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Hiring Modernization

The commonwealth is working to improve the hiring process for job seekers and state agencies. With the passage of Act 71 in 2018, recruitment and hiring functions will be transferred from the State Civil Service Commission (SCSC) to the Office of Administration (OA).

This page provides information on our accomplishments to date, as well as future activities to implement Act 71 and improve service to job seekers, state and local governments and other stakeholders.

December 2015

  • OA forms a volunteer group of commonwealth employees called the Next Generation Task Force to provide recommendations to the commonwealth to more effectively attract and retain employees. The task force’s work focused on recruitment, retention and branding and many of their  recommendations are reflected in the initiatives pursued since then.

June 2016

  • The first class of students to participate in the Commonwealth Public Service Internship Program arrive at state agencies. The program was created to provide a flexible path for college students to transition from internships to commonwealth employment in merit-covered (civil service) positions.

July 2016

  • Governor Wolf signs Act 69 to allow the SCSC to communicate with job applicants via email, allow agencies to interview and select from larger pools of candidates and to post specific job vacancies instead of general categories of jobs.

November 2016

  • Governor Wolf signs Act 167 to establish a single system for candidates to view and apply for jobs (NEOGOV) and allow agencies to choose whether candidates are evaluated using a computerized exam taken at a test center or questions about their experience and training asked on the online job application.

April 2017

  • OA launches a redesigned employment website to deliver improved experience for job seekers, including the ability to apply to specific non-civil service job vacancies and the ability to view civil service test announcements on the same site. Previously, individuals had to go to two different websites for information on commonwealth testing and employment.

August 2017

  • The first class of the William Penn Fellowship begins. The two-year program provides advanced degree holders with the opportunity to work on targeted projects related to the Governor’s priorities.

December 2017

  • OA engages the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation to review the Employment website and online job postings site (NEOGOV) to ensure accessibility for applicants with visual impairments.

April 2018

  • SCSC begins to use the commonwealth’s single online application system (NEOGOV) to view and apply for jobs  and to post specific job vacancies in accordance with Acts 69 and 167.

June 2018

  • Governor Wolf signs Act 71 to transfer recruitment and hiring functions from the SCSC to OA.

August - October 2018

  • OA and SCSC begin preparations to transfer merit recruitment and hiring staff, processes, policies and functions in advance of the Act 71 effective date to ensure smooth and continuous service to job seekers and state and local governments. The following sections discuss those activities in more detail.


  • In order to implement the changes associated with the law’s passage, OA will need to issue temporary regulations that allow it to operate while final regulations go through the Independent Regulatory Review Commission process. The temporary regulations will tell our stakeholders how we will operate within the new merit structure.
  • OA begins to draft temporary regulations for Act 71 and to review current policies to be updated or rescinded prior to implementation of the act.

County Hiring

  • As part of the transition, OA met with the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP) to gain a better understanding of county hiring needs.  Additionally, OA coordinated with several counties to use Lean process improvement to identify opportunities to streamline, simply and improve hiring.
  • OA began bi-weekly calls with county staff to improve communications related to process changes, share information and receive training on the hiring process.

Stakeholder Communications

  • Secretary of Administration briefed county officials on Act 71 and its impact on local governments at CCAP’s annual conference.
  • Secretary of Administration and OA staff met with the Pennsylvania Rehabilitation Council (PaRC) to discuss Act 71, hiring-related improvements to-date and issues and concerns.

Organizational Readiness

  • OA and SCSC begin planning efforts for the transfer of SCSC IT systems, applications and services related to recruitment and hiring.

Process Improvement

  • OA facilitated sessions with state agencies to better understand their challenges with the current hiring process and to gain feedback on future changes to modernize the hiring system.
  • OA and SCSC staff worked together to meet increased demand from agencies to convert the method used to evaluate candidates for positions from computer-based exams to experience and training exams so that applicants can answer questions online instead of having to travel to a test center.
  • OA attended a Pennsylvania Children and Youth Administrators conference and explained the impacts of Act 71 on the county hiring processes.

November - December 2018


  • OA collaborated with agencies on temporary regulations and used their feedback to help craft language for an Exposure Draft to the public.


  • OA and SCSC staff converted over 195 computerized exams administered at test centers to experience and training exams completed online by the applicant. Most applicants prefer to answer questions online rather than schedule and travel to take a computerized exam at a test center.

Organizational Readiness

  • OA and SCSC signed an agreement to begin to transfer recruitment and hiring functions prior to the Act 71 effective date of March 29, 2019. Employees who performed recruitment and hiring at SCSC began to work alongside staff in OA on December 13, 2018. The unified team will partner in continued hiring process redesign and on policy, training and readiness for the new organization

Stakeholder Communications

  • Messages are posted to the SCSC website to direct job seekers to the Employment website for information about merit hiring.

January – March 2019


  • Temporary regulations to be exposed for comment prior to a March publication date.
  • Process redesign sessions to be conducted to streamline and align the process. The design sessions will inform the final organization structure supporting hiring in the commonwealth.
  • Policies to be updated and published based on the new processes to align with the legislative effective date of March 28, 2019.

Stakeholder Communications

  • Details on updated policies and processes to be shared with stakeholders.
  • Temporary regulations to be published in the PA Bulletin on March 16.
  • Act 71 becomes effective on March 28, 2019.

Process Improvement

  • OA and SCSC staff converted over 300 total computerized exams administered at test centers to experience and training exams completed online by the applicant.