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Old 09-21-2011, 05:46 PM
 
12 posts, read 17,922 times
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Hey everyone. I recently moved to the Springs in June. I was working as a sub contractor for Com Cast for a while. That job ended and I was a little worried I wouldn't find anything (I've been looking FOREVER). But finally my luck changed, I have a interview tomorrow with Association of Christian School International (ACSI) as a warehouse clerk. I'm just wondering if anybody knows anything about the company or if you've heard good things about it. Thanks.
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Old 09-21-2011, 06:40 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
84,988 posts, read 98,832,039 times
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Good Luck! We'll be pulling for you!
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Old 09-21-2011, 08:53 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
2,139 posts, read 5,486,092 times
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Woo!
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Old 09-22-2011, 10:16 AM
 
727 posts, read 1,135,392 times
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You should do an Internet search. ACSI has a website and there's a Wikipedia entry for this group, as well. Couldn't find anything in the Better Business Bureau. As the name and their website implies, it appears to be a Evangelical/Fundamentalist Christian company (not sure if for profit or non-profit) that publishes and distributes Christian oriented (e.g., creationism) educational materials. Not sure if they're affiliated with any Church or denomination. That may affect the line of questioning in your interview. Not sure what the law is concerning asking questions about your religious beliefs if the org is a Church affiliated non-profit, etc. If that is a concern of yours, you should be aware and be prepared with an appropriate response before the questions are asked.
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Old 09-22-2011, 07:49 PM
 
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I didn't get it I was interviewed by three people. I really hit it off with two of them but I feel like I may not have been "Christian" enough for the third. So maybe it was for the better this didn't fall through. I'll continue my hunt tomorrow and hopefully something falls through. Thanks for the kind words though. Wish me luck (again) lol.
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Old 09-24-2011, 03:59 PM
 
3,493 posts, read 4,705,458 times
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You can do it spring!

It can be hard for all of us when we reach that point of unemployment. Often times dealing with HR means dealing with the least qualified people at the company. It will only get better from here, even if it does require several applications. Remember that if you can network in it is vastly more likely to result in a position. Since HR people (generally) don't know ****, they are prone to hire whoever is a friend of their friend. No offense to HR people, I have a major in the field and have handled recruitment for years. Not all people in the field are lame, but as a whole it is usually the worst department. There was a study somewhere....some journal in England I believe that tracked all the applicants to several positions. They established a baseline for the likelihood of a good hire by literally picking names (of applicants) out of a hat, hiring the person, and then getting reports a few months later on if it was a "good hire".

They found that having the manager of the position interview all the candidates and pick one improved the odds of a good hire by only a couple percentage points. They tried having the future coworkers interview and select the person, and that also raised the odds of a good hire by only a few points. Then they had a HR professional go through the pool, interview, and hire a candidate. The likelihood of "good" decision decreased by ten percentage points from that of using co-workers. Crashing to land BELOW that of randomly picking a name out of a hat.

What I came away with having worked in and studied the field was that many HR managers look at fields they should not be looking at, and base opinions on factors they are expected (or legally obligated) to ignore. As a result the cost of HR recruitment professionals is often far higher than the salary they draw. Many actually sabotage the company without meaning to.
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Old 09-24-2011, 10:10 PM
 
727 posts, read 1,135,392 times
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Wow, in one breath you say "no offense to HR people" then proceed to trash them and the entire profession. As an HR guy for 35 years and having run the HR shop for a Federal agency, I do take exception and offense at your sweeping generalizations. As in any profession, there are good folks and bad. I've had both. However, at least in the Fed, the HR folks do not make hiring decisions. That's done by the hiring manager in the organization where the vacancy is located. What the HR folks do is classify the jobs, post the vacancies, help the managers identify the skills, knowledges and abilities (sound familiar Feds?), and do the scutwork associated with administering job postings that may result in literally thousands of applications for a single position. All that and trying at the same time to follow the myriad of arcane laws that our lawmakers have imposed on them that greatly complicate the process and to a large degree cause the delays that are endemic to the process. Then they have to answer the complaints from all the disgruntled applicants who are positive that if they could have just gotten past that nasty, ignorant and incompetent HR person, they would be the perfect candidates for the job.

