Hiring is at the core of any successful organization. Dedicating time and resources towards filling positions with employees who are committed to the long-term success of our business is paramount to the longevity of any department. The Recruitment Unit is just one of your partners in the hiring process, and we have created this handbook to help you. Other resources and tools to assist you with the hiring process can be found on the Recruitment Unit SharePoint site, in the Hiring Toolkit and in the Best Hiring Practices HR Memorandum 21-011



If you have asked yourself any of the questions below, the DGS Hiring Handbook is geared to help you answer these questions as well as provide an overview of the recruitment lifecycle from start to finish.
  • What do I do after the Request for Personnel Action (RPA) is submitted?
  • Who do I reach out to for help?
  • How do I get a successful hire?
  • What does a successful hire look like?
  • What documents need to be retained from the recruitment process and how to retain them?
  • How long must documents be retained?

We know navigating the hiring process can be a challenge. This handbook details the people, planning and tools required throughout the hiring process.

The Recruitment Unit is available to assist you by creating a strategic recruitment plan to target and attract the ideal candidate(s).

"Hiring the best and brightest talent is the
most important aspect of a hiring manager’s job."

Initial Planning

The Hiring Managers should complete this phase at least 2 weeks prior to submitting the RPA.

Identify Vacancy and Evaluate Need

Hiring Manager will obtain approval from upper management within program to hire as well as discuss position details and requirements with the ERL.

Some items to consider when filling a vacancy:

  • Is the position new, a backfill, blanket or coded?
  • Is this position limited term or permanent?
  • Does the Duty Statement meet business needs?
  • Is this position performing duties appropriate to the current classification?

Hiring Toolkit

Review the DGS Hiring Toolkit for assistance on any part of the hiring process.

Focused Recruitment (Optional)

If interested in getting assistance with marketing and outreach efforts to build a qualified candidate pool (targeted recruitment), the Hiring Manager or ERL can fill out the Recruitment Services Request Form and the Recruitment Unit will schedule a strategy meeting. Targeted recruitments achieve the best results when the services are requested when the RPA is submitted for review and approval, but not less than one week’s notice from the position being posted on CalCareers.

  • The strategy meeting will include discussion of the following:
  • “The hook” (creative job description language to attract candidates), required duties and/or knowledge, skills, and abilities, desirable qualifications beyond the Minimum Qualifications for the classification, and special requirements (i.e., travel) that might be beyond the standard duty statement.
  • Previous recruitment efforts and challenges.
  • Sourcing Options which are specific avenues to attract qualified candidates which include global employment websites, industry specific job boards, college campuses, social media, community outreach, and/or professional associations.

Interview Questions

If interested, the Recruitment Unit can assist in reviewing interview questions developed by the Hiring Manager.

  • Hiring Manager will develop initial set of interview questions and send them to RecruitmentDesk@dgs.ca.gov for review along with the Interview Question Request Form.
    • Email subject line should include: Program - Location – Classification.
    • Please send initial questions in Word format. Avoid sending scanned copies of the document.
    • Include suggested response/rating factors when sending interview questions.
  • Once questions have been reviewed and agreed upon by both the Hiring Manager and the Recruitment Unit, the Recruitment Unit will send the Interview Guides to the Hiring Manager.

When developing interview questions, keep in mind that questions should be:

  • Consistent with the position’s Specifications.
  • Job-related.
  • A Combination of behavioral and technical based questions.
  • Include a rating scale.
    • Guide of how answers will be scored (i.e. what a score of 1 means compared to a 5).
    • The Interview Rating Scale will be submitted during final eligibility as part of OHR’s electronic record retention process, eRPA. Detailed information about eRPA can be found in the section called Record Retention - eRPA Process.
  • Include rating factors, which are ideal responses Hiring Managers would like to hear for each question.

The Types of Interview Questions job aid is a helpful resource that can provide assistance with developing interview questions.

