Have you been laid off, permanently furloughed or looking to pivot into a new career in 2020? You may want to consider a career in cable because Spectrum is always looking to building a bright future in spite of change. They build it with their products and services, however they can’t build them unless they have people like you.
Below are Q&A’s that a recruiter has answered on behalf of the job seekers.
- Suppose you come in as a Customer Service Representative, with minimal experience from at least 6 months to 1 year. If you are looking to go into another department, do you offer training for that?
⦾ In fact, the customer service job posting only says you need 6 months of experience working with customers. It didn’t have to be from a call center and you don’t need to have a tech background. Once you go onboard, and generally after 6 months you go on an internal career progression.
⦾ There will be courses that you are required to take to move up. For example, in customer service – there are 4 levels of customer service. During your tenure, you do get merit increases but your bigger jumps in pay come as you complete the industry courses that we pay for and have you assigned to, so it’s really up to you where you go.
⦾ The key here is, once you get to Customer Service Level 4, that’s where you can start applying for let’s say a Floor Coach — which is lower than a Supervisor or you can decide whether you want to move over to the Quality Assurance Department, another department — but those are not internal progression roles. So for folks that are in the Customer Service Level 2 for two years, the company doesn’t prevent you from applying for a Supervisor — but in many cases, those who applied for the role, have already completed Customer Service Level 4, they’ve finished all their courses, and they’ve already moved over to Quality Assurance or something like that … so your internal competition tends to be as strong as you coming in externally, because you are competing with everybody who has the same and higher skills.
- What percentage of Spectrum jobs require a college degree?
⦾ I will not be able to give you a specific percentage however, I’ve went through the number of departments I’ve been in — Sales, Customer Service, IT, Engineering, Field Operations, etc., but in all of those I can only recall where it’s a Manager or Director role where a degree is required.
⦾ Most of the other departments will say that they prefer an Associate’s or Higher, except for the Entry-Level roles. In their case, they prefer a GED or higher.
⦾ But remember, “prefer” doesn’t mean you can get the role without it because they will appear on every job you look on the website. It will either say “A degree is required” OR “With a degree OR equivalent experience”.
⦾ By enlarge, most people aren’t bringing in a degree when it’s lower than a manager or director. They’re bringing some technical certifications with them, they’re bringing a high school diploma/some college, because we are focused to train you ourselves. We’ve got so many courses that we want you to take, that the department offers. You’ll be trained to become an industry expert sometime within the first 5 years.
- Does the Spectrum Careers page indicate the salary range?
⦾ No they don’t. However, I suggest that you check O*NET OnLine because Spectrum is a federal contractor and our jobs are linked to that website. So if you see a job title, let’s say 70,000 technicians and you see that their average salary is $30,000 a year. It gives you an idea.
- I come from a Graphic Design background and I want to go into a career change — possibly heading towards becoming a future technician? Are there any trainings that Spectrum offers?
⦾ Yes and no. If you’re going for a different career, there’s going to be some minimum qualifications there. You will hear that you can create a Functional Resume that focuses on your career skills as opposed as to where you work.
⦾ Look at the job description as it’s posted and you’ll see all the skills on that job description that you know that you can do.
⦾ Once you craft that resume, you can show those skills and how long you’ve used them. And your work history will be on the bottom.
⦾ Once you upload that resume, the recruiter will go through that folder and the system will flag you (to have your resume looked at) because you have the skills that the job has posted. That is how you get your foot in the door, I’ll be straightforward as a recruiter; we are required to look at every single resume. We have to interview those who are the most qualified first.
⦾ Once you have those crossover skills that you have listed on your resume, it will increase your chances of getting noticed and that phone call for the interview since you are showing them that you can bring that talent, those skills, those tools to the table.
⦾ You will then fall into the range of 1-100 of being the most qualified because you are still competing with how many people applied to that position — how much experience and skills they have. There’s a little bit of luck in terms of changing roles as well.
- Are there any trading schools for skills training related to what Spectrum is looking for in Field Tech? For example, if I want to become a low voltage technician?
⦾ Absolutely. Thankfully, there is the Workforce Investment Act that is funneled through the U.S. Department of Labor and the Workforce 1 stations where you can get training for those specific skills. You are capitalizing on what the federal government has already put in place.
⦾ So when we post a job for a technician, I’m going to be looking for someone who has about 6 months of technical experience where we typically find folks in that minimum range who graduated from APEX Technical School. Let me be specific. So a person who has graduated with a certification in low voltage from APEX Technical which is a 900 hour course, they may come in as Tech Level 1 if they have no other technical experience. But they are still considered because they have the minimum experience. So we interview that person. Again, don’t forget — it depends how many jobs that are there and how many people that applied at the same time.
