Monday, April 18, 2011

Telestaff Hiring; Comments and Concerns

Heads up LACo Recurrents:

Please review the memo from Recurrent, Brigitte Steinmetz, below regarding the recently implemented Telestaff computer hiring program.

If you have any comments, please communicate with Brigitte directly.



Brigitte Steinmetz 10:24am Apr 18

Hello Fellow LG Recurrents,

I've recently sent an email to LACOLA listing some of the issues some recurrents, including myself, have had with the new telestaff system. Based on the feedback I was given it sounds like Telestaff will be a topic of concern at the next board meeting. I was asked to put together a letter re: how Telestaff is working for recurrents. I am looking for feedback from as many recurrents as possible. So far I am limited to central section since that is where I work.

In order to create an effective letter I not only need feedback from many, but we also need to detail both pros and cons. In addition, suggestions on how to make the system better need to be proposed.

I will greatly appreciate all information received. So far the following feedback has been given:

1) Online access to availability list. Don't have to drive in or call in to HQ to make yourself available.

2) Can look up hiring status - see how many people are ahead of you in re: to hiring.

3) Those that check daily can see how many people ahead of them have gotten hired and can gauge their chances for work toward the end of the week.

1) Online system does not allow multiple day availability. You must go through the availability process (3 steps) for each calendar day. It takes 30-40 seconds for the technologically savvy on a high speed connection. You can only choose multiple days on a county computer, which recurrents do not have access to. Suggestion: program the system to allow recurrents to make themselves available multiple days at a time.

2) The system passes people up quickly. If the phone call is missed you have less than a minute to call back. It takes more than a minute to dial and login. Once passed up, some recurrents have found it difficult to get back into the system. They wind up calling HQ. Not all HQ personnel know the program inside/out, which has created more frustration. Suggestion: Use the system for availability purposes, but have HQ personnel call recurrents.

3) Some recurrents feel that they have be more diligent about waiting by the phone. Going to bathroom where cell phone reception is poor in some places has posed a problem when the phone call comes. In addition, several recurrents workout in the morning before a shift. We are required to maintain a certain level of fitness/skill and are expected to train outside of work. On duty workouts are not guaranteed especially during the off season with a skeleton crew. During the fall/spring seasons I rarely like to workout on duty due to the fact that there is more water/beach to cover making it harder to lifeguard. Before Telestaff, lifeguards could go for a surf, a paddle, a swim, a hike, a run, etc. Oftentimes, I personally, like a lot of other recurrents, would call HQ, let them know where I was/what I was doing, and ask them to leave a message stating where/what time my shift was. If I was at the beach they would call the main station I was working out in front of to get a hold of me. I was able to get my workout in off duty. It is often difficult to hear or feel the phone while running and inexpensive waterproof phones don’t exist. Suggestion: Use the system for availability purposes, but have HQ personnel call recurrents. That way we can call in and let them know if we are working out and to leave a message.

4) Telestaff randomly assigns lifeguards to assignments. On a day where the list is exhausted inexperienced may be placed by inexperienced. When competent HQ captians do the hiring this situation is sometimes minimized.Suggestion: Use the system for availability purposes, but have HQ personnel call recurrents placing them appropriately.

5) Rumor has it that his program is very expensive. I have made some phone calls, but have not verified the cost of the program. Suggestion: weigh benefit vs. cost. How many recurrents are not being hired as a result of the cost of this program?

In central section some HQ captians have stopped using the system to call recurrents and have resorted to calling recurrents like before. This seems to work better and there have been less problems with passing up recurrents. Not all captains in central are doing this.

Again, I reiterate the importance of addressing ALL pros and cons in order to establish a better system sooner than later; especially now when all of us are itching for off season work.

Feel free to pass this along to other recurrents that did not get this memo..

You can either respond on FB or email me at

Thanks again for all your feedback.

With Thought,
Brigitte Steinmetz


Until next time.....

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1 comment:

Dan said...
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