The interview questions will be submitted during final eligibility as part of OHR’s electronic record retention process, eRPA. Detailed information about eRPA can be found section Record Retention - eRPA Process.

Application/Interview Planning

Hiring Managers should be proactive throughout the hiring process and keep the following in mind:

  • The Hiring Toolkit is a comprehensive resource for Hiring Manager’s to utilize throughout the recruitment with forms, templates, and information.
  • Block out time in Outlook to review applications on a flow basis (20 per day).
  • Block out time in Outlook to conduct interviews.
  • Schedule rooms for the interview, as well as a room for the candidate to preview the interview questions.
  • Identify interview panel members.
  • It is recommended panels consist of three individuals and should be diverse, fair, and impartial.
    • One being the Hiring Manager/Supervisor and at least two other individuals who are at the same level or above classification and who are familiar with the position.
  • Confirm availability of all panel members and send out Outlook invites.
  • Develop Application Screening Criteria.

Application screening criteria must be determined and documented prior to the day the RPA is advertised. Additional guidance on application screening criteria can be found in the Hiring Phase section.

Draft Documents to Initiate the RPA

Hiring Managers should be well prepared and be able to complete this phase within a week.


Hiring Manager: It is the responsibility of the Hiring Manager to draft the required documents to initiate an RPA. If a Hiring Manager has questions, they should contact their ERL for guidance. Submitting a request without the required documents will cause a delay in the recruitment.

ERL: It is the responsibility of the ERL to collect and review all required documents for completion before submitting the RPA to OHR. Please note, this handbook is a guide for Hiring Managers and will not detail the RPA submission process.

To initiate an RPA, program must submit the following required documents:

Job Control (JC) Report - DGS utilizes a Job Control Report form to indicate information required and/or special instructions for the job announcement. The Job Control Report form is an extremely important document because it serves as the blueprint for the advertisement, or job control, that is to be published on CalCareers. In the special instructions section, programs can include information regarding pay differential and desirable qualifications, and/or request additional documents such as a Statement of Qualifications, resume and work samples to be submitted by the applicant.

Justification - A justification is required for all requests except for positions that are being backfilled with no change in duties when the request does not involve recruiting on a Limited-Term basis.

Duty Statement - Every position in state government has a duty statement. A duty statement provides a description of the position, as well as the tasks, functions, and responsibilities of the position to which an employee is assigned. Depending on the type of request, the Hiring Manager will need to submit a current and proposed duty statement.

Organization Chart - Every RPA requires a current organization (org) chart. The org chart helps the Classification and Pay (C&P) Analyst see where the position sits in the organization. Depending on the type of request, the Hiring Manager will need to submit a current and proposed org chart.

Budget Approval - The ERL is responsible for obtaining budget approval from the Office of Fiscal Services (OFS) via the OHR 37 form prior to submitting the RPA request in Tracker.

NOTE: Clicking Justification, Duty Statement, or Organization Chart links to their specific sections in the Hiring Toolkit.

If questions arise regarding a submitted RPA or the process, Hiring Managers can contact the ERL.

Hiring Phase

OHR will have 10 days to review and advertise the job.


The ERL will submit the RPA documents in Tracker for review and approval. The Hiring Manager will receive an email alert in Outlook once the RPA has been submitted to OHR. 

C&P Review

C&P will review all documents and give approval to fill the vacancy and proceed with the advertisement. If there are questions or concerns about any of the documents, OHR will return the RPA to the ERL. The Hiring Manager and the ERL must then work together to make the corrections in a timely manner. 

Job Advertisement is Live

The Hiring Manager will receive an email alert in Outlook once the RPA has been advertised. This starts the 30-calendar day hiring phase, which includes application screening, interviewing, reference and OPF checks, and candidate selection. 

Once the position is posted, Hiring Managers should review the job advertisement to ensure it accurately reflects their requests from the Job Control Report, including desirable qualifications, their request for an SOQ, etc. Hiring Managers can begin reviewing applications as soon as they receive them. 

