Alternative Exams For Civil Service Positions


Typical civil service examinations are currently laborious and lengthy, extending the candidate selection process beyond six months.  In addition, hiring criteria to determine eligibility of qualified candidates is ambiguous, difficult to interpret consistently and outdated.  As a result, applicants are dissuaded from participating in the selection process limiting the state’s ability to attract the best talent.

The purpose of this civil service improvement is to identify opportunities to simplify and streamline the state’s selection process and develop recommendations to conduct position specific exams in the classification of Staff Services Manager I (Specialist) and Air Resources Engineer.


The civil service improvement project allows the state to assess its ability to attract job seekers to apply for position specific exams, with core competencies that are specific to the position.  Allows for a more “private sector” process for potential job seekers and a faster hiring process for departments.


  • Review and identify the timelines associated with the examination processes for a statewide and department specific examinations.
  • Determine opportunities within the examination processes, reduce applicant confusion and abbreviate the hiring process.
  • Explore automation options to support and evaluate applicants (i.e. automated resume screening and searches).
  • Develop a framework for department specific assessments that quantify and predict whether candidates are motivated by the factors associated with the department’s values

​Desired Outcomes:

​By October 2016, have a demonstration project adopted by the State Personnel Board that allows for an alternative testing regimen for the Staff Services Manager I (Specialist) and Air Resources Engineer classifications.