Exam Bulletin - Staff Services Manager III

State of California

Exam Code: EX-2415

Examination Plans Included:


Final Filing Date: Applications are accepted on a continuous basis.

Classification Details

STAFF SERVICES MANAGER III: $9,022.00 - $10,243.00 per Month

View the STAFF SERVICES MANAGER III classification specification.

Application Instructions

This is not a timed exam. If you request a Reasonable Accommodation your account will be locked and you will not be able to proceed with the exam until the request is processed.

Applications are accepted on a continuous basis.

Who Should Apply:

The information below will help you determine which classification(s) is(are) appropriate for you. Applicants must meet the Minimum Qualifications as stated on this bulletin to compete in this examination.

Open and Open, Non-Promotional Examination(s):


For all Classifications, once you have participated in any of the following examinations, you may not recompete for 9 months:

Exam Code(s):


For STAFF SERVICES MANAGER III, once you have participated in any of the following examinations, you may not recompete for 9 months:

Exam Code(s):

  • EX-02415

How To Apply:

Submit an Examination/Employment Application (STD 678) to apply for this examination.

Electronic applications can be submitted through your account at www.CalCareers.ca.gov.

Special Testing Arrangements:

If you require assistance or alternative testing arrangements due to a disability, indicate on your application that you need reasonable accommodation. You will be contacted by a representative of the testing department to make the necessary arrangements. If you have not been contacted by the time you receive notification of testing, please contact the testing department listed in the Contact section of this bulletin.

If you are unable to submit your application or complete the test due to a disability, please contact the testing department listed in the Contact section of this bulletin.

Minimum Qualifications

All applicants must meet the education and/or experience requirements as stated on this exam bulletin to be accepted to the examination.

Unless otherwise stated in the Minimum Qualifications, qualifying experience may be combined on a proportionate basis if the requirements stated below include more than one pattern and are distinguished as "Either" 1, "or" 2, "or" 3, etc. For example, applicants possessing qualifying experience amounting to 50% of the required time of Pattern 1 and additional experience amounting to 50% of the required time of Pattern 2 may be accepted to an examination as meeting 100% of the overall experience requirement.


Either 1

One year of experience in the California state service performing the duties of a Staff Services Manager II (Supervisory) or Staff Services Manager II (Managerial).

Or 2

One year of experience in the California state service performing analytical staff duties of a class with a level of responsibility not less than that of Staff Services Manager II (Supervisory) or Staff Services Manager II (Managerial). and

Current employment in a class with a level of responsibility not less than that of Staff Services Manager II (Supervisory) or Staff Ser vices Manager II (Managerial).

Or 3

Two years of experience in the California state service performing the duties of a Staff Services Manager I.

Or 4

Experience: Five years of increasingly responsible management, personnel, fiscal, planning, program evaluation, or related analytical experience which shall have included the preparation of reports and the presentation of recommendations to management beyond the trainee level, at least two years of which must have been in a supervisory capacity. [Experience in the California state service applied toward this requirement must include two years performing the duties of a class with a level of responsibility not less than that of Staff Services Manager II (Supervisory) or Staff Services Manager II (Managerial).] (In appraising experience more weight will be given to the breadth of pertinent experience and the evidence of the candidate's ability to accept and fulfill increasing responsibilities than to the length of the experience.) and

Education: Equivalent to graduation from college. (Additional qualifying experience may be substituted for the required education on a year-for-year basis.)

Special Personal Requirements


Demonstrated ability to act independently, open-mindedness, flexibility, and tact.

Position Description


Positions at this level have full management and supervisory responsibility in charge of a major Staff Services function, or functions, when it is so unusually large and complex as to require subordinate supervisors at the Senior level on a subfunctional or geographic basis. In those cases where the supervisory and management responsibility is minimum, it must be balanced out by responsibility for a function with multidepartmental or statewide impact requiring skills and knowledge at the highest level with responsibility for work of the most critical or sensitive nature as relates to a department's primary mission. Positions at this level are characterized by the following criteria: 

(a) Supervises a fully developed Staff Services function in a large department characterized by multiple intermediate supervisors at the Staff Services Manager II level and a large technical staff.

(b) Functions as a full supervisor with responsibility for a moderate to large size technical staff in a highly specialized and complex operation when one of the following criteria are met:

  1. Responsibility for a highly complex Staff Services function with multidepartmental or servicewide impact.
  2. Responsibility for the major portion of a Staff Services function of the largest State departments, supervising a large staff through subordinate supervisors.

(c) In an agency setting, provides a high degree of expertise in developing major new programs of agency or servicewide scope.

