As an executive staff member or manager, you will undoubtedly have responsibility for the selection or promotion of agency staff. How do you know where to start and/or what options are available to you in relation to establishing your agency's workforce? First, it is important to note that New York State public sector employment is built upon a merit system which is based upon the State Constitution and a foundation of Civil Service Law, Rules and Regulations. As will be discussed in greater detail, section 35 of the Civil Service Law divides State employment into the unclassified service and the classified service. For the most part, positions in State agencies are in the classified service of the State, and fall within one of the four jurisdictional classes into which the classified service is divided: the competitive, non-competitive, exempt and labor class. How merit and fitness is determined and how appointments are made varies depending upon the jurisdictional classification of a position. It is important to note that where an employee serves at the pleasure of the appointing authority, such as with exempt class or non-competitive confidential policy-influencingpositions, other control agencies and/or rules and procedures come into play, including the Division of the Budget and/or the Governor's Appointments Office. As discussed later, the establishment of and/or appointment to such positions requires consultation with these entities and their approval. Further, agencies are reminded that the July 30, 2008 hiring freeze remains in effect; only essential hires will be approved.
Through a question and answer format, this document highlights various tools which can help you establish and maintain your workforce, consistent with proper merit system principles. Please keep in mind that this general guide is not meant to be inclusive of all of the details and nuances of a system that is quite complex. In addition to reviewing this guide, it is strongly recommended that you meet with your agency human resources (HR) office to obtain a more comprehensive understanding of the various hiring tools that can be used in relation to the different jurisdictional classes. This is important to ensure that candidates for employment are thoroughly aware of their benefits and status. Each agency may have unique processes and agreements with the public employee unions. It is critical to discuss these differences with the HR office in your agency.
We hope that this document will serve as a useful general resource of information about the various hiring and selection options available to State agencies.