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County GAO Committee reviews customer service improvements in hiring practices



With more than 13,000 employees, King County is enhancing its hiring practices in the Human Resources Division to make the job application process more user-friendly. These enhancements include new customer service protocols, efficiencies and outreach through electronic media, the King County Council’s Government Accountability and Oversight Committee learned at its June 29 meeting.

Job applicants have access to convenient online features now that all county agencies are using the web-based Neogov hiring and recruiting tool. Applicants can apply on-line and take advantage of the many features available with this online application system. Basic application information is stored online so that applicants do not need to recreate it for each job opening. The system also allows applicants to monitor the status of all of their job applications easily. The Neogov system saves county resources because it makes tracking applications and communicating with applicants much easier and automated.

Other efforts to improve the job application process include new, mandated customer service protocols that require staff to notify applicants within 72 hours at each step of the recruitment process, including when the hiring decision is made. In addition, because each department does its own recruitments, the recruiter’s name and phone number now are listed prominently on every posting to let the applicant know clearly who to contact.

“It is difficult enough to search for a job in an economic recession, so this work to make the hiring process more user-friendly is very timely,” said GAO Committee Chair Kathy Lambert. “We want a well-balanced workforce, and we want the hiring process to be positive experience that is clear and fair. It is important to make a good first impression.”

The Human Resources Division plans to continue improving the job application process for King County by incorporating technology to reach out to potential applicants. For example, Human Resources is working on establishing new LinkedIn and Twitter accounts to update recruiting methods with technology and improve outreach to a broader and more diverse audience through social media. Plans to update the county jobs website will make it easier to read and navigate. In addition, applicant surveys will be used to collect comments about the job application process.

The GAO Committee also heard about the accomplishments of the county in achieving a diverse workforce. As required by county code and federal reporting requirements, each year the County reports on whether hiring reflects the diversity of King County’s population. This year’s report shows that the county continues to be a diverse place to work.

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