001 WRIPAC Newsletter
THE PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE
Congratulations to Aubrey, Jan and Jack on the first edition of the WRIPAC News. It’s a strong step toward realizing our goal of improving communication with member agencies and other public selection programs in the region. Please support the Newsletter by submitting short reports on your current projects; soliciting information that other agencies may have; sharing your research findings; publicizing your staff vacancies; or expressing your thoughts on an area of common concern.
It's impressive to realize how rapidly we have reached the stage where we are cohesively working together. By continuing to productively utilize our time, energy and expertize on our projects, we'll undoubtedly surpass our goals. It will be particularly interesting to hear the committee progress reports at our November meeting to enable us to better visualize our next steps.
Because of their planning and plotting; Ted Darany and Rich Joines have been particularly responsible for our initial organizing efforts. On behalf of WRIPAC, I’m expressing our gratitude for their leadership. By inviting representatives from other agencies with similar assessment concerns to attend our meetings and work with us on committee projects, we can continue to strengthen their initial efforts.
Several members have expressed concerns relating to maintaining a quality selection program during cost-cutting times. The environment of Proposition 13, Collective Bargaining and Inflation seems to constantly erode many of our efforts to fill soaring numbers of vacancies, meet affirmative action goals, comply with Federal and State guidelines and keep up with the state of the art. Our need for imaginative approaches that will produce more efficient methods and systems is spiraling.
Talent usually follows talent and unless we take positive steps to retain and enhance the image of the public sector as a viable employer, we will not only begin to lose many of our better employees but also further lose our competitive edge on the private sector. By sharing our approaches, solutions and failures in combatting our budgetary problems, the membership of WRIPAC, in general, may benefit.
Some of the more effective approaches appear obvious and others more complex. I'd like to share a few of them with you in the hopes of initiating a continuing dialogue in this area.
Identifying whether tests which are being used as ranking instruments are still needed.
At the L.A. City Schools, we have shortage of qualified clerical applicants. Our basic clerical employment procedures consisted of a written test which is similar to the Minnesota Clerical Aptitude Test, a typing and/or shorthand test and an interview. A survey of the last shorthand test two thousand candidates tested indicated that only four candidates who passed the performance test were not successful on the written test. Of those four, three were successful on the written test when they retook it. The written test, however, appears to predict superior workers over less competent workers. Since we were exhausting-all clerical lists, ranking of these candidates lost its importance. By dropping the written test part during this clerical applicant shortage period, we have been able to greatly expedite the testing of clerical applicants and significantly save resources and lose fewer candidates who may have found jobs during the testing process.
Developing and administering test batteries for family groups. Many classes, especially when in the same family, have common SKAPs. Once identified, common tests can be developed and administered to candidates for several exams. The amount of staff and testing time, and resources saved, can be great.
Determining when a full scale job analysis is not essential. A study of adverse impact data from previous exams can easily pinpoint those classes most in need of a full scale job analysis. It's relatively easy to produce a simple printout which supplies the data needed. If your statistics show little adverse effect, you may wish to divert your resources to those classes in which adverse impact is significant. This approach can enable you to wisely determine the extent of risk you are willing to take.
Using Eligibility Lists produced for similar classes. We often create long list which are used to fill one vacancy and then turn around and measure the same SKAP in another exam for another class which has one vacancy. If we can determine that the candidate population is basically the same, the salary is the same or less for the second exam and the SKAPs are sufficiently similar, the original list can be used as ''a most appropriate list,'' thereby removing the need to develop and administer an examination.
Asking operating departments to fully participate in and pay for recruitment campaigns.We often receive complaints from operating departments that our classified ads were too small or that we didn't talk to enough of the right groups. Operating departments are frequently willing to fund display ads and to talk to professional groups about their jobs if invited to do so and if they realize the limitations of the recruitment budget.
Utilizing telephonic interviews. Often an excellent candidate lives in another part of the country and we lack the budget to bring the candidate to our agency. Agencies in all major cities are usually willing to not only administer tests but to make quiet office space available for a telephone interview. A conference call between the interview committee and the candidate can be as successful as a face-to-face interview when it is well designed and structured.
Cooperative test and recruitment efforts. Two to four agencies can often successfully share their recruitment and selection resources, facilities and expertise when testing for the same classes if the rates of pay/benefits, environments and geographic area are the same or similar.
Simplification of paperwork and forms.It's a continuing source of amazement and amusement to see how many different forms in almost any agency contain the same basic information, how many different places it's filed, and how many things we do with these forms (which at one time had a reason). Periodic review of forms and processes usually contain goldmines of untapped potential efficiency sources. We recently conducted a cursory review of our procedures and found our staff was unnecessarily typing many documents into final form for in-house use only. By slowly stopping the practice we are saving otherwise lost valuable typing time.
I’ve only touched upon some approaches being used to cut costs - and purposely avoided automation because that's a topic by itself. Hopefully, you will also communicate your thoughts on this topic in future editions of the newsletter.
SUMMARY OF MINUTES, AUGUST WRIPAC MEETING
The first meeting of the Western Region Intergovernmental Personnel Assessment Council WRIPAC) was held on August 15, 16, 1979 in Millbrae, California. Representatives of eighteen jurisdictions attended the meeting.
