Hiring process and conditional hiring

How to apply

Apply for a job at Hennepin County using the following process:

  1. Go to the list of current positions on our jobs portal
  2. Click on the job title from the list
  3. Select "Apply"

Additional information

  • All application materials must be received by 5 p.m. on the posted closing date. Incomplete applications may be rejected.
  • Include all relevant education and experience.
  • The most recent application will be used when more than one application by the same applicant for the same position is received.
  • To check your application status login to our jobs portal.
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Background check for professional conduct (MN Statute 604.20)

Minnesota Statute 604.20 (MS604.20) is a law which went into effect on August 1, 1986, requiring employers of individuals who practice part or all of the duties of a psychotherapist to conduct a thorough background investigation of applicants for such positions. Psychotherapy means the professional treatment, assessment, or counseling of a mental or emotional illness, symptom, or condition.

Specifically, employers must contact current and former employers (within the preceding five years) to determine whether or not the applicant has had prohibited sexual contact with clients or former clients.

If the job class requires the MS604.20, the forms necessary to complete this process will be given to applicants by the hiring supervisor once an offer of employment has been extended.

Positions may include

  • Clergy, Member of the
  • Correctional Officer, Juvenile
  • Counselor, Licensed professional
  • Counselor, Chemical Health
  • Counselor, Sr. Chemical Health
  • Counselor, Vocational
  • Mental health service provider
  • Nursing Specialist, Clinical
  • Physician Assistant
  • Physician, Associate
  • Physician, Sr. Associate (excludes Medical Examiner’s Office)
  • Probation/Parole Officer, Sr. (Family Court Services)
  • Psychologist, Chief Clinical
  • Psychologist, Clinical
  • Psychologist, Sr. Clinical
  • Psychotherapist
  • Social Worker Job Class Series
  • Social Worker, Chemical Health Unit Supervisor
  • Therapist, Marriage and family
  • Or other person, whether or not licensed by the state, who performs or purports to perform psychotherapy

Criminal conviction check

  • Once a conditional offer of employment has been extended, applicants will be required to complete either a background check for their specific department / position or the criminal conviction check from Human Resources.
  • Applicants will be notified as part of their hiring process of any documents and forms that will be required, including when they are needed and who should receive them.
  • A conviction is not an automatic disqualification from employment. Each conviction is reviewed based on how recent it was and how it may relate to the position.
  • An applicant who discloses a conviction that is determined to be related to the job duties of the position will receive notice and the conditional offer of employment will be rescinded.
  • Email the human resources service center at hr.servicecenter@hennepin.us with any questions.

Driver's license check

When having a satisfactory driving record and/or valid driver's license is a requirement of a position, a driver's license check will be conducted as part of the conditional offer of employment.

Drug and alcohol testing

Who is tested?

  • Anyone who is offered a position in a safety-sensitive job class is required to take and pass a drug and alcohol test. See the list of safety-sensitive job classes further down this page.
  • If you are offered a position, you will be informed by the interviewing supervisor that you must schedule a drug test within 24 hours.
  • Hennepin County employees moving from a non-safety-sensitive job class to a safety-sensitive job class must take this test as well.
  • If you are hired in a position where you must carry a commercial driver's license (CDL), you are covered by federal Department of Transportation regulations for drivers with CDLs.
  • If you are eligible for reinstatement, or are being transferred from another government agency or jurisdiction, you will be required to take and pass a drug test.

What if you refuse?

  • You will not be asked to take a drug test unless you are officially offered a position.
  • You can refuse to take a drug/alcohol test.
  • If you refuse, your name will be removed from the eligible list from which you were interviewed and you will not be allowed to reapply for the job class for at least one year from the date of refusal.

Test arrangements

  • The supervisor will call the clinic and schedule an appointment for you. If you live outside of the metro area, arrangements can be made for an appointment at a clinic near you.
  • You must have picture identification when you report to a clinic for a drug test. A valid driver's license or state-issued identification card is preferable.
  • Failure to appear for a scheduled drug test will be treated like a refusal to test.
  • Negative test results apply only to one job offer. Test results do not carry over to subsequent offers.
  • Tampering with a sample will be treated like a refusal to test.

Medical review officer

  • All tests are reviewed by a medical review officer to ensure that results are verified and explained. If the officer contacts you, please cooperate so that your results can be processed promptly.
  • The officer has three working days to evaluate your test. You have those same three days to offer additional information not given at the time of your test.

