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Department of Human Resources

2019 Budget Statement

October 30, 2018


Good afternoon, Chairman Austin, and esteemed members of the City Council for the opportunity to present
the proposed Department of Human Resources (“DHR”) budget for 2019.

DHR provides human resources services to job applicants and City employees, as well as works with City
departments, boards, and commissions to attract and retain quality personnel. In addition to managing a
fair and equitable hiring process, we are responsible for all human resources functions within the City, such
as: human resources records management and retention, classification and compensation, training, testing,
and writing and enforcing City policies, including the City’s Equal Employment Opportunity, Reasonable
Accommodation, and Violence in the Workplace policies. It is our mission to administer cost-effective HR
services, foster a professional, inclusive, and thriving workforce, and provide equal employment
opportunities for all the citizens of Chicago.


Employment Services

Our Employment Services Division is responsible for administering the City’s hiring processes. DHR
remains committed to maintaining and enhancing a high level of integrity in our hiring process while filling
positions efficiently. We continue to build on improved communications with applicants and increase the
transparency of our hiring process.

We have processed 228,158 applications and have filled 3920 vacancies as of October 15, 2018. On
average, it is taking 72 days to fill vacancies. We continue to work to reduce the time to fill vacancies, and
this year, we have further reduced the time to clear background checks, which gets new hires in the door

In addition, the Employment Services Division continues to work closely with the Chicago Police
Department (“CPD”) on hiring more Police Officers, which includes recruitment for exams, development
and administration of exams, and providing assistance with CPD’s pre-employment process when possible.

We have also been working to improve communications with departments. This year, we have established
regular monthly meetings with departmental administrative teams (which includes both Deputy-level and
Human Resource Liaisons) for the following departments: CDOT, DSS, 2FM, CDPH, and CDA. We will
be expanding this regular communication to more departments with the larger goal of establishing these
relationships with every department.


Chicago Police Department

The Testing Division administered the Police Officer (“PO”) entry exam in May 2018 and a make-up exam
in June 2018 to a total of 4,273 candidates.

• In 2018, the Testing Division also administered make-up exams to an additional 59 candidates
who had signed up for the December 2017 PO exam but were granted accommodation due to
military, medical, and life event conflicts.

On December 8, 2018, we will administer another PO exam. 8,875 applicants have been invited to the
exam. To improve participation, we have been taking the following actions:

• Surveying applicants for their preferred session (morning vs. afternoon) to give candidates
more scheduling flexibility.

• Sending emails and text messages to applicants (1-2 per week from now until the exam) to keep
them engaged

• Revising correspondence with applicants to more clearly communicate information.

• Ensuring that applicants are aware that they can request accommodation to take a make-up
exam and how to do so.

With respect to the time between the exam and getting the results, we have reduced that timeframe from 12
weeks (the Spring 2017 exam) to five (5) weeks (the Spring 2018) exam.

Chicago Fire Department

The Testing Division finalized the eligibility lists for Fire Engineer, Battalion Chief, and Fire Captain,
which entailed reviewing extensive technical reports, analyzing results to identify adverse impact and
making remedial adjustments, and providing requested information to the Department of Justice. Hiring
has begun for Fire Engineer and Battalion Chief, and the Fire Captain hiring is expected to begin in

Other Testing

To date, DHR has developed and administered testing for over 1,800 candidates for a wide variety of
positions across the rest of the City departments.

Diversity and EEO

The Diversity and EEO Division created a new module on sexual harassment that was added to the Board
of Ethics mandatory online employee training. This new training material provides an overview of the
kinds of inappropriate conduct that could constitute sexual harassment and offers details on the avenues
available to employees who wish to make complaints.

The content of this sexual harassment training module has also been incorporated into the sexual harassment
portion of an online EEO training that we will begin to roll out in December. It will be mandatory for all
City employees on an annual basis.

The Diversity and EEO Division also completed updates to the City’s Diversity and EEO Policy, including
new language regarding whistleblower protection and additions to clarify various processes related to
complaints of harassment, discrimination and retaliation. The revised policy is currently under review by
unions, and the review period will end in early November, after which we will move towards

Training and Development

The Training and Development Division, with the assistance of the Information Services Division, worked
closely with several departments to launch projects using Chicago eLearning, the City’s new Learning
Management System. With the Training Division’s support, the Chicago Fire Department used Chicago
eLearning to streamline course registration, tracking, and certification for a continuing education course,
saving significant time over the manual process previously used. In addition, we worked with the Chicago
Department of Public Health to launch its federally mandated HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and
Accountability Act) training on Chicago eLearning.

