Four Disqualification Causes for Leading Change

January, 17, 2018

hiring-btnYou’ve put all your thoughts and documentation together strategically and were selected from a federal hiring agency for an SES position! You breezed through the agency panel interview and your ECQs were forwarded to the QRB (Qualifications Review Board) for certification. Now you’re excited and begin the process of relocating your family to start your new position, but then you receive a call from the hiring agency, stating that your ECQs were rejected by the QRB.

Now what? Well, you certainly can’t start your new job unless your ECQs are certified from OPM (Office of Personnel Management). You learn there are comments on all of your ECQs. The federal hiring agency forwards you the reasons that your ECQs were disqualified, but the language in the description is unclear.

Let’s start by tackling Leading Change, the first ECQ for SES applications.

General Comments from the QRB

  1. Board’s overall assessment was that candidate’s ECQs lacked the level of detail or enough information explaining the specific actions taken to actually overcome stated challenges or to achieve meaningful results.
  2. It was not evident that the ECQs were written effectively using the CCAR (Challenge-Context-Action-Result) format.
  3. Board found that throughout candidate’s ECQs, they seemed to convey that candidate’s technical expertise was the overriding factor in achieving successful outcomes, rather than their demonstrated executive-level leadership.
  4. Board members noted the write-up did not delve into candidate’s vision or strategic thinking, how they effectively ran programs through executive leadership, what problems were encountered, and what was done to overcome them.

Leading Change: Remarks from the QRB

  1. Board saw no evidence of leading or effecting transformation change at an executive level; description of casework did not highlight evidence of creativity/innovation, flexibility, resilience, vision, and strategic thinking or leadership action to drive impacting change.
  2. Board saw no evidence of executive leadership actions and how those actions were linked to significant or impacting results. The candidate should provide specific evidence of what he did to drive/lead change.
  3. Candidate identified two challenges, but did not clearly identify in either challenge of how they generated buy-in, formed a vision committee, rewrote the mission statement, and engaged outreach and worthy accomplishments.
  4. The actions stated that this candidate took seemed to be more about collaborating or building a coalition than about leading change. This ECQ is not clear.

If your ECQs have been rejected by the QRB, did the remarks sound anything like these? Did you feel a bit confused and lost, thinking the language unclear and wondering what you did wrong? These particular comments (and more) were sent from a federal agency to an individual who later submitted them to (CareerPro Global) for review and rewrite.

Our senior executive writer started from scratch with these ECQs, and fleshed out a new and much-improved set of professional “stories,” ensuring that this ECQ was written to the executive level required by the QRB, that all examples were written in the CCAR format, and that all 28 competencies were addressed and possessed a strong qualitative or quantitative accomplishment.

You can improve your ECQs, too. If you have recently has ECQs rejected by the QRB or are planning on responding to a job announcement, contact us today for a free consultation.

Add A Comment