Forbes poll ranks Commonwealth of PA among top employers for new graduates

Governor Tom Wolf announced that, for the first time, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania was named one of the nation’s Top Employers for New Grads in a survey conducted by Forbes and market research firm Statista.

“Commonwealth employees do hard work every day to serve their fellow Pennsylvania people, and I am proud to work alongside them,” Governor Wolf said. “To bring the best and the brightest to the public service, it is important that we continue to modernize our approach to work to keep pace with the private sector and other public employers. Currently, the organizations under my jurisdiction are implementing a new teleworking policy that will help us better attract and retain employees, while continuing to provide first-class service to the public. We will continue to assess the needs of our employees and the Pennsylvanians they serve to ensure our Commonwealth lives up to its role as a leading public sector employer. “

“By modernizing the hiring process, building bridges between college and career, and being more competitive in the job market, the Wolf administration has orchestrated a remarkable turnaround in the way young professionals view government. state, ”Administration Secretary Michael Newsome said. “Seven years ago, students told us that they would only apply for a job in the state if they were desperate. Today, we are nationally ranked as an employer of choice for a new generation of workers.

The main improvements under the Wolf administration include:

More convenient application process

The application process for the vast majority of Commonwealth jobs can now be completed entirely online. Previously, most public service jobs required a candidate to schedule and take a computerized exam at one of seven testing centers. As a result, many people would submit applications, but never complete their exams. Depending on the position, the candidate loss rate can range from 30 percent to 75 percent. For positions where agencies still require an in-person review, OA has expanded the testing locations available to applicants.

Applicants can now choose to receive job posting information by email and receive additional communications by email or text message, rather than US mail only. OA also recently launched a service that allows candidates to schedule interviews with hiring managers online.

Easier to understand job postings

In most cases, state agencies now publish specific job postings with online posts that describe the available position, job duties, location, starting salary, and other details. In the past, job seekers had to apply to general categories, such as accounting, IT or administration, and then wait – sometimes up to a year – to be notified of jobs – if any – available. . OA also works with hiring managers to write job postings that are free from bureaucratic language and unnecessary jargon that can confuse applicants.

Modernized jobs website

The Commonwealth Employment Website,, has been redesigned to more effectively represent state government as a place where you can enjoy a rewarding career and positively impact the lives of Pennsylvanians. The website includes step-by-step tutorials on how to apply, as well as information on financial and health benefits, career development opportunities, and resources for veterans. In addition, several telephone numbers have been replaced with a single helpline for applicants. In the past, job seekers had to visit separate websites to view and apply for public service jobs, not the public service.

New programs to attract talent

The Wolf administration has implemented several programs in recent years to strengthen recruiting.

  • The Commonwealth Civil Service Internship Program was established in 2015 to provide a path from college to a career in state government. Students can be promoted to a permanent or internship position after successfully completing six months of paid internship with a state agency.
  • OA and the Department of Labor and Industry’s Office of Vocational Rehabilitation partnered in 2018 to deliver an internship program aimed at increasing competitive and inclusive employment for people with disabilities and making Pennsylvania a model state in in terms of creating a welcoming environment for disabled workers.
  • OA has reinstated and updated its human resources management training program whereby cohorts undergo one-year training through rotational assignments in different areas of human resources before being assigned to a full-time position.

Total rewards and workplace culture

The Wolf administration has implemented a variety of new benefit programs and policies to improve retention and improve workplace culture.

  • Paid parental leave policy – Employees are entitled to a maximum of six weeks of paid parental leave to care for a child after a birth, adoption or foster care. The new policy is separate from any accumulated sick leave or paid vacation that the employee may have accrued.
  • Flexible Spending Account Benefit – Employees can sign up for flexible spending accounts to save money on personal expenses for health care and / or dependents.
  • Fair hiring policy – This policy has removed the criminal history question from most Commonwealth job applications in order to increase opportunities for people with non-violent criminal records.
  • Jobs First Policy – This policy aims to reduce barriers to competitive integrated employment and increase opportunities for workers with disabilities.
  • Equal pay policy – This policy prohibits state agencies from interviewing candidates about their current or past compensation and makes job duties the primary determinant of compensation.
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Office (EEO) – EEO Agency programs and staff are now centralized in a single office reporting directly to the Secretary of Administration to improve consistency and visibility.
  • Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion – Governor Wolf has created a new Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to lead efforts with state agencies and employers in the Commonwealth.
  • Anti-Discrimination Policies – Governor Wolf issued executive orders to strengthen policies prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression; Executive Decree 2016-05 – Contract Compliance and Executive Decree 2021-04 Prohibition of sexual harassment in the Commonwealth
  • Minimum wage – Governor Wolf continues to raise the minimum wage for Commonwealth workers, which is currently $ 12.00 an hour, with the goal of paying $ 15 an hour by 2024.
  • Lean Process Improvement – The Commonwealth uses techniques developed by the private sector to engage employees in continuous improvement of programs and service delivery.
  • Employee Engagement – Employees are surveyed twice a year to rate their satisfaction with their work for the Commonwealth, based on their willingness to recommend working for the Commonwealth to others.

About the survey

Statista surveyed 20,000 workers with less than 10 years of professional experience in companies with at least 1,000 employees. All surveys were anonymous, allowing participants to openly share their opinions. Respondents were asked to rate their employers on a variety of criteria, including a safe working environment, competitive compensation, opportunities for advancement, the effectiveness of diversity and inclusion efforts, and the company’s image. Statista then asked respondents how likely they would be to recommend their employer to others and to name organizations outside of their own.

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