Class consolidation is an integral part of the Civil Service Improvement initiative, a broad effort undertaken by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. to update the state’s civil service system. The initiative aims to produce a modern system that will allow departments to find and quickly hire the best candidates through a fair and merit-based process. Departments will be able to systematically determine their workforce needs and will be equipped to train and develop their employees to maximize individual potential to better serve department missions. An improved civil service system will produce a capable and engaged state workforce that is able to adapt to new challenges in serving the people of California, and reflects the diversity of the population it serves. An improved civil service system should make California an employer of choice, both for people who want to make a career of public service and for those who want to make public service a chapter of a broader career. To learn more about the Civil Service Improvement initiative, read this white paper, “The House We Are Building.”Tactically, the key to reimagining the civil service system is consolidating, simplifying, and allocating state job classifications that once numbered more than 3,100 and streamlining the examination process that supports this outdated system. Consolidation is gradually reducing the number of state job allocations, which as of December 2017 stood at 2,862. The current classification system is being modernized to align with current and projected workforce needs and the competencies identified as necessary to perform this work. This will simplify and speed hiring, transfer, and promotion by:
By shifting the focus to defining specific positions through jargon-free duty statements and job descriptions, rather than department-specific job classifications, job seekers will have a better understanding of what jobs are available, as well as the content of those jobs. A consolidated classification system that uses fewer though broader classifications will require a fundamental rethinking of how the state meets its constitutional requirement to award jobs according to competitive examination. In some cases, for example, the requirement for an examination may be satisfied by a rigorous assessment of applicants’ qualifications through review of experience, education and certifications. Improving the exam system as part of class consolidation will simplify and speed the hiring process by reducing the time and resources currently applied to developing and administering examinations.This will also involve streamlining the lengthy job analysis process that precedes the construction of an examination.