Selection process

Brace yourselves, it’s going to be another hot weekend! It’s a good day for a nice cold cider.

Our electricity bill came and it is unusually high. Aside from the obvious culprit, the air conditioner, I have not been as mindful turning off the lights before I leave a room lately especially when I’ve been occupied with Lana. In the past I’ve been comically vigilant unplugging unused appliances like the rice cooker. If we were leaving town, we would unplug everything except the refrigerator.

Yesterday was such a busy Friday. I’m going to give you a glimpse on how the hiring process for the public sector — namely with my employer. At my office, we are in the process of hiring a clerk to replace one who recently got promoted and transferred to a different department. The selection and hiring process is incredibly exhausting. For this position (and other entry to lower mid-level positions and internships), one applies for the position just like any other employment site. Based on your qualifications, you get invited to do an exam. The exam varies by the position — some want to test more technical skills and some are like a standardized exam where it tests reading comprehension, grammar, basic math, etc. Then there are some that tests your personality like leadership potential and ability to handle stress. Again, it depends on the position.

Your exam is graded and depending on your score, you are placed on a “band level.” Of course the higher the score, the better your band level. The band level ranges from 1 to 5. The lower your band level, the better because when it comes to interviews, candidates from band level 1 get invited for an interview first. Side note: In contrast, when opening positions for mid to higher-level positions there is no exam. The qualifications you put in your application packet is scored and depending on that score, you get placed on a band. But far fewer candidates in those positions advance to the next level.

I don’t want to get into minute details of the policies for the selection process because it gets so messy. It’s an interesting system. I can see the banding systems avoids things like nepotism and favoritism. I told my brother-in-law about a job opening where he has the certifications for this position. My husband and I encouraged him to apply since it is a boost in pay and benefits from his current job. He declined to apply the first few times we brought it up because he “did not want handouts” from us. With my husband assisting with completing the application, my BIL finally applied. But after learning about the selection process, this job is not a “handout.” So let’s say my BIL gets invited to take the exam and he is placed in Band 3, I can’t call the department manager to interview my BIL. This manager needs to interview Band 1 candidates first and moved down the list. If my BIL really wanted this job, he would have to study and do well on the exam. This opportunity is not the “handout” he thought it was.

I do see pros and cons with this system. The cons are I can’t exactly help my BIL or any other friends, family members, or contract workers beyond telling them to apply for the position. The other con is that it’s a slow and lengthy process in many, many ways. Lastly, we have to review all the interviewees’ application packet; depending on how many candidates who accepted an interview it’s takes a lot of time. But I think the major pro that outweighs most of the cons is that the selection process seems more equitable. In my previous job in the private sector, our candidates came from HR who helped filter a lot of the applications that came through Indeed and other employment websites. Or if I had a friend or contact who expressed interest, I would forward their resume to my supervisor. Or if my supervisor had a recommendation from a contact they were invited to an interview. The people who came through via referral through me or someone in my team tend to get hired. But in retrospect, they may have not been the most solid choice because they have not had the skills to do the job or it turned out they were difficult to work with.

Anyways my pretty long rant about work.

How has your week been?

Books I am currently reading:

  • Educated by Tara Westover (audiobook from the library) – This book gets more bizarre. I’m almost done with this book — looks like I will finish it before my lending period expires!
  • Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty  (e-book borrowed from the library) – This book definitely deviates from the Hulu TV series — but it’s all for the better. Spoiler alert: I don’t think the five days of silence would have translated well on the TV version. So far this book is better than I expected despite the mixed reviews. I think I prefer this over The Vacationers which is pretty similar — people on vacation with their baggage and told from different viewpoints. I should have panned The Vacationers rather read the whole way through. So far, as someone who has been to a few spas, I almost find Nine Perfect Strangers to a be parody.
  • From the Ashes: My Story of Being Métis, Homeless, and Finding by Jesse Thistle (e-book from the library) – My borrowing time expired and I renewed the book but now there’s a small waiting list until I receive it again. Anyways the life Jesse Thistle lived up to this point in the book is incredibly wild and a very good “don’t do drugs” campaign because a lot of the troubles he went through in early adulthood was a result of his drug addiction. There are points where it seems like he’s about to turn his life around, but then it becomes incredibly disappointing.


4 thoughts on “Selection process”

  1. Your interview process does sound complicated, but I bet by the time you settle on a candidate, you have a good one!! Seems we hire at my job and they quit a few days later. Makes me think they are not prepared for the volume of work. Good luck to your BIL.


    1. Hello, Sadi, it takes a long time to hear from my employer. With my current job, I applied I believe June or May 2018 and I had an interview on January 2019 and got the offer a couple of days later. After the offer there was background check, health clearance, and other papers and that took months too. I did not start my job until May 2019. I do hope we get a good one too.

      I’m sorry to hear the turnover at your work. Hmm…maybe in an interview ask how they would organize a high volume of work or multi-task. It does not need to be from their work experience, encourage them to draw examples from their personal life or school life.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Honestly, I struggle with the whole interview process. We are all to work at as a team and rarely is the person you interviewed the same PMS-ing, had-to-fight-traffic, crazy that will end up working there. THAT is the person we need to see. Not the “oooh your resume is so impressive” person. Anyone can fluff that up.


  2. I am reminded that the hiring/interview process can be such a frustrating one, particularly when the Employer is not expedient or transparent with their process.


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