Civil Service Hiring Process - Steps

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CCSTestPrep
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Civil Service Hiring Process - Steps

Post by CCSTestPrep » Mon May 11, 2020 2:12 pm

Under the NJ Civil Service Commission, lists (e.g., LEE eligibles pool) are maintained for specified periods after a formal exam is announced and administered. Once the pool of eligibles is formed, candidates simply need to wait to be notified (certified) on an official hiring Certification. So after the test results are released . . .

Step 1 - Certification Card - A list is requested by a hiring jurisdiction and a certification card is sent to eligible candidates. This is not done until the hiring jurisdiction indicates they need a list to actually hire. The cards are generated by civil service and mailed out to a specified number of candidates. The jurisdiction is required to specify the number of candidates the jurisdiction would like to consider from civil service and not the whole list. For example, a town looking to hire 3 new officers might request a list of the top 30 candidates. The list that the town gets does NOT have the candidates' scores on it, only the candidate's Veterans Status and full Name in rank order. Disabled Vets are listed first, then Veterans, then Non-Veterans in rank order.

Step 2 - Letter of Interest - Each candidate who receives a Certification Card in the mail MUST respond in writing within 5 business days indicating that he or she is "interested" in the position. The card will actually provide a "Rank" for the candidate for that specific list. The card provides specific instructions for the candidate to follow including to whom to address the letter of interest (usually a government official - not the PD). While there is a strict timeline for the candidate to submit the letter of interest, the department has 6 months to act on the certification and a further extension can also be granted to extend the certification even longer. Many departments simply deal with the limited number of candidates at the very top of the certification and leave the remaining candidates who received the certification card wondering why they are not being contacted. This step can be very frustrating for the candidate if not contacted after submitting the letter of interest.

Step 3 - Application Completion - Eligible candidates are contacted by an official from the hiring police department to initiate the process. Some departments call in the whole group for a formal (orientation) meeting as a group, while most departments call in small groups or individuals to initiate the process. Each process is decided by the individual department, but usually follow the process described herein. The first formal step is most often the completion of a long-form Application/Background Packet that must be meticulously completed then submitted over a matter of days.

Step 4 - Background Investigation - Most civil service agencies will then begin a preliminary background check on the top candidates, while some will start with a preliminary interview. When submitting the long-form Application/Background Packet, the jurisdiction will commonly have the candidate sign several "Waiver" forms and subject the candidate to fingerprinting. During the background check, no stone is left unturned and nothing is off limits for the police background investigator. Juvenile records, expunged issues, psychological history, etc., all have exceptions for law enforcement background investigations and are not considered confidential.

Step 5 - Formal Interview - In a civil service hiring process, the Formal Interview commonly follows a significant part of the background investigation being completed, so the officials have as much information as possible during the interview. Civil service differs from most non-civil service hiring processes, because the hiring agency MUST consider the candidates in the order they appear on the list. For this reason, the hiring agency can't just conduct a preliminary interview and decide they don't like the candidate and eliminate him or her. For this reason, it is important to conduct a thorough background before the formal and final interview. Most candidates are eliminated from the list based on the background investigation before ever being interviewed formally.

Step 6 - Conditional Offer of Employment - After the background investigation and the formal interview, the department decides who will be offered the position. That then results in Conditional Offers of Employment being extended to the selected candidates. For some departments this is a formal process involving an actual written offer being given to the candidates. Other departments simply schedule candidates for the Psychological Assessment and Medical Assessment which is a de facto conditional offer of employment under the law. Only those who are being hired can be sent to the psych and medical. The concept of a "Conditional Offer" is based on the fact that the candidate is being offered the job "conditioned" on successfully completing the psychological assessment and medical assessment along with no further background issues which could eliminate the candidate prior to being sworn in. Those who are selected continue in the process of being sworn in and trained. Unfortunately, most departments do not communicate with the remaining candidates who have not been selected from that certification. Those remaining candidates are often left hanging with no information and hear of the new hires on social media.

Step 7 - Hiring / Return of Certification - Those who successfully complete the process are given a date to be sworn in. Once the police department hires, they then are responsible for "Returning" the completed certification to the civil service commission with a specific code listed for each candidate. Those hired will have an "Appointment" code, while those "removed" will have the very detrimental "Removal" code listed. A "Removal" is very bad as it negatively affects the candidates status moving forward in the overall "Eligibles Pool." Some candidates can also be "Bypassed" on the list but not removed. An agency is only permitted to "Bypass" two non-vets on the certified list, so those candidates will have a "Bypass" code on the return of the certification. A "Bypass" does not negatively affect the candidate moving forward, as he or she will appear in proper order on the next certification when issued. Unless directly advised by the department during the selection process, those who were "Removed" or "Bypassed" will commonly not know until two months (or more) later when a notice is mailed by the civil service commission advising the candidate of his or her "Appeal" rights. The hiring agency is required to submit documents at the time the return of certification is completed to support the negative action taken against a candidate on that certification. Beyond those who are Appointed, Removed, or Bypassed on the specific Certification, the remaining candidates who were not reached will simply be coded as such and will appear again on a future certification along with anyone who was bypassed. If a department certifies several times during the life of the Eligibles Pool, candidates will notice that their "Rank" improves each time due to hires, removals, and withdrawals no longer appearing on the certification.

Above is the most common approach, but departments (within limitations) all have their own individualized variations.

