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State Personnel Management Manual
Advisory Memorandum # 97-04

1205 (K) Professional Entry Program
May 27, 1997

TO: Department and Agency Human Resource and Personnel and Affirmative Action Officers

FROM: James W. Sever, Director of Staffing Services

SUBJECT: NYS Professional Entry Program: Recruitment and Examination Initiative

DATE: May 27, 1997


What Is It?

The Professional Entry Program (PEP) Initiative is designed to improve recruitment and selection for entry level professionals in a wide variety of occupations, on a continuous recruitment basis. In the first stage, we are focusing on three occupational clusters:

  • Information Systems
  • Health and Rehabilitation
  • Accounting, Auditing and Finance

Civil Service will work closely with agencies to develop coordinated and flexible approaches to recruitment, examination and certification.


Agencies have asked for improvements in these areas, including options for improved recruitment efforts, better tests, walk-in testing, enhancing the decentralized testing program, and faster score reporting. Mechanisms for accepting applications and testing for entry level professional positions can be inefficient and untimely--contributing to outdated eligible lists and large backlogs of titles needing tests.

The work force is aging, and within a few years we expect current employees to be retiring in ever increasing numbers. The need for an effective recruitment and selection program for skilled professionals is imminent.

The present State entry level professional exams programs are often unresponsive to the needs of college graduates--who must wait for years for specific exams to be scheduled, must catch the announcement in the right month, and often lose interest.

What Will We Do?

Civil Service has organized four work groups that include the expertise of four Divisions: Staffing, Testing, Classification and Compensation, and Information Resource Management. These work groups have identified the title clusters where we will target our efforts and will review our current practices. They also will be working with agencies to gain more information about agency programs and recruitment/selection needs.

These work groups are responsible for three occupational clusters where we will pilot the PEP initiative and a "Best Practices" group which is reviewing current practices in technology, selection and marketing. The following is a brief outline of the initial plans for each occupational cluster:

Information Systems - Increasing automation and reliance on computer systems (both desktop and mainframe) cross virtually all agency and program lines. The State faces problems in recruiting and retaining competent staff in this field, and Personnel and IRM managers have asked to work with us to improve the recruitment and tests for this area. Although titles in this occupational area are currently on continuous recruitment, we are reaching the bottom of the list from the two most recent test holdings. We envision a continuous recruitment program that targets minimum qualifications and selection criteria at the various areas of specialization in these titles.

Health and Rehabilitation - We are reviewing the numerous separate examinations in this area to coordinate recruitment and testing and we also want to provide more efficient test and list establishment processes and services to the agencies. Many of the most populous titles in this cluster are already held on a continuous recruitment basis as T&Es. We hope to provide easier, faster access to the common candidate pool for all agencies with these titles. We also are considering announcing a number of related titles as a single package. Some agencies have recently asked us to reevaluate, with them, the best approaches to centralize/decentralize the selection and certification processes for many titles in this cluster, so the timing is right.

Accounting, Auditing and Finance - Many of the titles in this cluster have a constant need for new employees. Special recruitment efforts are required to attract entry level employees with current technical skills. Several State agencies have extensive experience in targeted recruitment in these titles, and we hope to develop a comprehensive recruitment and selection program based on this expertise which will benefit all agencies with these titles.

The Technology, Selection and Marketing Best Practices work group will recommend ways that new and alternative approaches to systems can help recruit and select the best work force possible. We are currently surveying public and private sector practices in these areas.

What's Next?

Civil Service is inviting agencies to participate in the recruitment and selection planning for these three pilot occupational clusters. Agencies are also welcome to comment on and/or to assist in developing the best practices to consider for selection / technology / marketing approaches.

Over the next few months, Civil Service may request job information from agencies on various titles within the three pilot occupational clusters.

During 1998, Civil Service plans to announce the improved entry level selection programs for the three pilots. Other occupational clusters will be brought into the process after the pilots are implemented.

Who Can You Call?

If your agency would like to designate someone to work with Civil Service on a cluster area, or if you have questions, please call:

  • Health and Rehabilitation Cluster - Linda Pollman 457-5064
  • Information Systems Cluster - Bob Gardner 457-2444
  • Accounting, Auditing and Finance Cluster - Bill Gleason 457-5211
  • Best Practices in Selection, Technology and Marketing - Dot Sager, or
    Julie Dominian 457-7008, 457-5209
  • The Overall Initiative - Crys Hamelink 457-5445

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