Follow-Up of City Hiring Timeliness Audit

The City of Chicago Office of Inspector General (OIG) has completed a follow-up to its December 2015 audit of the City’s hiring process. Based on the Department of Human Resources (DHR) and Office of Budget and Management’s (OBM) responses, OIG concludes that while the City has begun implementation of corrective actions related to the development, tracking, and analysis of performance goals, it has not implemented corrective actions to address other OIG recommendations.

The purpose of the 2015 audit was to determine if the City filled vacant positions in a timely manner. Our audit found that the City took an average of nearly six months to fill vacant positions. OIG concluded that a significant portion of the six-month time lapse to fill a vacancy, which was intended to prevent annual personnel spending from exceeding City Council appropriations, in fact reduced personnel spending below City Council appropriation amounts to the potential operational detriment of City departments. In addition, the City had not set formal goals for how long the full hiring process should take and did not otherwise track the time-to-hire for filling departments’ vacancies. Finally, the City had no procedures in place to identify or measure hiring delays and had not established guidelines to assist departments in timing their hiring requests to meet the schedules set out in their budgetary hiring plans.

Based upon the results of our audit, we recommended that,

  • OBM ensure the disposition of departmental requests to hire reflects the true disposition, and that it formally and expressly communicate to hiring departments any denial of a request (no matter the disposition) and the reason for denial;
  • OBM reconsider requiring departments to postpone filling vacancies until they have achieved their budgeted turnover amount; and
  • DHR work with OBM to define time-to-hire goals that include all relevant hiring process activities, and develop procedures to measure steps of the hiring process in order to identify and remedy sources of delay.

In response to the audit, OBM and DHR described a number of corrective actions they would take regarding the development, tracking, and analysis of performance goals. They disagreed with the other findings and recommendations, however, and declined to take corrective actions.

 In May 2017, OIG inquired with DHR and OBM regarding the status of the corrective actions the Departments committed to in response to OIG’s audit and any other actions they may have taken. On the following pages we summarize the original audit finding and recommendations, as well as the Departments’ response to our follow-up inquiry.

Based on DHR’s and OBM’s follow-up response, OIG concludes the Departments have begun implementation of corrective actions related to performance measures. Once fully implemented, OIG believes these actions may reasonably be expected to provide the tracking tools necessary to identify and address hiring delays. We urge the Departments to reconsider OIG’s remaining recommendations and identify corrective action to fully address the finding in our original audit.