The city of Los Angeles’ hiring process takes too long, needs modernization and ends up attracting too few women, according to a report released today by City Controller Ron Galperin.
The multi-step civil service process takes an average of more than seven months to complete, the report found, while the municipal workforce does not represent the gender breakdown of Los Angeles, where women make up half of the population but are just 35 percent of the civilian workforce.
“The ability of our city to serve our residents, businesses and visitors depends first and foremost on attracting and retaining the very best people to work for our city departments,” Galperin said. “To do so, it is vital that we modernize the city of L.A.’s outdated recruitment and hiring process — along with updating our civil service system. Taxpayers and stakeholders deserve nothing but the best of the best from those entrusted to serve. We are fortunate to have so very many outstanding employees in our city government — but we must adapt to new ways of hiring and managing our human resources.”
The city of Los Angeles has a workforce of approximately 55,000 employees, composed of approximately 41,000 civilian staff and about 14,000 sworn personnel at the police and fire departments.
Among Galperin’s recommendations are that the city should expand the methods it uses to find candidates and evaluate whether salaries, job qualifications and job titles are aligned with comparable industry jobs. For example, the city receives thousands of applications for customer service entry- level jobs in the Department of Water of Power likely because of relatively high starting salaries, yet professional jobs in information technology may pay less than their counterparts in the private sector, the report said.
Galperin also said the city needs to reduce the total hiring time by working with job experts and vendors and adopting best practices in use by other cities and the private sector.
To address the gender gap, Galperin said the city should focus some of its recruitment efforts on universities, organizations and events for women and provide non-traditional and management roles for women.
“Personnel continues to work with departments and city leaders to develop new and exciting ways to help current city employees grow and excel while providing a dynamic and exciting workplace environment for new employees to begin exciting careers,” Personnel Department General Manager Wendy Macy said. “The journey has just begun and the controller’s report helps illuminate the path forward. With support from our city partners, we will improve civil
service through changes in approach as well as policy and achieve the goal to make Los Angeles the best employer in the United States.”
The full report can be found at www.lacontroller.org/hirecalling.