By - Laws
A subcommittee prepared a draft set of by-laws for consideration by the group. Most participants agreed that appropriate topics had been addressed; however, there was lengthy discussion concerning the wording of several sections. The group's comments will be incorporated into a second draft which will be distributed to the membership prior to the next meeting.
Election of Officers
Elections were conducted and the officers for this coming year are:
President: Anita Ford (Los Angeles Unified School District)
Vice President: Roger Carey (Solano County)
Secretary/Recorder: Karen Coffee (Cooperative Personnel Service)
The participants expressed their thanks and appreciation to Ted Darany, San Bernardino County, who provided initial direction for the group as temporary Chair.
A tentative meeting schedule was established for the remainder of the program year.
November 14, 15, 1979 Los Angeles
February 6, 7, 1980 Kellogg West (Pomona area)
May 8, 9, 1980 Las Vegas
All committees should try to meet the day before the regular two day meeting in order to minimize travel expenses.
Guests at meetings are welcome and encouraged; however, anyone planning to bring guests should notify Karen (213) 620-3725 in order to insure adequate meeting facilities.
Agenda for Next Meeting
The group suggested a variety of topics for possible inclusion on the November agenda. A tentative agenda will appear in the newsletter.
Funding and Reimbursement Procedures
WRIPAC's finances were reviewed by the group. Under the provisions of this year's IPA grant, attendance at three of the four meetings can be reimbursed through the grant. Participants are, however, encouraged to seek reimbursement through their own agencies, particularly for meetings close to home.
Three new members were voted into WRIPAC. They are:
Aubrey Kesterson, Clark County, Nevada
Ed Cole; Sacramento Municipal Utility District
Angie Bifano, Santa Barbara County
In addition, a new category of individual membership was established and Rich Joines, HEW, was voted into the group on this basis. This membership category can be utilized on a special basis where there is a problem with agency membership (eg. federal government).
In order to accomplish the program goals of WRIPAC, it was decided that a series of committees should be formed, each focusing on a specific topic. All committees met to begin planning their activities. Individual committee reports will be included in the newsletter. Below is a brief synopsis of each committee's purpose.
Newsletter This committee will be responsible for publishing a quarterly newsletter as well as for maintaining liaison with other groups and consortia.
Standardized Approach to Job Analysis and Test Portability This committee will determine what standards should be established for conducting job analysis in view of current legal requirements. One or more methods of conducting job analysis will be recommended for use so that jurisdictions will be encouraged to use the same methods which in turn will facilitate job comparability and test exchange.
Test and Test Item Exchange/Search for Selection Alternatives A system for test and test item exchange among member jurisdictions will be established, including procedures for storage and distribution of items. A test exchange agreement will be developed to ensure test security. Secondly, methods for conducting a search for alternate selection procedures with less adverse impact as specified in the Uniform Guidelines will be explored.
Automation of the Selection Function A comprehensive review of the application of automation of selection functions will be made. This committee will consider what functions can be automated on a cost effective basis as well as the feasibility of cooperative automation.
Identification of Common Assessment Problems Which Can Be Addressed Through WRIPAC The committee will look for solutions to common assessment problems identified by WRIPAC members. Solutions may include the identification of source materials and/or personnel, or possibly the preparation of grant proposals to address specific problems.
WRIPAC COMMITTEE MEMBERS
ITEM EXCHANGE/COSMIC SEARCH COMMITTEE
COMMON PROBLEMS COMMITTEE
AUTOMATED SYSTEMS COMMITTEE
JOB ANALYSIS STANDARDIZATION COMMITTEE
CALENDAR OF MEETINGS AND CONFERENCES
October 12 - Los Angeles
PTC Workshop: Testing the Handicapped
Contact: Dina Kelleher, Personnel Research Analyst
Security Pacific National Bank
PO Box 2097 Terminal Annex H19-1
Los Angeles, Ca 90051
November 2-3 - Oxnard
PTC Conference: Personnel Selection in Court
Contact: Joan Hoffman
Security Pacific National Bank
PO Box 2097 Terminal Annex H19-1
Los Angeles, Ca 90051
November 14-15 - Los Angeles
Information to be sent to members and interested people in October
AGENDA ITEMS FOR NOVEMBER MEETING
Item Exchange/Security Agreement
February Meeting - Time, Place
Items to be included in the January 1 WRIPAC Newsletter should be submitted by December 15, 1979 to the appropriate WRIPAC Newsletter Committee member.
Jan Klein: Minutes, Calendar Events, Affiliate Consortia News
Jack Clancey: Abstracts of Legal Decisions, Available Jobs
Aubrey Kesterson: Project Abstracts, Reports of Interest, Committee Reports, Exams (For exchange or assistance), Cosmic Search Needs
Senior Budget Analyst - Contact ·Aubrey Kesterson, Clark County
Director of Personnel - City of Las Vegas, Nevada
Information of Interest
Phil Carlin of the City of Tucson has some interesting methods of testing for fire fighter. The First Encounters Acceptance Test (F.E.A.T.) physical agility exam employs a "stamina" oriented battery of activities designed to provide an equal opportunity for passage regardless of sex. Contact Phil for specifics.