It is essential to assess the available qualified candidate pool and the competition (current and future) for those candidates. Screening tools such as realistic job previews, written exercises and requirements for specific courses and specific degrees can narrow the pool of candidates to those with the most desirable qualifications. Interview questions directly related to the competencies required will help identify the most desirable candidates. Required preservice training with monitoring, feedback and evaluation helps eliminate or improve poor performers and identifies those without the requisite skills to perform the job. The use of good screening tools and technology are essential in the selection process. Human Resources must ensure that managers and others on the interviewing teams are trained to conduct
appropriate screening interviews and are knowledgeable regarding recruitment and selection policy,
collective bargaining agreements, merit system requirements and the use of available technology. For useful examples, check out the Recruitment and Hiring Tools page on the Child Welfare Information Gateway website.
Unions and merit systems may affect the way in which workers are selected and, later on, impact performance management and retention. The agency must engage these entities as partners when developing the Code of Ethics, selection criteria and hiring procedures. It benefits everyone to hire people into jobs in which they can be successful.
Agencies need to use a formal system and relationshipbuilding techniques to engage union representatives as allies to get employees into positions where they can perform optimally or to counsel them into other jobs. Human Resources should be involved as a partner in any employee management settlement discussions or policy on proposed employee policy revisions.Merit systems for hiring staff generally require testing of candidates, detailed selection processes and preemployment requirements like drug testing, fingerprinting and background checks. Conducting this testing in a routine manner in anticipation of vacancies can contribute to maintaining an applicant pool of qualified candidates. Internship programs can also contribute to the candidate pool and speed up the hiring process.The need to maintain a candidate pool makes it imperative to have employeefriendly policies and procedures in place to attract candidates who may be swayed by higher compensation elsewhere. Partnering with unions may help to create an environment that draws new hires.The existence of collective bargaining agreements and unions, in combination or separate from a merit system, provides a specific legal framework with limited flexibility. Collective bargaining agreements generally cover the conditions of employment and compensation and incentive programs. There are often provisions for seniority transfers or bidding for positions.