The Training Division also trained departmental HR Liaisons on the use of Chicago eLearning to enroll
employees in classroom courses. This will significantly reduce time spent using manual, paper-based
processes to register employees in DHR courses.

Information Services

In 2016, the Information Services Division implemented an Electronic Employee Document Management
System that converted microfiche records into an electronic format, which reduced maintenance costs,
better preserved old records, and provided quicker access to the information. In 2017, we successfully
moved 10 departments on the new system. This year, we have moved the rest of the City departments on
the new system. As a result, improvements to departmental business processes, access to records, and
reductions of paper have been made.

And as noted above, the Information Services Division has been helping the Training and Development
Division to launch projects using Chicago eLearning.

Classification and Compensation


The Classification and Compensation Division completed 168 job audits to ensure proper classification for
occupied, vacant, and new positions assigned to various operating departments. 62 of these audits were
reclassification recommendations for both occupied and new positions that were submitted to the OBM for
implementation in the 2019 budget.

Also, the Classification and Compensation Division continues the pre-intake analysis of all vacant positions
to be posted for hire. To date, the job responsibilities of 517 vacancies have been reviewed in 2018 to
ensure proper classification. (We reviewed 457 vacancies in 2017). Disqualifying questions for current
job titles were reviewed and updated when necessary.

We revised 26 job descriptions and created nine (9) new job titles. Classification and Compensation
Analysts met with departmental subject matter experts and conducted external research to accurately
document job duties, qualifications (including licenses and certifications), and physical requirements for
these job descriptions.


The Classification and Compensation Division recommended salary ranges for 33 Special Rate positions,
which involved the analysis of market data and comparing internal position data.

We responded to 41 salary surveys throughout the year. Specifically, we participated in surveys conducted
by national cities and local municipalities, including the Bureau of Labor Statistics and cities such as
Charlotte, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, New York City, Philadelphia, and Seattle, as well as sister

agencies and other local governmental entities, including: the Chicago Transit Authority, City Colleges, the
Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Schools, Cook County, the Metropolitan Water Management
District, and Metra. In doing so, we continue to enhance our relationships with these entities and increased
the resources we are able to utilize when conducting salary analyses.

MMI Project

In partnership with the Department of Finance, we have been working on a project to engage those on Duty
Disability/Maximum Medical Improvement (“MMI”) to assist them in returning to work in some capacity.
There are currently a total of 107 people on the "MMI out of work" list. DHR and Finance have established
monthly orientations. So far, we have invited 60 MMI employees to attend a presentation and training on
how to navigate the City's hiring process, self-directed job searches, the reasonable accommodation process,
and what is required to continue receiving benefits.

Project Relating to Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault

DHR worked closely with Alderman O’Shea and Chicago Says No More, a coalition of 20 businesses, civic
and philanthropic leaders collaborating with 25 executive directors of not-for-profit organizations with a
mission to serve those affected by domestic violence and sexual assault, to develop a guidebook of all the
services the City has readily available for its employees who may be experiencing domestic violence or
sexual assault. Just like many employers, the City offers numerous services, but the information about them
was housed in multiple different policies and procedures, so employees had to conduct their own research
and as a result, may not have known about everything that is available to them. Our goal was to implement
an easily accessible document to centralize this information, ensuring that our employees can easily access
the assistance they need, and know that we support them and encourage them to seek our help. As of April
1, 2018, we established the City of Chicago’s Guidebook concerning City Policies Regarding Domestic or
Sexual Violence. Employees who are in need of assistance can access this document, available on the City’s
DHR website, and will have a guidebook concerning all resources and City policies available to them
including time-off through FMLA or VESSA Leave, confidential consultations, and assistance with DHR’s
clinical therapist, residency waivers if an employee needs to quickly relocate, and reasonable
accommodations such as changing work phone number or modifying a work schedule or location.

In addition to the Guidebook, the City also expanded its Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act
(“VESSA”) Policy. VESSA is an Illinois State law, which requires employers to provide survivors of
domestic violence and sexual assault with three months of job protected unpaid leave. We have amended
our policy, effective January 1, 2018, to give City employees who qualify for VESSA one month of paid
leave. We are leading the state in granting our employees any paid time off under VESSA.

