Hiring Process

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shaking handsCity Hiring Process

The Department of Human Resources is responsible for the recruitment and selection process for all positions within the City of South San Francisco. The City currently employs over 500 people in full-time and part time positions.

The recruitment and selection process consists of a series of screening measures in order to select the most appropriate candidate for the position. These steps are:

Application Screening

Applications are accepted only for positions currently open. Open positions are advertised on our website and at

Application materials are specified in each job announcement. Materials submitted by the candidates are reviewed and evaluated based on the requirements of the position applied for. Each applicant is notified in writing or by email of their status. Those accepted for further consideration continue in the selection process, which can include one or more of the following steps.

Written Exams

Written Exams provide an objective basis for determining if the candidates have the necessary skills, ability and knowledge required for the position. The exam content is specifically related to the job opening. There usually are no study materials available. Not all positions require written exams.

Practical Exams

Some positions require a practical exam in which the candidate performs various physical or technical exercises relating to the position.

Oral Board Interviews

Most recruitment includes an interview with a panel of three or more raters from within the City and other agencies who are familiar with the requirements for the position.

The purpose of the interview is to determine the candidate's ability to perform the work required. The candidates are asked prepared questions regarding their education and work experience and are evaluated on their job related skills and knowledge.

Assessment Center

An Assessment Center is an all day event in which the candidates perform various written and oral exercises or presentations to a group of qualified assessors. This process is used primarily for management level positions.

Eligibility Lists

Candidates who perform to acceptable centers on the required examination steps are placed on an eligibility list according to their ranking, which is the results of their testing in comparison to other candidates. An eligibility list is what the department uses to fill vacant positions for specific job classifications. Eligibility lists are good for one year, though sometimes they may be extended. So, it is possible to be selected for a job up to one year (or more if the list is extended) after your name was place on an eligibility list if other job vacancies become available while the list is active.

Department Interviews

The top candidates from the eligibility list will be invited to a final round of interviews with the hiring department. The hiring manager(s) then make a recommendation to hire the candidate(s) they feel is most suited to the current opening.

Medical Exam

As part of the conditional offer of employment, candidates are required to attend a pre-employment physical examination provided by the City at no cost to the applicant.

Other Exams

Some positions require the completion of a background check and/or polygraph examination provided by the City at no cost to the applicant.


Appointment to the position is made by the hiring manager from a list certified by the Human Resources Director. A job offer letter is prepared by the Human Resources staff which includes the start date, orientation date and time.

Probationary Period

As part of the selection process, the probationary period is used to evaluate the work performance and conduct to ensure that it meets the job requirements. The probationary period is 12 to 18 months depending upon the position. Regular evaluations are made during this time period. An employee may be released from employment for any reason during the probationary period.

Personnel Rules & Regulations

The City of South San Francisco has established a personnel ordinance that established and maintains an equitable and uniform procedure for dealing with personnel matters. These Personnel Rules and Regulations are to facilitate efficient services to the public and to provide for a fair and equitable system of human resource management to the City of South San Francisco.