State praises online job application
- By Brian Robinson
- Jul 04, 2002
Washington's online job application system, one of the first such government
systems in the country, has suffered only minor glitches and so far must
be rated an unqualified success, according to executives with the state's
Department of Personnel.
The first classes of available government jobs, mainly in information
technology, were put into the system in October 2001. Now there are some
1,600 classes covering such "high volume" areas as social work, office and
clerical support, and professional-grade employment (hr.dop.wa.gov/statejobs/inetapp.htm).
State application forms have been online for some years, but they had
to be downloaded, printed and mailed. The new system enables everything
to be conducted online.
The time taken to process applications has fallen from about five weeks
to just a few hours, according to Dorothy Gerard, assistant director for
the Department of Personnel.
"As far as job candidates being made available to hiring managers almost
immediately, I think it has to be considered an unqualified success," she
said. "Even those agencies with [low volume] unique classes of jobs are
clamoring to get them onto the system."
The other advantage is that the system handles testing as well applications,
she pointed out. Candidates can take the tests required by agencies and
submit them online. Once the candidate passes the test, he or she is placed
onto the government's job registry.
Some additions still have to be made to the system, Gerard said. State
hiring authorities cannot get to a candidate's resume-type histories online,
she said. Online information is limited to a candidate's rank order right
now, and the hiring managers have to get in touch with the DOP if they want
The capability to get histories online will be programmed into the system
in the near future Gerard said, and there are still other enhancements the
department wants to make.
"We don't feel we are at the apex yet of what we can do to provide all
of the information we want to include in this system," she said.
Robinson is a freelance journalist based in Portland, Ore. He can be reached
Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.