Decision Makers: It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's a Boeing

job interview If you've flown on a plane recently, there's a good chance it was a Boeing airplane. Boeing has more than 12,000 planes in service, roughly 63 percent of the world's commercial fleet. But the Chicago-based aerospace company does more than build planes.

Bet you didn't know that Boeing operates the space shuttle and the international space station. There's also a lot the company does that we can't talk about: It's a major military and defense contractor. But you've likely read about its latest innovation, the 787-Dreamliner. The company says that the plane, currently taking test flights, offers increased fuel efficiency, more passenger comfort and longer flight ranges.

Here's a quick look at life on the job at this nearly century old company.

About 158,000 people in 70 countries punch Boeing time cards. The majority work in Washington state and California. More than half are college educated and almost 30 percent have advanced degrees. Education is a big deal to Boeing. The company supports more than 22,000 employees enrolled in education programs in more than 1,000 colleges, universities, vocational programs and other learning centers.

When it comes to identifying talent, Rich Hartnett, the global staffing director for Boeing Shared Services Group, says hiring managers look for skills in three areas: general, technical and leadership. In 2009, manager's requests for skills fell heavily on the general, meaning you didn't have to be a rocket scientist to be a contender.

Boeing looks beyond the local pool for qualified job candidates. So having to relocate for a job doesn't put you out the running. For international jobs, however, people in-country are often favored. The good news is that Boeing isn't making products that go from ideas to store shelves overnight. The products have long life cycles, so people are hired for the long term.


The Down Side

Hartnett says applicants can be intimidated by Boeing's size and complexity. He prefers to sell it as opportunity; the company provides chances for growth and development in many departments and disciplines. Size was a selling point for an accountant who found accounting firm work "boring." The size and complexity of Boeing's business require him to work with both international and domestic accounting rules and company-specific regulations, which keeps the job interesting for him.


This Actually Happened

You'd think that with so many resources available to job applicants these days, certain interview flubs would be unlikely; not so. "There was the fellow who, when asked why he was applying to Boeing, said he wanted to work in San Francisco. Well, Boeing doesn't have operations in San Francisco," says Hartnett. "End of interview."


All Are Welcome

Diversity at Boeing is more than a page in the employee manual. "Boeing Affinity Groups" are employee-led internal organizations that help to create smaller communities inside the huge company. These seven affinity groups collectively have more than 90 local chapters: The Boeing American Indian Society, Asian-American Professional Association, Black Employees Association, Employees Ability Awareness Association, Association of Gay, Lesbian, Bi, Transgender Employees & Friends, Hispanic Employees Network and Women in Leadership


We'd Tell You, But We'd Have to Kill You

Boeing is involved in many top-secret projects. So, if you have a less-than-stellar past, you might want to pass this employer by. Job offers from this aerospace company come with a pre-hire background check, medical review and drug test, according to Hartnett. Further security clearances for specific jobs are done by the Department of Defense.

It might sound like a lot of paperwork, but get through it and you might have a hand in designing engineering and producing the planes people will be flying in 2020 and beyond.

Hiring Now: Find a Job with Boeing

Next: Decision Makers: UPS--What Can Brown Do for You?




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kgillman080

IT SOUNDS LIKE A WONDERFUL PLACE TO WORK. REGARDLESS OF THE JOB. I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN INTREGUED BY AIR TRAVEL AND HAVE ALWAYS WANTED TO WORK IN THE SYSTEM. HOWEVER, ONE THING ALWAYS LED TO ANOTHER AND I NEVER PERSUED IT. NOW, AT 72, I GUESS THERE IS NOTHING AVAILABLE FOR ME, BUT LET ME SAY THIS, IF I HAD IT TO DO ALL OVER AGAIN, KNOWING WHAT I KNOW NOW, I'D BE APPLYING FOR IT IN A HEARTBEAT. THE BENNEFITS ARE 2ND TO NONE. I WORKED 17 YEARS FOR THE CONNECTICUT DEPT OF CORRECTIONS AND EXCEPT FOR BEING INJURED, I WOULD STILL BE THERE. I SLIPPED ON GLARE UNTREATED ICE AND DAMAGED MY BACK . BUT AFTER THE BACKGROUB=ND CHECK I HAD TO GO THROUGH, I WOULD HAVE PROBABLY BEEN ABLE TO HIRE IN AT ANY ONE OF THE ABOVE. ANY ONE APPLYING FOR WORK HERE IS APPLYING FOR A SOUND FUTURE.

April 02 2012 at 4:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Linda Elrod

It is amazing who gets hired for government or government contractors jobs nowadays considering they perform background investigations and have stringent work requirements. In the past, you were tested with your test score, previous work experience, education, and job evaluations counting towards a rating. A best qualified list (BQL) was made up of those with the highest ratings and only those on the BQL were considered preferred applicants. I guess like in all things now, it is who you know or who you have slept with and not what you know. Perhaps that is why our government is having so many problems?.

February 12 2012 at 6:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
auntbert1925

To many advertisements

February 12 2012 at 12:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
auntbert1925

To many advertisments

February 12 2012 at 12:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
GLENN

i worked and retired at boeing as an engineer. It is a great place to work

January 15 2012 at 6:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mjoutfit

Know a fellow who has all the certification required for working on all aspects of aviation maintenance and repair. He has had to move around a lot, following jobs provided by 'contractors', as this industry, like many others, out source stuff in a plan to deny benefits to employees. He applied and recently was interviewed by Boeing. They offered him a job... doesn't require any certification, and would represent a $10/hr pay cut, plus he has to sign an agreement he will not apply for a better job within the company for a year (all new hires are thus limited, they told him). While he would like the stability they claim, it is hard to take a job that pays 2/3's of your accustomed pay check, and the fact this job will not enhance his resume also troubles him. The good news is: although he can find few stable companies, he has no problem finding jobs, something many Americans, unfortunately, can no longer say.

January 09 2012 at 11:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gary Allen

It is amazing to read about the complainers comments. It is always someone else to blame for their failures. It is never their problems always someone else. I worked there 34 years and was treated with fairness every step of the way. One of the truely innovative companies in the world. There is more advanced technology going on there than all the high tech companies added together.

July 10 2011 at 4:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rebel Chris

"These seven affinity groups collectively have more than 90 local chapters: The Boeing American Indian Society, Asian-American Professional Association, Black Employees Association, Employees Ability Awareness Association, Association of Gay, Lesbian, Bi, Transgender Employees & Friends, Hispanic Employees Network and Women in Leadership".

What, nothing for Anglo-Americans or men? That's racist and sexist.

By the way, my brother worked for Boeing in Everett WA for a while, until they let a ton of workers go. He was then offered his old job back at a lesser salary. Yeah, real great company to work for.

July 03 2011 at 9:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Rebel Chris's comment
mjoutfit

I would suggest you start your own group... for angry white men who feel sorry for themselves. Something like 'Casper's Honky Club', maybe... and don't forget the hand painted sign on the door, "No Chicks Allowed".

January 09 2012 at 12:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sagg1948

I ahve worked at Boeing for 26 years, nepetism is rampant at Boeing if you are a manager no problem your whole family will get a management job or a T&O job. If you are an unknown trying to get hired good luck. They are the worst company I have worked at when it comes to hiring for preferred treatment.

June 05 2011 at 11:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Fran

Boeing co. is a good co. if you can market your self every 5 years or so when your job ends it the same as lockheed or any other defence job they last for a bit then you need to find a new job with-in the company. I mananged to hold on for 17 years at lockheed looking for a new job about every 5 years or so with-in lockheed. so good luck

May 29 2011 at 9:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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