Lima Civil Service Board discusses low exam turnout

By Craig Kelly - [email protected]

LIMA — In addressing issues related to filling available positions within the city, the issue, as Lima City Council heard during its regular meeting Monday, is not simply a lack of candidates, but a lack of follow-through from those candidates.

The Lima Civil Service Board submitted its 2021 annual report to council Monday and described what it found to be a low participation rate at civil service exams.

“As we worked through the examinations through this previous year, we have noticed we have attendance issues with our exams,” Civil Service Board member Pilate Bradley Jr. told council members. “So the information is getting out. We have many applicants and candidates that are applying, but they’re just not coming to the testing sessions.”

Bradley brought up several exams that have taken place since Jan. 1, all of which had missing candidates:

• Firefighter exam: 49 candidates, with 15 not at the exam (31 percent)

• Park ranger exam: 10 candidates, with seven not at the exam (70 percent)

• Parking enforcement officer exam: three candidates, with two not at the exam (67 percent)

• Police officer exam: 25 candidates, with 10 not at the exam (40 percent)

• Receptionist exam: 57 candidates, with 28 not at the exam (49 percent)

Depending on the exam, the board member said, exams can take place anywhere from a few days to a week to 10 days after the application period, depending on what testing supplies are available or need to be ordered. Bradley noted that the board has sent reminder messages to candidates prior to exams, and when questioned as to what feedback the board has received from candidates who did not participate in the exam, Bradley noted there was not much.

“It is a rare occasion that we will hear back from a candidate if they are a no-show,” Bradley said. “Typically that is due to an emergency or something like that.”

One potential solution the board posited during the meeting is to hold a 30 to 40-minute informational session for candidates prior to the testing date to better inform them of the job requirements and expectations, especially for firefighter and police officer candidates.

While the board is hoping to improve exam turnout numbers, Council President John Nixon did not see the turnout to be that concerning an issue, given his experience in the private sector.

“From what I see in private industry, getting 66 percent of them to show is pretty amazing,” he said. “I’m not terribly set back by these numbers.”

By Craig Kelly

[email protected]

Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0391 or on Twitter @cmkelly419.

Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0391 or on Twitter @cmkelly419.

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