Test results

  • You will be notified of your test results by mail as soon as the results are available.
  • If you test negative, you will normally receive notification within three business days.
  • If you test positive, it may take somewhat longer to notify you as a second, confirmatory test must be completed and a careful review conducted by the medical review officer.
  • If you test positive, you may request at your own expense a second confirmatory test of the original sample. This request must be made within five working days after notice of a positive test, and the second test may be done by the original testing lab or by another licensed testing laboratory. You may be asked to pay the laboratory in advance for this test.
  • If you test positive, your name will be removed from the eligible list and you will not be eligible to apply for any county position for at least two years.

Safety-sensitive job classes

Employees hired for these positions will be tested for drug and alcohol use:

    Administrative Assistant (Programs Coordinator in Adult Detention Division, Sheriff's Office)
    Administrative Assistant, Pr. (Sheriff's Office Communications Director-PIO)
    Adult Education Instructor
    Case Management Assistant (DOCCR/HSPHD)
    Casual Laborer (Laborer, Casual) - Transportation
    Chemical Health Counselor
    Chemical Health Counselor, Senior
    Chemical Health Counselor, Supervisor
    Communications Technician
    Communications Technician Lead
    Community Corrections Specialist
    Community Health Specialist (HSPHD)
    Community Health Worker
    Community Health Worker, Senior (excludes Hennepin Health)
    Cook, Lead
    Cook, Senior (DOCCR/Sheriff's Office)
    Correctional Officer
    Correctional Officer, Juvenile
    Correctional Officer, Senior
    Corrections Counselor
    Corrections Institutional Supervisor
    Corrections Supervisor
    Corrections Unit Supervisor
    Dental Assistant
    Dental Assistant, Senior
    Dental Hygienist
    Dentist, Senior
    Electrician Apprenticeship Program
    Electronics Technician
    Engineering Technician
    Engineering Technician, Assistant
    Engineering Technician, Principal
    Engineering Technician, Senior
    Engineering Technician, Supervising
    Equipment Mechanic Journeyman
    Equipment Mechanic Leadworker
    Equipment Mechanic, Junior
    Equipment Operator, Heavy
    Equipment Serviceworker
    Facilities Maintenance Operations Engineer (DOCCR)
    Food & Laundry Programs Manager
    Food Service Supervisor (DOCCR/Sheriff's Office)
    Food Service Worker (DOCCR/Sheriff's Office)
    Food Service Worker, Senior (DOCCR/Sheriff's Office)
    Forensic Science Supervisor (see Sheriff’s Forensic…)
    Forensic Technician (see Sheriff’s Forensic…)
    Heavy Equipment Operator (Equipment Operator, Heavy)
    Highway Maintenance Operator
    Investigator (Sheriff's Office)
    Laborer, Casual
    Laboratory Assistant
    Laundry Services Operator (Sheriff's Office)
    Medical Assistant
    Medical Examiner
    Medical Examiner, Assistant
    Medical Examiner's Investigations Supervisor
    Medical Examiner’s Investigative Assistant
    Medical Examiner’s Investigator
    Medical Examiner’s Technician
    Medical Laboratory Technician
    Medical Technologist
    Medical Technologist Supervisor
    Nurse Practitioner
    Nurse, Head
    Nurse, Institutional
    Nurse, Licensed Practical
    Nurse, Public Health
    Nurse, Senior Staff
    Nurse, Staff
    Nursing Specialist, Clinical
    Nursing Supervisor
    Nursing Supervisor, Community Based
    Occupational Therapist, Senior
    Pharmacist, Clinical Specialist
    Pharmacy Manager
    Pharmacy Technician
    Pharmacy Technician, Senior
    Physician Assistant
    Physician, Associate
    Physician, Senior Associate
    Probation/Parole Officer
    Probation/Parole Officer, Senior
    Probation/Parole Officer, Career
    Psychologist, Chief Clinical
    Psychologist, Clinical
    Psychologist, Senior Clinical
    Public Safety Records Clerk (DOCCR)
    Public Works Foreman
    Public Works Operating Technician
    Public Works Supervisor
    Radiology Supervisor
    Radiology Technologist
    Radiology Technologist, Senior
    Recreational Therapist
    Recycling Center Operator
    Security Dispatcher
    Security Officer
    Security Manager
    Security Supervisor
    Security Supervisor, Operational
    Sentencing to Service Carpenter
    Sentence to Service Crewleader
    Sentence to Service Supervisor
    Sheriff, Chief Deputy
    Sheriff, Deputy
    Sheriff’s Captain
    Sheriff’s Crime Laboratory Technician
    Sheriff’s Criminalist
    Sheriff’s Detective
    Sheriff's Detention Captain
    Sheriff’s Detention Deputy
    Sheriff’s Detention Lieutenant
    Sheriff’s Detention Sergeant
    Sheriff’s Detention Technician
    Sheriff's Evidence Specialist
    Sheriff’s Forensic Science Supervisor
    Sheriff’s Forensic Technician
    Sheriff’s Major
    Sheriff’s Lieutenant
    Sheriff’s Sergeant
    Sheriff’s Telecommunicator
    Sheriff’s Telecommunicator Sergeant
    Social Work Unit Supervisor (HSPHD)
    Social Worker (DOCCR/HSPHD)
    Social Worker, Child Protection
    Social Worker, Psychiatric (DOCCR/HSPHD)
    Social Worker, Senior (HSPHD)
    Social Worker, Senior Psych (DOCCR/HSPHD)
    Special Programs Counselor (DOCCR)
    Stockworker, Mechanical
    Stockworker, Senior Mechanical
    Traffic Signal Electrician
    Traffic Signal Electrician Supervisor
    Traffic Signal Systems Coordinator
    Traffic Sign Worker, Senior
    Trainee (All trainee plans in safety sensitive job classes)
    Ultrasound Technologist
    Vocational Counselor (HSPHD – VSP)
    Welder Mechanic
    WIC Public Health Nutritionist

