743 Selection Process

743.1 Internal Recruitment

The following sections describe the characteristics of the internal recruitment process.

743.11 When to Consider Noncompetitive Applications

Competitive procedures are not required when (a) management initiates, or an employee requests, reassignment to the same level; or (b) an employee voluntarily accepts a position at a lower level or requests such a position in writing.

However, the following guidelines apply:

  1. The employee must be in a permanent position (i.e., a position of record that does not have a specified ending date).
  2. The employee’s level is defined as the level of the employee’s permanent position (position of record and not subject to a specific timeframe). The employee’s level is not that of a detail, temporary, or “not to exceed” position.
  3. Employees with saved grade status may be considered noncompetitively for positions up to and including the level of their saved-grade position.
  4. Employees seeking noncompetitive consideration must submit a written request to the selecting official.
  5. Employees may request noncompetitive consideration at any time, before a vacancy is posted, during the time it is posted, or after the posting has closed.

A noncompetitive applicant may be selected at any point before or during the competitive process, or after a competitive package has been considered. Employees selected noncompetitively must meet the qualifications required for the position.

743.12 Competitive Selection

If a position is not filled through noncompetitive procedures, then it is filled competitively through employee application in response to a vacancy announcement.

743.13 Defining the Area of Consideration

Selecting officials are responsible for defining the area of consideration. The minimum area of consideration should consist of no less than all eligible career EAS employees within the district.

All eligible EAS employees (including area, Headquarters, and Headquarters field units) may apply if their current work location where they physically report to work is physically located within the geographic (service) area of the organizational unit stated in the job posting.

After the assessment of potential applicants, the area of consideration may be expanded to include (a) bargaining employees, (b) larger geographic territory (i.e., area-wide or Postal Servicewide), and/or (c) external advertisement.

743.14 Determining Eligibility

Career employees are eligible to apply for EAS positions if they are within the area of consideration.

Other employees are eligible under the following circumstances:

  1. Extended eligibility. Eligibility is extended for certain postmaster positions, as follows:
    1. EAS-16 and below postmaster Postmaster relief/leave replacements (PMR/LRs) may apply and compete for postmaster vacancies within their district. When the PMR/LR applies for his or her Post Office, the PMR/LR must be considered by the selecting official at that Post Office.
    2. Postmaster (self-nomination) Local career employees from the vacancy office who are qualified and eligible for the postmaster position may exercise the right of self-nomination to ensure review by the selecting official. This opportunity applies to all career EAS employees at the vacancy office, as well as career bargaining employees for those postmaster positions advertised for EAS and bargaining employees.
  2. Special nomination for EAS positions. Vice presidents of Area Operations and the manager of Corporate Personnel Management may nominate employees from any location within the Postal Service for any vacancy advertised so that they may be considered in competition with applicants from within the area of consideration. This nomination process is to ensure expanded opportunities to resolve saved grade situations, hardship, and/or trailing spouse cases.
743.15 120–Day Time Limit on Higher–Level Temporary Assignment

When a vacant nonbargaining position is filled by higher–level temporary assignment (detail) pending selection of a person for permanent placement, an employee may be assigned to the position for a total of not more than 120 calendar days. A vacant position is one where the previous employee has been separated or has been placed in another job. If the employee on temporary assignment could become or is a potential candidate for the vacant position, the higher–level assignment must be terminated before the 121st day. If the detailed employee is not a candidate, the next higher–level manager over the manager with the vacancy must verify the noncandidate status of the employee in order to approve an extension of the temporary assignment beyond 120 days. The duration of this approval is until a selection is made and the new employee permanently assumes the position. An employee who has served in a vacant position for more than 120 days is ineligible for placement in that position.

743.16 Exceptions to the 120–Day Limit

The 120–day time limit does not apply if the assignment is:

  1. To a position at the same or lower level.
  2. During the temporary absence of an employee.
  3. To an officer–in–charge assignment.
  4. To an initial level supervisor position.
  5. To a headquarters position.
743.17 Posting a Vacancy Announcement

The vacancy announcement is prepared using the guidelines provided in Handbook EL–350, Establishing Nonbargaining Requirements. Announcements are posted for a minimum of 15 calendar days. The elements listed in a through c are included as appropriate. Section 763.22, Local Options for Typing and Driving Requirements, describes the circumstances in which typing and driving can be added.

