The Personnel Cabinet received a Best of Kentucky award for the 'Best Application Serving a Public Organization' for its Career Opportunities System (COS). The award was presented at the Kentucky Digital Government Summit held April 22, 2008, in Lexington.
“I believe Career Opportunities exemplifies not only a triumph for the use of technology to improve a business process, but also a triumph and tribute to the hard work and team spirit of our staff,” stated Carla Hawkins, commissioner of the Department for Personnel Administration.
COS, state government’s new online employment system, was launched by the Personnel Cabinet last fall and makes applying for state employment much easier. Applicants can create, view and update their employment application and personal information online; apply for vacant positions via the Internet 24/7, eliminating the need to travel to Frankfort; and electronically search for job vacancies and be notified by email of vacancies for which they may want to apply.
One of the changes to the system went into effect on March 27, 2008. After a four month grace period, applicants must now apply for each position for which they want to be considered. Applicants are required to create an account in COS and apply to each position as their name will no longer automatically be included on registers, although some exceptions are made for immediate fill positions.
Benefits of COS are being realized by both applicants and agencies. For example, background checks are now only being conducted for up to three individuals actually being considered for appointment, making this practice more efficient and effective for the division and it no longer inappropriately keeps applicants off the registers. Furthermore, these checks are completed prior to the time of a job offer, rather than at application, providing a more accurate and timely record.
Another benefit realized by applicants and agencies is the visibility given to the interim postings. Applicants can now apply directly to the hiring agency. This has allowed for an increase in the number of people applying to positions, thereby increasing the pool of qualified applicants from which the agency has to select.
The implementation of COS has resulted in enhancements within the Personnel Cabinet’s Division of Staffing Services as well. Prior to the launch of COS, it was common to have 150 to 200 applicants visiting the State Office Building each day to apply to jobs. Applicants sometimes drove hours from their home to apply for a job a few miles from their home. In the past four months, the number of applicants visiting their office has dropped to as few as 20 per day as applicants have taken advantage of the new ability to apply from anywhere they have Internet access. This has allowed Staffing Services to devote more staff to answer questions through the Help Desk and over the phone. Whereas phone conversations previously consisted of various informational requests, staff now have the time to devote to providing customer service to assist applicants through the application process step-by-step when needed.
To date, the total number of COS applicants is 23,300, of which 6,218 are current state employees.