While the agency provides transit service to take people from Point A to Point B, we also realize that it is a customer-service industry. Since joining CTA in early 2009, President Richard L. Rodriguez has focused on furthering efforts to make CTA an organization where customers and the quality of service they receive are the priority. CTA seeks individuals who are personable and recognize the importance of their contributions as the face of CTA.
CTA employees are crucial to the long-term success of the agency, as is the support we have consistently received from Chicago’s Mayor, Richard M. Daley, who understands the role that a quality public transit system plays in the economic health of the city as well as the entire region.
No matter how state-of-the-art the buses or rail cars, without a stellar workforce, CTA would not be the public transportation system it is today.
Las Vegas, Nev.
Jacob L. Snow
Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada
Las Vegas is one the most dynamic communities in the nation. With 2 million residents and nearly 40 million tourists visiting the community, moving people is a challenge. Add to that the fact that the population has roughly doubled every decade and transportation is one of the most critical issues in the region. As a transit agency, metropolitan planning organization and a traffic management agency, the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada embraces that challenge.
With a struggling economy and high unemployment, hiring today may seem easy. Here in Nevada, applicant pools for vacant positions are deep. But finding the right person for a job has never been more important. As budgets have tightened, we’re asking more of our employees. They are working with fewer resources. We need employees with creative minds and enthusiasm for the challenges we’re facing. Employees have risen to the challenge. In the words of Jim Collins, author of “Good to Great,” this is only possible because we have the right people in the right seats on the bus. So how do you find them?
Know what you’re looking for.
Finding the right people starts even before you post the job. Our human resources staff members work closely with hiring managers to determine not just how the job description should read but what qualities and skill sets the right candidate should possess. Are you looking for a duplication of the skill sets of other employees in this job or are you looking for someone to complement, rather than duplicate, the skills of the employees you have? What is the culture of the department or group and what type of candidate will work well within that group? Craft your job announcement and application accordingly.
Cast a wide net.
When posting positions, we start by casting a wide net to look for applicants. We post jobs in traditional places such as professional organizations, job search sites and local newspapers. We’ve also expanded postings to include more ethnic and minority media in order to attract candidates we may not otherwise reach. We amass lists of professionals in the field we’re hiring and send job postings to them, urging them to consider the job or to pass it along to other professionals who may be interested in the agency. Reach out to professionals at other entities within your own community for recommendations.
The best recruitment often comes from our own employees; they are our best ambassadors. They enjoy the work that we do and they tell other professionals about it and why they should be a part of it. Word of mouth has enabled us to lure some of the best professionals away from other entities. That is the type of advertising that we simply can’t buy but that we’re grateful to have earned.
Ask the right questions.
When it comes to interviewing employees, we place a heavy emphasis on asking the right questions to get the answers we need to make the best decision. Craft interview questions that really get to the heart of what you need to know about a candidate’s experience, work ethic and preferences. Ask what type of work environment the candidate excels in and really listen to the response. If a candidate wants an informal work environment but the job requires “by the book” hours and work products, it isn’t the right fit.
Likewise, if a candidate is looking for firm direction on the job and you need someone to develop a vision, the candidate may not be the right fit for the current job.