OPM’s new HR Marketplace aims to be ‘community center’ for federal services

The HR Marketplace aligns with the workforce agency’s pre-designation as the quality services management office (QSMO) for human resources solutions.

The Office of Personnel Management’s recent launch of an online marketplace for human resources solutions is just the beginning of what the agency hopes will be a one-stop shop for HR best practices, market intelligence, and a catalog of available services.

The HR Marketplace, which is hosted on the General Services Administration’s Acquisition Gateway, was announced publicly last week, and currently has a catalog of HR solutions from federal shared service providers like the Department of Agriculture’s National Finance Center and OPM itself.

But the agency is working on a strategy to also onboard commercial services and looking to ensure that information it provides is fresh so people will want to regularly return, Steve Krauss, a senior advisor for OPM’s HR Quality Services Management Office, or QSMO, told FedScoop.

Before the creation of the website, OPM sought input from those in the federal government and industry to get an idea of what people wanted in such a tool, Krauss said. While people wanted a place to do market research and understand the solutions available, they also wanted more.


“They really want something more like a community center where they can go and learn more about the standards and the things they’re supposed to be implementing,” Krauss said. 

That includes learning about industry-recognized best practices, getting market intelligence, and other resources, in addition to the solutions catalog that serves as the foundation of the marketplace, he added. And that’s what OPM is working toward. 

“What you will find is the beginnings of a site that is going to progress over time to become that,” Krauss said.

The rollout of the website aligns with OPM’s pre-designation as the QSMO for civilian human resources services across the federal government. Established in 2019 by the Office of Management and Budget, QSMOs are intended to serve as “governmentwide storefronts” for technology solutions and services in various areas, according to GSA. Since then, several agencies designated as QSMOs have launched similar marketplaces for cybersecurity, financial management, and grants. 

While OPM is still technically pre-designated as the HR QSMO — which means that it hasn’t yet received its official designation from the Office of Management and Budget — OMB has advised the agency “to proceed to full operating capability as a QSMO while it completes its designation process,” according to an OPM spokesperson. They also noted that there isn’t a “practical distinction” between pre-designation and designation in the QSMO’s ability to operate.


OPM was given a pre-designation as the HR QSMO in March 2022 and received a positive vote from OMB’s Shared Services Governance Board, after it presented its implementation plan, the spokesperson said. 

Although the website was announced publicly last week, it quietly went live about a month before with a small number of users, Krauss said. So far, the feedback from that group has been positive — and nothing is broken, he added. 

As OPM continues to build upon the site, it’s also in the process of standing up a steering committee for the marketplace. While still in the early stages of building that group, Krauss said it will comprise customer stakeholders, such as federal shared service providers and OPM, and eventually the agency is interested in adding commercial participants as well.

Krauss said OPM has in the past fielded a lot of questions from agencies about what solutions are available for things like payroll and support for hiring, and the marketplace gives people a place to go explore and research the options on their own “for the first time.” 

It also brings more attention to OPM’s broader HR efforts. 


“This just creates a focal point to generate sort of more awareness and affinity for the HR QSMO, the HR line of business, and the things that OPM is trying to do in terms of leading the community forward,” Krauss said. 

For example, he said, OPM is interested in collaboration and figuring out how agencies can learn from each other. Over the next five to 10 years, federal agencies are looking at the same few cloud-based software as a service (SaaS) platforms that can meet federal government needs, and something OPM is working with agencies on is whether the community can agree on a common set of requirements and efficient procurement for those platforms.

“Having this marketplace, having the site up as a focal point for that, is going to be really useful to us in terms of just sort of advancing that conversation,” Krauss said.

Madison Alder

Written by Madison Alder

Madison Alder is a reporter for FedScoop in Washington, D.C., covering government technology. Her reporting has included tracking government uses of artificial intelligence and monitoring changes in federal contracting. She’s broadly interested in issues involving health, law, and data. Before joining FedScoop, Madison was a reporter at Bloomberg Law where she covered several beats, including the federal judiciary, health policy, and employee benefits. A west-coaster at heart, Madison is originally from Seattle and is a graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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