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Recruiting, Hiring, and Retaining Staff 65 The sample job requirements for a transit system director, presented below, include more details on the essential skills required for success in that position. JOB REQUIREMENTS DIRECTOR JOB REQUIREMENTS Education: A bachelor's degree from an accredited institution in trans- portation or related field. List required minimum education, years of Experience: Previous managerial experience, including 5 years of public- experience, and specific sector managerial experience, at least two of which are with a transit system. job-related knowledge, Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: skills, and abilities required to perform the job. Comprehensive knowledge of transit system management, including finance, budgeting, purchasing, personnel administration, and market- ing. Considerable knowledge of state and federal regulations affecting public transportation systems. Ability to plan and organize activities and resources for the efficient accomplishment of transit objectives. Ability to effectively coordinate the activities of supervisory personnel in the operations and maintenance functions. Ability to establish effective working relationships and rapport with the Transit Board, representatives of funding organizations, general public, community groups, subordinates, and other city departments. Ability to write and speak effectively; ability to implement, interpret and apply policies, procedures, and collective bargaining agreements. Skill in determining the community's immediate and long-range transit needs; skill in advising supervisory personnel in resolving personnel, mechanical, and operational difficulties. Skill in planning and directing the efficient utilization of budgetary, staff, and material resources. Review of Compensation Package Once you have determined the type of person needed to fill the position, what you are offer- ing the appropriate candidate needs to be clearly defined. This will be helpful in determining where to recruit and may become part of the position advertisement. More guidance on devel- oping a compensation package can be found in Section 3. Benefits such as training, schedules, flexibility, promotional opportunities, bonuses, uniforms, and health and wellness programs can be very attractive to people, in addition to pay and tradi- tional benefits such as health insurance, retirement, and paid leave. Recruiting Generating the interest of qualified candidates to fill the various positions in a transit system may be an everyday challenge. Recruiting methods vary by location and success rate, as well as by need and resources. Once the steps outlined previously, in terms of preparing a job descrip- tion, reviewing the qualifications, and determining what combination of offerings are part of the total compensation package, have been completed, the recruitment method can be determined. The appropriate and most successful recruiting method may become clear based on the steps of pre-recruiting. For example, if the desired workforce is of a part-time nature, recruiting meth- ods more likely to reach these potential candidates may be selected. Common methods for recruiting include newspaper advertising, internet advertising, employee references, and job fairs. Each has positives and negatives. Knowing who is being

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66 Employee Compensation Guidelines for Transit Providers in Rural and Small Urban Areas Part-Time vs. Full-Time? Recruiting Methods (from Project Survey) The decision to hire part-time labor or full-time labor is one with many considerations. In smaller agencies, Survey Response No. a history of part-time employment may need to be Newspaper Advertising 246 reviewed, because the original decision may have been Internet Advertising 97 based solely on a need to minimize overtime and ben- Employee/Personal Referrals 204 efits. As the service has grown, opportunities to create On-Vehicle Advertisement 27 more full-time positions may exist and may be desired Job Fairs 51 to reduce turnover and improve consistency. Con- Newsletter Advertisements 30 versely, service changes and continued growth may Other 67 result in a greater need for part-time employees to fill extra work, weekend work, or peak-hour only work, and those seeking work may be more likely to desire recruited is important in choosing the recruiting methods to part-time work. use. Additional methods cited under "other" include use of employment centers and workforce development programs, In many cases, benefits are only offered to full-time television and radio advertising, and community bulletin employees. Some agencies offer progression to boards. full-time as a promotional opportunity, initially hiring all employees into part-time work. This can be helpful Using local newspapers, such as those geared toward desired in creating a pool of experienced candidates to hire populations (e.g., seniors or retirees) or that are more commu- from within: however, those who truly want full-time nity oriented, particularly where the agency seeks employees in work may be turned off by this requirement. particular locations, may be very effective. Broad reach advertising is also available through the use of television and radio spots. Potentially expensive, they have been successful. Opportunities may exist to use public service announcements, which are often free. Local access cable or govern- ment television stations are great sources for this type of advertising, whether using a profes- sionally produced advertisement or simpler "ticker" type ads. Where to focus recruiting efforts relates to the job functions and requirements as well as desired employee traits and skills. Additional considerations include The number of applicants desired, Technical or trade skills and certifications required, Keep a Log Cost and cost-effectiveness of effort, When determining the most effective recruiting