But I am the one who usually call those candidates myself — to bring folks in from Tech Level 1 so by the time they are in Tech Level 5, we train them up from the beginning. Generally, it would be $17.50 for this role.
⦾ However, if a person graduates with their Network+ certification, that’s going to start at $26.50 since they will come in as Tech Level 4. Now, you would have made a difference of starting at $17.50 an hour to $26.50 an hour — just by doing that on your own. We also pay for the courses. However, if you paid for them yourself you will now just start at a higher level.
- If I do not have any experience. Will any trade school experience be credited? Are low voltage cable installer courses helpful?
⦾ APEX Technical, Comptia Network+, Comptia A+ Certifications, NEW (Non-Traditional Employment for Women), BICSI – are all certificate programs / providers we like to interview for the entry-level Field Tech. They will come in with only their Technical training cert between $17-$26.50 (depending on several variables).
⦾ Workforce Investment Act will pay for many of the training programs on your behalf through a Workforce 1 Center and their “training voucher” program. Stop by your WF1 office for details.
- How much of a hindrance would something like a very long period of unemployment be in getting hired? No one would hire me because I have been unemployed for a while and my unemployment just keeps getting longer and longer because of this. It’s a vicious cycle.
⦾ It is, and I understand that 100 percent. Good thing I will tell here is, that answer will vary depending on what company you go to – but as of 2013, you might see on our website – that we do not discriminate against anyone based on their employment history.
⦾ Now, it’s not uncommon for people to be a Director and they’re applying for an entry-level role. Many employers will say they would be overqualified. However, Spectrum doesn’t do that.
⦾ Some of them who are out of the workforce for 4 or 5 years, many employers would say they are unreliable. Spectrum doesn’t do that. We only go based on the job description and your qualifications.
⦾ So if you apply for something within Spectrum that you’ve done or did in the past, you will get a call. You just have to be ready to perform and bring up those skills in you. You wouldn’t get declined based on your length of unemployment. You will get the offer or not, based on how you perform on the interview.
- I saw a Customer Service position in a Spectrum store. Are they salary based or just commission based?
⦾ The Retail Store / Cable Store rep has both part time openings and full time openings. There are two types of roles.
⦾ One is a Customer Experience Rep – that will be the title when it’s posted. It’s entry level and is wage based. No sales. You might also see it posted from time to time as a “store greeter”.
⦾ The Retail Store Rep is the other (so titled; in some areas of the country its called simply “Cable Store Rep”. NYC its called “Retail Store Rep”. This is also hourly wage. No upselling is a requirement for the role, however, should you upsell and close the sale, you would get commission on the upsell. So, in this case it’s “base + Commission” in practice, but technically, its just hourly wage.
- Will AI automation take over all customer service jobs? I always prefer people to people.
⦾ Great question! And your suggest of preferring “people to people” indicates there will be in person service reps for the foreseeable future for us.
⦾ Remember, Spectrum needs customers to be able to connect with their services and with the company in a way that best benefits the customer experience.
⦾ A number for customers are not tech savvy and still mail letters at the post office, and some are “customer service savvy” and would rather not wait in line for a chat or a phone call, so its easier for them to just go into the store, since they know that will be the solution to their problem anyway. And some are very Tech saavy, and would not want to speak with anyone in person, or via phone – they get their need met via chat only.
⦾ So for now, Spectrum Stores and store associates are an important part of the Charter organization. Additionally, we have the Customer Help Desk who uses both phone and Chat to manage customer needs.
⦾ Spectrum Store employees help the Sales & Marketing organization drive sales, retain customers and provide personal interaction and knowledge through exceptional customer service. With more than 3,500 retail employees and nearly 700 stores nationwide, Charter has more locations than many top retailers. To find a Spectrum Store near you, click here. You can also find some details on Cable Store Reps.
⦾ That said, while Call Center, and Cable Stores and the in-person experience are an essential customer link for us right now, as noted in the presentation, the future changes due to changes in consumer tastes and interests. For sure we will anticipate the change, and adapt to it as need dictates in order to relevant.
- Will they train and field technical without any background experience?
⦾ It’s not out of the question; and it has been done frequently in the past. However, the key factor here is how many spots do we have open when you apply.
⦾ Let’s say we have 100 Field Tech spots available. We fill 80 of them with people with some experience. If we still have open spots and no new candidates with experience apply, then, the hiring managers start to look at “cross-over skills”… that is what OTHER skills do you bring as shown on your resume? Does your resume show a history of consistently sticking to your goals; do you stay on jobs for a long time or short; during the interview, did you come across as teachable and focused on success, or “just need a job” attitude.
