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Final Report Card for the Open Market

It has now been six weeks since I found out I was being excessed and two weeks since I found a new job. Throughout the process of my job search I relied entirely on the Open Market Hiring System run through the NYC Schools web site. The fact I was hired relatively quickly and easily implies the system is a success, but that doesn’t mean we can’t examine it a bit deeper. First I’ll give some background on the Open Market system, then some number from my search, and finally my unofficial report card for the Open Market.

The Open Market Hiring System can be found by clicking through the careers section of the NYC schools web site. It’s designed to allow any NYC schools employee from teachers to guidance counselors to search for open positions within the system. Using your employee ID it doesn’t take more than few minutes to create an account. From there you can create an application with your basic information, a cover letter and resume, and begin your search for open positions.

The day I found out I was excessed I went straight to the web site, created an account, and within an hour or so I’d already applied to more than 20 schools.

A look at my job search by the numbers:

Total time spent on Open Market web site: Approx. 3 hours
Total number of positions applied for: 49
Total number of interviews offered: 3
Total notifications of vacancies filled: 27
Time between first application and first interview: 11 days
Time between first application and first job offer: 26 days

A Final (Unofficial) Report Card for the Open Market:

Overall Accessibility and Ease of Use: For regular internet users, the site is relatively easy to access and navigate. The interface itself is somewhat awkward though, and as with pretty much every DOE site I’ve used (Webmail, Payroll Portal…) error messages abound. B –
Application Process: As I said earlier, it was a simple, straightforward process. It would have been nice however, if there was an option to upload a cover letter and resume instead of having to copy and paste at the expense of a decent looking typeface and a border. B +
Search Function: I was able to find hundreds of elementary schools looking to fill teaching positions. You can search by SSO, ISC, Location, District, Title or Subject. One nice touch would be the option to search by date. A –
Quality of Information: Unfortunately the vast majority of schools on the Open Market did not fill out specifics such as grade level. If the DOE wanted to put their accountability efforts to goode use, it would also be nice to find information about schools’ quality reviews and report cards directly on the Open Market web site. C +
Results: Three interviews from 49 applications doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence. It’s hard to tell if it’s because principals are being glutted with applicants or if they’re simply choosing to go through other channels, i.e. personal references, to make their hires. Then again, I did get a job. B
Overall Grade: If the results speak for themselves, then the Open Market is a success. However, had I not found a good fit on my second interview, I would still be looking, and I haven’t gotten any responses from the Open Market since July 3rd. If I was still looking, I would have to ditch the Open Market and hit the pavement to look for a job the old fashioned way. B

Have you used the Open Market Hiring System this summer to look for a job or to fill a position? Feel free to leave your comments or own report card below!

Ruben Brosbe just finished his second year teaching in the Bronx. He is writing about his experiences looking for a new position after being excessed this spring. He also blogs at Is Our Children Learning?

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