Hiring Phase Begins

Hiring Managers have 30 calendar days for the hiring phase, which includes application screening, interviews and reference checks.

Post & Bid

If the classification is subject to Post & Bid, the Hiring Manager is required to follow Post & Bid requirements according to  the associated Bargaining Unit’s Memorandum of Understanding. If the Hiring Manager has questions, contact the ERL or C&P Analyst. If Post & Bid clears, continue with the hiring process.

Application Screening Criteria

The Hiring Manager should have developed the criteria they will apply to every application before the RPA was submitted. Application screening criteria must be determined and documented prior to the day the RPA is advertised.

Application screening criteria includes the minimum qualifications, in addition to the skills required to perform the essential functions, also known as desirable qualifications.   Desirable qualifications are essentially the Hiring Manager’s wish list of experience, education, certificates, or other qualifications that an ideal candidate would possess to be successful in the position. These qualifications and criteria must be related to the job. For example, if hiring for a Custodian, a desirable qualification cannot be set as "Experience Cooking French Cuisine."

The application screening criteria needs to be documented utilizing the Application Screening Spreadsheet.

  • The spreadsheet will indicate how all submitted applications were ranked and chosen to interview.
  • The application screening criteria will be submitted during final eligibility as part of OHR’s electronic record retention process, eRPA. Detailed information about eRPA can be found in section 10.

More information and assistance with developing screening criteria can be found in the Application Screening Toolkit.

Application Review

Review applications based on established screening criteria and supplemental recruitment tools requested in job advertisement.

See the Application Review section in the Hiring Toolkit.

Application Screening Process

The application screening process begins with a review of applications and/or materials sent in response to the job posting. The materials are reviewed based on the established and documented screening criteria and supplemental recruitment tools requested in the job advertisement.

All applications received must be reviewed, rated, and ranked using a consistent numerical rating system that was established in the screening criteria. To document the results of the application review, utilize the Application Screening Spreadsheet. More information regarding the review process can also be found in OHR’s Application Review section of the Hiring Toolkit.



Before the Interview

Logistics and scheduling should be confirmed at least one week before interview are held.

Virtual Interviews

Virtual Tips for Hiring Managers

Virtual Onboarding and Interviewing Toolkit

Confirm Onsite Interview Logistics

The Hiring Manager can begin interviewing immediately once the job is posted and does not have to wait until the Final Filing Date (FFD). Logistics and scheduling should be confirmed at least one week before interviews are held. The Hiring Manager should have a good idea of when and where the interviews are being held from the initial planning phase.

  • Confirm date and time with panel.
  • Create an interview schedule.
    • When creating the interview schedule, ensure you schedule enough time for candidate interview question pre-exposure, the actual interview and candidate debrief/rating. Typically, that takes an hour and a half or more per candidate.
    • The higher and/or more complex a position, a longer pre-exposure time is usually required.
    • The more candidates that are being interviewed the longer the panel will need to discuss and rate each candidate.
    • The schedule needs to include date and time of each interview as well as the name of all applicants interviewed and panel members.
      • The interview schedule will be submitted during final eligibility as part of OHR’s electronic record retention process, eRPA. Detailed information about eRPA can be found in section 10.
  • Confirm conference rooms or appropriate space for onsite interviews.
    • It is essential to conduct interviews in a private setting without interruptions or distractions.
    • There should be two areas/rooms reserved.
    • One area/room for the candidate to preview the questions and another for the interview.

Schedule Onsite Interviews

  • Interview Confirmation.
  • Notify Lobby Attendant.
    • Based on the interview location, provide the schedule and who to contact when a candidate arrives for the interview.
  • Reasonable Accommodation.
    • Should be requested at least two-weeks in advance of the interviews.
    • Requests can be coordinated through the Return-to-Work Unit’s general email: OHRReasonableAccomCatLeave@dgs.ca.gov.
    • In rare occurrences, the interview may need to be rescheduled if an accommodation was not requested ahead of time.

