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Department of Homeland Security customer experience

Department of Homeland Security Launches Hiring Initiative to Transform CX

New Hires Will Help the Department in its Digitalization Efforts

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The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has launched a new hiring initiative to transform its CX and improve service delivery. The largest CX hiring initiative of its kind by any federal agency, the new program aims to hire hundreds of technologists with product management and CX expertise to support digitalization efforts at DHS agencies and offices.

The department-wide focus on CX falls under Executive Order 14058 from President Biden to transform federal CX and service delivery to rebuild the trust of citizens in the government. For DHS, new digital services will eliminate millions of hours of paperwork, reducing the department’s administrative burdens and improving access to benefits.

Related Article: OMB Launches Biden Agenda Calling for Improved CX Within the Federal Government

“I have made it one of our department’s top priorities to modernize our delivery of services by harnessing technology and other innovations,” says DHS Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas in a statement released by the department. “Together, we can improve the customer experience for the millions of individuals with whom we interact every day, while advancing equity, protecting individuals’ rights and liberties, and increasing our openness, transparency, and accountability.” 

On a daily basis, the department interacts more frequently with the American public than any other federal agency, including travelers moving through the country’s air, land, and seaports; businesses importing goods into the country; and those applying for citizenship. 

Targeted CX objectives

The new DHS initiative builds on the department’s prior work to complement individual office and agency goals, with fresh hires supporting various CX objectives on which the department is working.

One objective is to improve air travel. The Transportation Security Agency (TSA) is deploying mobile driver’s licenses and touchless curb-to-gate experiences, rolling out CX training for all officers, and boosting their ability to respond to traveler questions across multiple channels. 

A second objective is to help disaster survivors apply for assistance. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is redesigning and simplifying its online disaster assistance application and updating policies to enable disaster survivors to obtain assistance more quickly and efficiently.  

A third objective is to simplify citizenship and immigration service applications. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is digitizing forms and allowing immigrants to understand eligibility factors more easily.

A fourth objective is to strengthen information sharing. The Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) is improving how law enforcement and first responders across the country access timely intelligence from DHS through the new DHS Intel App, enabling law enforcement partners to spend less time in front of a computer and more time focused on their mission. 

A fifth objective is to reduce the burden imposed by paperwork. DHS has set a target of eliminating 20 million of the 190 million hours of burden it imposes on the public each year, as measured under the Paperwork Reduction Act. All DHS forms must use plain language, avoid asking for information already possessed by the department, and be usability tested. 

Related Article: OMB and GSA Designate $100 Million to Improve CX for the Public Sector

Service to Country

Eric Hysen, DHS chief information officer, recounts how he left Silicon Valley for government service so that he could use his skills to serve the country. “We are asking technologists from across the country to consider the call of public service to make a significant impact in the lives of travelers, disaster survivors, those accessing citizenship and immigration services, and the many other customers who depend on DHS for critical services.

DHS will recruit widely, including from non-traditional backgrounds and underserved communities, to attract an inclusive and diverse talent pool—one that reflects the American people it serves, DHS states in its official release. The department is committed to investing in the next generation of leaders by offering competitive salaries and opportunities for professional development, it adds.

For those interested in supporting the DHS mission, visit the DHS Customer Experience Recruitment page to learn more and apply. Prior government experience is not required. 

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