  1. The duty station, work assignment, nonscheduled days, and work hours must be included. If any or all of these elements require frequent change in order to meet operational requirements, the announcement must so state.
  2. For postmaster vacancy announcements, include a statement that the selected applicant may be required to relocate to the new Post Office community if it is determined necessary to provide the required services, and to ensure his or her community involvement.
  3. Newly appointed postmasters may not be reassigned or appointed to another position in the Postal Service until 1 year has elapsed from the date of appointment as a postmaster. Individuals accepting postmaster appointments must be advised of this requirement. (For exceptions see 746, Requests for Exceptions to Policies.)
743.18 Conditions for Not Announcing

A vacancy does not have to be announced if an identical vacancy was announced previously and fewer than 120 calendar days have elapsed since the identical vacancy’s closing date. The two vacancies must have the same position title, occupation code, grade, location, tour (where applicable), and position requirements.

743.2 External Recruitment

The following sections describe the characteristics of the external recruitment process.

743.21 Recruiting for Additional Applicants

Generally, EAS positions are filled from within the Postal Service. Management is not required, however, to select postal applicants over significantly better qualified external applicants. Every effort must be made to select the individual who best meets the requirements of the position.

The human resources manager initiates external recruitment efforts when requested by the selecting official. To produce an adequate number of well-qualified applicants for a vacant position, external recruitment may be initiated (a) after exhausting the normal internal selection process, or (b) at the same time as the internal selection process.

The announcement sequence and time frame for external posting are as follows:

  1. The initial posting announcement may be for either internal applicants OR both internal and external applicants.
  2. After the initial posting, if the selecting manager wishes to expand the area of consideration, subsequent postings may be announced to the following applicant pools: (1) wider internal, (2) both internal and external, or (3) external only.
  3. If a vacancy is not filled within 180 days from the opening date of the first external posting, and if additional posting of the vacancy is desired, the cycle begins again with a posting announcement that is for either internal applicants OR both internal and external applicants.

External applicants must complete PS Form 2591, Application for Employment. (See Exhibit 743.21, External Recruitment EAS Vacancies.)

Note: Current Postal Service career employees are not eligible to apply for external job postings.

Exhibit 743.21 

External Recruitment - EAS Vacancies

743.22 Recruiting for A Through E Postmaster Positions

If external recruitment is needed to fill A through E postmaster positions, the vacancy must be posted for public information in the vacancy office, publicized to community organizations, and advertised in local publications. (See Exhibit 743.22, External Recruitment, Postmasters A–E, for the ranking and selection process for external applicants for these postmaster positions.)

Exhibit 743.22

External Recruitment, Postmasters A–E



743.3 Internal Applications

Internal applicants for all EAS positions must use Form 991, Application for Promotion or Assignment. A supervisory evaluation is required only for Initial Level Supervisor (ILS) applicants, as described in 73, Reserved, or associate supervisor, as described in 75, Supervisor Selection Process.

Applicants submit their applications directly to the location shown on the announcement, with an information copy to their current manager. The selecting official may verify any information provided on the Form 991 with appropriate individuals.

743.4 Assessing Applications

The following sections discuss three components used in assessing applications for both internal and external applicant pools: (a) the use of guidelines by personnel involved in the process; (b) process and documentation requirements; and (c) the maintenance of vacancy files and promotion reports by the Human Resources manager.

743.41 Using Guidelines

Selections are to be made in line with the philosophy and methods described in Personnel Selection Methods Web-based Training (Course 21553-00), available on the Postal Service Intranet. This course is required for selecting officials and review committee members. Individuals who have been certified on the instructor-led EAS Selection Methods Training (Course 21553-00) do not need recertification; however, review of the Intranet-based training course is recommended.

743.42 Process and Documentation Requirements

Applicants are evaluated based on their demonstration of the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) relevant to the position’s requirements. The KSAs to be considered are specified on the vacancy posting. Applicants’ qualifications are assessed in the manner described in 743.43, Assessing EAS Applicants.

