Published: RFP for an applicant tracking system solution

Improve hiring for San Francisco
3 min readMay 17, 2019


After a lengthy review process, we are thrilled to announce that the City and County of San Francisco’s Request for Proposals (RFP) for an applicant tracking system solution has been published! For those of you who have been following this project and blog, you know that this RFP is the product of nearly 2 years’ worth of research to improve government hiring and help the City move towards a world where candidates, hiring managers, and HR professionals can have access to a more modern suite of HR tools (and a better user experience).

View RFP highlights at

Where to find the RFP

Please note: if you are interested in responding to this RFP, you should read the full RFP located on the City’s supplier portal.

What is unique about this RFP

Vendors working together to respond

We’d say the most unique aspect of the RFP is that we are open to vendors working together to respond to this RFP. We know that government hiring processes and rules, especially for San Francisco, are complex and don’t expect all vendors to meet all of those requirements “out-of-the-box” or natively. We do expect respondents to demonstrate their ability to think creatively in order to extend their applicant tracking system solution to meet our complex requirements.

Objective-based goals

Our “Scope of Work” lists objective-based goals rather than specific functional requirements. The objective-based goals are based on research and discovery work we conducted (and shared through this blog) and indicate the types of functionality we’re seeking. They should provide respondents with a sense of the goal we’re trying to achieve, not specifically how it should be achieved. We’ve also distinguished between those that we believe are essential to “building a strong foundation” (elements that allow us to complete the work we need to do today) versus those that are “enhancements to further modernize our practices” (elements that allow us to move closer to our future vision).

Evaluation criteria

The evaluation portion of the RFP consists of five components (plus a summary and a cost estimate), each measuring and assessing various aspects we believe are key to the success of the project, both short-term and long-term. All responses will be reviewed by both technology and HR experts, so we welcome the use of visualizations, diagrams, mock-ups, and clickable prototypes where appropriate.

Pre-proposal conference

We will be hosting a pre-proposal conference to give interested vendors the opportunity to meet the CCSF team and ask any questions they may have. The pre-proposal conference will be held at 1:30pm PT on June 5, 2019 at the Department of Human Resources in San Francisco. Attendance is optional and we will also be providing a conference link for those who may not be able to attend in-person. Please use the following link to register.

Key dates

  • Publish: May 15, 2019
  • Question period deadline: June 14, 2019 2pm PT
  • Response deadline: July 3, 2019 2pm PT
  • Interviews: Week of August 12, 2019
  • Projected Contract awarded: August 21, 2019

What’s next:

Although this RFP is looking to procure an applicant tracking system solution to support the large volume of applications and positions processed and filled each year, we know that in order to successfully modernize our hiring practices, we need to be thinking about HR holistically and plan for other areas that touch hiring (such as onboarding, succession planning, performance reviews, learning and development, etc.) and look forward to continuing that work.

Since we are formally going through the procurement phase of this initiative, all questions regarding this RFP should be emailed directly to our RFP coordinator Michael Hirai ( We hope to have a chance to work with you!

- Micki Callahan (Director of Human Resources), Kate Howard (Managing Deputy Director of Human Resources), and Anne Marie Monroe (Hiring Modernization Project Team Manager)



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