All candidates should be aware of the the Police Training Commission (PTC) physical training requirements. Most civil service agencies do not conduct PT Assessments as part of their hiring process, but EVERY police academy recruit is REQUIRED to pass a five exercise assessment by week 6 of the academy or the recruit is dismissed. The assessment involves push-ups (at least 24), sit-ups (At least 28), vertical leap (at least 15 inches), 300 meter run (in at least 70.1 seconds), 1.5 mile run (in at least 15 minutes, 55 seconds). Even if a candidate cannot pass this assessment during a civil service hiring process, they still need to be hired because civil service recognizes that the candidate has a "Remedial" period of 6 weeks once in the academy. Many recruits from civil service agencies have been expelled from academies due to not passing the PT assessment. This is very uncommon with non-civil service agencies, as they commonly have PT assessments as part of their selection process.

I have included a page of information and the academy video regarding the exercises at: https://www.ccstest.com/new-jersey-pre- ... -required/
Dr. David A. Paprota, Ed.D.
Chief of Police (Ret.)
CCS Test Prep®
www.ccstest.com

futurecop
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Re: Civil Service Hiring Process - Steps

Post by futurecop » Mon May 11, 2020 3:43 pm

Regarding your last paragraph, do you have ANY idea as to when Police academies can start going again? Are they in the same category as public schools, and we’ll have to wait until September?

CCSTestPrep
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Re: Civil Service Hiring Process - Steps

Post by CCSTestPrep » Mon May 11, 2020 9:17 pm

futurecop wrote:
Mon May 11, 2020 3:43 pm
Regarding your last paragraph, do you have ANY idea as to when Police academies can start going again? Are they in the same category as public schools, and we’ll have to wait until September?
The academies fall under the NJ PTC, so they will open when the state lifts the restrictions.
Dr. David A. Paprota, Ed.D.
Chief of Police (Ret.)
CCS Test Prep®
www.ccstest.com

futurecop
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Re: Civil Service Hiring Process - Steps

Post by futurecop » Tue May 12, 2020 12:22 am

Ok thank you. Do you know if the PTC restrictions are uniquely their own or if they’re dependent upon k-12 schools and colleges opening? In other words, can police academies resume if other schools aren’t cleared to? I ask this because on the Bergen county police academy website it says that the academy will remain closed following the EO “with regard to the states position on schools remaining closed at this time”

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Re: Civil Service Hiring Process - Steps

Post by CCSTestPrep » Tue May 12, 2020 9:04 pm

futurecop wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 12:22 am
Ok thank you. Do you know if the PTC restrictions are uniquely their own or if they’re dependent upon k-12 schools and colleges opening? In other words, can police academies resume if other schools aren’t cleared to? I ask this because on the Bergen county police academy website it says that the academy will remain closed following the EO “with regard to the states position on schools remaining closed at this time”
Everything in the state is based off of the Emergency Order. Once the restrictions are lifted, then each academy can work on how they are going to return to operations. All academies fall under the state PTC, but each academy will likely follow different timelines for when and how they open up as they all have their own unique circumstances. The emphasis will likely be on getting the current classes completed in a timely manner.
Dr. David A. Paprota, Ed.D.
Chief of Police (Ret.)
CCS Test Prep®
www.ccstest.com

Manning15
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Re: Civil Service Hiring Process - Steps

Post by Manning15 » Mon Jul 13, 2020 1:35 pm

Great reply, thank you

Thadrow
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Re: Civil Service Hiring Process - Steps

Post by Thadrow » Tue Aug 18, 2020 1:35 pm

Sir,

I read all of this you posted that was good information. I was recently number 1 in a CS town. Turned the application in on time and was told interviews would be conducted by rank. They wanted 6, I never got contacted. I found out they went all the way to rank 5x to get their 6, and supposedly 2-9 were not contacted either. They hired the 6 on the July 15 I believe. I contacted CS regarding this, this week - and was told they have not received anything from the town regarding who they hired, removed, bypassed. Is this normal? Or does something sound off here?I do not believe it was my background as I have passed two CS town backgrounds as well as possess a current PTC. I was expecting a letter from CS or the town regarding why. The interviews were scheduled a day after we all turned in our applications as well - so i don't believe a background was conducted prior.

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Re: Civil Service Hiring Process - Steps

Post by CCSTestPrep » Tue Aug 18, 2020 10:36 pm

Thadrow wrote:
Tue Aug 18, 2020 1:35 pm
Sir,

I read all of this you posted that was good information. I was recently number 1 in a CS town. Turned the application in on time and was told interviews would be conducted by rank. They wanted 6, I never got contacted. I found out they went all the way to rank 5x to get their 6, and supposedly 2-9 were not contacted either. They hired the 6 on the July 15 I believe. I contacted CS regarding this, this week - and was told they have not received anything from the town regarding who they hired, removed, bypassed. Is this normal? Or does something sound off here?I do not believe it was my background as I have passed two CS town backgrounds as well as possess a current PTC. I was expecting a letter from CS or the town regarding why. The interviews were scheduled a day after we all turned in our applications as well - so i don't believe a background was conducted prior.
What you are describing doesn't sound possible under the civil service rules. I believe the department to which you are referring has 45 veterans (only 5 from the town) at the top of the list based on being open to Newark residents as well their local residents on the most recent certification. You will need to see what notification you receive from civil service once they return the certification. They have six months to finalize it. The only rational explanation would be if they are no longer under the legal requirement to include Newark in their certification. That is possible, but it is just a guess.
Dr. David A. Paprota, Ed.D.
Chief of Police (Ret.)
CCS Test Prep®
www.ccstest.com

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