During the Interview

Hiring managers can begin interviewing immediately once the job is posted and do not have to wait until the final file date.

Treat the Candidate as a Guest

We want to make a good first impression. Be professional and make the candidate feel welcome.

Candidate Preview/Exercise

Provide interviewees a private workspace to review the questions and/or complete any assessment or exercise.

Release Form

Have all interviewees complete an Authorization to Release Information form (OHR 18).

All OHR 18 forms from interviewees will be submitted during final eligibility as part of OHR’s electronic record retention process, eRPA. Detailed information about eRPA can be found in section 10.

Department and Position Information

This interaction is an opportunity to provide the candidate with information they need to fully consider the position. The more a candidate knows about our organization, the better they will be able to provide the panel with complete and candid information about their experience and skills. Provide information such as:

  • Department: Culture, mission and vision, strategic goals
  • Program: Organizational charts
  • Position: Duty statement, working hours/schedule, overtime, travel, physical requirements, working conditions

Ask The Same Questions of Each Candidate

The Hiring Manager’s goal is to determine which candidate is best qualified to perform a specific set of duties.  If the panel asks one candidate one set of questions and another candidate a different set of questions, when it comes time to decide, there will be no basis for comparison.

Avoid Questions About Protected Characteristics

State and Federal employment laws prohibit employers from discriminating against qualified candidates based on personal or protected characteristics such as age, race, ethnicity, gender, marital status, religion, disability, political affiliation, where the candidate lives, etc.

Note Taking

There are a few important points for panel members to remember when taking notes:

  • Only write down job-related information.
  • Base notes on the candidate’s responses.
    • Do not make any unnecessary comments that are not job-related.
    • Do not make comments relating to protected characteristics.
    • Program will be required to produce all panel notes if there is a challenge to the process or for audit purposes.

The interview notes which are required and will be submitted for each candidate during final eligibility as part of OHR’s electronic record retention process, eRPA. Detailed information about eRPA can be found in section 10.

Control the Interview

It is up to the Hiring Manager and panel to provide guidance and direction during the interview. The goal is to obtain as much information about the candidate’s experience, skills, abilities, knowledge, and job-related information to effectively evaluate a good fit.

Closing the Interview

Give the candidate an opportunity to ask questions or to add additional information. Once the interview is complete, give any additional instructions; discuss next steps and timeline.

After the Interview

This phase should be completed within a week of your last interview.

Rate the Candidate

Hiring Manager and panel members will rate and score the candidates; document this information on your interview guide; and retain this information according to OHR’s eRPA process.

Reference Checks

Conducting thorough reference checks is best practice and helps to identify past and present job performance. It also provides the opportunity for the Hiring Manager or Supervisor to acquire additional information about the candidate to make an informed hiring decision. The Best Hiring Practice HR Memorandum 21-011 provides additional guidance for conducting reference checks.

General Guidelines:

  • Check a minimum of two or three current/previous employers dating back at least five (5) years.
  • Reference checks should be conducted by the Hiring Manager.
  • Use a Reference Check Form and record job-related information.
  • Ask the provider to clarify unclear or contradictory statements or responses.
  • Confidentiality is essential - Discuss the results of the reference check only with persons actively involved in the hiring process. If there are concerns about something that was learned in a reference check, please discuss it with your supervisor prior to making any job offer.
  • Unwilling reference provider - Should a reference provider be unwilling to respond to an inquiry or provides very limited information such as dates of employment, do not make any inferences regarding the candidate based on the limited information. The hiring decision should be based on the information that is available. Some state agencies follow this practice and most private employers provide little or no reference information. The hiring manager should document their attempt within the hiring package.
  • Skewed reference - Be wary of references that have only positive things to say or only negative things to say. An extremely flattering review may be given by the current employer to ensure that a problem employee will be hired by another agency.