Human resources required for the effort, media, a review of the disposition of former applicants Particulars of job that may be more attractive to certain pop- is helpful. Maintaining a log that records the name of ulations, and the applicant and other vital information is often The audience for the effort. required for human resources reporting purposes. In When recruiting for more technical positions, such as addition to this information, it is helpful to maintain mechanics, it may be helpful to seek out local community col- information on the sources of recruits and whether or leges or trade schools that offer this type of education. Admin- not they were hired or disqualified for some reason. istrative positions may also fit this category. Trade schools that Trends may surface indicating the most successful offer driver training, particularly CDL training, can be tapped sources of recruits. for those positions. Using this information can also help determine the Positions with high turnover are candidates for the develop- cost-effectiveness of certain recruiting sources. For ment of internship or apprentice programs, where your transit instance, a newspaper advertisement may cost $100, system takes part in a student's overall education, primarily from which five applicants are generated. The cost per through trade schools or community colleges, by providing applicant is $20. If two of those applicants are hired, hands-on training opportunities while the student earns credit the cost per successful recruit is $50. for coursework. Although this does not guarantee that the

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Recruiting, Hiring, and Retaining Staff 67 intern or apprentice will stay with the transit system once coursework is complete, a relationship has been established that may be built on through full-time employment opportunities. The apprentice has an accurate perception of the transit system as an employer, and the system has a greater understanding of the apprentice's skills and abilities. Employment agencies offer a great deal of pre-screening, providing highly qualified tempo- rary long-term, part-time, and full-time candidates. For administrative positions, these can be a good source, because the employer can test candidates before offering employment. There is usually a contract when an employer wants to make an offer to a person represented by an agency. When working with employment agencies, workforce development programs, placement agencies, and job centers, transit systems have found that close and direct interaction has improved the quality of applicants. Having a designated contact who understands the business needs of the transit system may help the employment agency be more thorough in pre-screening applicants and identifying those with the right attributes. Where HR is separated from the tran- sit function (e.g., county governments) this approach can help in coordinating the efforts of a centralized recruiting program and the transit department. Some transit systems have found success with community-based or community-oriented recruiting efforts. In areas served by the service, the systems market themselves as a service provider and as an employer, so as to hire persons with a sense of community pride. Opportuni- ties for this type of recruiting include local fairs and expos, community forums and discussions, and service presentations to interested groups. Sending employee referral teams to these events can be successful in demonstrating a positive work environment to prospective employees. Many transit systems surveyed for this research indicate that they use on-vehicle advertising, such as a magnet or sign on the back of the vehicle. Drivers should have information in case they are approached. It may be helpful to have applications on the vehicle for distribution on request. Newsletters and payroll stuffers can be useful when recruiting, particularly when the transit service is part of a larger system. This process can help in closing gaps in the process when the HR department is separate from operations by creating opportunities for interaction. Many transit systems indicated that benefits, flexible scheduling, and work- One-Stop Programs ing with needy populations motivate When people are looking for work, they can be very easily frustrated by the potential applicants and employees. time the process takes, and perceive a lack of timely feedback as a lack of When determining how to recruit, a interest by the employer. Many position announcements are open-ended or quick survey of current employees to seem that way and can result in losing good candidates. identify what it is they value may direct future efforts. Highlighting these Therefore, many transit systems have streamlined their recruiting and hiring important attributes of the job in any processes by conducting on-site interviews and qualifications reviews, providing advertising media will help in attracting instant feedback to interested applicants. This is particularly successful at job candidates with similar values. fairs and career centers. Conditional job offers are made at the time of application, contingent on background screening, etc. Applicants have a With only part-time work to offer positive outlook from the beginning, and systems find they are less likely to and limited benefits, many transit sys- lose qualified applicants because of a slow process. tems seek retired persons who are inter- This concept may require significant resources to secure staff capable of ested in working but want control of conducting interviews, particularly at large job fairs and events. Community their lives. Benefits and wages are rarely fairs where the agency normally would attend to provide service what capture this group's attention. A information, including health fairs, senior expos, and the like are additional well-written advertisement posted at opportunities for this type of recruiting. retirement centers, senior citizen hous-