So I applied to be an ETL last week

Joined
Oct 14, 2011
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#1
I wanted to conduct a little experiment last week. Really out of morbid curiosity than anything else. It occurred to me.... where the hell does target find these ETLs that come in to our store, know not a damn thing about anything, treat people like they are god even though they have essentially done nothing in life, and have zero leadership skills to speak of?

So I went on the Target careers site and looked for info on how to apply to be an ETL. It was an interesting experience just at this point because the hiring site for ETLs is completely different than for TMs. Basically the TM hiring site is designed for idiots with page by page answers holding your hand like they assume you would be too stupid to fill out a long form or anything more complicated than "Yes or No" check boxes.

Anyway - I found my way on the ETL site. I had to create a resume and fill out various forms of information.

So I applied as a person with no work history other than being a cashier at McDonalds, and I put that I was terminated after 8 months. I also claimed to have a bachelors degree in criminal justice (basically a degree well known as being near worthless), and also graduated with a 2.1 GPA. (barely passing all the way through college basically) I also put that it was from University of Phoenix online. (basically a joke online degree)

I just wanted to see what happened. Would they be interested in someone who basically came across as a worthless, lazy slacker who had basically a diploma mill degree from an online school?

So this Wednesday all of a sudden I get an email from some kind of human resources executive (not an ETL-HR, but someone with a district HR title). The email was personally written to me telling me that she couldn't get in touch with me at my phone number after trying "multiple times", and that she was extremely interested in interviewing me ASAP. She even offered to rearrange her schedule and let me pick a day and time, and even offered to do the interview as late as 8PM and on a weekend if it was convenient for me.

So yesterday I emailed her back with some BS story telling her I already found a new job and wasn't interested anymore. She wrote back with some fake ass "that's great news good luck on your future" email and told me to apply back if I ever was interested.

It was pretty god damn incredible. Here I was with only one job ever - McDonalds and got fired from it and one of the lowest level degrees you could possibly get.... and they were fully on track to possibly hiring me less than a week after I applied! Not only that, she was willing to bend over backwards to interview me whenever the hell I wanted. Too bad I couldn't take it further.... it would have been fun to see how much further I could have taken it.

This just proved my worst fears about why ETLs seem to be completely inept and worthless these days. They will take anyone apparently as long as you have that piece of paper that says degree on it.

And before anyone tells me Target is going to track me down.... I didn't do anything bad. Just applied for a job and backed out. No harm done, and they suspect nothing unusual. Also I used my brothers computer at his apartment (he has zero to do with Target), and also gave them his phone number knowing that he never answers calls from anyone not on his contacts. I also used a bogus email address I made up. And yes, my application was completely fake - fake name, fake degree, fake work history, nothing that would lead back to me. I also applied at a store 300+ miles away.

It was damn interesting though. When TMs come in to get interviewed at my store they are called by our rude ass clerical TM, told when to be there, and once they get there they are made to wait until an ETL decides they feel like doing an interview. No one sends them personal emails full of feel good BS. I have seen people wait in clerical for over an hour past when they had their interview scheduled and get treated like crap the whole way through. Apparently if you apply for an ETL job you are treated like Jesus Christ himself.

So next time we get a new hire ETL who acts like a king and treats every TM like they are not worth even making eye contact with I will be wondering if he was hired after getting termed from burger king.
 
L

Ludwig3

Guest
#3
I love this. We need more of this inside mole activity happening! It seems to be the norm now with a lot of us here, displeasure with our ETL's. When I first started 3 years ago, I was under the impression ETL's were former TL's that were promoted and climbed the latter (like any regular business). Not the case with Spot! They are hiring execs strictly on their degree with little to no idea of the Target brand. It's hard to blame assumptions and propaganda by team members when experiments like this prove us right!
 
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#4
While i agree it's interesting, it proves nothing aside from one application, in one district, at one time of year, received what appeared to be a generous interview process. No job was offered, no sample size was had... It's interesting, nothing more, nothing less.
 
