Q. Why should I apply for a County job?
A. Great benefits, competitive pay structure, and stable work environment.
Q. How are County jobs advertised?
A. Vacancies are posted on the County website and in County buildings, usually advertised in the Sunday edition of the Delaware State News, and always faxed to the Delaware Department of Labor and the career offices of nearby colleges & universities.
Q. How do I apply for a County job?
A. Complete and submit a Kent County application form before the advertised deadline. The form is available on the County's webpage or in the Kent County Personnel Office located in Room 213 of the Kent County Administrative Complex at 555 Bay Road in Dover. A resume can be attached, but cannot be substituted for the completed application form.
Q. Is it difficult to get a County job?
A. As an Equal Opportunity Employer, all interested persons have the opportunity to apply for available publicly advertised County positions within the published deadlines. Successful candidates must pass the examination (if required), possess the applicable qualifications and/or experience for the position as listed in the position description, possess a high school diploma or GED (at a minimum), successfully complete the interview process, successfully complete the criminal background investigation and drug testing process, and be in compliance with all federal immigration laws.
Q. Why is there an examination for some County jobs and not others?
A. Standardized examinations provide an objective non-discriminatory measurement of skillsets and apptitude consistent with the job requirements. Such tests are readily available for many occupations, but not generally available for specialized or exempt positions. Applicants must receive a passing score on the examination(s), if any, in order to proceed further in the selection process. For specialized or exempt positions, not requiring an examination, the applications are ranked based upon the relevant work experience and educational information contained therein and any attached supporting documents. Applicant rankings can be further narrowed upon submission of other requested experiential documents such as writing samples, certifications, physical agility testing, professional references, panel interviews, formal presentations, etc.
Q. Can I get a copy of my scored test, so I know which questions I missed?
A. Sorry - standardized examinations are copyright protected. We can tell you how many questions you missed, if you call the Personnel Office within 30 days of the examination date. Like the County, in order to take the test, you will have to agree to abide by the copyright provisions, (i.e. do not disclose questions to anyone, do not disclose answers to anyone, etc.)
Q. How long does it take to get an interview?
A. In order to be interviewed for a County position an applicant must receive a passing score on the test or rank high in the application evaluation process. Generally, only the top three or four scoring candidates are interviewed, but additional applicants may be included depending upon the number of total applicants, similar or close scores, similar experience or education, and other factors. It can take up to a week or more to score all the tests or evaluate and rank all the applications. Once completed, the top scorers/ranked are submitted to the hiring department head to schedule interviews. Such interviews are typically arranged via telephone or e-mail. If you fail to promptly respond to a telephone call or e-mail to arrange an interview, the position could be offered to another candidate after interview and you may not be considered.
Q. What does EOE mean?
A. Equal Opportunity Employer. Kent County does not discriminate against any job applicant due to political or religious affliation or belief, national origin, race, color, sex, age (40+), pregnancy, marital status, veteran status, disability, sexual orientation, or genetic information.
Q. Why does the County conduct background checks?
A. In order to establish qualification for public trust and protect fellow employees from potential harm. The County also conducts background checks on volunteers and persons working seasonal positions that offer an opportunity to privately counsel, advise, coach or instruct children, the handicapped or older adults. Evaluation of individual criminal background reports is consistent with procedures endorsed by the EEOC.
Q. Why does the County conduct pre-employment drug tests?
A. In order to provide a healthy and safe working environment for all employees in compliance with the federal Drug-Free Workplace Act.
Q. How soon do I start work if I am offered a job?
A. Most new hires need to give two-weeks notice to their current employer. If the position is vacant, a new hire between jobs could start as soon as the Monday after the position offer. Be sure to finalize the start date when you accept the position.
Q. What do I need to bring with me to the new employee orientation on my first day?
A. Bring your social security card, a government issued picture identification card such as a driver's license, passport or similar form of ID, and a voided check for direct deposit of your pay. If you have a spouse, be sure to discuss the following: health and/or dental insurance enrollment (you will need birth dates and social security numbers for each eligible person to be enrolled); name of your beneficiary for County provided life insurance; any need for additonal insurances (supplemental life, AFLAC, etc.), and how much you will want to contribute to the County's deferred compensation program (457). See our Benefits webpage for more information. New Employee orientation takes about 3-4 hours and will conclude with a visit to a nearby clinic for the required drug test.
Q. What is a pay range and can I request mid-point or the maximum?
A. Kent County's pay classification system groups similar job types into like grades and each grade has a beginning and maximum pay rate, which is determined by a study of pay rates for similar jobs in the job market. Most job applicants are hired at the beginning of the pay range and would (under normal economic conditions) progress through the pay range by earning step increases with a satisfactory annual performance evaluation until the employee is maxed.
Q. What are the "steps" within the pay range?
A. Each step is two percent higher, and under normal economic conditions, an employee achieving a satisfactory performance evaluation would move up to the next step within the range until reaching the maximum pay rate - normally in about 14 years. The purpose of "steps" is to compensate employees with longer County service more than new employees with less experience. Long term or "maxed out" employees would generally receive no step increases. Due to tight budgets, no steps were awarded to employees between FY2009 - FY2013.
Q. What is the difference between "Exempt" and "Hourly"?
A. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act determines what positions are classified as "exempt" from overtime compensation. "Non-exempt" or "hourly" employees earn time and one half for each hour physically worked over 40 hours during a pay week. As a government employer, non-exempt Kent County employees can accrue compensatory time off at the one and one half-time rate in lieu of the pay. Exempt employees do not earn compensatory time or overtime and are expected to work an average of 40 hours or more per week. Exempt employees typically supervise other employees.
Q. What are the County's work hours?
A. County offices are open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., except on holidays. Most administrative type employees work 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each weekday with a 1-hour unpaid lunch, but other employees will work a schedule determined by the department head or a collective bargaining agreement. As government workers,all Kent County employees are subject to call in during an emergency or other reason.
Q. What is the difference between County jobs and State jobs?
A. The County employee group is not part of or connected to the State of Delaware in any way. We have our own payroll system, our own employee benefits plan, and our own funding sources (super low County property taxes, sewer fees, grants, and assorted other fees).
Q. Do I need an elected official to help me get a County job?
A. County ordinance requires that all successful job applicants be selected based solely upon their "merit and fitness, free of personal and political considerations." We endeavor to select the most qualified candidate for each and every County position. Likewise, the tenure of classified employees is "subject to the satisfactory performance of work, necessity for the performance of work, the availability of funds, and compliance with the Personnel Ordinance and all other applicable policies and regulations."
DISCLAIMER - Answers to questions listed above are accurate to the best of our knowledge, but employees or prospective employees should review relevant laws, ordinances or policies for full or more complete information.