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Screening Applicants 43 Exhibit 5-2 (Continued) Industry Strategies: Screening Applicants Strategy Strategy Description physical abilities tests are beneficial for positions that require constant physical activity. For example, if the job requires a person to lift 50 lbs. over his/her head, organizations are asking applicants to lift this amount of weight during the interview. One organization has their applicants cut a log in half with a chain saw. This organization has found that some applicants, who indicated several years of experience with chain saws, do not know how to start the saw when asked. Organizations that have adopted these practices have also seen a decline in their worker compensation cases. Screen for "Fit" Organizations have also begun to focus efforts on including realistic job previews (RJPs) in job advertisements. A realistic job preview is where organizations, verbally or through video, provide a description of a typical work day for a person in the open position. Organizations sometimes even bring the person to the job site. They are careful to describe not only the good parts of the job but also the challenging and unpleasant aspects. If an applicant does not feel that he/she can handle the challenges and unpleasant parts of the job that individual will either screen himself/herself out or the organization will encourage the individual not to apply. This screening approach saves the applicant from having a bad experience and the organization from wasting time and money on additional recruitment efforts. Some candidates will appreciate the honesty and perceive the organization as a forthright employer. 5.3 Workforce Practices. Fourteen workforce practices that were designed to assist in making the process of "Screening Applicants" within transportation agencies efficient and effective were reviewed, and we identified one workforce practice that was noteworthy within this context: Pennsylvania DOT Civil Engineer Training (CET) Program For this practice, we conducted a case study. A summary of the case study is presented below. The full case study can be found on the TRB website at http://trb.org/Main/Blurbs/164747.aspx as part of Volume II: Supplemental Materials. The full case study description details each practice's background, implementation, maintenance, evaluation, and transferability.
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44 Strategies to Attract and Retain a Capable Transportation Workforce Pennsylvania DOT Civil Engineer Training (CET) Program. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) has approximately 12,000 employees, not including consultants or contractors, of which roughly 10,500 are engaged in maintenance, Pennsylvania DOT Civil Engineer Training restoration, and expansion of the highway (CET) Program system. PennDOT has created the Civil Job Type: Engineers Engineer Training (CET) program to identify, recruit, and retain civil engineers by allowing ROI: Mid-term program participants to gain 1 year of work Generation: Younger experience rotating through the phases of civil Key Program Highlights: engineering (CE) work at PennDOT. CET o Trainees are exposed to different phases participants, or CETs, are inducted in a class of Civil Engineering work through a 12- of 25-35 trainees; each trainee must pass month job rotational period before full- department tests and go through orientation time employment within a chosen area and training programs to become acclimated of the agency to their work with PennDOT before they begin their year-long rotation. After the o Class sizes range between 25-35 trainees trainee completes all the requirements o Helps agency increase applicant pool associated with his/her 12 months of training and retention rates, while improving and job rotations, the candidate becomes organizational performance eligible for full-time permanent status as a civil engineer with PennDOT. The CET program equips candidates with a supervisor, training coordinator, and a mentor to familiarize them with PennDOT and guide their career development. PennDOT created a manual for the CET program discussing the roles and responsibilities of the CET, the work phases CETs will experience (e.g., the planning and programming phase, design phase, etc.), the training courses CETs will take and activities in which they will participate, and evaluation forms for CETs to track their own progress and evaluate the CET program. Additionally, PennDOT requires CETs to maintain a daily log of activities in the form of a journal, which serves as a record for PennDOT and for the trainee to track his or her progress. The CET program was implemented by the Workforce Division of PennDOT. The Workforce Division brought Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) together from various DOT disciplines to help create the CET manual, which gets distributed to all trainees. PennDOT's Workforce Division also partnered with the Civil Service Commission to streamline the CET application process, which can otherwise be cumbersome, and to ensure the validity of the CET entrance exam. PennDOT communicates the practice to employees and to college students, the target audience of the CET program, through learning institutions, the PennDOT website and internally through PennDOT's intranet site, job fairs, and the Civil Service Office in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. All steps of implementing the CET program have been performed internally, and thus the only cost to PennDOT has been in employee time and resources. To assess the success of the CET program, PennDOT uses a number of measures: (1) surveying CETs and their supervisors for feedback, (2) examining trainees' performance reviews at the end of each trainee job rotation, (3) reading CETs' journals, and (4) examining CET completion rates of various markers in the CET program. Based on the feedback from the aforementioned methods, and on the increasing applicant pool and rising retention rates, PennDOT considers the CET program a success and credits the program with improving organizational performance.
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Screening Applicants 45 Other Example Practices To serve as an additional resource for agencies interested in "Screening Applicants," we have included a list of other practices that transportation agencies have implemented for this purpose. Additional information on each of the following practices can be found in one- to two-page summaries within the supplemental materials. Decentralization of Human Resource Revision of Restrictive Recruitment Policies Responsibility and Practices Eliminating Restrictive Hiring Regulations Shaping Applicant Attitudes/Intentions in Hiring Panels the Selection Process Innovation in Recruiting and Hiring for SonicRecruit Wisconsin's Department of Employee Step One Survey II Relations Use of Technology in Human Resource Internet Recruitment Processes New Hampshire's Computerized Hiring Validating Entry Requirements and Process Program Examinations One Day Selection Workshops The practice summaries include information, such as the lead organization, practice description, practice purpose, targeted participants, return on investment (ROI) timeline, influence of the economy, innovativeness, and resources to find out more information on the individual practices.