Sprngfever, if you'd like some advice on strategies for applying for Fed jobs, PM me and I'll be glad to provide you with accurate information on the process.
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Old 09-25-2011, 11:02 AM
 
3,493 posts, read 4,705,458 times
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I'm sorry for offending you. It did not occur to me that there might way be a way to accurately represent the information without giving offense. To me, accurate information is more important than feelings, and I would consider it a disservice to my fellow man to withhold the information simply to keep another from feeling blamed.

I mean no disrespect to you--as I don't know if you are part of the herd I have generalized about. It appears in my revisions to shorten the post I may have removed the section to clarify that there are several exceptional people, but the field as a whole is ineffective. Consider lawyers, the vast majority of them give the rest a bad name. I don't mean to insinuate the same level of callous disregard for the community they operate within, however you yourself have referenced having "literally thousands" of applicants. Can you say with a straight faced that at least 10% of those were incapable of the job? If the posting is going to lead to rejecting 99% of the people who were qualified to handle the work, how is that not damaging to society?

To reference actual value I'm going back to 1775 and the wealth of nations. The efforts these people put into applying, even if we assume 1 hour per person, represent 1000 hours of labor that has been completely and utterly wasted. Worse yet these 1000 hours came from people who were capable of work and attempting to find a meaningful way to contribute to the economy. That is an enormous waste.

It's quite possible that you are one of the leaders trying to prevent the profession from becoming nothing more than a group of bureaucrats trying to cover their own ass when it comes to the laws they are following. I can't tell from one post, but acknowledging that there are good and bad, as well as the "myriad of arcane laws that our lawmakers have imposed" is a pretty good sign.

How many times do you suspect you've had to turn away someone who not only needed the work, but was completely qualified and capable of doing the work?

Do you believe that the research was wrong and that HR managers actually make decisions that result in better hires? I would agree with the statement "HR managers make decisions that more closely reflect the myriad of arcane laws that have been imposed upon them and protect the company from claims that may or may not be relevant". I can agree that sometimes the direct manager doesn't have a clue what qualifications are needed or what they are allowed to base decisions on.

Spring, if you are apping to Fed jobs, I would take the hand this man is extending. He is clearly well versed in the field. Despite our disagreements, I can agree he would be a great ally to have in any job search.

Carrera, I have worked for the federal government. In all honesty, it was one of the greatest working experiences I've had. The system they used for hiring was also the single best system I was ever involved in. For all the faults that I've listed for HR managers, the federal government was not a place where I experienced any of them. I was not working in HR when I worked for them, but I did have a few projects to report to HR about my subordinates behavior in the field. My negative experiences with HR teams have generally been in the private sector and most (all but one) have been with lower level HR grunts.

I met only one bozo who had managed his way into being a Director of HR. He spent about 20 minutes telling me the story of how his department would be the best in the state because he was from a fortune 500 company and he knew how to get things done. He was the greatest professional in the history of the field. He was an enormous bag of hot air.

This thread needs to be about Colorado Springs though. Carrera, do you still work in HR, and if so is it in Colorado Springs? Have you found the springs to be a more effective place to practice HR? I live in the middle of nowhere, so it would make sense for more of the professionals to be in a larger city. Their effectiveness may also be greater in a libertarian city that (at least in theory) would oppose some of the oppressive and arcane measures imposed upon the HR department to ensure they hire the right candidate.
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Old 09-25-2011, 11:25 AM
 
20,310 posts, read 37,804,669 times
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Oh, I recall SKA's from my FED days, back when it was known as SKAPs. I filled out a ton of those only to be rejected so many times, usually by a divorced middle aged male supervisor (at Defense Fuel) who hired only females, known in FED HR circles as "harem building."

