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An employee publication of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice
May/June 2016
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Focus on TDCJ Human Resources

By Tom Fordyce, TBCJ Member

Tom Wingate, TBCJ member
Tom Fordyce

The Human Resources (HR) Division continually strives to improve processes and implement new initiatives to meet the staffing needs of the agency and fulfill the human resources needs of all agency employees. One of the highest priorities for HR has been correctional staffing. I am pleased with the positive results the Texas Department of Criminal Justice has experienced through enhanced online communications with applicants and the ongoing efforts of HR recruiting staff. From September 1, 2015 to April 30, 2016, agency recruiters screened 9,759 applicants, of which 4,987 correctional officers were hired. The Employment Section processed an additional 1,836 former correctional officer applications. The current number of correctional officer vacancies (2,351) is the lowest we have seen since March of 2012.

The online correctional officer test scheduling process allows applicants to enroll online for correctional testing and screening. Once registered, the applicant receives an automated email confirmation and, two days prior to the testing date, the applicant is sent a second automated email reminder. After screening, applicants who are offered correctional positions are notified of the offer via email. The use of online scheduling, automated confirmations and reminders, and offers of employment via email has reduced the time taken to get a successful applicant into training and to their unit of assignment.

To further assist in recruiting and hiring efforts, the HR division coordinated with Media Services and the Public Information Office to create three recruiting videos. One video specifically targets veterans. You can find these videos on the TDCJ webpage or the TDCJ YouTube channel.

Additionally, a coordinated effort between HR and Correctional Training resulted in the development and implementation of the new automated 90-day interviews. The 90-day interviews are intended to provide the warden or assistant warden with information about the new correctional employee’s job satisfaction throughout the hiring, Pre-Service Training and On-The-Job Training process. This information is used to lower attrition and enhance the hiring and retention process for correctional staff.

Another incentive contributing to recruiting and retention efforts is the funding provided by the 84th Texas Legislature for a 10.5 percent increase in salary for correctional officers, correctional laundry and food service managers, ranking correctional officers and parole officers effective September 1, 2015. The Legislature also provided a 2.5 percent salary increase to most other state employees to offset the additional employee contributions needed to fund the pension program. The salary increases along with additional funding to the employee group health insurance program will benefit and support recruiting and retention efforts. I would like to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of our governor, the legislative leadership, and the state representatives and senators during the last legislative session.

In addition to placing a heavy emphasis on recruiting, the HR division coordinates and offers many agency trainings and other valuable benefits to agency employees. The activities and programs Human Resources provides impact every TDCJ division and employee within the agency. I hope all TDCJ employees will join me in thanking the Human Resources staff for their dedication to the employees of this agency.


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