Number: IV.1.
Date Issued: April 18, 1991
Date Revised: Mar 4, 1993


To define the elements and timelines of the processes that occur for recruitment and examination of applicants for appointment to County service.


County Code Section 4.15.020 Appointment Procedures
Civil Service Rules Section V.


Section IV.7. Examination Board Composition
Section IV.9. Examination Appeals
Section IV.10. Test Proctoring Standards


  1. The Personnel Department provides recruitment and examination services for all County departments with the exception of the Health Services Agency and the Human Resources Agency which provide their own staff to perform these services for job classes unique to their agencies.

  2. Agency personnel staff follow the standards, methods and procedures established by the Personnel Department in conducting recruitment and examinations.

  3. The following are the elements of the process, with time guidelines noted where applicable:

    1. The need for the recruitment is identified:

      1. by the department because of a vacancy communicated through a Certification Request or a memo.

      2. by Personnel to establish a pool of candidates for referral as needs arise.
    2. Responsibility for recruitments is assigned to analysts through department assignments or cross-county class assignment.

    3. The analyst reviews the past practice for the job class and meets with the department representative where the position(s) is/are found, to establish a target date for the establishment of the eligible list and timelines for completion of the process. These timelines are confirmed to the department(s) by memo or E-mail.

    4. The analyst reviews the job analysis and exam plan on file, or conducts a new job analysis for the purpose of defining the exam plan and/or developing new test components.

    5. The class specification is reviewed for currency and accuracy.  If it is determined that there is a need to change the class specification, the analyst may complete a specification revision, prior to conducting the recruitment.

    6. The analyst prepares recruitment materials including the job bulletin, an advertising plan and supplemental applications. All materials must be ready for printing on the Tuesday prior to the Monday determined to be the first day of filing to meet printing deadlines.

    7. The analyst prepares examination materials with the goal of all materials being identified prior to the publication of the job bulletin so that all relevant information can be published.

    8. The analyst arranges review of all examination material by subject matter experts, to assure that the material is still accurate and relevant.

    9. A minimum of a 2 week filing period occurs. (Note: The minimum filing period required by Civil Service Rules is 7 calendar days. By Personnel Department policy the 2 week filing period is the practice. A 7 calendar day filing period would be allowed for promotional only examinations where assurances could be made that all eligible applicants could be aware of the recruitment and be able to file a timely application.)  For filing periods of four weeks or longer, tentative selection process timelines are published on application materials.

      NOTE: When recruitments of any length are significantly delayed due to unforeseen circumstances, applicants will be notified of the delay within 7 working days of knowledge of the delay and will be told the tentative new timeline.

    10. Application information is entered into the computerized system as received. Throughout the filing period and at the close of the filing period, the analyst or technician reviews applications received, noting those not meeting the minimum requirements.  Within three days of the closing of a recruitment period, Personnel staff notify individuals who do not meet the minimum requirements, sending them the appropriate notice which notifies the applicant that they have 7 calendar days to appeal this determination. (See Section IV.9. Examination Appeals.)  For continuous recruitments, applications will be reviewed every two weeks with applicants being sent notices regarding accepted/rejected applications. Accepted applicants will be informed of the current status of that testing schedule. Those who do not meet the minimum qualifications may appeal as noted above.

    11. The analyst, technician or clerk arranges for the administration of the examinations, scheduling proctors (See Section IV.10. Test Proctoring Standards), for written examinations or compiling a panel of examination raters. (See Section IV.7. Examination Board Composition). Tests are scheduled to occur no sooner than 
      7 calendar days from the final filing date, to ensure that applicants appealing a decision on not meeting minimum requirements, are provided an opportunity to respond and still take the test if the decision is reversed.

    12. Candidates are sent notices of the time, date and location of the examination. Notices are mailed a minimum of 7 calendar days prior to the examination.

    13. Test scores are computed within 3 working days of the administration of the test. All exam appeals are investigated prior to scoring examinations.

    14. Analysts review all test results prior to notices being mailed to candidates.

    15. Test result notices are mailed within 5 working days of the administration of the test. This is the standard for all test processes including competitive screening, written, oral, performance, etc.

    16. Once all phases in the exam plan are complete, the eligible list is established within 5 working days of the administration of the final phase.

    17. Any pending certifications are completed and sent to departments within 5 working days of the establishment of the eligible list.

  4. Turnaround times for completing recruitment/examination and certification:

    1. Categories of recruitment types:

      1. Continuous - difficult to recruit

      2. 2 week filing

      3. Extended recruitment - more than 2 week filing

    2. Categories of examination phase types:

      1. Standard/one test - a single test event

      2. Standard/two tests - two test events

      3. Standard/three tests - three test events

      4. Training and Experience rating - paper screening only

      5. Qualification Appraisal - no test given

    3. Minimum qualification determinations are made and notices sent to applicants within 5 working days of the final filing date.  For continuous recruitments, notices of accepted and rejected applications are sent on a biweekly basis.

    4. Notification of test scheduled - 7 calendar days prior to the test.

    5. Notification of test results and establishment of the list - 7 calendar days following the last phase in the exam plan.

    6. Certification - 5 working days from the establishment of the eligible list. In the case were a request for a certification is received and an eligible list exists, certification will occur within 5 working days of the receipt of the request.

    7. Method of determining the target date of establishing an eligible list preceded by a recruitment and examination process:

      1. Factor in the review process - steps III.A through III.H. above - 30 calendar days from point of notification to the opening of the filing period;

      2. Add the length of the recruitment, considering the recruitment type. e.g. 2 weeks - 14 calendar days;

        Note: Continuous examinations can be "cutoff" for processing on any given Friday at 5:00 pm and have no initial review process so that the target date is computed from the point of cutoff date. Applications received after the cut-off date will be held for later processing.

      3. Finally, add the examination time considering the examination type. Note: the standards presume testing events and not the actual number of test types given. One testing event may have both a written and a performance test.  

        1. One testing event - 14 calendar days from the closing or cutoff date

        2. Two testing events - 28 calendar days from the closing or cutoff date

        3. Three testing events - 42 calendar days from the closing or cutoff date

        4. Qualification appraisal - 7 calendar days from the closing or cutoff date

        5. T & E - 10 calendar days from the closing or cutoff date

      4. Certification will occur within 5 working days of the establishment of the eligible list.