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Special Advertisement: Many government entities react slowly to the world around them. But the County of Riverside, California, defies this stereotype to be among an elite group of 150 U.S. companies selected as “Great Places to Work.”

June 1, 2005

Committed to excellent hiring practices

Visiting the County’s HR Web site reveals that this government organization is also a great place to look for work. An applicant first applies for an open position, either online or in person, which is not so unusual. What is out of the norm is that once accepted as a viable candidate, job seekers move through the hiring process in record time. In keeping with the County’s high standard to ensure quality in service and a high rate of success, it has created a sophisticated, state-of-the-art assessment center that allows candidates to demonstrate their current skills. Through the use of Web-accessible skills tests and psychometric assessments, candidate’s scores are instantly calculated so a recruiter can immediately determine whether they have the right skill set.

"This level of efficiency—and the technologies that support it—are the result of an intense passion for excellence," says Ron Komers, the county's assistant CEO and HR director. He is proud that his team strives to provide better service to the more than 50 departments and agencies they support. With nearly 16,000 employees, the County needs a high volume of applicants to sustain a list of qualified candidates with the wide spectrum of needed skills and expertise. Komers also likes that he can rely on the Qwiz tests and assessments to provide a fair and objective evaluation of each applicant’s skills.

Manual process was wrought with delays

For years, the County’s HR department depended on paper-based skills and aptitude testing—a process that was painfully inefficient. With 100 to 200 applicants a day, recruiters had difficulty supplying qualified candidates to Riverside’s departments in a timely manner. It took up to three days just to review the tests and determine whom to move forward in the hiring process. Scores were sometimes lost; manually ranking candidates was difficult; and all the while, the under-staffed departments were forced to wait five to 10 days before reviewing candidate materials.

Qwiz delivers sophisticated testing technologies

Komers knew this process should be automated; and he had clear-cut goals: reduce the number of days for applicant screening and processing, eliminate paper, and most importantly, deliver higher quality candidates to department heads. Because Qwiz already provided some smaller-scale testing services to the HR department, taking on a larger role in Riverside’s applicant screening process was a quick transition for the County and Qwiz to implement as a team.

“Qwiz provided essentially everything we needed—all in one place,” Komers explains. Qwiz Online provides easy web-access to a library of more than 400 hard skills tests and psychometric assessments—all scientifically sound. An intuitive system for both an administrator and applicant, Qwiz Online allows for easy and immediate candidate screening management. From comparing applicant scores to delivering comprehensive reporting and storing applicant data for future reference, Qwiz Online keeps it easy. Through the same system, a recruiter can even conduct background checks, keeping all decision-making information resident in one database.

Results...faster and better than expected

Strong benefits from the online testing solution were quickly evident in the pilot program. All scoring and applicant ranking was immediate, which meant candidate packets were forwarded to the departments for consideration as soon as the applicant finished the online test.

In addition, the efficiency and relevancy of the online testing lifted the caliber of job seekers who survived. For the first time, some applicants who tested well could bypass the interviewing process altogether. These people, instead, were sent directly to the County’s Safety Department “Academy.” These same job seekers yielded a higher number of Academy graduates, and reduced training costs.

More departments come onboard

As the quality of candidates improved, relations between the departments involved in the pilot and HR became stronger; and word spread that better-scrubbed candidates were appearing on the horizon. “More department heads began requesting our hiring assistance. In essence, they turned over the applicant-discovery work to the HR ‘experts’—who, in turn, were depending on Qwiz,” Komers says with a smile.

Today, Riverside routinely uses the assessment center to give its current employees the opportunity to test their own skills and certification knowledge as well. In fact the county regularly lets it employees test their knowledge and skills in the areas of clerical, IT, public safety, technical, and inspections, as well as for trade, craft, and professional knowledge. In addition to the vast library, with the Qwiz Custom Assessment Builder (CAB), the County has built its own custom assessments to test for the specific skills of a particular position.

HR, departments and applicants are happy

The department hiring managers are not the only ones happy with Qwiz. The HR staff loves it, too. Jasmine Loi Ping, a senior HR analyst, says, “Recruiters, who previously spent time grading, ranking, collating and filing tests, can now concentrate on more important hiring tasks or spend time in quality interaction with the various departments. The Qwiz selection system has streamlined the hiring process and made the workload more manageable.” She also mentions that, candidates’ reactions are also very positive because they get faster feedback and can test from any location with Internet access—which has eliminated the need to travel until selected for an interview.

Komers sums up his experience with Qwiz as follows, “We’ve reduced the time from application to interview by 75 percent, reducing the process from 10 days to one, all the while improving the quality of skills assessment. Now we respond to staffing needs with much better-matched candidates.” He adds rather lightly that the County of Riverside should win an award for “Great Places to Apply for Work.” In any case, Komers and his HR department are proud of the easier staffing process—thanks to a partnership with Qwiz.

About Qwiz

Headquartered in Atlanta, GA, Qwiz, Inc. is an industry-leading provider of innovative employee selection services and solutions. Qwiz's comprehensive offerings help employers realize savings and drive productivity by improving hiring practices, decreasing training costs and reducing turnover. Qwiz's easy-to-use, Internet-delivered solutions and professional selection services help employers identify candidates who are well suited to a position's critical success factors. By partnering with Qwiz, companies can achieve solid and measurable selection process improvements and financial results. Qwiz's services and solutions are available worldwide for a variety of industries, occupations and languages, including English, Spanish, French, German and Dutch. For more information, contact us online or by phone at 800-367-2509.