The Selection Process
How to Know When a Job Is Available
Job announcements describing the position and minimum qualifications are updated on a continuous basis as new positions become available and posted at the Human Resources Department, or on the City's web site. Job openings may also be advertised in various employment offices and local publications.
If the job you are interested in is not currently available, you may complete a Job Interest Card online.
The following information is intended to give applicants information about the selection process at the City of Concord. Suggestions for completing the employment application, getting ready for the written test(s), attending an appraisal interview, and other general procedures are included. If you have any further questions, please feel free to call the Human Resources Department at (925) 671-3308 for more information.
This page is for informational purposes only. It is not a regulation or policy, nor is it binding in any way. Some recruitments may follow different procedures due to the nature of the position. Following these steps does not guarantee selection; it is only meant to serve as an informational tool.
Selections at the City of Concord are made through what is termed the "competitive examination" process. This process begins with the completion of an employment application (unless otherwise stated in the job announcement) and continues through to the Panel Interview and/or departmental Selection Interview. Other steps may be added depending on the nature of the position under recruitment.
The first step is the completion of the employment application; a résumé with a ten-year employment/salary history may be substituted for selected positions. The job announcement will clearly state if a résumé will be an acceptable substitute. In either case, this is your initial opportunity to provide information on your qualifications as they relate to the position for which you are applying. Completed applications are initially screened to determine whether an applicant meets the minimum qualifications for the position as outlined in the Job Announcement. Applications of those applicants determined as meeting the minimum qualifications are then reviewed by a Human Resources Analyst and a subject matter expert to determine who is to be invited to continue in the examination process. A limited number of candidates whose applications clearly show that among those competing they are better qualified in terms of relevant training and experience will be invited to continue in the examination process as outlined in the Job Announcement under "Application Process."
Depending on the extent of the recruitment, the examination process may include a written test, performance test(s), a typing test, or other specialized tests. These tests are additional selection devices used to determine qualifications for performing essential job functions; they may be qualifying only or weighted and/or combined with the other tests. Exams frequently will include a Panel Interview as well as a departmental Selection Interview. You will be notified of the results of each examination step by email. You are encouraged to call our office prior to the tentative date of the next step in the process if you have not heard from us.
The employment application is your first chance to present your qualifications to the City. As such, it is extremely critical to your continued participation in the examination process. Before you begin, please review thoroughly what the Job Announcement specifies as the requirements to qualify for the position. You must meet these criteria to be considered for the position; please ensure you do, or you will be wasting your effort in completing the application. Most entries on the form are self-explanatory, but a few pointers on filling it out may help:
- Be accurate and honest. Falsification can lead to disqualification or dismissal.
- Be thorough when discussing experience. Convey experiences most directly related to the particular position, including volunteer work.
- Resumes may be attached, but will not substitute for application entries (unless specified in the Job Announcement). The application form provides a standard format necessary for consistent review of applications. "See resume" may result in disqualification.
- Applications must be received no later than the Final Filing Date specified on the Job Announcement.
Written exams are usually obtained from one of several test construction firms available to us. These tests are designed to determine your level of technical and/or analytical abilities associated with the particular position for which you have applied. Questions are usually multiple choice, using scanned answer sheets for computerized scoring. Some tips on filling out these sheets: a) make sure you are marking your answer in the row that corresponds to the test booklet question, b) if you change an answer, completely erase it so the scanner doesn't pick it up as a response, c) use only the pencils provided and make dark marks, and d) do not bend or fold your answer sheet.
You can approach such tests in many ways, and if you are comfortable with your methods, then by all means continue to follow them. If you haven't had much testing experience, here are some ideas on how to tackle a test:
- Don't spend too much time on any one question. If you are unsure of the answer, come back to it later. (Ensure you skip the space and write the question number down on your scratch paper.)
- If you go back to a question and still are unsure of the answer, go ahead and guess. Answers that are left blank are scored as wrong answers. Do not leave blank answers (unless told to do so).
