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Action Plan for Recommendation #4 Implement Virtual Pre-Employment Realistic Job Preview Hyperlink to Exhibit 28: Overview of Strategic SOM Workforce Recommendations by Career Stage 93

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RECOMMENDATION #4 Implement Virtual Pre-Employment Realistic Job Preview Description: Agencies develop a virtual pre- Recommendation Highlights employment realistic job preview (RJP) that interested candidates can complete before applying for a job. Target Career Stage: Community colleges, four-year colleges, and Such tools are web-based and interactive, providing graduate schools candidates with a candid preview of what the job entails Will help with Attraction, Recruitment, by allowing them the opportunity to see what the job is and Retention like and participate in simulated job tasks. A virtual job Estimated Time to Implement: 36 preview can present various SOM-related positions in a months way that candidates find interesting and impressive. Provides opportunity for applicants to The RJP is like a virtual day in the life of an SOM determine if they will be a good fit for employee. Using an RJP, such as a video or a virtual the position job tryout, can show potential employees work Can provide a "wow" factor to conditions or exciting situations or activities applicants, given the interactive web- experienced on the job, which may encourage based technology applicants to pursue a career within the agency. An RJP An RJP can help to increase numbers of can also help frame job expectations so new employees applications, reduce attrition of new are not surprised or potentially disappointed by hires, and reduce turnover and training unknown requirements experienced on the job. Virtual expenses presentations can be very high-tech, which can also help to attract potential applicants and bring new employees to the SOM field. Rationale for Recommendation: Technological innovations have played a large role in the evolution of SOM careers. Innovations, such as Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), which involve the convergence of communication, computing sensing, and control technologies, require technologically savvy systems operators and managers. Cutting-edge recruitment technologies, like a virtual, interactive RJP, are not only more likely to attract a larger, more diverse candidate pool in general, but they will also attract a more educated, technology savvy applicant pool, in an efficient manner. Appealing to this applicant pool will be critical when attempting to fill openings in the top growing SOM occupations over the next 10 years such as Network System and Data Communication Analyst, Signal and Track Switch Repairer, and Computer Specialist. Furthermore, the existing skill gaps associated with SOM occupations, such as ITS knowledge, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), critical thinking, document management, and systems management, can be reduced by focusing the tool on these areas. 94

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RELEVANT POSITIONS TARGET AUDIENCES Source of Initiation Return on Investment Targeted Audience(s) Industry 0-2 years Primary: University Career Centers and Department Faculty Agency 3-5 years providing career 6+ years advice/mentoring to students at Primary Human Resource Focus community colleges and four-year Estimated Time to colleges, as well as to graduate Attraction Implement students. Recruitment 0-3 months Retention 3-6 months Development 7 months-1 year More than 1 year Implementation Level National Action Lead(s) Regional Agency HR Director/Manager State 95

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IMPLEMENTATION PLAN Steps to Implement 1. Assemble Project Team. 2. Identify Vendors and Compare Prices and Services Offered. 3. Identify Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). These are typically employees who supervise candidates for the target position. 4. Meet with Vendor to Finalize Requirements for the Development of the Tool. This meeting involves establishing expectations and team roles; determining how the tool will fit into the current process; and defining the project scope, communication, and change management plan. 5. Job Analysis. Vendor conducts performance modeling and job analysis with participation from SMEs. The vendor would typically review job descriptions; conduct site visits, focus groups and SME interviews; and administer a job analysis questionnaire. This can provide information about the job to be presented in the RJP. 6. Determine Format of Output. Agency works with vendor to determine format of the output from the administrations. Vendor should provide training on administering the RJP. 7. Quarterly Reports. Vendor produces quarterly reports demonstrating applicant activity and ROI. Agency should monitor the RJP over time to ensure that the content remains representative of the job. 96