Official Personnel File (OPF) Review

Review the OPF utilizing the Official Personnel File Review Sheet (DGS OHR 755)  Hiring Managers should ensure they have a signed OHR 18 before conducting the review, as some departments may ask for a copy before releasing personnel file information.

Hiring Managers may use the California Personnel Office Directory to find and contact the Human Resources office at the candidate's current employer to request an appointment to review their personnel file, as most Personnel Offices require an appointment for file review.

Other things to consider:

  • The OPF review should be done for all finalists for the position by the Program. A review of a potential employee’s OPF prior to making a hiring commitment is important to obtain job-related information.
  • All personnel information regarding a candidate should be made available for review. If this is not possible, contact the Personnel Transaction Unit of the candidate’s current department for assistance.
  • During the file review, additional insight may be obtained about the candidate’s performance or conduct that was not covered in the reference check.
  • The information in the files may validate information received during the reference check.
  • If a review of the OPF identifies areas that may be of concern, the Hiring Manager may reconnect with the candidate or their reference(s) to address these concerns.

Final Eligibility/Conditional Job Offer

Final Eligibility

OHR has five (5) calendar days to provide final eligibility.

Top Candidates and Final Eligibility Review

After interviews are completed, and within 30 days of the advertisement posting, the Hiring Manager will select their top candidate(s) (up to five applicants per position) and submit their names along with all required eRPA documentation to the ERL. Although you may interview candidates immediately once a position has been advertised, it is best practice that final eligibility is not submitted until after the Final Filing Date.

The ERL will complete the eSheet and submit the following documents as part of the eRPA process in Tracker for Examinations Unit (Exams) review:

  • eRPA Cover Sheet.
  • Application Review Spreadsheet indicating how applications were ranked and chosen to interview.
  • Interview Schedule with names of all applicants interviewed & panel members.
  • Interview Questions (blank template). *
  • Interview Rating Criteria indicating your rating scale (i.e. what a 1 means compared to a 5). *
  • Interview Notes/Candidate Responses for each interviewee and their respective score. *
  • Authorization to Release Information (OHR 18) for each interviewee.

*Documents may be combined and, in any layout, if all components are present. Please ensure all panel members’ packets are completed for each interviewee (i.e., if there were 3 interviewees, and 3 panel members, there should be 9 interview packets).

Final Eligibility Results Updated in Tracker

OHR is responsible for determining if prospective candidates are transfer or list eligible within 5 days of the eSheet being submitted. Once completed, Tracker will be updated with final eligibility results and Hiring Managers will receive an email alert through Outlook. Hiring Managers may contact the ERL who will share results.

Make Selection

The Hiring Manager selects who they would like to hire and documents their selection in Section 2 on the eRPA Cover Sheet. This is a simple statement describing the qualifications/experience that made the person the most qualified for the position and can also be documented on the application criteria spreadsheet.

No Candidates?

Programs have various options if they do not receive any eligible candidates.

  • Re-advertise.
    • As part of the eRPA process, if program chooses to readvertise, program will need to submit section 1b of the eRPA Cover Sheet which includes Hiring Manager’s application review spreadsheet demonstrating the candidate pool did not meet their needs. Detailed information about eRPA can be found in section 10.
  • Discuss options with C&P.
  • Email RecruitmentDesk@dgs.ca.gov to discuss and develop a Strategic Recruitment Plan.



To ensure Hiring Managers do not lose their top candidate, job offers should be made immediately after final approval is provided by OHR. Note: If there are pre-employment requirements, only a conditional job offer may be extended.

Conditional Job Offer

If the position requires  pre-employment screenings, such as background clearance (e.g. Live Scan),and/or medical clearance, a conditional job offer can be extended. Once the candidate has successfully completed pre-employment screenings, a firm job offer can be extended.