(d) Provides a high level of assistance and expertise to an exempt director, executive officer, or Board member of a large, highly complex and sensitive department, in reaching organization goals, including responsibility for policy and program evaluation and recommendations often coupled with legislative liaison.

(e) Has full responsibility for a variety of Staff Services functions in a medium size department as Chief of Administrative Services, administering the functions through intermediate function supervisors.

For information regarding position location(s), please refer to the Eligible List Information section.

Examination Information

This examination consists of the following component(s):

Component OrderComponent TypeComponent DuePercentage of Final Score
1CalHR Online ExamN/A100%

A final score of 70% must be attained to be placed on the eligible list.

In addition to evaluating the applicant's relative knowledge, skill and ability as demonstrated by quality and breadth of education/experience, emphasis in each test component will be on measuring competitively, relative to job demands, each applicant's:

Knowledge of:

  1. Principles, practices, and trends of public and business administration, including management and supportive staff services such as budget, personnel, management analysis, planning, program evaluation, or related areas.
  2. Principles and practices of employee supervision, development, and training.
  3. Program management.
  4. Formal and informal aspects of the legislative process.
  5. The administration and department's goals and policies.
  6. Governmental functions and organization at the State and local level.
  7. Department's Affirmative Action Program objectives.
  8. A manager's role in the Affirmative Action Program and the processes available to meet affirmative action objectives.

Ability to:

  1. Reason logically and creatively and utilize a variety of analytical techniques to resolve complex governmental and managerial problems.
  2. Develop and evaluate alternatives.
  3. Analyze data and present ideas and information effectively both orally and in writing.
  4. Consult with and advise administrators or other interested parties on a wide variety of subject-matter areas.
  5. Gain and maintain the confidence and cooperation of those contacted during the course of work.
  6. Review and edit written reports, utilize interdisciplinary teams effectively in the conduct of studies.
  7. Manage a complex Staff Services program.
  8. Establish and maintain project priorities.
  9. Develop and effectively utilize all available resources.

Eligible List Information

A Servicewide Open eligible list for the STAFF SERVICES MANAGER III Classification will be established for:

  • State of California

The names of successful competitors will be merged onto the eligible list(s) in order of final score regardless of test date. Eligibility expires 12 months after it is established. Applicants must then retake the examination to reestablish eligibility.

Resulting Eligibility List(s) will be used to fill vacancies throughout the State of California.

Veterans' Preference will be granted for this examination. Veterans' Preference is an assistance program for veterans, veteran widows and widowers, and spouses of 100% disabled veterans who seek employment with the state. Veterans' Preference is also extended to currently serving military members nearing their retirement or separation date.

You are not eligible for Veteran's Preference if you are:

  • A veteran who has been dishonorably discharged or released.
  • A veteran, widow or widower of a veteran, or spouse of a 100 percent disabled veteran who currently has permanent civil service status. (Permanent civil service status is the status of an employee who is lawfully retained in his/her position after completion of the applicable probationary period. This does not include limited term).

Veterans' Preference is codified in Government Code Sections 18973 – 18979.

Veteran status is verified by the California Department of Human Resources (CalHR). Directions to apply for Veterans' Preference are on the Veterans' Preference Application (Std. Form 1093), which is available at www.CalCareers.ca.gov, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Career Credits are not granted for examination(s) administered on an Open basis or a Promotional basis.

Staff Services Manager III Training and Experience Exam Preview


Rate your experience performing specific job-related tasks.  


Respond to each of the following statements by indicating how the statement applies to you.  You are required to respond to every question and provide relevant examples.  Also, indicate the references who can verify the information provided.  


In responding to each statement, you may refer to your WORK EXPERIENCE, whether paid or volunteer, your EDUCATION, and/or FORMAL TRAINING COURSES you have completed.  


PLEASE NOTE:  This examination is designed to gain an overall assessment of your education, training, and experience as it directly relates to the duties and the knowledge, skills and abilities required for this position.  Possession of specific education is not required to be successful in this examination; however, such achievements may substitute for desirable levels of experience.  All components of this examination have been carefully validated by tying them directly to job requirements and documenting their relevance to the position.



