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How to Apply

State Hiring Process


The Idaho Division of Human Resources (DHR) has responsibility to oversee the state’s hiring process.  This process, known as the merit system, was established by the Idaho Legislature and provides a way for applicants to be recruited, retained, and promoted into classified state jobs on the basis of merit and job performance.  There are a number of steps that must be followed, each of which are listed below.

Step 1 – The Job Announcement

  • Once a state agency decides it’s going to fill an open position, it places a job announcement on the DHR website –  This announcement tells the applicant everything they need to know about the job – hiring agency, job location, salary, job duties, minimum qualifications, and how to apply.

Step 2 – The Application

  • Upon reading the job announcement, if an applicant is interested in applying for the job they can do so online at the same website –  In fact, the job announcement will have a link bringing the applicant directly into the online application system.  Once there, the applicant will be able to fill out an online application, as well as take an examination for the specific position. 

Step 3 – The Examination

  • The examination for an open position is simply a way to confirm and measure an applicant’s qualifications for the position.  It is also used to rank applicants by their level of qualification.  Upon completing the application process the exam will then be graded and a score assigned.  Depending on the type of exam this may take two to three weeks.

Step 4 – The Register

  • Each applicant who completes the online application process and passes the exam for the open position will be placed on the register for that position.  The register is simply a pool of all qualified candidates who applied for the position.  Names on a register are typically valid anywhere from 90 days to a year, depending on the position.

Step 5 – The Hiring List

  • From the register, a hiring list will be created.  A hiring list sorts the applicants by exam score in descending order, so those applicants who scored the highest will appear at the top.  This is also where veterans’ preference points are added to qualifying veterans’ scores.  State law requires that anyone hired into a classified state job must come from the top 25 names on a hiring list, or anyone with a score tied for 25th place.

Step 6 – The Interview

  • Once a hiring list has been created, the agency with the open position will begin the interview process.  Anyone whose name appears among the top 25 names on a hiring list may be considered for an interview, but it is not required that everyone who appears in the top 25 be interviewed.  In most cases the hiring agency is free to decide who among the top 25 they wish to interview.

Step 7 – The Job Offer

  • Upon completing the interview process, the hiring agency will extend an offer of employment to the applicant they feel best meets the needs of the position and the agency.  Once the applicant accepts the job offer the hiring process is complete.