Background Clearance/Live Scan (if required)

Depending on the building, either DGS or the tenant will initiate the Live Scan.

  • The background approval will get sent to the Custodian of Records and OHR will notify the ERL of background results
  • ERL will notify the office of the candidate’s background results

More information can be obtained in HR Memorandum 20-016: DGS Live Scan Fingerprint Procedure

Medical Clearance (if required)

Program initiates the medical clearance process and will send candidate to medical facility.

  • Medical forms are sent to CalHR for approval by program
  • OHR notifies the ERL of medical clearance

Job Offer

After OHR has given final approval, a start date can be negotiated. When the offer has been accepted, the Hiring Manager will notify the ERL with the following information: 

  • Reporting Supervisor (if different from Hiring Manager)
  • Offer Date
  • Acceptance Date
  • Effective Date

Once job details have been confirmed, you must send a final Offer Letter to the selected candidate. The selected candidate has five (5) days to sign and return the letter.  The Offer Letter is required and will be submitted as part of Section 2 of OHR’s electronic record retention process, eRPA. Detailed information about eRPA can be found in section 10.

FOR ALL STATE EMPLOYEES – Please note, it is the Hiring Manager’s responsibility to contact the applicant’s current Supervisor to negotiate a start date. The applicant’s current supervisor may retain the employee for up to 14 days for promotions and Training & Development Assignments, and up to 30 calendar days for transfers.

Notification to Candidates Not Selected

Typically, candidates are considering other job offers. It is prudent and courteous to inform the unsuccessful candidates of the results of the screening and interview processes as soon as possible.

For those candidates that the Hiring Manager interviewed, it is best practice to call and inform them that they were not selected for the position.

For those candidates who applied, but were not interviewed, Hiring Managers can send a template notifying candidates electronically via ECOS that they were not selected for the position. The ERL can assist with this process.



Hiring Package

For audit purposes and per the State Personnel Board (SPB), DGS is required to retain complete RPA packages for five years after a hire is made. A complete RPA package includes OHR recruitment documents (e.g., duty statement, justification, etc.) AND program hiring documents (e.g., application review spreadsheet, interview questions and notes, final scoring, etc.).

eRPA Process

OHR implemented eRPA, a process that will allow all RPA documents to be easily accessible electronically for business needs during the mandated retention period. With eRPA, DGS programs are now responsible for submitting their hiring documents to OHR throughout the hiring process as noted in the previous sections.

ERLs will utilize the eRPA Cover Sheet when submitting eRPA documents to Tracker. This form is required when uploading documents to Tracker and is a required document of the eRPA process. It also assists with identifying the documents being submitted.

The following sections outline the information or documents Hiring Managers are required to provide to their ERL for the eRPA process.

Section 1A: Application Screening and Interview Docs - Documents are submitted at Final Eligibility

When Hiring Managers are ready to submit top candidates for Final Eligibility Review, Hiring Managers are responsible for proving the ERL the following documents:

  • Names of their top candidates for the eSheet(s)
  • Application Review Spreadsheet indicating how applications were ranked and chosen to interview
  • Interview Schedule with names of all applicants interviewed & panel members
  • Interview Questions (blank template)* 
  • Interview Rating Criteria – defines your rating scale (i.e. what a 1 means compared to a 5)*
  • Interview Notes/Candidate Responses for each interviewee and their respective score*
  • Authorization to Release Information (OHR 18)

Note: Documents notated with an asterisk (*) may be combined and in any layout if all components are present.

