Spokane County stopped accepting paper employment applications last Friday and launched a new online system for job seekers on Monday.
The change is part of a yearlong effort to improve efficiency in county government.
Applications have been suspended this week while the county gets ready to go live with its new system offered through NEOGOV, a California-based website.
Until now, the county had handled 6,000 applications a year. Each application was handled by staff 55 times for a total of five hours of work.
Now, much of that workload will be reduced through the application of technology, said Tim Hansen, a senior human resources analyst for the county.
The county’s subscription for the Web system is $37,000 for the first year and about $22,000 for each subsequent year.
Applicants will save time by only filling out one standard application form for any number of county or other government positions. The system can be used to apply for work with the state, other counties and cities.
In Spokane County, supplemental forms will be used to customize each application.
The system will allow human resources staff to stay in touch with applicants upon receiving the application and for scheduling of tests and interviews.
County managers will be able to get new workers hired more quickly and prevent the county from losing applicants because the process was slow, officials said.
The online applications work for jobs available through human resources and county civil service.
County officials said computer training and computers are widely available at libraries, the state’s Work Source job centers and schools for applicants who lack computer resources or skills.
Several computer kiosks will be available for applicants to fill out the online forms at the county’s human resources department.