Beginning with a steering committee in 2013, Los Angeles County sought to simplify the testing and hiring process for its 36 departments.

The county has more than 100,000 employees and used at least four systems to recruit and hire each new candidate, with about 260,000 applications being processed a year.

“The committee decided that we should go on to a unified system and, through a procurement process, we landed on NeoGov, which is a purpose-built, public-sector recruitment selection platform in the cloud,” Assistant Director of Human Resources Murtaza Masood said in a phone interview with Techwire.

The “recruitment, examination and selection processes” were the main focus areas of the project in an effort to reduce the number of labor hours required to transfer information from one system to another.

“It was causing us and our staff more time to run exams and produce a list from which the hiring managers were able to make their selection,” Director of Personnel Lisa Garrett said in the same phone interview. “Overall it was a win-win for the county and a win for our customers.”

The program was launched in 2015, with adjustments made to specifically fit Los Angeles County's needs, and rollout was finalized this fall. It has been winning awards ever since, including from NeoGov, the LA Digital Government Summit and the National Association of Counties.

The project has saved time and “increased the integrity of the data” said Senior Manager of HR Ann Havens, by reducing the exposure to human error when information has to be added into separate systems.

The new system offers reporting and in-system scoring functions, which together save days’ worth of staff time, according to Havens.

Streamlining the back end also allowed HR to clarify job descriptions and include them in the new system, meaning candidates no longer had to search an entirely separate system and “hope you find it,” Garrett said.

"It was a holistic approach, it wasn't just an incremental fixing individual component systems. They really stepped back...took a multidisciplinary, user-centric approach. All of the benefits from the central side parlay to the user departments," Registrar Recorder County Clerk Dean Logan said in the interview.

About a half day of work per exam is saved on the new system, according to Garrett. Applicant lists are also updated in real time, sparing users from redundant calls when they may already have a job offer, Logan said.

Masood confirmed that candidates saw a 25 to 30 percent reduction in exam review time.

“The applicant flow process the staff saved about two to three hours of work per exam, not having to download things into another system,” Garrett said.

The total cost of the project is $4.4 million, with $2.8 million as the implementation cost. The money comes from the integrated applications budget, with part of the funding coming from the line items that would have been spent on the previous four disjointed systems.

“This was a biggest foray into cloud-based, purpose-built SaaS applications, and that’s where NeoGov offered that differentiation,” Masood said. “What we’ve been able to do is work with the vendor and really help them realize scale that matches LA County’s requirements, both in terms of features as well as workload.”