Ranger Kathryn's Arches

July 10, 2010

Hiring difficulties

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 9:32 am

I appreciate my boss’s boss’s forthrightness. She came to those of us who had applied for the permanent position at Arches and admitted outright that two applicants from the pool were “compensable veterans,” which means that they have a service-related disability and therefore a 10-point preference in hiring. Even if we non-veterans were to score a perfect 100 on the rating system, they would completely trump us. She wanted us to know right up front so that we would not wait and wonder. No non-veterans’ applications would even be READ unless both vet applicants turned down the position.

Government regs, if I understand Nancy’s explanation correctly, require the hirers to choose the disabled vets first. There are large numbers of traumatic brain-injured (as well as other-injured) individuals out there from our current wars in the Middle East, and even if they have less experience they must be hired. Folks who have been in the Park Service a long time say this is the hardest it has ever been to be a non-veteran and vying for an NPS job. This is a bitter pill to swallow, even though I completely agree with the logic and have much compassion for those injured while serving our country. I guess I just want a Park Service job badly enough tonight to want to shake my fist at a large impersonal institution like The Government.  **sigh**


  1. Do the veterans still have to take a qualifying examination? I cannot imagine that they would be able to score as well as experienced Park personnel – but maybe the added ten points overcomes such minor deficiencies.
    I trust there is still some level of basic qualification required – for instance, how much use would a paraplegic veteran be as a Park Ranger?

    Comment by leroque — July 11, 2010 @ 8:58 am | Reply

    • Yes, the ten points covers a lot of ground. All final applicants for my first position scored 96 or above, for example, and there are plenty whose scores are 100 just because they have much or varied experience. Adding 10 is like playing the ace of spades…

      And, yes, the basic qualifications must be there in order for them to score a 90 and therefore be competitive.

      Comment by kath56ryn — July 11, 2010 @ 11:21 am | Reply

  2. I like you just as much as a part time ranger….. keep applying, may
    I suggest other parks so that I (unselfishly of course), can keep visiting you and keep discovering parts of these parks that normal visitors would never see………

    Comment by john — July 11, 2010 @ 8:59 am | Reply

    • But… but… I love the desert! I love Utah. Yes, I will apply to other parks, John…

      Comment by kath56ryn — July 11, 2010 @ 11:22 am | Reply

  3. Keep your eye on the prize and your faith in Divine Will.

    Comment by Ed Oak — July 11, 2010 @ 10:47 am | Reply

  4. The vets pref is only part of the story. The top 3 scoring applicants go to a committee that makes a recommendation to the selecting official. The selecting official may then choose any one of the top three or may ask for the next group of three and so on. Vets preference therefore is no guatantee of being hired.
    I served on several of these committees. The selecting official may “reach” an applicant as long as they are relatively high on the register. No “test” is involved for people with a degree. College graduates are scored based upon their education and given a score without having to take any test.

    Comment by Dale — July 12, 2010 @ 7:43 am | Reply

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