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Life of a serf (part 1)–HR: Horrible Recruitment strategies

I’ve been working as a part-time instructor at a community college for the last 8 months. I decided long ago, during my last stint as an adjunct instructor in New York City, that being a part-time instructor sucks. You’re never paid enough for prep/grading time, you don’t get benefits (except for rare exceptions, like the CUNY system in New York), and you’re never guaranteed hours. Awful.

Then why, might you ask, am I teaching part-time again? Because it’s d@mned hard to find a good job right now, and I thought it wouldn’t hurt to “get my foot in the door” at a community college that supposedly pays well. Boy, was I wrong. The door of the HR department at this college is a trap door. Or maybe a revolving door. Some kind of door, anyway, that you wouldn’t want to get your foot stuck in. But moving on.

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Apparently, as an instructor at this college you aren’t given priority for non-teaching job openings over the general public. My 8 months teaching there and the fact that I have the recommendation of the dean in my department mean nothing. Of course no one told me this until I started applying for other jobs within the college.

The first job I didn’t get selected to interview for was a customer service-type position in the enrollment center. In spite of the fact that I met all the minimum requirements and then some, I was overlooked by HR because I didn’t have one year of customer service experience at a school. My years of customer service and higher ed teaching/tutoring experience meant nothing because it wasn’t considered “front-facing work at a college.” I guess teaching and tutoring and all the student interactions that go along with it aren’t “front-facing” enough.

Then there was the marketing copywriter position. Although I  teach writing classes at this school, have a degree and experience above and beyond what they were seeking, and had recently taken a marketing class through the school’s “employee scholar program” to stay up-to-date, I wasn’t qualified for this one either. Why not? According to the HR “Business Partner” assigned to me, it was because, out of the 29 other candidates I was up against, some had written newsletters for a community college.

Have I been in charge of a newsletter for the last year that goes out to 1,000’s of people as well as years of additional copywriting experience, including marketing? Yes. Do I teach students at this school how to be better writers? Check. But am I qualified for a position where I write for the school? I guess not.

One interview I did get was for a part-time clerical assistant in the department I already work in. This position doesn’t require a degree at all. Just a GED or a high school diploma. I would be doing mostly data entry and filing. In spite of the fact that I have a master’s degree, this was one of the only positions HR thought was a good fit for me. I went to the interview and am still waiting to hear back. The interview, by the way, involved my being grilled by four people in the department. A department I already work in, but in a different capacity.

The other job HR OK’d my interview for was a part-time job at a campus more than an hour away. When I told the HR Business Partner that it wasn’t feasible for me to make a 2-hour daily commute through the winter, she suggested I move closer to the campus. Great idea! Leave my friends, family, boyfriend, cat, and other supplemental part-time job behind to move an hour away. Thank you, HR Department.

Anyone else have nightmarish HR experiences? Please share in the comments and make me feel better.

 

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6 thoughts on “Life of a serf (part 1)–HR: Horrible Recruitment strategies

  1. Well, that stinks. Sounds like Johnny HR at the community college got his hands on some policies designed for (and better suited to) a giant corporate conglomerate. He probably thinks he’s a wunderkind, but doesn’t realize all this crap will make it more difficult for them to identify, develop, and promote internal talent.

    I once accepted a temporary promotion to fill the role of someone out on leave for several months. When that time ended, I wen back to my former position. Then, when that same role came open as a permanent position, one of my peers was selected over me. And my peer had no experience in the role. I was fairly livid. It all worked out though, in the end. He got bumped back down and I got something better. Sometimes there’s a bigger picture. A design you can’t see, or make sense of, in the moment.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Life as a serf (part 2)–Black Friday | Prog Chik

  3. Pingback: Life of a serf (part 4): A certification in WHAT? | Prog Chik

  4. As you probably guessed you almost need to know someone on the inside these days to pull strings for you. I work at a huge hospital and I was a nurse with 30 years experience in critical areas with an outstanding record when I applied. I called HR every single day and told them to please let management at least just look at my application. Everyday I bugged them. I finally got an interview. Now that I’m on the inside I help everyone I can. Good luck and the best to you!

    Liked by 1 person

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