In selecting the third company to profile in my “getting hired at…” series, the choice seemed obvious. While the headquarters office might have left our fair city a number of years back, Boeing is still a massive player in the local employment scene — and while it may not quite have the sex appeal of the latest technology or wireless startup, it still is an organization that accounts for a huge number of high-paying jobs in the region, across a dizzying number of different disciplines.
Given that the company is largely staffed by union personnel, however, Boeing continues to be a polarizing entity whose decisions are subject to much greater scrutiny than the average organization. In searching for articles related to the company and what it’s like to work there, in fact, it was hard to find much being discussed at the “ground” level. Instead, the headlines were dominated by intensive analyses of labor relations issues, as well as the numerous ongoing disputes taking place about Boeing’s strategy for allocating work across its various manufacturing sites.
And yet, while the storms continue to rage at the macro level between Boeing executives, union leaders, and government officials, let’s not overlook the fact that many workers are chugging along, underneath these raging storm clouds, making a pretty good living. So while the company may have lost a step with the HQ relocation to Chicago in 2001, Boeing still remains a viable option to consider for many Puget Sound job hunters, and provides a package of stability, work-life balance, and comp/benefits (in most groups) that rivals that of many employers around town.
GETTING HIRED AT BOEING: USEFUL LINKS & ARTICLES
• Boeing Jobs Portal
• Glassdoor.com Boeing Reviews Page
• Glassdoor.com Boeing Interviews Page
• Indeed.com Reviews on Boeing
• Indeed.com Forum Articles Related to Boeing
• College Confidential Thread on Working at Boeing
• How to Land a Job at Boeing
• Boeing Interview Questions & Answers
• Why Boeing is Going to War With Its Employees
• How to Get a Job at Boeing (Discussion Thread)
• Boeing & Its Older Workers: The Brewing Confrontation
• Boeing Seeks Big Savings, Other See Big Risks in Job Transfers
• Gay Boeing Employees Fighting for Better Benefits
GETTING HIRED (& WORKING) AT BOEING: INTERESTING THINGS I’VE HEARD
• Boeing is famous for relying almost entirely on resume keyword-matching to screen applicants, likely due to their government/defense relationship and various governmental compliance rules designed to ensure a very stringent, egalitarian hiring process.
• As a result of the above factor, networking and internal referrals don’t seem to help quite as much at Boeing as they do at other companies; if your resume doesn’t score in the top rankings of the keyword scan, based on the requirements of the job at hand, a personal relationship isn’t going to help much
• And yet, despite the importance of resume keywords, there is apparently a limit to how many you should have; recruiters at Boeing have said that their applicant tracking system kicks out resumes they feel match TOO closely to a stated job’s requirements where a candidate might be gaming the system
• Boeing relies heavily on “behavioral” interviewing where they will ask candidates to provide multiple examples of the skills and strengths described in the job description; they typically want these presented in a structured P.A.R. (Problem, Action, Results) format so they can gain a full picture of the results a candidate has achieved
• Boeing’s application website provides candidates with ongoing feedback about where they stand in the process; in the case of one individual I worked with, one of two finalists for a job, he said he was told to simply “check his status code” on the website to see if he ended up ultimately being selected for the role or not
• Boeing conducts rigorous background screening for many positions, again, likely due to the close relationship of their technology with military and government applications
• While Boeing used to provide lavish benefits such as full tuition reimbursement for employees, they’ve apparently reduced some of these benefits in recent years, even though their current package may still be well beyond that offered by most organizations
• The average tenure at Boeing is significantly longer than at most companies and the pace of business, at least in many groups, is fairly relaxed; according to many, this contributes to a healthy amount of bureaucracy in the company and quite a few people who are seen as “coasting” toward retirement
• According to one Boeing Manager, the company has recently implemented a new hiring system that utilizes a “lifecycle recruiting approach” that will enable recruiters to more actively develop/maintain relationships with candidates
So that’s what I’ve come across on my radar, in terms of the hiring process and prospects over at Boeing. Anybody out there have any additional input to contribute? Do some of you have personal experience working at the company — or friends or family members who have shared some perspectives on the changing nature of working at Boeing over the years? As always, I’d love other readers to be able to benefit from your feedback, so please feel free to share a comment — even if anonymously!