Philly's hiring practices take 1 year, on average, to hire city employee

New study suggests changes to city hiring process

Pat Loeb
June 26, 2018 - 5:12 pm

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Philadelphia will need to replace thousands of city employees in the next 10 years as the current workforce retires. 

But a new report by the Pew Trusts said that to get the best workers, officials might want to take a look at some problem areas in the civil service system. 

"We interviewed more than 40 Philadelphia officials who described the city's hiring practices as cumbersome, inflexible and slow," said researcher Katie Martin.

Martin said it can take up to two years for a job applicant to get hired by the city, so the city loses out on job candidates who just can't wait that long. 

The report makes no recommendations but identifies a number of challenges: a greater reliance on tests than other big cities, for example, and the "rule of two," which states that only the two top-scoring candidates can be considered for a post.

"Others give their managers greater flexibility to consider other candidates," she said.

"This just further supports the work we're doing," added Christine Derenick-Lopez, the city's chief administrative officer.

She said the city is already working on a hiring overhaul, including shortening hiring time and improving recruitment.

"The processes, for the most part, have not changed since the 1950s, so we have a lot of work to do ahead of us," she noted.