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#5
Wow, this company is beyond pathetic.

My store is a training store for ETLs, it's ridiculous how much hand-holding the TMs have to do to get these people to grasp how to work on the sales floor. I don't know how any of them got hired. Well, I guess now I do know. Target has no standards beyond a fancy piece of paper.
 
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#6
This is indeed a bit disturbing. So to be a leader, no skills, a really short work history, and poor people skills, wow Target has really set the bar low for leaderships. Makes me wonder about the people who work at Corporate.
 
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#7
As I said many times, nothing surprises me at Target anymore. The longer I work for spot, the more I am not surprised.

But hey, don't fret guys, most of these brainless ETL's never last longer than a couple of years anyway, then we get a whole new crop in. I have outlasted dozens of ETL's and I am still hanging on...to what I have no idea!
 
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buliSBI

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#9
Most of the new ETL hires I met starting around 2006 were recruited straight out of college.

I have talked to store managers for other stores around my last Target, and they said they have 10+ years retail & management experience where at most they just get called to attend a Target recruitment meeting. But never get called for interviews. Or nothing at all. Yet fresh out of college recruits get all the jobs.
 
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#10
it would be interesting to see if that was the case for several apps... did you just get in touch with a good hr person? if you apply in another region would the response be the same?

i treat everyone equally regardless of what is on their app. but ive seen etls openly mock our applicants. i wonder if the people in charge of online recruitment are any better.
 
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#12
While i agree it's interesting, it proves nothing aside from one application, in one district, at one time of year, received what appeared to be a generous interview process. No job was offered, no sample size was had... It's interesting, nothing more, nothing less.
^The voice of reason.
 
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#13
I told my etl-hr I would write a few great team cards for a moment of her time. I showed her this thread and she said there is a metric where university of phoenix graduates need to be hired 95 percent of the time. Within one week and you are green. Two weeks yellow, three weeks red, four weeks dark red, 5 weeks extra dark read, 6 weeks marroon, etc, etc.

Anyways let's also make sure we are asking our guests CIHYFS and lets try to get some redcards today. Now I have to wait fifteen seconds and ask "Hey team, is there anyone who can reply to this?"
 
OP
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#14
I told my etl-hr I would write a few great team cards for a moment of her time. I showed her this thread and she said there is a metric where university of phoenix graduates need to be hired 95 percent of the time. Within one week and you are green. Two weeks yellow, three weeks red, four weeks dark red, 5 weeks extra dark read, 6 weeks marroon, etc, etc.

Anyways let's also make sure we are asking our guests CIHYFS and lets try to get some redcards today. Now I have to wait fifteen seconds and ask "Hey team, is there anyone who can reply to this?"
Are you kidding me???? They want 95% of ETLs to actually be from online "schools"??? I have seen everything now.
 
OP
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#15
it would be interesting to see if that was the case for several apps... did you just get in touch with a good hr person? if you apply in another region would the response be the same?

i treat everyone equally regardless of what is on their app. but ive seen etls openly mock our applicants. i wonder if the people in charge of online recruitment are any better.
Mock in what way?
 
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#16
I told my etl-hr I would write a few great team cards for a moment of her time. I showed her this thread and she said there is a metric where university of phoenix graduates need to be hired 95 percent of the time.
I don't believe it. Maybe it's just in your district or state or something like that.... but literally every single ETL in my store went to local collages in my state. I even had classes with two of them.
 
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#17
I don't believe it. Maybe it's just in your district or state or something like that.... but literally every single ETL in my store went to local collages in my state. I even had classes with two of them.
I agree, I can't think of any logical reason that Target would have a policy like that.
 
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#18
I agree, I can't think of any logical reason that Target would have a policy like that.
Exactly. Online colleges do not have a good reputation with so many employers, I really don't think Target would be any different. They would definitely choose someone who graduated from a traditional college over an online college, however I could see them choosing an applicant with a degree from University of Phoenix over someone who has no degree.
 