Chief Diversity Officer

After conducting an extensive search, I am pleased to announce that we have hired our Chief Diversity
Officer (“CDO”). In a short amount of time, our CDO developed a framework within which we are
organizing our efforts. Work has focused in a number of key areas:

• Recruitment: Our CDO has reached out to numerous professional and community organizations
that DHR has worked with in the past to discuss how DHR can better communicate information
about our hiring process and provide information about job postings so that information can reach
interested applicants more effectively. Communication with those organizations has improved,
which allows these partnerships to be more successful. In addition, our CDO has identified and
engaged additional organizations to be added to DHR’s partner list. The response has been very

positive, and partner organizations, both existing and new, have been actively contacting our CDO
with questions and ideas.

• Hiring: Our CDO has developed a pilot program with six (6) City departments varying in size and
function so that we can test the ideas we have and use the deeper knowledge we get from those
departments to build on that effort citywide. Additional detail on this pilot is outlined below. Our
CDO has quickly gotten to know the City’s hiring process through reviewing the Hiring Plan and
talking with the entire Employment Services Division. In doing so, he has created a team of DHR
employees who are passionate about improving diversity in City hiring who have started
scrutinizing our process for ways we can improve DHR’s ability to hire more diverse candidates
[and what are we doing with this information/group?].

• Communication: The CDO identified areas in which DHR can improve communication with the
public and has begun: mapping out changes to DHR’s public website to be more accessible and
useful, revising the materials we currently provide the public, and drafting better communication
regarding job postings to our partners so the information is more likely to be used and disseminated.
These items were identified as priorities through a combination of feedback from professional and
community organizations, DHR employees, other departments, Aldermen, and other entities.
Conversations with many members of City Council have already occurred, and we will continue to
reach out to the Aldermen so that we can strengthen our partnership.


Employment Services

The Employment Services Division will continue to effectively administer a hiring process that provides
equal employment opportunities to City residents and maintains public trust in the integrity of that process.
At the same time, we critically evaluate our practices so that we can build on our successes and continue to
improve the efficiency and effectiveness of City hiring.

The Employment Services Division quickly established frequent, regular communication with the Chief
Diversity Officer, and as a result, has already begun a deep, detailed evaluation of the hiring process
specifically as it relates to our diversity initiatives with the benefit of our newly obtained expertise. This
analysis has resulted in the identification of action items that can be implemented in the short-term while
also identifying longer-term goals that we can start to work on immediately.

Additionally, we will create new communications between DHR, hiring departments, and OBM to better
prioritize hiring demands and further reduce time to fill vacancies.


With respect to the Police Officer exam, the Testing Division has contracted with a vendor to complete an
updated job analysis and find and validate a new entry exam. We are looking for exams that can be
administered both through traditional written means and electronically so we can further explore the
possibility of electronic testing while maintaining the ability to administer written exams as needed.
We are targeting testing for the CPD Sergeant rank in late 2019.

We will also be working with CFD on their next Fire Lieutenant exam and evaluating the psychological
requirements for Paramedics.

We also will continue to explore avenues for electronic testing for the Police Officer exam.

Diversity and EEO

The Diversity and EEO Division will release a Religious Accommodation Policy, setting out the procedures
to be followed when employees seek an accommodation in order to observe religious practices. The City
currently responds to such employee requests in compliance with the law and our existing EEO Policy.
However, implementation of a specific policy and related procedures will ensure consistent review of
religious accommodation requests and promote inclusion in all departments.

The Diversity and EEO Division will also expand its new practice of including process improvement
recommendations in investigation reports when warranted. Through these process recommendations, we
can and will continue to address department-level processes that sometimes contribute to employee
perceptions of inequity, such as enforcement of dress codes, application of time and attendance rules, and/or
distribution of overtime. By encouraging departments to monitor the equitable application of such policies,
we hope to improve workplace morale and assist departments in addressing employee issues.

Training and Development

The Training and Development Division will roll out an updated training course on City policy relating to
working with contractors. Based on recent changes to the City’s Contractor Policy and in collaboration with
the Inspector General’s Hiring Oversight Division, the Training and Development Division will offer an
updated course that will be mandatory for senior leadership of City departments, and all City employees
involved with the contracting process.

As part of the ongoing implementation of Chicago eLearning, we will also partner with departments to
design the training components of major initiatives, such as the introduction of a new tracking system at
311 City Services and a new case management system at COPA.

