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Selection Division


The Selection Division (SD) is committed to building trusted partnerships by providing open communication through collaboration and transparency to create a shared vision for a successful selection process. This can be achieved through various methods to include allowing stakeholders to play an active role in focus groups, incorporating their comments and feedback, and using their expertise to improve current processes and procedures. As a service-oriented organization, the SD’s goals include:​

  • ​Use process improvement methodologies such as Lean Six Sigma for streamlining processes to better serve the needs of the public and the state departments we serve
  • Align ourselves as a project management-focused organization to better serve our customers
  • Support CalHR's strategic plan initiatives
  • Support Civil Service Improvement (CSI) initiatives
  • Represent our core values: Collaboration, Customer Service, Diversity, Excellence/Quality, Integrity, and Leadership


To create and administer civil service exams to recruit high quality candidates in a fair and open process and ensure the administration of examinations are processed in accordance with the laws and rules of the state civil service merit system as referenced in the California Constitution.


To promote merit, diversity, and equity in civil service employment, consistent with California state and federal laws.

Our Structure

CalHR's Selection Division is comprised of the following teams:

  • ​Servicewide Exams Program & Special Projects Team
  • Departmental Exams Program Team
  • Merit System Services (MSS) Program
  • Policy Program Team
  • Statewide Recruitment/Hiring Team
  • ECOS Business Development Team
  • ECOS Consultation Team
  • CalCareer Services Team (Service Center)​

​​Servicewide Exams Program & Special Projects Team

Using a broad range of advance research methodologies, statistical techniques, and principles, the Servicewide Exams and Special Projects Team (SESP) provides expert examination consultation and technical assistance, policy guidance, and interpretation of SPB selection laws, rules, and regulations ​​​to state department selection staff, state employees, and the general public. SESP is responsible for administering general-funded servicewide, Limited Examination and Appointment Program (LEAP), and classification-consolidation examinations. The team also provides consultation to departmental staff regarding the technical and administrative feasibility of various selections tools such as job analysis, test validation, test construction and scoring, examination planning, research methodology, and statistical analysis.

Departmental Exams Program Team

​​Using a broad rage of advance research methodologies, statistical techniques, and principles, the Departmental Exams Team (DET) provides expert examination services and consultation, technical assistance, guidance and interpretation of minimum qualifications, SPB selections laws, rules, and regulations to state department selection staff and state HR personnel. DET is responsible for administering departmental exam services requests which includes job analysis, test validation, test construction and scoring, 511B development, exam administration, user acceptance testing (UAT) and exam consultation on a fee-for-service basis. Additional DET is accountable for the cost proposal process for which departments use to request exam services. This program is also responsible for managing the MQ Assistance and SD proposals inboxes.

Merit System Services (MSS) Program 

The Merit System Services (MSS) Program ensures that counties receiving federal funds for Social Services and Child Support Services programs use a merit personnel system for program employees that meets the following six merit principles:

  1. ​Recruitment, selection and advancement of employees is on the basis of their relative ability, knowledge, and skills, including open consideration of qualified applicants for initial appointment.
  2. Employees are provided equitable and adequate compensation.
  3. Employees are trained, as needed, to assure high quality performance.
  4. Employees are retained on the basis of the adequacy of their performance, inadequate​ performance is addressed, and employees whose inadequate performance cannot be corrected are separated.
  5. Applicant and employees are assured fair treatment in all aspects of personnel administration without regard to political affiliation, race, color, national origin, sex, religious creed, age, or disability and with proper regard for their privacy and constitutional rights as citizens. This "fair treatment" principle includes compliance with the federal equal employment opportunity and nondiscrimination laws.
  6. Employees are protected against coercion for partisan political purposes and are prohibited from using their official authority for purposes of interfering with or affecting the result of an election or a nomination for office.
For counties without an approved personnel system that meets the above six merit principles, the MSS Program provides recruitment and selection, and human resources consultation services to include job analysis, test development, and classification studies.  

