232 Policy

232.1 Nondiscrimination in Hiring

It is Postal Service policy not to discriminate in personnel decisions on the basis of:

  1. Race, color, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity, including transgender status), national origin, religion, age (40 or over), genetic information, disability, or retaliation for engaging in EEO-protected activity as provided by law; or
  2. Other non-meritorious factors, such as political affiliation; marital status; status as a parent; and past, present, or future military service.

232.2 Management Responsibility for Filling Vacancies

Forecasting short- and long–term recruitment requirements is one of management’s most important responsibilities. Within budgetary restrictions, managers must determine which vacancies are operationally essential. Managers must also allow adequate lead time for internal job postings and to recruit for external postings when internal sources do not identify a sufficient number of eligible, qualified applicants.

232.3 Definitions Applicable to Recruitment

The following definitions apply to the subject of recruitment:

  1. Recruitment — the process of attracting suitable applicants for employment consideration.
  2. Selection — the identification of those applicants who best meet the requirements of the position by reviewing their suitability and qualifications.
  3. Qualification standards — official statements of knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs). These standards establish the minimum requirements that all applicants for Postal Service positions must meet.
  4. Hiring List — a list of qualified applicants arranged in descending order for employment consideration, based on numerical scores determined by examination ratings, the evaluation of KSAs, or both, with veterans’ preference points added to the scores of those who claim them. The scores of those veterans’ preference applicants who receive compensation for service–connected disabilities of 10 percent or greater resulting from active military duty are considered ahead of those for all other eligibles.
  5. Appointing official — the Postmaster, Human Resources official, or other nonbargaining employee who is authorized to make appointments in the Postal Service.
  6. Career appointment — the selection for one of the career positions, including full-time, part-time regular, and part-time flexible positions — both FLSA-exempt and nonexempt. Such appointments are without time limitation. Career employees are eligible for annual and sick leave, health insurance, life insurance, and retirement benefits (see 233, Career Recruitment).
  7. Noncareer appointment — the selection for one of the noncareer positions, including, but not limited to, Casual, Rural Carrier Associate (RCA), Postmaster Relief (PMR), Postal Support Employee (PSE), City Carrier Assistant (CCA), and Mail Handler Assistant (MHA) positions. Noncareer employee appointments and reappointments are often subject to time limitations and restrictions defined in the appropriate collective bargaining agreements. Noncareer employees are not eligible for life insurance or retirement benefits; however, they are subject to the provisions of the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA) (see 234, Noncareer Recruitment).
  8. Honorable conditions discharge — a discharge or release from active duty service in the Armed Forces where the character of service is honorable, under honorable conditions, or general. Though an under honorable conditions or general discharge is acceptable for veterans’ preference or Veterans Recruitment Appointment, it indicates that there was a derogatory reason for the discharge that requires investigation during suitability screening (see 514.2). Discharges that are other than honorable, undesirable, bad conduct, and dishonorable do not meet the honorable conditions discharge requirement.

232.4 Internal Recruitment and Placement

232.41 General Provisions

Most career vacancies within a Postal Service installation are filled internally by reassignment, promotion, or a change to lower level of qualified career employees who are designated the successful bidders or applicants. An employee in a permanent rehabilitation position has the same rights to pursue promotional and advancement opportunities as other employees. When positions cannot be filled by employees who are on the payroll of the installation with the vacancy, secondary consideration must be given to qualified career applicants from other installations within an expanded geographic area subject to appropriate collective bargaining agreement provisions.

232.42 Bargaining Vacancies

The appropriate collective bargaining agreement governs the following:

  1. The internal placement sequence for bargaining vacancies.
  2. Conversions to career and reassignments from other installations.

After applying the provisions of the appropriate collective bargaining agreement, the remaining bargaining vacancies may be filled by one or more of the external methods described in 233.3, External Recruitment - Competitive and Noncompetitive.

232.43 Supervisor and Other Nonbargaining Vacancies

The Supervisor Selection Process is outlined in Part 75 and placement procedures for filling other nonbargaining vacancies are outlined in Chapter 7, Assignment, Reassignment, and Promotion.

232.5 External Recruitment

232.51 Use of External Recruitment

External recruitment is required when essential residual bargaining vacancies are anticipated. External recruitment is also used to fill certain nonbargaining positions when there is no adequate internal applicant pool. This applies particularly to nonbargaining positions that require specialty degrees such as engineering or medicine.

232.52 Positions Restricted to Applicants Eligible for Veterans’ Preference

The Postal Service restricts certain positions, whether career or noncareer, to applicants eligible for veterans’ preference under the Veterans’ Preference Act of 1944. This rule applies only to appointments from external recruitment sources, whether competitive or noncompetitive. The Postal Service has restricted the following positions:

  1. Building maintenance custodian.
  2. Custodian laborer.
  3. Custodian.
  4. Laborer custodial.
  5. Postal police officer.

Appointing officials may consider applicants who are not entitled to veterans’ preference only when preference eligibles are not available for appointment. Appointing officials must ensure that:

  1. They attempt to recruit preference eligibles.
  2. They exhaust the list of preference eligible applicants for the vacancy.

Districts have two options when recruiting externally to fill restricted positions:


Use this option…


Restrict competition to preference eligibles only.

Experience has shown that normal public notice will provide enough preference eligible candidates.

Accept applications from preference eligibles and nonpreference eligibles, but refer nonpreference eligibles for employment consideration only when there are no preference eligibles.

Experience has shown that normal public notice will not provide enough preference eligible candidates.

Note: A public notice for a restricted position must have a statement explaining if the Postal Service will accept applications from nonpreference eligibles, and if so, that the Postal Service will not consider the applications, if preference eligibles are available.

Exception: The rule of restricting positions for applicants eligible for veterans’ preference:

  1. Does not apply when the Postal Service fills restricted positions through internal career placements such as promotion, reassignment, or change to lower level.
  2. Does apply when the Postal Service fills such positions through reinstatement and transfer from another agency.

232.6 Reimbursement of Travel and Relocation Expenses

If in the best interest of the Postal Service, employees and prospective employees may be authorized reimbursement for travel and relocation expenses, consistent with the provisions of Handbook F-15, Travel and Relocation.