Eligibility for internal opportunities

You must be a regular or probationary status Hennepin County employee to be eligible for opportunities limited to current county employees. Internal opportunities may be posted either as countywide (county promo) or limited to employees within a specific department. 

Prior to forwarding the list to the hiring department, HR confirms employee status in APEX and only eligible employees will be included.


An employee hired into a regular position must successfully pass a probationary period. 

Regular employees in an acting or mobility assignment to another department are not eligible for opportunities posted only for employees within that department. However, they remain eligible for opportunities within their permanent department.


Employees in any temporary position are not eligible for opportunities limited to current regular or probationary employees. In addition to intern and volunteer, types of temporary appointments include:

Limited duration

There are three types of limited duration work statuses, terms/hours of:

  • Up to two years and fewer than 20 hours/week or irregular work schedule, sometimes used as “on call” status (no benefits) (LMNOSCHD)
  • Six months or less up to 40 hours/week (no benefits) (LM6RLESS)
  • Scheduled hours, six months — two years and 20 or more hours/week (benefit earning) (LMSCHDHR)


Position in which the duration of employment, benefits or special provisions are defined and limited by the terms of the grant. 


A position in which an individual is in an approved training program, but has no status as an employee in the classified service and is serving on an at-will-employment basis. 


A position in which an individual is employed for a specific period of time to complete seasonal work. Employment in any twelve (12) month period is limited to nine (9) months. 


A position to which an individual is appointed or elected. 

Employees who are unsure of their status can contact their payroll contact or the HR Service Center at 612-348-7855 or hr.servicecenter@hennepin.us with any questions.

Language skills

The county ensures access to our services through free language services provided by bilingual staff, staff proficient in American Sign Language, volunteers, students, interns and contracted vendors.

Bilingual and sign language job duties must be assigned to a county employee by a county supervisor.


  • Language assessments are provided only to current Hennepin County employees who will be assigned bilingual job duties and to finalists who have been offered a county position in which bilingual duties will be assigned. Language assessments must be requested by the supervisor.
  • Language assessments are offered on an as-needed basis and are conducted at the Government Center in the Human Resources Department.
  • The assessments for American Sign Language are given quarterly and require travel to a location approximately 50 miles from the Twin Cities. The assessment is administered by a board of three panel members who test the employee's American Sign Language skills.

Compensation and differential pay

Employees who provide assigned bilingual or sign language services are compensated for this work based on the frequency with which they use these skills.

