4
PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT

SELECTION TECHNIQUES

The written examination still remains the basis of selection for most positions in the municipal service. Formerly it was the sole criterion, but gradually we are developing variations from this base. The first controversy concerns the type of examination. Our fetish for specialization has developed corresponding civil service tests for all positions, without trying the broader type which other countries have found desirable for those entering a general career. Lacking a career service, we have been forced to test candidates for specific jobs, and the examinations have been predicated on this situation. A broader testing base selects those who may serve in various branches of the government, and rise more rapidly because of superior training in fundamentals. Many English and Continental examinations test general education and aptitude. The federal civil service has held two such examinations, open to college graduates.1 Our cities have not experimented in this field.

The practical or performance test has come into wide use in the past fifteen years. For certain types of jobs, such as bookbinder, crane operator, and many others, it is simply a question of having the candidates perform typical tasks under the watchful eye of qualified examiners. New York City made

____________________
1
These examinations were given in 1934 and 1936. The first was taken by 7,500, of whom some 3,800 passed. Of this number about one-half were under twenty-five years of age, a noteworthy opportunity for beginning a federal career service. By 1936, about one thousand of these eligibles had been appointed to places in the service. Of the total number, about two hundred had M.A. degrees, and approximately thirty-five had the Ph.D. degree. About 27,000 took the 1936 examination. Cf. Leonard D. White, "The Civil Service and the University Graduate," National Municipal Review, August 1935.

-70-

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City Management
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword vii
  • Preface ix
  • Contents xiii
  • Illustrations xix
  • 1 - The Changing City 1
  • 2 - Administrative Principles 22
  • 3 - The Civil Service 49
  • 4 - Personnel Management 70
  • 5 - Revenues and Taxation 95
  • 6 - Finance and Accounting 124
  • 7 - Expenditures and Debts 151
  • Conclusions 174
  • 8 - State Financial Supervision 176
  • Conclusions 194
  • 9 - Centralized Purchasing 199
  • 10 - Planning 226
  • 11 - Zoning 249
  • 12 - Slums and Housing 275
  • 13 - The Law Department 300
  • 14 - Public Health 319
  • 15 - Recreation and Parks 355
  • Conclusions 378
  • 16 - Public Welfare 383
  • 17 - Police Administration 412
  • 18 - Traffic. 449
  • 19 - Fire 477
  • 20 - Public Works 509
  • 21 - Streets 539
  • 22 - Public Utilities 566
  • 23 - Wastes 593
  • Conclusions 620
  • 24- Water 623
  • Conclusions 646
  • 25 - Courts 649
  • Conclusions 669
  • 26 - Education 673
  • 27 - Nominations and Elections 696
  • 28 - New Horizons 716
  • Index 747
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