CCSF Hiring Modernization Project

DHR is in the process of designing a new hiring system and recently met with Local 21 and other city unions to have a preliminary talk about its plans.

The current vendor used in the hiring process is Job Apps, but the City’s contract is coming to a close and it presents an opportunity to redesign a hiring system that is cumbersome for both applicants and hiring managers. The City says that it takes an average of 22 months and 2 days to hire someone- a process that everyone can agree is too long.

There are three phases of the project: Discover, Design, and Implement. Currently DHR is in the Design phase, having completed the workshops and interviews during the Discover round and identified the “pain points” in the hiring process.

The City says that it is committed to maintaining a merit-based hiring system, and to reducing implicit bias in the hiring process, but that other changes are still being considered.

While the discussion was very preliminary and specifics about other potential changes are not yet known, Local 21’s concern is to safeguard a merit-based system, and to identify inequities in the hiring process from members’ perspectives and advocate for change.

The City gave a presentation on implicit bias and identified the point in the hiring process where the field of candidates is narrowed as a key place where implicit bias can occur. DHR is looking at ways to combat this through trainings, but also the possibility of de-identifying candidates during the narrowing phase of the hiring process. De-identification means that names, addresses, and colleges would be removed in order to prevent assumptions being made about race, gender, ethnicity, etc. In order to successfully de-identify candidates, the eligible list would need to be made secret – an issue that is a cause of concern for some. DHR will be addressing the Civil Service Commission about the matter next week. 

Local 21 members serving on the Hiring Modernization Subcommittee include:


Danielle Harris

Danny Yeung

Jo Elias Jackson

Dean Coate

Gus Vallejo


If you are interested in being involved in this committee, reach out to your Chapter President.

More information about the overhaul will be forthcoming – updates will be presented to the SF Council, so be sure to check in with your Chapter President for information.