OP
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#20
I don't think they get paid that good for having to work 60 hour weeks.... Just saying.
What stores are you guys working at that ETLs are putting 60 hour weeks????

I am a TL and I am in constant observance of when ETLs enter and exit the building. (mostly to cover my ass) There are absolutely zero ETLs in my store who put in anything over 40 hours. Hell, I know for a fact our ETL-GE regularly puts in less - many weeks as low as 32 hours yet she is getting paid the same due to being salary.

Actually pay attention to when ETLs are in the building, and when you aren't there ask TMs who cover other shifts what ETLs were there. Eventually you will realize a lot of them never break 40 hours a week with perhaps the only exception being 4th quarter. Also pay attention to how they use your Sr TLs.... at my store they regularly schedule our Sr TLs to close at a minimum 4 nights a week by themselves, and often will have them be either the only opener or mid. This allows the ETLs to work much less because they are having your Sr TLs close. As long as they manage the schedule to keep at least one Sr/ETL in the building at all times it allows the others to work much less. At my store they are pro's at doing this.
 
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#21
Hats off to the ETL-LOG, my experience has been that they put in more work and have more dedication than just about any one else in the building.
 
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#22
unless they got a good team, then it's an easy job because they can go on auto pilot. And I was totally bull************ting in my last post in this thread. Bullseye is mostly bull************ anyway!!!
 
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#23
My old ETL-Log honestly used to work 15 hour days regularly. He was seriously the hardest working person in the store.

Suffice to say he recently left for greener pastures like all the good ones do, and was promptly replaced with a freaking monkey.
 
B

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#24
What stores are you guys working at that ETLs are putting 60 hour weeks????

I am a TL and I am in constant observance of when ETLs enter and exit the building. (mostly to cover my ass) There are absolutely zero ETLs in my store who put in anything over 40 hours. Hell, I know for a fact our ETL-GE regularly puts in less - many weeks as low as 32 hours yet she is getting paid the same due to being salary.

Actually pay attention to when ETLs are in the building, and when you aren't there ask TMs who cover other shifts what ETLs were there. Eventually you will realize a lot of them never break 40 hours a week with perhaps the only exception being 4th quarter. Also pay attention to how they use your Sr TLs.... at my store they regularly schedule our Sr TLs to close at a minimum 4 nights a week by themselves, and often will have them be either the only opener or mid. This allows the ETLs to work much less because they are having your Sr TLs close. As long as they manage the schedule to keep at least one Sr/ETL in the building at all times it allows the others to work much less. At my store they are pro's at doing this.
We're a higher volume Super-T. We never use SR.TLs for LOD... Don't think we have that many SR.TLs anyway. We close with at least 2 ETLs every night of the week. I suppose its possible for lower volume GM stores to have ETLs put in a lot less hours, but they work some pretty hefty shifts at my store (10 or more hours).

For what they get paid, all the hours + stress wouldn't be worth it in my opinion.
 
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#26
Wow, this is really interesting.

I do know, however, that although Target will get a LOT of people in for interviews, they are still pretty selective for the ETL position. For example, when I spoke to a recruiter originally, there were also about 10 other people from my college who were applying for the ETL position. I'm the only one that got it. So, yes, though perhaps they might be a little too lax in screening resumes, it seems like they put the focus on a person's interview. I personally like that, because candidates SHOULD be selected based on more than a piece of paper (even a resume) though I don't believe someone with the resume you threw together should have been called!

The other thing to consider is that perhaps the recruiters are required to interview a certain number of candidates, and this recruiter didn't have many applicants at that time. So why not have an interview, check that box, and end the process at that? I can understand the recruiter's perspective if that's the case.
 