Information Services

One of the Information Services Division’s goals for next year is to have all City departments using the
electronic employee records system so that the transmission of HR records can be better streamlined and
easier for departments generally.

Another goal is to expand this function beyond HR-related records to a City-wide secure enterprise
document management system that incorporates other types of City business documents. We plan to kick
off this initiative in early 2018.

The Information Services Division continues to actively work with the Training and Development Division
on further implementation of the online training system. The goal is to train departments so they can upload
their own online courses specific to their operations.

In addition, we will continue to work on extracting more use of our Taleo application system with respect
to hiring metrics, onboarding processes, and performance management.

The Information Services Division has been working this year on developing the Taleo Onboarding module,
which will get new hires up to speed faster by increasing the consistency, accuracy and effectiveness of the
onboarding process across the City. We expect to implement this module in 2019.

Classification and Compensation

In 2019, the Classification and Compensation Division will work with the Department of Budget on
addressing salary compression issues that and will closely monitor recent changes in the Department of
Labor’s regulations that may affect City positions.

We will also continue work on a database of publicly available pay data from cities and counties throughout
the US with a target completion in 2019.

Chief Diversity Officer

Our CDO will continue the work that has already started and ensure that we maximize the fruits of those
efforts. We expect that through our pilot department project, we will gain some knowledge quickly about
modifications to the hiring process that we can expand City-wide.

Four specific ideas we will be piloting in 2019 City-wide are: (1) providing departments with detailed data
and creating recruitment plans that include specific item actions for both DHR and the departments; (2) for
positions where we have had a history of difficulty recruiting diverse applicants and positions that are
generally hard to fill, especially those of a professional and/or managerial level, we will run demographic
information on applicant pools mid-posting so that we can extend the posting to intensify our recruitment
efforts before closing it; and (3) directly working with hiring departments on diversifying interview panels
as much as possible; and (4) incorporating interview questions geared to assess a candidate’s knowledge
and understanding of the value of a diverse workforce, and for managers, the ability to identify and address
issues relating to EEO and inclusion.

We will also bring more professional and community organizations to our network and build inter-
connections between them so we can more effectively assist those organizations in communicating with
their client bases and networks.

DHR’s electronic and written communications will be revised to be more helpful to potential applicants.
We will create user-friendly instructions on navigating Taleo that will be distributed in both paper and
electronic form. We will also provide detailed information to the Aldermen on upcoming postings on a
regular basis.

In addition, our CDO, who has already begun delving into the City’s applicant and hiring data, will use his
expertise to identify specific problem areas in recruiting and hiring. As we start to identify problem areas
in more detail, we will be able to create clear, concrete action items for DHR, the hiring departments, and
our many partners to directly address those areas so that we can achieve measurable and more successful

Additional Projects

Currently, DHR has been working on a department-wide performance management system to conduct
consistent, regularly scheduled performance reviews. The benefit of a well-organized performance
management system is that employees receive ongoing feedback on their performance, and supervisors are
better equipped to assess employee performance and are able to work collaboratively with their employees
on performance issues. We plan to expand what we have developed in-house to other departments in the
coming year.

To continue our work on domestic violence and sexual assault, we have started working with Chicago Says
No More and their affiliates to develop training for our employees, and especially for our managers and
supervisors, to increase awareness, recognize early warning signs of abuse, and how to act responsively to
ensure that they are equipped to support affected employees. We expect to start these trainings in 2019.

To build on the successes we have seen using a vendor for Police Officer exam recruitment, we would like
to explore the possibility of a Master Consulting Agreement that would allow us to expand use of vendors
for recruitment and outreach for other City departments. Our hope is that we will be able to more effectively
diversify applicant pools with the additional resources and expertise. When we are ready to issue the MCA,
which we plan to do in 2019, we will work with City Council and actively recruit minority and women
owned firms.


Thank you, Chairman Austin and City Council, for your support of DHR. It has been a privilege to partner
with you to continue improving the providing of human resources services to the City, and I look forward
to the progress that is to come in the coming year from our partnership.

Last, but not least, I would like to thank my staff. Across divisions and throughout the department are
passionate, talented, hard-working individuals who dedicate their lives to City service. The City of Chicago
is lucky to have them, and I am so fortunate to have the opportunity to work with them. It is truly an honor
to be able to represent them here today.