  1. Planning and overseeing the work activities of staff to ensure work is completed according to applicable standards and job expectations.  
  2. Delegating and assigning work to staff at the appropriate level based on organizational needs, workload levels, and/or individual expertise and career goals.  
  3. Communicating clear job expectations to ensure desired outcomes.  
  4. Allocating staff and resources efficiently and effectively to complete assigned projects and meet desired outcomes.  
  5. Managing change effectively and positively to ensure staff understanding and achieve a positive transition.  
  6. Coaching, mentoring, and training staff on job skills and work habits to improve employee performance and enhance productivity.  
  7. Identifying issues, determining best course of action, and considering all impacts and ramifications.  
  8. Determining work priorities, scope of assignments, and deadlines to ensure operational needs are met effectively and timely.  
  9. Managing projects effectively to ensure timely delivery of quality end products and/or services within budget/resources.  
  10. Adapting plans, resources, and schedules to meet changing priorities and maximize productivity.  
  11. Communicating the organization’s strategies, goals, priorities, mission, and/or vision to staff to provide context for decisions.  
  12. Overseeing the implementation of new programs/policies or changes to existing programs/policies to improve operations.  
  13. Performing hiring and/or onboarding activities (e.g., screening, interviewing, employee development) to fill positions and ensure adequate staff levels and expertise.  
  14. Monitoring and evaluating employee performance to identify the need for improvement.  
  15. Providing expertise and recommendations to staff, management, and/or outside entities to address complex issues and assignments.
  16. Evaluate program effectiveness by developing performance objectives and metrics and gathering relevant information to measure success.  
  17. Performing short-term and/or long-term planning of organization activities to ensure the goals and objectives of the organization are achieved.  
  18. Resolving conflicting priorities for services and/or products to ensure organizational needs are met.  
  19. Providing guidance, direction, and/or feedback to supervisory staff to assist with efficiency, improve functions, and develop supervisory skills.  
  20. Collaborating with internal and/or external stakeholders to share and/or seek ideas and resolutions.  
  21. Creating a culture of respect where diversity and inclusiveness are valued.

Testing Departments

  • State of California

Contact Information

Questions regarding this examination should be directed to:

State of California
CalCareer Service Center
1810 16th Street
Sacramento, CA 95811
Phone: (866) 844-8671

California Relay Service: 1-800-735-2929 (TTY), 1-800-735-2922 (Voice). TTY is a Telecommunications Device for the Deaf, and is reachable only from phones equipped with a TTY Device.

Equal Opportunity Employer

The State of California is an equal opportunity employer to all, regardless of age, ancestry, color, disability (mental and physical), exercising the right to family care and medical leave, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, medical condition, military or veteran status, national origin, political affiliation, race, religious creed, sex (includes pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and related medical conditions), and sexual orientation.

Drug Free Statement

It is an objective of the State of California to achieve a drug-free State work place. Any applicant for State employment will be expected to behave in accordance with this objective, because the use of illegal drugs is inconsistent with the law of the State, the rules governing civil service, and the special trust placed in public servants.

General Information

Examination and/or Employment Application (STD 678) forms are available at the California Department of Human Resources, local offices of the Employment Development Department, and through your CalCareer Account (www.CalCareers.ca.gov).

If you meet the requirements stated on this examination bulletin, you may take this examination, which is competitive. Possession of the entrance requirements does not assure a place on the eligible list. Your performance in the examination described in this bulletin will be rated against a predetermined job-related rating, and all applicants who pass will be ranked according to their scores.

State of California reserves the right to revise the examination plan to better meet the needs of the service, if the circumstances under which this examination was planned change. Such revision will be in accordance with civil service laws and rules and all applicants will be notified.

General Qualifications: Applicants must possess essential personal qualifications including integrity, initiative, dependability, good judgment, the ability to work cooperatively with others, and a state of health consistent with the ability to perform the assigned duties of the class. A medical examination may be required. In open examinations, investigation may be made of employment records and personal history and fingerprinting may be required.

Eligible Lists: Eligible lists established by competitive examination, regardless of date, must be used in the following order: 1) sub-divisional promotional, 2) departmental promotional, 3) multi-departmental promotional, 4) service-wide promotional, 5) departmental open, 6) open. When there are two lists of the same kind, the older must be used first. Eligible lists will expire in one to four years unless otherwise stated on the bulletin.

High School Equivalence: Equivalence to completion of the 12th grade may be demonstrated in any one of the following ways: 1) passing the General Education Development (GED) Test; 2) completion of 12 semester units of college-level work; 3) certification from the State Department of Education, a local school board, or high school authorities that the competitor is considered to have education equivalent to graduation from high school; or 4) for clerical and accounting classes, substitution of business college work in place of high school on a year-for-year basis.

Accepted applicants must provide proof of identification at each in-person test session. Acceptable identification consists of a photo identification card or two forms of signed identification.

Application Methods:
Electronic (Your CalCareer Account)