​How the State of Wisconsin Facilitates a Fair and Equitable Selection Process​

​​​The State of Wisconsin selection process has several protections built into it that help ensure fair and equitable treatment of all applicants and prevent unfair treatment or unlawful discrimination. Some of these protections include: 

Selection process related protections
  • Free and open applications to all applicants that are deemed qualified. 
  • Recruitments for positions in classified civil service across state agencies are posted for a minimum of 3 or 7 days, depending on the type of position, on wisc.jobs to allow time to apply.  (s.230.01(2), 230.14(1), 230.16(2), Wis. Stats.)
  • Assessments/screenings to determine applicant qualifications must be job-related, valid, established prior to posting the position, and equally applied to all applicants.  (s.230.16(4), Wis. Stats.)
  • Accommodations must be provided to applicants who are unable, due to a disability, to complete an evaluation used in the selection process.  (s.230.16(6), Wis. Stats.)
  • Applicant materials are evaluated or rated by subject matter experts to determine eligibility.  (s.230.16(5), Wis. Stats.)
  • Significant efforts are made to ensure diverse representation on evaluation panels in terms of the gender, ethnicity, veteran, and disability status when possible to provide a variety of perspectives and input on determining qualifications of applicants.  (ER 43.045, OSER-0381-AA Bulletin​)

Background check related protections
  • The State of Wisconsin prohibits state agencies from asking about an applicant’s conviction record on an application or at any time prior to the point of certification (which occurs after applicant materials are evaluated and top candidates are determined). The exception to this is for positions where specific conviction(s) automatically disqualify an applicant from being eligible for certain positions (such as law enforcement officers, etc.).  (s.230.16(1)(ap), Wis. Stats., ER-MRS 6.10(3), Wis. Admin. Code)
  • When background checks are conducted on top candidates for positions, Wisconsin’s Fair Employment Law prohibits discrimination based on an arrest or conviction record and therefore having an arrest or conviction record does not automatically disqualify an individual from being selected. Only convictions or pending charges that are substantially related to the duties of the job the applicant is being considered for are taken into account.  (s.111.321, Wis. Stats.)

Pay setting process/protections:  
  • When candidates are recommended for hire for a position, it is helpful to understand there are two types of pay structures for positions within the State agencies:
    • ​Broadbanded positions: Where there is a pre-established range that the candidates can be paid within, but there is flexibility on what rate to pay them within that range.
    • ​​​​Non-broadbanded positions: ​Where a candidate’s pay rate is set and there is no flexibility for pay for new hires. There are rare circumstances where limited flexibility is permissible in non-broadbanded positions, specifically when there is an approved “Hire Above the Minimum” included in the job posting.
  • ​When there ​is pay flexibility, the recommended candidate’s background and experience is analyzed by Human Resources (HR) staff in comparison with other employees currently performing the same or similar work to help determine an equitable pay rate for the candidate. This process does not consider gender, ethnicity, or any other factor that would be unlawful to make hiring decisions on.
  • ​​Prior to positions being posted for recruitment, every position is “classified” based on the duties documented in a position description by the supervisor and reviewed and approved by HR. The State of Wisconsin has a very well-developed and documented process for classifying positions (with over 1400 different classifications/job titles) and this ensures that employees performing similar work are classified similarly, paid similarly, treated similarly for overtime considerations, etc.  (s.230​.09(1), Wis. Stats.)