Sunday, September 12, 2010

Whom Is This Job Being Saved For?

Someone just sent me a link to this job posting for Nav Canada. It's an excellent job flying a Challenger CRJ-100 jet around this fantastic country to check the calibration of nav aids. The fun and variety of what I do now, plus a fast pressurized airplane, multi-crew environment and very very fine avionics. It wasn't the first time I'd seen that job posting. My chief pilot wants that job, and told me about it and as I listened to the requirements I said "I've got that," and "I've got that!" then "Wait, did you say three thousand hours multi-crew PIC?" For an FO job? Neither I nor my CP has that.

There's nothing wrong with asking for experience, but to ask for that much multi-crew pilot-in-command experience to be the second-in-command is very unusual. I've never seen a posting that asked for that much multi-crew PIC, even for a captain position. My suspicion is that there is someone Nav Canada wishes to hire for the job, someone who fits into their team, is a skilled pilot and is appropriate for the job, but that the corporate rules require posting the job. Perhaps the person is an American or Mexican, so by NAFTA rules they have to show that a Canadian with the appropriate qualifications was not available for the job. I know of a Canadian whose American employer posted his job as requiring fluency in Hungarian, in order to meet the NAFTA requirements. Perhaps Nav Canada tailored the ad to that person's résumé. Or maybe I'm way out of touch and there are hundreds of people who want this job and are fully qualified for it as posted, and that the responsibilities of the job include bona fide reasons for the listed experience requirements.


Victoria said...

Wow! That is crazy, I bet your conclusions about meeting those rules are correct. It sounds like a great job, I've taken a tour in a DC-3 that performs similar procedures here in the US. Very neat!

Wayne Farmer said...

I hope you're applying for the job even if you don't meet the 3000 hour requirement. The employer could find that their filter is set too tight, and will need to relax it.

A Squared said...

FWIW, I understand that the flight inspections pilot jobs in the US are extremely competitive. If you have a lot of people applying for a job, you can be picky who you hire.

Anonymous said...

Standard practice for government jobs everywhere.
They've already filled the position internally with someone's friend (maybe a former Forces Canada transport pilot for example) but by law have to advertise the position so they advertise it with requirements noone will be likely to meet.

My sister works in human resources for a government agency (not in Canada or the US, but still) and that's how it works.
Someone is up for promotion, a position becomes available, that person is shifted in but to meet requirements for hiring they have to publish the position nationally (even though it's already filled).
It's crazy, it's a waste of time and money (some people do respond to such postings, and have to be sent letters in response), but it has to be done.

nec Timide said...

Just a few corrections to the details of what Anonymous said.

Nav Canada isn't a government organization. That doesn't mean they aren't required to follow the same policies, but they may (and probably do) have their own HR policies.

In the Canadian Federal Government, when a position becomes available it is first open for a competition process to allow for those who want to move into the vacancy as a promotion, lateral move, or even sometimes voluntary demotion. Then it goes out to the public.

But, yes, in the past, and it may continue today, job postings have been crafted to favour a particular person. This happens less frequently now (if at all) because every position has to have a formal description from which the competition and public hireing processes (and pay) are derived. This makes the process more transparent and in theory more fair. It can result in the same kind of requirements though. Unlike the private sector who in theory could reject all applicants who met the advertised criteria, in the public sector the top scoring applicant who meets all the advertised criteria essentially has a right to the job. This can lead to managers being exhaustive and demanding when specifying the requirements for a job; specifying what they expect from an established incumbent rather than a new entry (important for salary as well). It is easier to accept an applicant who does not meet all the requirements if nobody does, than it is to reject someone who is not acceptable for some reason that didn't make it to the specifications.

Anonymous said...

Good comments from nec Timide.

Cockpit girl you may be correct, but you may just as likely by incorrect. Not sure where the American or Mexican comment is derived from, but whatever!

I will say that I DO know that the pilots that fly the flight inspection aircraft do so in many different environments, as I'm sure you do also. Sometimes this involves flying around a very complex airport enviroment (like YYZ, YVR, YYC) and the more experience the better.

These pilots are likely doing WAY more flying than the Transport Canada pilots - no offense to them.

Aviatrix said...

Anonymous: The United States, Canada and Mexico are cosignatories of a trade agreement that allows easy passage of workers, provided the employer can demonstrate that no workers with the appropriate qualifications are available in the employer's country. That's NAFTA.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I've heard of NAFTA. I was wondering why you commented about the job maybe going to an American or Mexican who may be better qualified than yourself.

Aviatrix said...

Anonymous, the extremely high requirements suggest that there is a reason other than need for experience. Under NAFTA you have to show that you did a reasonable search in your own country but were unable to find a qualified candidate. The qualifications needed have to be stated in terms of tangibles, so if you just want to hire a particular person, you tailor the ad to them. I had a Canadian friend, for example, who spoke Hungarian and had programming experience in ADA, so the US company who wanted to hire him put that on the ad, no Americans matching the qualifications applied, so they were allowed to hire him. It's like a game.

Aviatrix said...

On an iPod, missed the words "multi-crew pic". For an FO position, it's an odd request. Or maybe someone thought that was an indicator. They didn't even ask for extensive high density airspace experience, making a King Air captain from Nunavut look like a better bet than an experienced Citation FO from Toronto.

Wayne said...

Maybe you should have applied for the job flying the CRJ-200 instead.