Pew study finds Philadelphia hiring practices could be better

 Philadelphia City Hall (Nathaniel Hamilton/for NewsWorks)

Philadelphia City Hall (Nathaniel Hamilton/for NewsWorks)

A new analysis of Philadelphia’s hiring practices calls it cumbersome — and a city charter change may be needed to streamline it.

Philadelphia has issues like other major cities, said Katie Martin, co-author of the Pew Charitable Trusts report.  But antiquated rules limit opportunities, especially for minority candidates.

“It really does limit hiring of managers in Philadelphia to consider only the two highest candidates for a vacancy on an eligibility list,” Martin said Tuesday. “Among the nation’s 30 largest cities, all others gave their hiring managers more flexibility.”

Philadelphia Chief Administrative Officer Christine Lopez says city officials are reviewing the report with an eye toward modernizing the system. (Tom MacDonald WHYY)

City officials, who requested the study, are reviewing the report with an eye toward modernizing the hiring and employment system, said Christine Lopez, the city’s chief administrative officer.

“We think there’s a lot of opportunity to take a look at our existing work processes, then ask the question: Do they continue to make sense?” she said. “And leverage technology where possible.”

The Pew analysis doesn’t offer recommendations, so the city will have to come up with an action plan that could  include changing the city charter to modify civil service regulations.

Philadelphia employs more than 30,000 full-time, part-time, and seasonal employees in more than 700 different types of jobs at roughly 200 sites throughout the city.

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