Assessments must be recorded on a Requirement by Applicant Matrix. Each vacancy package must have one completed, dated, and signed matrix listing ratings for all of the applicants. When using a review committee, the chairperson is responsible for completing a matrix that documents the committee’s consensus ratings. If a review committee is not used, the selecting official must complete the matrix.

If the committee chairperson makes any notes in the consensus discussion, or the selecting official makes any notes regarding any of the applicants, while reviewing applications or conducting interviews, these notes are considered official documentation of the assessment process. Such notes must be preserved in their original state regardless of the format and medium used for recording. The notetaker must date and sign all notes taken.

743.43 Assessing EAS Applicants
743.431 Rating Applicant’s KSAs

Rate the applicant’s demonstration of KSAs for each requirement on the vacancy posting, and record the ratings on the Requirement by Applicant Matrix.

Use the following scale:

  1. 0 points Not demonstrated at minimum level.
  2. 1 point Minimally acceptable.
  3. 2 points Strong.
  4. 3 points Excellent.
743.432 Completing the Matrix

Instructions for completing the matrix:

  1. Entering names and KSA requirements. Spaces for entering specific requirements for the position are across the top of the matrix. Spaces for applicants’ names are on the left. All applicants must be listed on the matrix. If a review committee is used, the chairperson is responsible for recording the consensus ratings. If a review committee is not used, the selecting official records his or her ratings on the matrix.
  2. Evaluating requirements other than KSAs. Most Postal Service jobs only have KSA requirements. However, if a job does have requirements other than KSAs (e.g., education or test), you should first determine if the applicant meets the requirement(s). In the appropriate space on the matrix, record YES if the applicant meets the requirements, NO if the applicant does not meet them. This is the only rating for such requirements; do not assign points to them. Exercise caution when reviewing education or test requirements, taking care not to disqualify an applicant if the posting indicates that the requirement can be met at a later date.
  3. Evaluating KSAs. Indicate the applicant’s demonstration of the KSAs on the matrix. For an applicant who:
    1. Is clearly deficient in demonstrating one or more KSAs, record a zero (0) on the Requirement by Applicant Matrix for the requirement(s) that the applicant failed to demonstrate.
    2. Does not demonstrate any KSA at the minimum level, or who fails to meet a mandatory education requirement, no further consideration or rating is required. Record a zero (0) as the total KSA point score on the matrix.
    3. Meets a KSA, enter the number of points earned (1, 2, or 3) in the respective space.
  4. Compiling scores for applicants who meet ALL the requirements. Total the number of points achieved for the KSA requirements and enter the total KSA point score on the matrix.
  5. Using conversion tables. Refer to the conversion table for a job with the same number of KSAs as the vacancy. Conversion tables are located in Appendix F, Conversion Tables for EAS Positions. Locate the applicant’s Raw Score (total KSA points) and read across the chart to the converted score. This is the Basic Score. For external applicants, the person completing the matrix has responsibility for entering the Basic Scores into the eCareer system. (See Exhibit 743.432.)

Exhibit 743.432 

Completed Matrix for a Job With Five KSAs and an Education Requirement, External Vacancy



KSA 1:

Knowledge of statistical analysis packages (e.g., SAS)

KSA 2:

Knowledge of public relations and various media outlets

KSA 3:

Knowledge of survey research techniques and practices

KSA 4:

Knowledge of various approaches to evaluating employee performance

KSA 5:

Knowledge of purchasing and contract administration

Education Requirement:

Graduate degree in Industrial/ Organizational Psychology


(Total KSA Points)


(Does not include Veterans’ Preference)

Applicant 1









Applicant 2









Applicant 3









Applicant 4









Applicant 5









Applicant 6









743.44 Documentation Maintained by Local Services

The chairperson of the review committee and the selecting official are responsible for forwarding the following documentation to local services for retention, in accordance with Postal Service guidelines for retention of records.