  • A bilingual differential of $45 per pay period is paid to employees who are assigned to use bilingual skills on a regular basis (at least five days every payroll period). The differential is pro-rated for part-time employees. An employee must pass the language assessment before they are eligible for the bilingual differential.
  • An occasional differential of $9 per day is paid to employees who are assigned to use bilingual skills on an occasional or irregular basis, for each day that the bilingual skill is used.
  • On call (limited duration – no schedule) employees are eligible for the occasional differential only.
  • Employees who use bilingual skills in multiple languages are not eligible for more than one bilingual differential per pay period, or more than one occasional differential per day.

Interpreter and senior interpreter positions

  • The job classifications of Interpreter and Senior Interpreter require certification of language proficiency prior to hire or before the end of the probationary period.
  • An offer of employment to an applicant who lacks the certification may require the employee to obtain the certification during probation.
  • Employees in these job classifications are not eligible for the bilingual or occasional differential pay. Compensation for performing interpreting duties is reflected in the salary ranges for these job classes.

Psychological testing

Who is tested?

  • Some job classifications require psychological testing and a meeting with a psychologist to review those tests before starting the new position.

What if you refuse?

  • You may refuse to take the psychological test.
  • If you refuse, the offer of employment is rescinded, your name will be removed from the eligible list of candidates for this position, and you will not be allowed to reapply for that particular job class for at least one year from the date of refusal.

Test arrangements

  • If you are offered a position that requires testing, you will be informed by the supervisor that testing must be completed prior to starting the position.
  • The test and its review will be completed before the start date of the new position.

Selection and hiring process


  • The information you provide is used as a basis for comparison with other individuals applying for the position.
  • It is extremely important that you provide complete and concise information on your application materials to be considered for positions for which you qualify.
  • All Hennepin County jobs have minimum qualifications that must be met.
  • Applicants with the most appropriate education and experience for the position are considered for interviews.
  • Applicants may be required to provide verification of educational history. Degrees from a U.S. regionally-accredited college or university may be verified with transcripts; applicants with foreign degrees must provide verification by an agency that provides this specialized service.


  • All offers of employment are conditional pending successful completion of all required checks. These checks may vary by position and department.
  • Your supervisor will inform you of your start date, salary, PTO or vacation/sick accrual rate and where to locate information regarding benefits.
  • All benefit earning new employees are required to attend a new employee orientation which takes place the first Monday of each pay period. Human Resources will notify you by email of the specific location and time for the new employee orientation.
  • All employees hired or promoted into new permanent positions serve a probationary period of 6-12 months, depending on the position/department.
  • All new employees are required to provide documents for verifying legal authorization to work in the United States. See which documents are acceptable (DOCX).

Sheriff’s Office personal appearance standards policy

The Sheriff's Office requires that employees maintain personal hygiene and appearance standards to project a professional image appropriate to the office and employee's assignments. These standards include but are not limited to:

  • Grooming (hair, jewelry, and accessories)
  • Placement and content of tattoos, scarification, and/or branding
  • Body piercing and/or alteration

If you are applying to a position within the Sheriff’s Office you must read the entire policy and be able and willing to meet the requirements.

Hennepin County driver permit program

The county provides county-owned vehicles for conducting official county business. All county vehicles are owned by the Central Mobile Equipment Division (CMED).

Some positions require the ability to obtain a county driver permit. If you are applying to a position with this requirement you must read the conditions below and be able and willing to meet the requirements.

Any employee who drives a county vehicle must obtain a county driver permit. The manager of CMED issues permits after successful completion of a two-part process of: (1) driver training and (2) review of the employee's driving record.

1. Driver training

Drivers must attend one of the following driver training programs:

  • 8-hour “National Defensive Driver’s Training Course” held monthly OR
  • 4-hour defensive driver course (Coaching the Experienced Driver) held monthly for the renewal of a permit OR
  • Advanced drivers training program that has been approved by the CMED manager

2. Review of employee’s driving record

  • Any record that shows a pattern of moving violations — generally two or more violations in the past three years — will be referred to the department director to determine whether the individual should be authorized to operate a county vehicle.
  • A permit will not be issued if the record shows that the employee does not have a valid license, and the record will be referred to the department for appropriate disciplinary or other action.
  • Departments may conduct license reviews on a more frequent basis if deemed necessary.

Only employees who pass both the driver training and the record review will receive a county driver permit. If you fail to meet these requirements, your job offer will be rescinded.

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