Let's hope the young man who is our OP finds a job soon, jobs are out there, the harder one tries the greater the chances of success.
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Old 09-25-2011, 10:37 PM
 
727 posts, read 1,135,392 times
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Lurtsman - I'm retired now (ok, semi-retired; I still do consulting work), so no, I don't work in HR in COS, but the system is essentially the same everywhere for getting a Fed job, allowing for some minor differences between agencies. So what I'm saying below applies to COS jobs, but on a much smaller scale. To address some of your comments. I won't identify the agency, but the numbers are accurate from my personal experience. Let's say I have 50 vacancies agency/nation-wide for a particular career field. I post an announcement. For those 50 vacancies, I get 5-6000 apps from all over the country each time that ad is posted (usually once per year). There will be a large number of those applying who do not have the basic qualifications for the job. For the sake of argument (since the minimum quals were part of the posting), say 10-20% are not qualified at all and are dismissed immediately from consideration. That leaves roughly 80%, or more than 4000 still in the hunt. These apps are given a numerical score generated by a computer program based solely on the answers the applicants give to the on-line series of questions in the job posting (for examples, just check any job on USAjobs.gov). Only the top scoring apps go to the hiring manager (and yes, the HR folks screen those top scoring apps, but only to ensure that their claimed experience is backed up in their supporting documents i.e., resume and, if required, college transcripts). The Fed requires the vets get hiring preference, and there are differing legal requirements that come into play here, but for further sake of argument, let's say no vets applied. For each vacancy , the hiring manager will get a listing (called a certificate, or cert) of the highest scoring applicants from which to interview, do reference checks, and make a hiring selection. The law requires that this process takes place in order to try and ensure that the most highly qualified folks get hired. Now, there are exceptions. For some jobs with very specialized req'ts, there is a process by which a highly qualified candidate with those specific skills can be hired directly, but only after the job has been properly posted and no highly qualified candidates apply. Can this be abused? Absolutely (look at the revolving door for senior military officers who retire one day and are hired back as Fed employees the next day; they never even clean out their desks). Is the practice legal? Yes, or at least probably. Ethical? Possibly, but more questionable. Depends on the situation. The HR folks administer the hiring process, and they may sign the letters offering the job or those notifying the unsuccessful applicants, but they don't make the hiring decisions. That's management's role.

So, to answer your questions: 1) If the process functions as designed and required by law, only the most highly qualified applicants get hired. If I've got two qualified individuals for one vacancy, why wouldn't I want to hire the one who's more qualified? If I've got 50 vacancies and 5000 applicants, the vast majority of which are qualified, why wouldn't I try to do everything I can to find the 50 most highly qualified of those and hire them? 2) As a manager myself, many times I had to turn down applicants for positions on my staff who needed the work, were qualified and could do the job. The reason? I had more highly qualfied applicants with better experience from which to choose. Isn't it my responsibility to hire the best I can find? 3) I don't know the research you're referring to, but I reject the basic premise. That is, that HR managers make the hiring decisions. They're the facilitators not the decision makers, at least in the Fed. That said, the HR folks have the responsibility to educate the managers on the legal rights and responsibilities, but they should not be dictating what knowledges, skills and abilities are needed for the job. That's management's responsibility. I can't imagine it's any different in private industry (or it shouldn't be). Bottom line: the only jobs for which HR folks should be making hiring decisions are those located in HR.

Having dealt with some private industry HR folks in the past and compared notes, I absolutely agree with you that the Fed system is probably the most fair and equitable system out there, sometimes because of the laws, and other times, in spite of them. The Fed's hiring systems (if properly used, and I acknowledge that's a big if) are, in many cases, far more stringent and statistically valid and reliable than much of what I've seen in private industry. Does the Fed system always result in the highest qualified person being hired? Of course not, but it's a pretty sure bet that the person hired for a given vacancy is at least among the top tier candidates. That's about all you can hope for.
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