Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Daniel C. Robinson


The Bureau of Collections, Iowa Department of Human Services, is the designated agency to provide child support recovery services in the state of Iowa. This agency has received federal funding to expand and upgrade its computer system to support federal regulations for child support recovery programs. To enable the agency to meet federal standards, the Bureau (BOC) contracted with Iowa State University, through its Child Welfare Project, to secure technical writers who could play a major role in the development of policy and system enhancements. The position involved working as part of a team to develop and implement child support policy. Duties of the position include conducting research, writing, and developing administrative rules, employee manual, and policy and procedures in accordance with federal and state laws. This person also writes computer system requirements, tests applications, and monitors computer system changes to ensure they meet federal system certification standards;This study explored the relationship between hiring procedures (several pre-employment factors, interview scores, writing exercise scores, reference ratings, and orientation practices) and employee persistence, satisfaction, and job performance. The methods of investigation involved analysis of application materials and interview and writing exercise results. Data were statistically analyzed to determine the strength of the relationships. Technical writers were surveyed to determine their self-rankings of significant factors in the hiring process. Several writers were interviewed face to face to contribute a naturalistic aspect to the study;The investigator analyzed data on a comparison group of 18 State employees, surveyed them to determine their self-rankings of selection factors, and interviewed several to gather qualitative aspects of the state positions;Variables studied included college major, technical writing background, teamwork experience, computer knowledge, problem-solving ability, child support or human services experience, organizational skills, resume, application letter, writing exercise score, and summary completion score;Results indicated a significant difference between persistence and performance between the two groups. BOC employees' persistence and performance scores were significantly higher. Interview scores, the writing exercise scores, the application scores, and reference scores were significantly related to persistence. Child support experience had a high negative correlation with satisfaction and application scores, reference scores, and education had a high correlation with performance;The results of this study have implications for higher education as well as government and business, since making good hiring decisions reduces costs and increases productivity. These results show a connection between organizational fit for students as well as for employees.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Mary Jean Loven



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

173 pages