Category Archives: human resources

I, civil servant III

SO! After well over the original time of 1 year (52 weeks per the form), I got permanency in my title. Essentially I have proved that I am worth keeping. This is similar in effect to “tenure”, but is more a protection from improper politiqual influence than protection of uneasy research ideas.

In a few months, I can start the process for obtaining my professional license, which – when done – entituls me to the next title in the ladder. This will restart the process of 52 weeks of uncertainty.

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Maybe, just maybe…

…I’ll get a job this time.

I received notice this week (while on vacation, hence the lack of blog posts here) that I was the recommended candidate for a certain position in the state service. Now I have to get fingerprinted [!] because of the kind of work that is involved. Not wanting to waste time, as soon as I discovered the Email from the state’s HR office I set up an appointment to get ‘printed tomorrow, which I will attend to in the after noon.

This is actually the second time I’ve done this. The first time was in the conference room to a notorious “state hospital” (that is, psychiatric hospital) that had hideous 1930s/1940s interior design. If nothing else I got to say I had been inside of one.

The downside is that, if I get the position, it will be far away and I’ll have to move. Pout. Frown. I’ll still take it and be happy. I’ve never gotten this far post-interview with any CS positions.

More diversity form nonsense

While applying for a position at Fenwal, I was presented with the typical EEO form to fill out:

DubiousFenwal

As I have shown, it is bizarrely possible to declare yourself both Hispanic and non-Hispanic at the same time. Shades of the radio button confusion of PSEG. Also, for some reason, the Hispanic/Latino question is a subheading under gender. Why?

Checkbox v. dropdown

When I was applying for a position at, if I remember correctly, PSEG, I had to fill out a diversity form or two or three. I don’t have a problem with that.

I did notice this UI confusion though:

Nocheckboxes

Clearly that is a drop down menu. However I would note that check boxes would actually be improper here, since the options are mutually exclusive (check one). However, if they said “click on of the radio buttons” they would be probably confusing people who don’t know UI designers jargon.

Interviewing at the Civil Service 3×

As mentioned in my post Interviewing for the CS, I had some interviews to participate in Thursday and Friday of last week. Without spilling any confidencial beans I will summarize the high points:

Interview #1

The first interview was with the state’s general construction office. The generic “physical plant” of the state if you will. Getting there was an adventure and a half. I took a long long trip on a winding state route to within maybe 25 miles of the place, and then promptly got lost because the villainous county government refuses to put up road signs at intersections, or anywhere else for that matter.

Finally I got to the right place and found out that it was… a prison! I went to one building and was met by a prison guard/corrections officer who told me I was at the wrong building. I went to the other one and went to the front desk. They were completely confused as to why I was there (although they did like to see my drivers license which was a new type) but eventually found out that I wanted the STATE general office, not the prison’s. I was directed to a dippy little trailer nearby where I met my interviewers, about 20 minutes after I was supposed to be there. LAME.

The interview went well despite my lateness. I had some experience that they liked and went through the position and the usual “HR questions”.

Interview #2

After leaving the prison I took about a 2 hour drive up to the state capital where I then checked in to my hotel and went out to dinner. The diner (A Denny’s) was a nice place and I liked the food. I was in a booth right next to the path to the restrooms, so I got to see people come and go as I ate. There was a ton of ice cream.

Back at the hotel it took a while but I went to sleep finally. I woke up wayy too early, but instead of being able to sleep again, I went out and ate breakfast (free). Returning to my room I dressed for the interview at 9 AM and checked out. The hotel was literally right next to where I was interviewing; they shared a parking lot!

I went into the office building and checked in with Security. They were nice. I couple of lawyers from the Attorney General showed up for a conference and started to gossip so I walked away and started to examine a display on guardrails (It was the DOT’s office building). Eventually a few minutes later my interviewer met me and we went up to the conference room. He had those weird eyeglasses that separate in the middle.

Interview went well, they seemed to like what they heard and I was interested in the position. After that we had a little chase around to find the person from HR who had to administer a post-interview interview. Finally we met, had the meeting and then I left.

Interview #3

Now I had to take a very tiresome drive back the exact way I came to go to the third interview, which was also in the Transportation Department. The office building was obvious built in the 60s or 70s because of the look of it. Anyway I got there about an hour and a half early and got advice from the tubby security person on duty about a nearby diner. I went there (After going around the block a couple of times because of the strange traffic pattern) and ate a huge sandwich that I barely finished. Next time hold the fries, because I didn’t have room for them. There were two political partisans behind me getting angry at the news.

Returned to the office building and met with a person (Nettie I think) from HR who took my paperwork and took copies of my instruments of qualification. She had to replace a huge black toner cartridge in the copy machine but then left it for another one that already worked. The hallways were narrow and dark.

After that run around I met my three interviewers who then talked about their divisions and what they did, and what I would be doing in them. Also I had to answer some more HR questions.

Finally I left at the end of the interview and turned my visitor card in. I took the back roads through town to get homeward and went through the Jewish section. I have not seen so much Hebrew writing before. It was mostly deserted, but the writing was there.

Anyway, I eventually got back home after maybe 4 or 5 hours of driving. Highly tiresome, so I slept most of the next day (yesterday). I am hoping for a position closer to home, but if I am offered one of those, I won’t say no most likely.

SAP is the worst non-custom ATS/HR software I’ve found yet

SAP is one of those “enterprise software” suites that claim to be able to essentially do everything except Email for every kind of organization or firm. You can see this on their website, which doesn’t seem to definitively describe what it does in a single sentence.

My experience with SAP is limited to Iberdrola (A Spanish energy firm) and their use of it as an applicant tracking system (ATS) or in other words HR software. It is terrible for this though, at least as they configured it.

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“How did you hear about us?”

A classical question that companies like to have their ATS/HR software ask is “How did you hear about us?” or “How did you hear about this job opening?”. I’ll let someone who works in HR explain in the comments why they like to ask this question.

I will, instead, show you this pseudo-religious answer possibility from one company:

Conversion

Makes it sound like God(s) gave them the inside tip about it when they changed their faith, instead of just talking with someone already on the job.

The obvious fault here was someone misspelling “conversation” and then accepting spell check’s suggestion without making sure it was the correct one. Ooo.