Submitted by Ray Blessman
For over 30 years I've been intensely pursuing my career. The good news is that I've enjoyed the work for the most part. And I've become somewhat of an expert when it comes to managing remote teams, retaining customers, and helping others grow their careers and thrive. At the same time, I've been an adjunct professor and really enjoy interacting with college students virtually. Things are different now than they were when I was in school, and the students are different too. If I didn't know this from my teaching experiences, I know this as a dad to two 20-something kids.
These experiences and attitudes have led me to a point where I'm able to pause and look around as I think about how I want to contribute during the next stage of my career. Toward this end, and as a learning experience, I recently decided to pursue some part time employment figuring it will enable me exerience current trends in recruiting, hiring, etc. As a former vice president for a recruiting company, this topic fascinates me.
So, cell phone and laptop in hand, I set out to experience various hiring processes like a boss. One opportunity that caught my attention was with Shipt, an online delivery company. This seemed like an interesting option given that I'm the family grocery shopper, we live close to a grocery store, they offer a flexible work schedule, and their services heavily rely on technology.
Step one was to apply; online, of course. That process was easy and successful. (And an improvement over another experience with another company.) I was immediately ushered to the next step: a request to verbally answer three questions which were recorded using my laptop. The process was timed. Already I was learning. My previous employer had not incorporated this much technology into hiring processes.
One of the questions I was asked to answer was: "What would you do if an item on a customer's shopping list was not available?’ I played out the scenario in my head: If I was the customer and shopping in-store for a 12-ounce package of Kraft shredded cheese and couldn't find it, I would either purchase a different brand, pick up a larger size, or perhaps substitute with a different product like a three cheese blend. In the end though, to answer the application question, I said, "I would follow the proceedure outlined in the Shipt training provided as part of this application process."
The next morning I received an email stating that my services are not needed at this time. I was invited to reapply in six months. And apparently that wasn’t the correct answer!
The good news is that I achieved my objective to learn more about hiring processes in 2019. I also found myself wondering if the applications are processed outside the US given the overnight turnaround. But most importantly, I think I learned that I may need to consult with my own kids as I embark upon this adventure. I've been helping them navigate the world for over 20 years. Now I need them to give me a hand.