Section 1B: Re-advertisements (if applicable) - Documents are submitted with re-advertisement request

When Hiring Managers receive candidate pools that do not meet their needs, they may choose to re-advertise. Currently, Hiring Managers are responsible for providing their ERL the following documents:

  • Application Review Spreadsheet demonstrating the candidate pool did not meet program’s needs

Section 2: Final Candidate Selected - All RPA related documents should be submitted to OHR as soon as a candidate is selected, all pre-employment requirements are cleared, and a start date is determined by way of routing the RPA back to OHR for finalization

When the Hiring Manger has chosen their final candidate, Hiring Managers are responsible for providing their ERL the following:

  • Additional documentation and/or correspondence pertaining to the appointment with DGS OHR and Program ERL (e.g. hardcopies of any emails, reference checks, or other records of communication)
  • A brief justification if the selected candidate was NOT the highest scoring
  • Signed offer letter

Other Documents required for a complete RPA package include:

  • Applications (stored in ECOS)
  • eSheet(s) (submitted by program ERL)
  • Current/proposed organizational charts (submitted by Program and RPA initiation)
  • Final Duty Statement(s) (submitted by Program and RPA initiation)
  • Job Control Form (submitted by Program and RPA initiation)
  • Budget Approval Form OHR 37

Some RPA packages also need to include the following documents:

  • Any documents provided by the selected candidate
  • Email of background approval
  • Email of medical approval
  • Exceptional Allocation (625) Documentation
  • Hire Above Minimum (HAM) Approval Memo
  • EEO Panel Composition (FMD)
  • Interview Question Approval Form (FMD)
  • Justification Memorandum.
  • Post & Bid Form of successful bidder

HR Memorandum 16-008 regarding Hiring Package Retention provides additional information for the best practices for records retention and guidance for collecting and retaining records associated with the hiring process.

Onboarding Your New Hire/Probationary Period

Onboarding Your New Hire

There are many steps to onboarding an employee. Hiring Managers should begin the process as soon as possible to engage their new hire

Prior to First Day

New employee experience is important and impacts retention. Some things to do to help welcome a new employee to DGS and the program:

  • Welcome letter/email from Deputy Director of the division
  • Welcome letter/email from the Hiring Manager, outlining what to expect on their first day, including where to report, who to ask for when they arrive, and any other pertinent information to make their arrival successful
  • Identify someone within program to serve as their designated onboarding buddy
  • Prepare desk, phone, computer prior to arrival
  • Instructions on teleworking policy when applicable
  • Prepare first week schedule to include introductions, site tour, paperwork and develop training plan

Onboarding Toolkit 

You can find everything needed to onboard and support your new hire through the pre-hire process and their first year on the OHR Onboarding Toolkit, so they can become a successful member of your team and our department. 

Resources include:

  • Onboarding timeline
  • Checklists
  • Engagement email templates
  • Expectations
  • Company Culture

Probationary Period

Hiring Managers must submit a probation report according to the specified timeframes for the classification.

6, 9, or 12-Month Probationary Periods

The final step in the selection process is the probationary period. This is a specified timeframe at the beginning of an appointment that is used for a close review and evaluation of an employee's performance. Hiring Managers will receive an ABMS alert via email designating the due dates for each probation report.

Depending on the classification, an individual must work:

  • 840 hours for a 6-month probationary period
  • 1260 hours for a 9-month probationary period
  • 1680 hours for a 12-month probationary period

Vacation, sick leave, military leave, or other leave of absence, compensating time off, suspension or other separations, including separations subsequently voided or otherwise set aside, shall not be considered working time.

Employees need to be evaluated at least every third of their probation period:

  • Every 2 months for 6-month probation periods
  • Every 4 months for 12-month probation periods

Hiring Managers are not limited to the above schedule and can prepare additional performance reports at any time during the probation period.

Detailed information regarding probation periods can be found in DGS Personnel Operations Manual - Probationary Period and on CalHR’s Website, Supervisor's Responsibilities During the Probation Period.



Throughout this hiring guide, we have provided a myriad of tools, resources and information Hiring Managers have access to, to help guide you through the hiring process, including:


DGS Recruitment Unit

Department of General Services
Office of Human Resources

707 3rd Street, 1st Floor
West Sacramento, CA 95605
Email: RecruitmentDesk@dgs.ca.gov