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75 Table 7-1. Examples of recruitment and training cost elements. Labor Costs Direct Costs Recruitment Costs Attending job fairs Ad placement Composing ads Advertising stickers Signing/referral bonuses Interviewing Costs Reviewing applications Interviewing applicants Screening Costs Processing checks DMV/background checks Drug testing Initial Training Costs Classroom trainer Trainer (contracted) BTW trainer Course material Trainee wages instructors (i.e., wheelchair-lift instructors, defensive driving Case Study Summaries instructors, and sensitivity instructors), and in-vehicle instruc- tors. Any time spent by management staff in the classroom was The following is information about each ADA paratransit also included as was staff time spent developing curriculum for system studied. Included in this section is information about training. Training wages for new operators were also included the system structure and size, recruitment and retention efforts, and the cost and turnover data collected. in labor costs for this category. Direct costs for training included any contracted operator training with outside organizations and purchase of course materials, if external. Charlotte Area Transit System All cost data was then subtotaled by category, giving the Special Transportation Service subtotal spent on recruitment, interviewing applicants, Introduction screening applicants, and training. These figures were divided by the number of applicants, applicants screened, applicants The Charlotte Area Transit System's Special Transporta- interviewed, trainees, and graduates hired to result in the cost tion Service (CATS STS) has a fleet of 85 vehicles used in rev- per individual in each category. enue service, with a peak pull-out of 72. Annual ridership All costs and applicant/trainee/operator information was totaled 239,400 trips in FY2009. Service is provided to Meck- based on the first 9 months of Calendar Year 2009. This infor- lenburg County residents living in the STS service area. STS mation and cost was then annualized. Labor costs (where currently employs 61 full-time, 21 part-time, and 2 full-time needed) were annualized based on a 2,080 hour, 52-week temporary operators, for a total of 84 operators. work year. Similarly, direct costs were gathered for each unit Vehicle operator starting pay was recently increased from $12.80 per hour to $14.41 per hour. Operators receive 10 days and multiplied by the number of units per year. For example, paid vacation to start, plus 9 paid holidays. Individual health the cost of one ad placement was recorded and multiplied by care coverage is available with a $14.76 employee contribution the number of ads placed per year. And finally, some costs per week, and family coverage is provided with an employee were reported on a per-applicant basis. In order to annualize contribution of $96.17 per week. applicant/trainee/operator figures collected and get a handle During this past year, CATS received 250 operator appli- on unit costs (per applicant and per operator), average cations and interviewed 25 of them (10%). These 25 were annual numbers were collected in the following categories: narrowed down to 20 after the interviews took place. As a result of the screening activities, the number of applicants was · Average total number of applicants recruited per year, then reduced to 12. These 12 operators were trained and suc- · Average number of applicants interviewed per year, cessfully completed the training, and all 12 were eventually · Average number of applicants screened per year, hired as vehicle operators. · Average number of trainees per year, and The calculated attrition rate for this operation is hence · Average number of operators (trained graduates) hired 14% (12 new operators divided by 84 total operators). per year. Recruitment and Advertising Costs per applicant/trainee/operator were multiplied by the average annual figure to produce the average annual cost for a STS does not advertise or recruit, except to place a job ad certain line in the budget. For instance, costs per interview, on the city's website. Individuals can apply on the city's web- computed using the hours of staff time multiplied by hourly site or walk in to CATS or STS facilities. The STS telephone wage, were then multiplied by the number of applicants inter- number is on all CATS STS buses, and STS typically main- viewed per year to reach the annual total spent. tains a large pool of applicants.
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76 The City of Charlotte Human Resources (HR) handles the all completed before training begins, and the assistant to the website and forwards applications for STS operators. Since GM helps each new hire with its completion. Approximately Charlotte Human Resources manages all city hiring, the time 1.5 hours is spent per new hire. With 12 new hires per year, spent solely on STS job postings per year was considered neg- approximately 18 hours are spent per year. ligible. Further, the HR department was not able to separate out the time for STS listings from all other job postings. Training STS reported that it has not had a trainee drop out of train- Applicant Interviews ing in recent years. STS does use a 6-month probationary STS receives an average of 250 applicants per year for vehi- period for new operators, and two operators have been dis- cle operator positions, based on FY2008 and FY2009 data. missed during this period in the last 2 years. Since this is after The General Manager's assistant reviews the applications, the completion of initial training, it was considered part of and the Assistant General Manager narrows this pool of post-training turnover. Therefore, the number of graduates applicants, typically to twice the number of available operator hired per year is considered equal to the number of new oper- positions. Annually, this averages to approximately 25 appli- ators trained (trainees) per year. In STS's case, this figure is 12. cant interviews. Reviewing applications takes up approxi- STS holds approximately three training sessions per year mately two hours of time each week for the General Manager's with between three and five trainees per session. During assistant. the average 4 weeks of training, trainees spend nearly all of the The General Manager's (GM) assistant schedules the inter- first week in the classroom. Approximately one-third of the views and spends time with each interviewee reviewing the second week is spent in the classroom, and the third and fourth basics of driving an STS bus. All of this takes approximately weeks are spent almost entirely on the road with operator 45 minutes for each interviewee. The Assistant GM spends trainers. STS staff reported spending just under 25 hours in the about an hour and a half with each interviewee. Interviews classroom training new operators. An additional 1.5 hours of include a discussion with the Assistant GM and a written test. training per session comes from the Metrolina Council for In total, STS spent $5,400 in labor costs on interviewing the Blind, which provides disability sensitivity instruction at applicants, averaging $216 per applicant interviewed and no cost. There is an additional eight hours of Smith System $450 per graduate hired. defensive driving, given by the Safety and Security division of CATS. Though the wages for this staff member do not come from the STS budget, they are included here as part of the Applicant Screening total training costs. Following the interview, the General Manager's assistant The training hours do not include a 6-hour city orientation conducts screening. STS requires a CDL permit before an course given by the City of Charlotte to all new employees. interview. They also conduct DMV driving record checks-- Charlotte Human Resources conducts this training in large any applicant with 6 or more points on their record is elimi- groups, and the training occurs whether or not there are STS nated from the pool. They pay for physicals for potential employees attending. Therefore, STS operator trainees do not hires, and also pay for required drug testing, which cost add additional costs to the City for their attendance. STS does $128.50 and $15, respectively. STS uses the website Hiring not pay for this instruction. Ease to conduct all other background checks, including look- STS conducts the entirety of its behind-the-wheel operator ing at North Carolina and other states criminal records, fed- training on regularly scheduled routes, with operator trainees eral criminal records, national sex offender listings, and social transporting the passengers during their first time behind security numbers. These checks total $45.50 per applicant the wheel. Also in the vehicle for approximately 80 hours of screened. behind-the-wheel training is an operator trainer, who sub- During screening, the staff spends approximately 45 min- mits daily evaluations to the primary instructor marking a utes on each applicant on background checks and accompa- trainee's strengths and areas for improvement. This method nying paperwork. Of the 25 applicants interviewed each year, results in no additional instruction costs, since operator train- only 20 are screened. Total costs for applicant screening, ers are operating their regularly scheduled routes. Operator including labor costs and background check fees, are approx- trainees are paid wages for their training hours on the road. imately $4,747. With 20 applicants screened, the cost per Operator trainers are not paid more than other operators and applicant screened is $237.37. do not work any hours for training beyond their regularly Included under this heading is additional paperwork scheduled routes. required in the hiring process, including medical benefits, tax Finally, the primary instructor rides along with the opera- forms, and various other required forms. This paperwork is tor trainees at the end of their behind-the-wheel training.