City changes hiring policy

Published 6:00 am Saturday, September 9, 2017

The city is changing the way it advertises jobs.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen Thursday amended its hiring policy to advertise job openings in-house and to the public as soon as they become open.

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Human resources director Walterine Langford said openings will be posted for at least 10 days.

In the past, Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said, the city’s policy was to advertise the opening in-house for five days to see if any city employee was interested in changing jobs or moving up to a higher paying job before opening the job up to the public.

“The minute the job is posted, anybody on the inside or the outside can apply for it,” he said. “What that will do is get the best qualified person for the position, whether they work inside or do not work for the city.”

The board in July announced it will not be creating any new city positions after Oct. 1, when the new fiscal year begins, but would continue to fill openings in existing departments as they occurred.

“Once we adopt the budget, we can’t create any new positions, but if we have an opening in an existing position, we can fill it,” Flaggs said.

He said the move is one of several he plans to make involving city employees to get more productivity.

“We can’t keep paying people and begging them to do the work; we’re going to move some people around. If you came in here 20 years ago, 25 years ago, in a position as a supervisor, you may not be in that position Oct. 1.”

Starting Oct. 1, Flaggs said, the city will begin a program cross-training employees to be able to perform more than one job.

“Twenty percent of our employees can retire and 80 percent of them can only function in one job. I want to make a recommendation to change that.”

He said he was upset with the way some employees are doing their jobs, adding he drives the city’s streets every morning “looking and seeing and keep calling on the same people to get somebody to get something done. If you’re not performing, we’re going to help you perform.”

Those employees who want to retire, he said, have between now and Oct. 1 to retire, “Because we’re going to move them around. We’re not going to lock these folks in to the same positions. You can’t run a city like that.”

“We’re going to cross-train all through the city, so that when these jobs become available we can have the best person, most qualified person in every position.”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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