The Alternative Personnel System includes a variety of staffing methods to fill positions, including Direct Examination, Agency-Based Staffing, Merit Assignment, and various noncompetitive placements. Recruiting and examining are carried out directly by the operating units. OPM registers are not used.
These methods are supplemented by other staffing tools, such as paid advertising, flexible entry salaries, probation, recruitment and retention payments, and more flexible pay increases associated with promotion. These changes are intended to attract higher-quality candidates, speed up the recruiting and examining processes, increase the effectiveness of the probationary review process, and increase the retention of good performers.