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Graphic Depiction Below, we have provided a sample graphic that may be part of an RJP. This graph, depicting Reduction in Number of Stops with Traffic Signal Coordination,4 may be used to show a candidate the type of data and outputs that would be a part of their job. The candidate could also see how this graph is interpreted or what can be inferred from its contents. COMMUNICATIONS PLAN Communication/Outreach Strategies Develop materials to promote the tool through university and employer/professional association websites, publications, and events/fairs (i.e., web banner for website, article for quarterly magazine, web poster for bi-weekly e-newsletter). Identify top career fairs where the tool can be administered and onsite interviews can take place. Develop materials for career fair such as flyer to promote virtual tool experience, email to career fair registered participants, advertisement through career fair magazine, etc. Identify top universities offering SOM specific careers and provide them with information on the tool (flyer, cover email, article). Partner with top job search engines to promote SOM careers through the RJP experience through methods such as web banners on websites, emails to members/registrants according to career/interests, and e-newsletters. Target students/potential recruits directly through social media venues. 4 Figure adapted from Intelligent Transportation Systems Benefits, Costs, Deployment, and Lessons Learned: 2008 Update. U.S. Department of Transportation Research and Innovative Technology Administration, September 2008. 97

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Develop introductory home page where potential SOM applicants can launch the tool. Promote the interactivity feature of the tool through LinkedIn, YouTube, and SOM Facebook group/targeted ads. Attend college career/recruitment fairs and have the printed material to disseminate as well as a video screen displaying vignettes showing examples of students performing different types of SOM-related work in a DOT. Gather e-mail addresses to follow-up with students and send additional information. Process for Obtaining Buy-In Provide data that highlight the impact of the tool and tie them to specific strategic goals the agency has regarding recruitment and retention targets. Develop a story on the unique characteristics of the tool and its advantages for students, employers, universities, and the workforce in general. Obtain case studies from the vendor indicating success of previously developed tools, demonstrated ROI, and other benefits of RJPs such as positive applicant perceptions. Provide a sample to leaders to try out the assessments to gain buy-in. USEFUL INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL RESOURCES To Implement Practice Establish support from leaders at the industry level. Develop job descriptions--to identify job tasks and knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to perform the job. Engage SMEs who are invested in the development of the tool, and who can provide useful information about the job and the target candidate pool throughout the development process. Compile data on which positions are most difficult to fill and could benefit the most from a virtual pre-employment RJP. Create specific recruitment and retention goals--based on these goals, a vendor may be able to project return on investment (ROI). To Sustain Practice Ensure support for revisions to the tool every few years or as needed so that it is tailored to best meet recruitment and retention targets and needs, and the current labor pool and economic conditions. Provide evidence the tool is providing an ROI. For example, the agency may calculate: Turnover data before and after implementing the tool. Money saved due to reduction in turnover. 98