⦾ So, technically, the answer is YES, but in practice, usually we don’t post so many Techs spots that we run out of candidates with “some” experience.
- What if someone has over 20 years experience in customer service not call center experience?
⦾ That’s a win-win for us – depends how it works for you.
⦾ The customer Service – Video Repair rep is hourly pay; no commission or sales. It currently pays $20/hr.
⦾ If you have 20+ years in customer service, customer account management, resolving customer concerns. You’ll do well on the interview.
⦾ But, there is a computerized assessment you would have to first pass to get the interview. The test is designed to answer the question, “Has this applicant the aptitude and / or experience to work in a call center?”
⦾ If you’ve worked in a call center (like 311, Geico, Telemarketing, Survey Center), for certain you’ll pass the assessment based on your experience alone – but if you’ve never worked in a call center but have the aptitude for it, you’ll still pass the assessment. But, if that really just isn’t your thing, for sure you wouldn’t pass the assessment – then, the system will notify you your application will not be moved forward.
⦾ If all of those factors work for you, then, you should give it a try and apply.
- Is Spectrum currently hiring for interns in marketing/communications? If so, how much training is provided to assist new hires?
⦾ Yes and no.
⦾ We have an annual internship program across the country. The internships post the first week of February, and interns are selected for the summer internship by May. They start their paid internships in June and continue until the middle of august. This year’s internship ended on Friday, August 14th, 2020. We did have Marketing interns this year.
⦾ However, how the program works, is, in December, each department that WANTS to have an intern will submit the request for an intern at that time (to ensure it gets costed into the budget for the next year.)
⦾ Then, when budget review is complete, those departments whose budget allowed for an intern will then send a request to the Talent Acquisition department to secure an intern for the program.
⦾ So, while its very usual to have Marketing interns each year, it’s not ALWAYS the case, and we don’t actually know yet what departments will request interns. So, best bet is to wait till February, then visit the website and search for the word INTERN. All internship roles will be posted. Apply to the one you meet the job requirement. (Generally, there is a lot of competition because very little experience is required – instead they are looking at educational goals, volunteer experiences, what you major currently is in school… that sort of thing. Obviously having some prior experience related to the Major will be a plus).
⦾ The only other option is Spectrum Networks usually has a 1 year internship. But, its not paid. You work in the Broadcast media division for 1 year as an apprentice – kind of, I should say. Then, a job full time job is offered to you after you graduate in the department you’ve been working in. It’s a lot of work, and not everyone’s cup of tea. But, it can work for the right person. It will also post usually in February when they have it.
⦾ In either case, though, training is part of the internship – its designed to give you real work experience in a role / department related to your degree.
- What the hourly rate are for Customer Service Representative? How many hours per can you work? What are times for work schedule?
⦾ If you apply to the NYC locations for example, the CSR is $18.50/hr base pay + $0.75 for Night Differential base on shift
⦾ Current Training Schedule Six (6) weeks
⦾ 100% attendance mandatory
⦾ TUESDAY – SATURDAY 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
⦾ After Training Work Shift: 1:00 pm – 10:00 pm (anticipate having this shift for at least 6 months or more before having a chance to change shifts.) | (Two consecutive weekdays off, will be required to work Saturday & Sunday as part of the work schedule and most holidays)
⦾ Normally a 40 hr work week; but overtime is available at times. Generally, floor leadership will seek volunteers for overtime and Exceptional Employees sign themselves up for it.
- How should I apply & what are recruiters exactly looking for on resume or cover letter?
⦾ Apply here: General job applications are found at the website : jobs.spectrum.com. Once they apply, they can let you and I know, and I’ll take a look and offer advice or make connections deemed appropriate.
⦾ In general, a good resume must have : 1) Contact Section 2) Chronological Experience Section (covering at least the last 7 years), and 3) Education / Additional Skills, Certifications section
a. I advise to read the job description first. Each job will have a section that shows “required qualifications/skills” and possibly a “preferred qualifications” section as well.
b. The Resume MUST list how your job experience matched those hiring manager requested skills and experiences. (other sections will include education and training as well.)
c. Remember to list accomplishments as well on your resume – they should tell us
i. What you did
ii. How well you did it
iii. Its impact on the business / project
So, the resume is the first chance the hiring manager gets to see if you can perform the duties of the role. Use it as your marketing tool to highlight how you’ve done what they’re requesting.