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Agency hiring, interviewing candidates inside their cars

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    Davenport, IA (WQAD) — The coronavirus pandemic is putting a historic number of people out of work. It’s also changing hiring practices for those organizations still hiring.

At the Handicapped Development Center in Davenport, a nonprofit supporting people with disabilities, Chief Adminstration Officer Carol Foster is looking to hire workers in essential roles.

“We have all kinds of positions available,” she said. “We have almost 400 employees at HDC, so we have lots of positions that are available, first, second and third shift.”

“So we decided we would do something a little out of the box.”

Staff took the entire interviewing process out of the box, and into the parking lot on Thursday afternoon.

At 1 P.M. when the drive-thru job interviews were scheduled to begin, several applicants were ready to go, parked in their car.

Davenport resident Debbie Sheets was recently laid off from her job in food service with the Davenport School District.

“I work at North High School,” she said. “I’ve worked there for 25 years”

After schools switched to distant learning, “there’s nowhere for me to go as far as employment, nothing to do, so I wanted to come out, see if I can do something different.”

She didn’t have to venture too far beyond her comfort zone, staying right in her car to fill out the application for a position as Resident Aide at HDC.

“Just come and drive up. I said, I can do that,” she laughed. “So here I am.”

After she filled out her application, she waived a sign reading “Hiring Happy” to signal to HDC staff she was ready for her interview.

“We’re finding out all kinds of interesting things. Normally we don’t see people’s cars or we don’t see inside people’s cars. But actually people have been very open to this type of format,” Foster said.

Susan Sorgenfrey used to teach English as a second language at the Blackhawk Outreach Center. She applied for an instructor position.

“It wasn’t nearly as threatening as typical interviews can be.

She said the in-car interview made it easier for her to be herself: “It was way more relaxing than it normally is.”

“It was way better than doing a phone interview. You have to see the person that you’re working with. There’s something to be said for the expression of the person, what they’re wearing. There’s a lot more communication going on when you’re talking to someone than just the voice.”

“So we decided we would do something a little out of the box.”

The staff took the entire interviewing process out of the box, and into the parking lot on Thursday afternoon.

At 1 P.M. when the drive-thru job interviews were scheduled to begin, several applicants were ready to go, parked in their car.

Davenport resident Debbie Sheets was recently laid off from her job in foodservice with the Davenport School District.

“I work at North High School,” she said. “I’ve worked there for 25 years”

After schools switched to distant learning, “there’s nowhere for me to go as far as employment, nothing to do, so I wanted to come out, see if I can do something different.”

This interview might mean a new job for these job seekers. This format could be the future of job hunting for the rest of us.

Anyone who has missed the drive-thru interview can still go to the Handicapped Development Center website to see which jobs are available and apply online.

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CNN

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