Interview with Margaret Brindzak, Human Resources Analyst, Washoe County, NV
1. I know local governments have been hit hard by the recession. How has hiring been reduced? Have there been layoffs or furloughs?
We have had layoffs and a hiring freeze on positions.
2. What positions do you hire for the most?
Clerical support is the largest position we recruit for.
3. When candidates apply for jobs, can they submit a regular resume and cover letter, or do they need to write application essays or fill out questionnaires? Do they need to fill out any special application forms?
We only accept on-line applications that allow for a resume and cover letter to be attached. Some recruitments use a selection tools of a training and experience questions which would require attaching a written essay.
4. Does your county use a civil service hiring process? If so, are there examinations? What kind of exams (written, in-basket exercises, physical exams)? Are there any tips for candidates to prepare for the tests?
We follow a merit process so we use some type of test for every recruitment and the tests will differ with each recruitment based on the job analysis. An example a Deputy Sheriff or Firefighter would require a physical ability test along with a written test where as a clerical position might only require a written test.
5. Are most staff unionized? Yes
6. Are there any hiring preferences, i.e. for veterans?
They would get an additional point as part of testing.
7. What makes an applicant stand out positively?
One of the most important ways is to fill out the application completely. List all of the applicant’s experience and how it is related to the position they are applying for.
8. Any other tips for candidates looking for jobs in local and county government in general?
Read all the information posted about the job before you start the application process. Make sure you understand the requirements and express in your application and/or resume why your experience makes you the best person for the position.