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Saturday, December 1, 2007

Want a job? One Screwed Up Application Process for the Oakland Fire Department

There were 8,000 people waiting in hand with applications to turn-in for the Oakland Fire Department today, but there were only 23 positions available. The job can pay an average of $100,000 per year, and the department dropped the EMT training requirement to apply.

But what a shame when it came to accepting applications for the job as a firefighter today. They only took 1,000 applications, which only gave you about a 12 to 13 percent chance to even submit your application for just the chance for consideration.

Just watching the news about this problem is sad, some people camped out for days for the opportunity to turn-in their application, but things flipped around when it turned out that there was no official line that day, and people were picked at "random" to be the one of the 1,000 applicants to turn-in their paperwork.

I really criticize this idea of picking people at "random" to take applications. There could be the problem that people were chosen because maybe one of the officials picking the applicants had connections, like they are a friend. Another idea is that this could have been racially or gender motivated, meaning that the fire department did this "random" picking by choosing the 1,000 applicants based on satisfying a male to female ratio or by race, which is technically against the law.

As a consequence of their "random" policy, there were very qualified people in line with previous fire department, EMT, or public safety experience that did not even have an opportunity to apply, versus the regular joes without any training or experience. If I were to hire people for a fire department, I would accept all applications and take the people with the most experience.

I don't understand how the Oakland Fire Department could have not been better organized for this event. Many HR departments just do the easy way: establish a window of time of when the application needs to be turned-in, and accept every single application. After reviewing every application, they should review every single one and filter out the ones that are improperly filled-out, not qualified based on education, etc. More than likely, they would hire the ones with past experience or have taken college classes on the science of firefighting (available at community colleges).

Hey Oakland Fire Department! FUCK YOU! Yo mayor, fire the Chief Daniel Ferrell and the person in charge of HR.

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