

  • Improving air travel – the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) is deploying Mobile Driver’s Licenses and touchless curb-to-gate experiences, rolling out customer experience training for all officers;
  • Helping disaster survivors apply for assistance – the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is redesigning and simplifying their online disaster assistance application and updating policies to enable disaster survivors to obtain urgent assistance more quickly, equitably, and efficiently;
  • Simplifying citizenship and immigration service applications – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is digitizing forms and allowing immigrants to more easily understand what they may be eligible for through myUSCIS; and
  • Strengthening information sharing – the Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) is improving how law enforcement and first responders across the country access timely intelligence from DHS through the new DHS Intel App.

DHS said its efforts are targeting a goal to eliminate 20 million of the 190 million hours of burden it imposes on the public each year as measured under the Paperwork Reduction Act.

The agency emphasized that it is not requiring prior government experience from the new hires it is seeking.

“I left Silicon Valley for government service to be able to use my skills to serve my country and help those in need,” said DHS Chief Information Officer Eric Hysen.

“We are asking technologists from across the country to consider the call of public service to make a significant impact in the lives of travelers, disaster survivors, those accessing citizenship and immigration services, and the many other customers who depend on DHS for critical services,” Hysen said.

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Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.