For counties with an approved merit personnel system, the MSS Program periodically conducts compliance reviews to ensure that they maintain a personnel system that meets the six merit principles.

Phone: (916) 323-2360

​​Policy Program Team–Selection Policy, Compliance, Appeals​

The Selection Division's Policy Program is responsible for a variety of policy-related duties. The Policy Program team serves as principal policy advisors regarding the State of California's selection procedures. They develop and implement statewide selection policy and provide guidance to departments' human resources staff. The Policy Program assists with interpretation of new or changed selection statutes (Government Code) and State Personnel Board (SPB) rules (Code of Regulations) and statewide selection policies. The team resp​onds to SPB examination appeals of statewide examinations. They process and adjudicate examination appeals from persons who take certain Merit System Services county examinations. The Policy Program provides oversight remediation to departments who have had their selection delegation removed​ by the SPB. Lastly, the team disseminates, tracks and processes the annual Selection Delegation Agreement process.

The overall goal of the Policy Program team is to ensure that the state's selection (examination) processes are fair and merit-based and result in the hiring of diverse and qualified individuals for our great state.​

Email the Policy Program

2022 Selection Delegation Agreement​​

Statewide ​Recruitment/Hiring Strategists

CalHR Statewide Recruitment Strategists assist departments by strategizing and developing best practices by focusing on branding and the benefits of state service, so we can attract the best and brightest into our state organizations. Processes and systems should be regularly reviewed to ensure hidden bias is removed and make certain great talent is not hindered from entering our workforce. We create awareness of the public service experience that state government offers --awareness that needs to be expanded both inside government and in the talent marketplace. 

A strategic plan of action is critical to build a talent pipeline and properly fulfill the staffing needs of your department. To recruit, hire, and retain talented individuals, we support departments by focusing on crucial elements in the recruitment process:
  • ​​Developing a hiring strategy
  • Promoting employer brand
  • Integrating diversity and inclusion


​​ECOS Business Development Team

The ECOS Business Development Team designs, develops and maintains ECOS for all selection functions (including advertisement, recruitment, and hiring), in partnership with CalHR's Information Technology Division. For more information or questions visit:​ Please note that ECOS is available to authorized users only. ​

ECOS Consultation Team

The ECOS Consultation & Support Team provides assistance and technical training to state departments' human resource (HR) staff on utilizing the ECOS and Legacy systems to administer and process their selection programs. Each state department is assigned to an ECOS Consultant. If your HR department has questions or concerns, please contact your ECOS Consultant for assistant.​​

​​​CalCareer Services Team (Service Center)

​The CalCareer Service Team are the first points of contact for the general public handling phone calls, email inquiries, and one-on-one assistance with the public in the CalHR Job Center regarding civil service employment within the State of California. Additionally, the CalCareer Services Team is responsible for processing Limited Examination and Appointment Program (LEAP) and Veteran Preference documentation.

Selection Analyst Training Cohort (SATC)

The CalHR Selection Analyst Training Certification Cohort offers a project based comprehensive curriculum for the development of selection professionals. The training classes offered provide essential content and selection techniques to ensure competency upon program completion. The curriculum is designed to facilitate deeper learning and retention of competencies. The curriculum is practical and closely corresponds to actual work generally performed on the job. The CalHR Selection Analyst Training Cohort coursework provides state selection professionals with fundamentally sound, legally defensible, innovative means of performing selection-related work in addition to in-depth instruction on a variety of selection-related topics. The Selection Analyst Training Cohort consists of 11 comprehensive courses in which participants will gain the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to become effective selection analysts. Upon successful program completion, participants will receive a Selection Analyst Training Certificate acknowledging completion of the certification's requirements. This co​hort is now managed and facilitated by CalHR's Statewide Training Unit, but its curriculum and content is housed with the Selection Division. For information on the CalHR Selection Analyst Training Cohort, and to register for courses please visit our Selection Analyst Training Cohort webpage. 

  Updated: 9/5/2017
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