I'm writing in regard to a recent Sound-off piece, "Stop double-dipping," in which the writer suggested that the government should eliminate more senior retired military from applying for civil service jobs as a cost-cutting measure. I'm not sure how that would cut cost, but having been on both sides of the government's hiring process, I can tell you that the focus is getting the best qualified person to fill a particular position.
Competition is extremely keen and, as you might imagine, the more senior applicants with more relevant experience and required training will generally have the inside track. Hiring authorities are looking for someone who can hit the ground running and get up to full speed in minimum time.
In one instance, after closely reviewing the records of all candidates, I hired the guy who was already assigned to temporarily fill the vacancy. Since he was already in the seat, selected because of his knowledge and experience, it was a no-brainer choice and history has since bore me out.