1. #1
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2010

    Default Civil Service Question, NYS

    Can someone clarify the "Rule of 3" for me?

    I understand when there is an open position you count 3 down the list, anyone above or tied with that persons final score is reachable. That's simple enough and I can find countless examples explaining how that works. What happens when there is more than one position open though? Do you need a minimum of three names for each open position? So if there's two open spots do you count down six and then generate the reachable list from there? Count down 9 for 3 open spots, etc?

    I placed fairly competitively on a recent exam however multiple FDs hire off this list and all require residency in their respective districts. I'd like to maximize my starting chances obviously. (Doesn't everyone?!) So do I move to a town that hires only one guy at a time because there will be fewer names to compete with? Or do I move to a town with a larger dept but may have many more names on its list?

    This civil service thing is quite daunting. (definitely written for lawyers.)

  2. #2
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Fairport NY


    My understanding is that when there are multiple positions open, you have to hire from your top 3 (and anyone tied with 3) until that group is exhausted or that score is exausted. For example, lets say there are 2 people with 100s, 2 people with 95s, 2 people with 90s and 5 people with 85s on a list. For the first position you are limited to the 100s, 95s and 90s. Now lets say you hire all the 100s. Then for the next position you can hire from the 95s, 90s and now also the 85s.

    I know this can be confusing, hopefully my example helped a little!

  3. #3
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2010


    I should have updated this, I found the answer I think. And from what I found you actually have to treat multiple open positions as one-by-one. So in your example, if there were 2 positions the eligible list would actually only count the 4 candidates who have 100s and 95s. In fact that would be it. Once they filled the first position there would still be 3 on the certified list so they still wouldn't be able to add the 90s. If there were 3 open positions they would fill the first 2 from the pool of 4 100s/95s, then there would only be 2 on the list which then opens up the 90s to be certified.

    In other words, the certified list is a moving target which is constantly changing based on open positions and number of candidates on the list. There can never be less than 3 and only those equal or tied to the 3rd rank can be certified.

    Here's the explanation I found.
    New York Public Personnel Law: Applying the Rule of Three when there are tied scores involved

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