- Periodically compare the booklet question number to the answer sheet number to ensure you are in the right sequence.
- Use the allotted time wisely. If you finish early, go back and check over your answers to make sure you answered them all.
- Remember your first "instinct" is often correct; consider that before changing your answers.
- If you believe a question is invalid, write the question number on your scratch paper. When you are finished with the test give the question number to the test proctor and a Human Resources Analyst will review the question before the tests are scored.
Test results will be sent by email, usually within 5 working days. If you receive a passing score you will be invited to continue in the examination process.
A Typing Certificate issued within the last twelve months will be required to be submitted with the employment application for those positions involving typing and/or word processing skills. The required typing speed is shown on the Job Announcement. The speed indicated is the Net Words Per Minute (NWPM) needed for the position. Typing certificates can be attained through temporary employment agencies, adult schools, and most colleges. Self-administered computerized typing test results will not be accepted. Please call (925) 671-3308 to obtain a list of local agencies and schools.
Performance exams test your ability to accomplish specific job-related tasks by providing the opportunity to actually perform them. These tests are scheduled through the Human Resources Department office, with email notification to you of the date, time, location and duration of the test. You will be given instructions on the tasks to be completed and then asked to complete them. Individuals with considerable relevant experience will conduct the evaluations. Safety, quality of work, adaptability, performance under stress, etc. are evaluated.
Some positions will require specialized testing, such as agility, shorthand, writing, etc. These tests are scheduled just as other tests are and you will be notified by email of the results.
The Panel Interview
When used, the results of this component of the exam process will be used to determine if you should be included on the List of Eligible Candidates forwarded to the hiring authority for consideration for a departmental Selection Interview.
This portion of the examination is normally weighted 100% (or as indicated on the Job Announcement). Typically, your previous test results are used only to qualify you for participation in the Panel Interview.
The Panel is comprised of qualified individuals, which may or may not be employees of the City. Normally, the panel will consist of three evaluators. These individuals will evaluate your responses to a variety of job-related questions over the scheduled time period. Candidates receiving an average score of 70% or higher are placed on the List of Eligible Candidates. Please keep in mind that being on this list does not mean you will be selected for a position; it indicates that you are technically qualified.
The following are some tips for the Panel Interview:
- Questions are job and experience related. Prepare for your responses along those lines.
- Concentrate and keep your answers to the point as a limited amount of time is scheduled for each interview.
- Be aware of the information given on your application. The board may ask questions about it.
- Make sure you arrive for your interview about ten minutes early to give yourself a chance to relax. Allow plenty of time for travel, etc.
- Board members may take notes to help them remember you; don't be distracted.
You will be notified of the results by email normally within five working days of your interview.
The Selection Interview
Once the List of Eligible Candidates is established it is sent to the Department(s) that are hiring to fill a current vacancy. The Department Head is responsible for setting up Selection Interviews. He/she may interview anyone on the list, since all persons referred to the department are qualified. The Department Head will be looking for the candidate with the best qualifications for their particular position.
The candidate selected to fill the vacancy will undergo a medical examination, drug screen, background investigation, and a probationary period (see job announcement) before attaining permanent employment status. Additionally, in accordance with Federal Law, the candidate is required to provide proof of identity and proof they may legally work in the United States. All employees are also required to sign an oath of affirmation of allegiance as required by State Law.
If you are hired, there are a variety of employment benefits that accompany most City of Concord positions:
- A League of California Cities award winning employee training and development program providing all employees an opportunity to acquire and enhance job specific and professional skills, which includes a Tuition Reimbursement Program.
- Paid medical and life insurance provided upon employment and dental insurance coverage after you serve a qualifying period
- Paid retiree health benefits that include qualifying dependents
- Liberal vacation policy which increases with additional years of service
- Paid holidays
- Generous CalPERS retirement formula
The City of Concord is an Equal Opportunity/Veteran's Preference Employer
The City of Concord is an Equal Opportunity/Veteran's Preference Employer