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Increases in applications received. Retention numbers over specific periods of time. Increases in new hire performance. EXAMPLES OF EFFECTIVE PROGRAMS Washington State DOT's Use of Social Media. Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) decided to enhance their recruitment efforts through the use of a variety of social media applications, including Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and YouTube. Their Human Resources Department decided to interview several employees, asking them about their experience working for the DOT, their favorite parts of their jobs, and some of the challenges they deal with on a day-to-day basis. These employee interviews were recorded on video and uploaded to YouTube when a similar position to the one described became open. Their use of Web 2.0 and other media outlets allowed them to reach different audiences, at a minimal cost. Furthermore, it significantly improved their recruitment rates. Contact Information: Erica Mulherin, Social Media Manager, 360-705-7733, mulhere@wsdot.wa.gov Shaker Consulting's Virtual Job Tryout for Starbucks. Shaker Consulting developed an interactive tool for Starbucks called a Virtual Job Tryout (VJT). The VJT is a highly engaging, interactive, customized assessment tool that allows candidates to learn about Starbucks and virtually try out the job, while collecting data that predicts job performance. In the VJT this is all done through an online platform that delivers interactive simulations that are highly representative of the actual job. The results of the assessment provide valuable data to Starbucks on how likely the candidate is to perform successfully in the job, and candidates have indicated that the VJT has helped them gain a better understanding of the job and determine if it was a good fit for them. The VJT has helped Starbucks to optimize talent selection and reduce turnover. Shaker Consulting's Virtual Job Tryout for CVS Caremark Pharmacy Supervisor. Shaker Consulting created a VJT for CVS Caremark, specifically for the pharmacy supervisor position. CVS Caremark was experiencing a high level of turnover in this position. The pharmacy supervisor position is always filled internally, by promoting a current pharmacist into the pharmacy supervisor position. However, pharmacist and pharmacy supervisor are two distinct roles, each with separate requirements. Additionally, pharmacists are not taught the duties that a pharmacy supervisor is required to perform. As such, this VJT was created in order to provide insights regarding the opportunities and challenges of the pharmacy supervisor position to pharmacists. It is an engaging way that the pharmacists can see a true "day in the life" picture of the position. Because pharmacists who may be interested in the pharmacy supervisor position are now able to see what it truly entails through the VJT, turnover in the pharmacy supervision position has decreased. Contact Information: Shaker Consulting, 888-485-7633, info@shakercg.com 99

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Sheetz Realistic Job Preview. Sheetz, Inc., a family owned convenience store, contracted with Five Star Development in 2008 to build a Web-Based Realistic Job Preview and Compatibility Test. The online tutorial is very attractive with its bright, interesting, and interactive module that allows job seekers to choose the realistic job preview that best matches their skills. Additionally, Sheetz advanced their RJPs by personalizing them with the information they initially collected from the job seeker. Sheetz developed multiple pathways for job seekers to experience the tutorial, RJP, and test that best reflected the position of interest. Also included were a set of job standards and expectations associated with the position, as well as information about the company's culture. Contact Information: Sheetz, Inc., 800-487-5444 100

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ALTERNATIVE APPROACHES Alternative Approach 1 Develop paper-based RJPs or provide tours of the workplace where participants can see first-hand what the job is like. Although these alternatives may be less costly to the agency, they do not provide the same "wow" factor as a virtual, interactive tool. Alternative Approach 2 Similar to Washington State DOT, a less expensive approach could involve using social media outlets in order to reach larger audiences and enhance the brand of the agency. Agencies may, for example, videotape employees performing their job or interview them about their job, and post them on Facebook. Alternative Approach 3 When the economy is poor and DOTs have a choice of many applicants, filtering through those applicants, finding the best fit, and saving time are all factors for the agency. The visual-interactive aspect and opportunity to present the agency and the job all have the potential to boost recruiting. An additional segment could be recorded that emphasizes "fit" and encourages more self-filtering and thus time-savings for the DOT, that could be used during times when applicants are plentiful. IMPACT Positive Outcomes of the Practice Improves the image applicants form of the agency when applying. Stronger applicants are more likely to accept offers and are more likely to recommend to friends and colleagues that they apply. Produces increases in applications. Ensures a better "fit" between applicants and job needs. Decreases attrition in new hires. Reduces turnover and training expenses. Improves performance of new hires. 101

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CAUTIONARY CONSIDERATIONS Cost--Obtaining the funding to develop and implement a virtual pre-employment RJP and assessment can be a challenge. Use of the latest technology and increased realism will help make the tool a success, but it may be more expensive and labor intensive to develop. When considering the implementation of a new RJP, it is important to plan for the costs that will be incurred. Requires a substantial time and labor commitment from HR and SMEs, as well as incumbents, to develop a tool that is realistic, fair, and predictive of actual performance on the job. Again, it is necessary to plan for these labor costs when considering the creation of a new RJP. Success relies upon identification of and accessibility to the appropriate candidate pool, which may take additional resources. This could be minimized by ensuring that appropriate candidate pools are established and means of accessing these candidates are set up before trying to use the RJP. 102