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Project Objective

The first objective is to measure the benefit packages offered by the Department?s recruiting competitors. More specifically, determine the value of the benefits package of entry-level engineers in 5 - 7 civil engineering firms, and 3 - 4 transportation departments in other states, and that of entry-level IT professionals in 5 - 7 information technology (IT) organizations. The firms can be local or national, but must have locations in New York State. They should have urban work locations, with at least one located in the NYC metropolitan area. The State DOTs should be in states, like New York, and have work locations similar to ours. (For example, Pennsylvania or Illinois are good candidates as they have large cities where recruitment may present problems similar to ours.) The Information Technology organizations can be for-profit software or computer firms, and information management departments in large not-for-profit, academic or governmental institutions.

The second objective is to determine how much our competitors spend recruiting entry-level engineers and how many they hire each year. The same firms surveyed for benefits can be used here. The recruitment costs should be broken down into three categories: total salary costs for recruiting staff, their travel costs, and non-personal expenditures, such as brochures, advertizing and giveaway items. This information will be reported as an Annual cost and a cost per hire basis.

Project Abstract

Recruiting entry-level civil engineers and information technology specialists has become more competitive and the Department is experiencing difficulty in attracting people for these positions. Industries are not hiring sufficient numbers to replace employees leaving the Department for retirement and other jobs. As a result, it may not be able to maintain desired staff levels to design and construct the number of capital projects we have funds for, or to take advantage of productivity improvements offered by information technology.

The NYSDOT Department's recruitment success, to a large extent, is a function of the salaries and fringe benefits it offers, and the intensity of its recruiting activities. Compared to the private sector, the NYSDOT entry-level salaries are lower, but rise more quickly. It is also believe our benefit package is better, however, this has never been quantified. This research will quantify the monetary value of the Department?s benefit package and of that of private sector firms and other departments of transportation (DOTs).

The study will also determine how our recruiting activities measure up to those of our competitors. It is estimated that the NYSDOT spends $30,000 to $35,000 per engineer hired. Knowing how much the other DOTs spend and how successful they are will serve as a benchmark for NYSDOT.

Task Descriptions

Task #1. Submit, for approval, a list of engineering firms and IT organizations, operating in New York State, that hire entry-level civil engineers and information specialists with qualifications similar to ours. They may be local firms or national firms with local offices. They should be large enough to recruit continually, to offer full-time work with a complete benefit package and they should have urban work locations.

Task #2. Submit a list, for approval, of three or four state transportation departments, which have engineering and information technology programs similar to NYSDOT and that are our competitors in recruiting for entry-level workers for these professions. (The Director of Personnel will confirm whether the firms and departments compete with us in recruiting.)

Task #3. Determine what employee benefits and fringe benefits are provided new hires in the firms and the other DOTs, calculate their monetary value and cite the sources of that information.

Task #4. Determine how much these firms spend annually to recruit entry-level engineers, how many are hired and whether they have full-time recruiters on staff.

Task #5. Prepare and present the three reports described below.

Student Involvement

Undergraduate and Graduate Students will be involved with data collection

Relationship with Other Research Activities


Technology Transfer Activities

The principal investigator will provide the benefits below which will be published and distributed to other Departments of Transportation.

Benefits of the Project

Three reports will be completed:

  • Value of Benefits Report providing the monetary worth of the benefits offered by the engineering and IT firms, and other DOTs compared to that offered by NYSDOT.
  • A Cost of Recruiting Report providing the annual cost the firms and DOTs spend for recruiting entry level engineers and IT professionals, and how many are hired. The costs will be broken down into Total Annual Cost and Cost per Hire. Included in this report will be the annual salaries of full-time recruiters for all firms having them on staff.
  • A Final Report summarizing the information obtained and providing recommendations on how the findings can be used to improve the Department?s recruitment success. Suggestions for further research or study, or tie-ins to on-going investigations or initiatives should also be included.