[IPAC-List] Local government preference for internal employees

mhammer at 295.ca mhammer at 295.ca
Wed Sep 9 19:48:19 EDT 2015

There is formal/explicit preference (which, I concur, may well be
considered against policy or even illegal), and there is implicit

Many jurisdictions require that just about *everything* be posted
externally, even when the hiring manager is simply trying to turn a
short-term contract into a more permanent appointment for a preferred (for
all the right reasons) candidate.  In many such instances, the internal
employee ends up being selected because the experience and knowledge
criteria are engineered to select that individual, or the sort of "dream"
external candidate who explodes out of the woodwork (and which very rarely

The job-relatedness does not have to be attached to their status as
current employee.  Rather, the KSAs sought for the position just happen to
be enhanced or *result* from the fact that they are an internal candidate.
 Fopr example, there may be a knowledge test as part of the selection. 
The knowledge required for the test may not necessarily be privileged
information that ONLY internal candidates would know (which would be
discriminatory and certainly grounds for grievance), but it could be
information that is certainly helped along by being an internal candidate.

So, for example, one of the requirements may be "extensive knowledge" of
some government policy.  The policy may well be posted on-line such that
anyone could see it and commit it to memory.  But the chances are pretty
good that the internal candidate would have a leg up, relative to those
who simply crammed from the posted information.

Bottom line: advantage does not have to equal explicit preference.

Mark Hammer

> Is there data available (even anecdotal) as to any local governments that
> give preference to internal employees applying for open competitive
> advertised jobs?  There are some union agreements that call for all jobs
> to first be posted internal only, and then posted externally if needed,
> but I have no knowledge of any local governments that give preference just
> because applicants are current employees of that entity.  I am curious how
> an entity giving such preference can demonstrate the job relatedness of
> it, as well as the answer the challenge of external applicants who possess
> more job-related qualifications than internals who may have moved ahead of
> them to go forward to the next step in the hiring process.  Veteran's
> Preference is a legal mandate in the State of Florida for applicants
> meeting minimum qualifications, but I am looking for a non-legally
> mandated hiring process that offers this type of preference to internals .
>  Thank you in advance.
> Best regards, Leilani Yan
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