Department of Corrections Recruiting Alaskans For Positions
January 27, 2005
"Under the department's new recruitment process, interested and more highly desirable applicants will be placed in direct contact with hiring managers at the beginning of the process," said Corrections Commissioner Marc Antrim. "The goal is to keep the hiring process to no more than 60 days, or less when possible. In other words, a successful applicant generally should be able to walk in for their first day of work within 60 days of applying for the job."
Because of the time needed to complete detailed background checks, medical and psychological evaluations - a process that could take longer than a year in some cases - corrections officials found many applicants lost interest in the process or moved away from the community where a facility had an opening. The result was unfilled positions and a loss of many desirable candidates.
Under the new recruitment process, only applicants given a conditional job offer are subject to a full background investigation, saving time and resources.
Workplace Alaska - the state's web-based job application system - forwards applicants who meet minimum qualifications to hiring managers, who in turn use standardized selection criteria to determine which applicants will be called for an interview. Following the interviews, one or more applicant may be given a conditional job offer.
"It's just a more efficient process when staff time is focused only on applicants with a job offer in hand," Antrim explained. "This allows for one-on-one communication to help an applicant work through a lot of paperwork and complete the background check."
Another goal of the streamlined hiring process is better recruitment of community residents for local jobs - particularly in smaller communities such as Seward, Bethel or Nome.
Rita Anderson, Superintendent of the Anvil Mountain Correctional Center in Nome, said the new process has had a noticeable positive impact. "We have received on-going positive comments from local citizens regarding our filling vacancies with people from the region," Anderson said.
"Because job opportunities are more limited in smaller communities, some good applicants moved away before the hiring process could be completed," Antrim explained. "If you couldn't find a living wage job during the time it took to finish the process, you had to move somewhere else. We were losing good people because of the lengthy process."
The department hired just over 40 Correctional Officers (CO I) in 2004, and expects to hire a similar number in 2005.
Recruitment is limited to Alaska residents.
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