  1. Requirements for retention of Requirement by Applicant Matrix, which are as follows:
    1. If a review committee is used one (1) consensus Requirement by Applicant Matrix per vacancy package.
    2. If a review committee is not used one (1) Requirement by Applicant Matrix completed by the selecting official.
  2. All notes recorded by the committee chairperson regarding a consensus discussion, and all notes recorded by the selecting official, regardless of format and medium on which notes are recorded. The notes must be dated and signed.

743.5 Roles of the Selecting Official and Review Committee

743.51 Selecting Official

The selecting official is the manager or supervisor with the vacancy. The selecting official assesses the potential applicant pool, defines an area of consideration and selects candidates for designated vacancies. He or she ensures that selections are made in keeping with all applicable selection principles, including equal employment opportunity laws and the Affirmative Action Program of the Postal Service.

743.52 Review Committee
743.521 Review Committee Function

When 11 or more applications are received, the selecting official with the vacancy must designate a review committee of at least 3 members. As a minimum, either the committee or the selecting official must interview individually every candidate recommended for the position by the committee.

If there are fewer than 11 applicants, the selecting official may: (a) designate a review committee, or (b) interview every minimally qualified applicant. The selecting official must be certified in Personnel Selection Methods Web-based Training. When a review committee is used, the selecting official must verify that each member has met the training requirement.

Two major functions of the review committee are to: (a) assist the selecting official in assessing the applicants, and (b) prepare a memo recommending candidates for the vacant position.

The selecting official and the committee should establish a relationship that includes sharing information concerning (a) the objectives of the office, and (b) how filling the vacant position will support these objectives.

743.522 Level of Committee Members

Review committee members must be EAS employees at a level equal to or higher than that of the vacant position. For review committee membership, level is defined as an employee’s permanent (or saved) grade, not a part–time or temporary level resulting from a temporary assignment (detail), ad hoc assignment, or temporary promotion.

743.523 Restrictions on Setting Up Review Committee

The restrictions on setting up the review committee include:

  1. Neither the supervisor of the position to be filled nor any manager exercising authority over the supervisor, up to and including the selecting official, may serve on the review committee or participate in its deliberations.
  2. Exceptions to review committee membership may be approved only by the area vice president. The reasons for making the exception must be fully documented and placed in the vacancy file.
  3. Review committee members are prohibited from participating in the consideration or recommendation of a relative as defined in 513.32c. Each member is responsible for identifying the relationship to the committee chairperson and will be immediately excused and replaced. A note explaining the action taken is included in the selection file.
743.524 Review Committee Duties

The duties of the review committee include:

  1. Considering Forms 991 submitted by all applicants.
  2. Conducting telephonic interviews or personal interviews as needed.
  3. Possibly requiring applicants to submit written samples of their past work that demonstrate their abilities to perform requirements directly related to the vacant position. However, the committee is prohibited from requiring applicants to take a written test, to write a paper on a specified topic, to analyze and solve in writing a prescribed managerial or technical problem, or to undergo any other kind of written examination.
  4. Recommending applicants to the selecting official.
  5. Notifying nonselected applicants.
743.525 Review Committee Recommendation Memo

The committee recommends applicants who best meet the position requirements. The committee prepares a memorandum (signed by all members) to the selecting official, listing the names of the recommended candidates. Recommendations are submitted in alphabetical order of the candidates’ last names. The Forms 991 (and written work samples, if required) of the recommended applicants are also furnished to the selecting official. The selecting official endorses the memorandum that all committee members have been certified on the Personnel Selection Methods Web–based Training.

743.53 Selection of Applicants

The selecting official, with or without the assistance of a review committee, identifies the applicant whose KSAs best meet the requirements of the position and who has a high probability of successful performance in the position.

  1. If a review committee was used, and the committee:
    1. Did not interview the recommended applicants, the selecting official must personally interview each of them before making a selection decision.
    2. Did interview the recommended applicants, the selecting official may:
      1. Interview them again before making a selection, or
      2. Select a candidate based on the recommendations made by the review committee without conducting additional interviews.
  2. If a review committee was not used, the selecting official must:
    1. Review the applications.
    2. Determine which applicants meet the minimum qualifications.
    3. Interview all minimally qualified applicants before making a selection.