SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico state government is seeking to hire dozens of human resources professionals, in an ongoing effort to centralize and streamline personnel operations.

The State Personnel Office has announced it will interview candidates Friday for human resources positions based in Santa Fe and Albuquerque linked to nine state agencies, at a "rapid hire" event at agency offices in Santa Fe.

New Mexico employs about 18,000 people at agencies overseen by the governor, not including political appointees.

The ranks of state employees have shrunk in years mostly through attrition as New Mexico wrestled with a downturn in revenues linked to weak oil and natural gas prices.

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez lifted a two-month hiring freeze in June as state finances showed signs of stabilizing.