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Hiring Authorities

This page explains the different hiring paths within the federal government available to TTS

Here is a helpful visualization of the different Hiring Methods we use at TTS as well (courtesy of Ashley Wichman).


Roles that are posted on USA Jobs that do not have term limits. These roles allow you to obtain competitive status

Excepted Service

Schedule A(r)

The Schedule A(r) hiring authority are term appointments for a period between one and four years. Employees who are appointed under term appointments do not earn competitive status. These roles can be posted on our website instead of USA Jobs.

Schedule A(u)

The Schedule A(u) authority can be used to hire term or permanent employees. This hiring mechanism is used for hiring people with severe physical disabilities, psychiatric disabilities, and intellectual disabilities. Such individuals may qualify for conversion to permanent status after two years of satisfactory service. Severe physical disabilities include but are not limited to blindness, deafness, paralysis, missing limbs, epilepsy, and more.

Direct Hiring Authority (DHA)

The DHA is a career hiring authority that can be advertised as term limited or permanent. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) can grant this type of hiring authority to federal agencies for filling vacancies in specific occupations, grade levels, and locations when it can be proven that there is a critical hiring need, or a severe shortage of candidates. These roles must be posted on USA Jobs.

Veterans’ Preference

Veterans’ preference is a Federal hiring law that states certain veterans receive special consideration in the hiring process. It applies to nearly all competitive and many excepted service positions and is distinct from the various veterans’ appointment authorities described above. Veterans’ preference is not a hiring authority; rather it is an entitlement that certain individuals (and relatives of individuals) earn based on their military service.

Based on their eligibility, individuals are categorized as either “5 Point” or “10 Point.”

Still have questions?

General questions Please reach out to TTS Talent via #hiring or email for information regarding hiring.