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Reform Initiative Proposed to Improve County Hiring Practices

Erie County Comptroller Stefan I. Mychajliw asks to work with the Erie County Executive on utilizing social media and the Internet to create a “one-stop shopping” experience for job seekers

(Buffalo) – Erie County Comptroller Stefan I. Mychajliw presented a reform plan to Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz that would strengthen and streamline the process in which people apply for jobs in Erie County government.  The “Erie County Works” initiative would post open county jobs and civil service exam information in a transparent manner and create a “one-stop shopping” experience for job seekers.

“Erie County needs to maximize social media and a ‘one-stop shopping’ website to post jobs in an open and honest manner.  Every person should get hired in county government based on what they know, not who they know.  The first positive step is giving everyone a fair shot at applying for county positions, regardless of someone’s political connections,” said Erie County Comptroller Stefan I. Mychajliw.

Traditionally Erie County government posts open jobs and upcoming civil service exams on bulletin boards in the Rath Building, located at 95 Franklin Street in downtown Buffalo.  These employment notices provide extremely limited chances for the public to hear about open jobs and civil service tests:

1)       Job seekers must physically travel to the Rath Building

2)       Then people must inquire and search for the location of the Personnel office

3)       Potential applicants then may need to search for other departments for their respective postings

4)       Some of these destinations within the Rath Building may have limited hours of accessibility

5)       The viewed information is subject to change at any moment

“Prior to the creation of the World Wide Web, posting open employment opportunities on bulletin boards may have been the only option in which the county communicated.  Erie County should enter the modern technological age and maximize the Internet and social media to share job opportunities,” said Comptroller Mychajliw.

The “Erie County Works” report also found the process for people to learn about open county jobs and upcoming civil service exams online difficult, frustrating, and not streamlined.

Erie County also does not have a formal social media presence to give everyone a fair chance at applying for work within county government.

On Erie County’s official website there are at least three different locations where job opportunities are presented, unbeknown to the person viewing the website for the first time.  Outdated information was found in online postings on the county website:

1)       Under the heading “Erie County News” on the home page, a posting for

Assistant Architect for DPW that was to end June 7, 2013, was still present

well into July.

2)       The Personnel Department’s “Jobs” page shows information under  “Pending

Exams” that is merely whether or not certain February 9, 2013, exams have

been cancelled.  This information is more than six months old, and entirely irrelevant.

3)       Prior to the Personnel Department updating “Civil Service Announcement Updates”

on July 26, 2013, this page simply listed postings that had application deadlines

of May 15, 2013. 

The Office of Erie County Comptroller’s report also found seven Erie County departmental job postings that auditors observed on physical bulletin boards on June 27th, 2013, but were not posted online.  Sixteen positions posted on bulletin boards on June 28th, 2013 and July 1st, 2013 were not added to the Personnel Department’s website.

It is also confusing for consumers to know exactly where to go on-line to learn about applying for county jobs and to learn about civil service exams.  Instead of a “one-stop shopping” experience, people have to navigate through an unorganized maze of links and websites. 

It is recommended that Erie County create an Erie County Works “one-stop shopping” social media and Internet experience so it is easy to learn about open jobs and upcoming civil service exams.  The “Erie County Works” reform initiative would create one simple website that job seekers can easily navigate.

“We must eliminate this tangled spider-web of on-line information that could trap and frustrate people.  Erie County should make it as easy as possible for job seekers to find work and civil service tests.  Our ‘Erie County Works’ website would be one simple page.”

“All county departments and entities, including the library system, ECC, and ECMC, would be listed alphabetically on one clean page.  Consumers could click each one, and be taken directly to a jobs and civil service exam page,” added Comptroller Mychajliw.

The Office of Erie County Comptroller proposes working collaboratively with the Office of Erie County Executive and the Personnel Department to create an “Erie County Works” website along with a Facebook account and Twitter page.

“The Erie County Executive is active on his personal Facebook profiles and Twitter pages.  Maximizing technology and social media is something we are both familiar with.  We can set a great example by collaboratively on improving our social media presence to help people find employment opportunities,” concluded Comptroller Mychajliw.

Click here to view the report