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#27
I love this. We need more of this inside mole activity happening! It seems to be the norm now with a lot of us here, displeasure with our ETL's. When I first started 3 years ago, I was under the impression ETL's were former TL's that were promoted and climbed the latter (like any regular business). Not the case with Spot! They are hiring execs strictly on their degree with little to no idea of the Target brand. It's hard to blame assumptions and propaganda by team members when experiments like this prove us right!
I have worked under several that actually started at TM's and worked their ways up. they were really awesome!!! you can tell which ones started as Tm's and which ones started out of school. the tm ones, work their butts off, working right along side of of you. none of this 80/20. my store has had several awesome tms-promoted up the scale to etl and a couple to stl. there is hope for all out there.
 
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#28
That is most definitely great news to hear!! Still hope for many people who put in the work and get the degree. I spoke to my exec about it recently. I have a year left and I was told "run a green workcenter, great leadership statuses (this was suggested by my DTL) and ideally develop a top performing TM who can take over for me when promotion time comes.
 
OP
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#30
That is most definitely great news to hear!! Still hope for many people who put in the work and get the degree. I spoke to my exec about it recently. I have a year left and I was told "run a green workcenter, great leadership statuses (this was suggested by my DTL) and ideally develop a top performing TM who can take over for me when promotion time comes.
Just be aware that your exec has zero say in you being an ETL. When you apply for ETL you will not even be dealing with anyone at your store. Not even your STL.

It would be like a TM asking you what about being a TL. You can have your opinion on it, but at the end of the day you really have no say in the matter. (unless you have something serious on the TM to bring to someones attention, anyway)
 

mrknownothing

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#31
I have worked under several that actually started at TM's and worked their ways up. they were really awesome!!! you can tell which ones started as Tm's and which ones started out of school. the tm ones, work their butts off, working right along side of of you. none of this 80/20. my store has had several awesome tms-promoted up the scale to etl and a couple to stl. there is hope for all out there.
As far as I can tell, my ETLs seem to be the type that started out as TMs (in fact, my ETL-GE was once a specialist) - they seem to know their stuff. However, we had an ETL-in-training over the summer and you could tell she was the fresh-out-of-college type.
 

redeye58

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#33
About half of our ETLs worked their way up; the others are the glee-club hires.
Anyone who's been with spot for a while can figure out the long-timers vs the noobs.
 
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#34
So, honestly, what are the chances of a team member ever becoming an ETL? Does that even happen anymore? Or am I doomed to stay a tm forever in Target's eyes since that is how I started? Just wondering. I have a four-year degree and years of retail experience, even interviewed for an ETL spot several years ago before deciding to take a different job. Does the fact that I joined Target as a team member mean that's all I will ever be seen as? Just curious as to how this works at Spot.
 
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#35
Wait I was under the impression that an STL can recommend a TL for ETL interviews by bringing it to the district's attention that "this person got his/her degree and wants to further their career. They are top performing so we should interview them". That's when they send you for round robins with other STL's. Unless you go te internship route is there another ETL route I'm forgetting?
 
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#36
Wait I was under the impression that an STL can recommend a TL for ETL interviews by bringing it to the district's attention that "this person got his/her degree and wants to further their career. They are top performing so we should interview them". That's when they send you for round robins with other STL's. Unless you go te internship route is there another ETL route I'm forgetting?
Yup. You go to the Target website and straight up apply for an open ETL posting. Bypasses the STL entirely.
 
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#38
In my store, the exec staff is split down the middle. Two worked their way up and two were off the street hires. Our STL started out as a cart attendant. I feel really lucky because I really love our entire exec staff. They're great.
 
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#39
We only have one,and that etl is probably the only one on the etl team who is not activly looking for another job.
 

Rock Lobster

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#40
Just be aware that your exec has zero say in you being an ETL. When you apply for ETL you will not even be dealing with anyone at your store. Not even your STL.

It would be like a TM asking you what about being a TL. You can have your opinion on it, but at the end of the day you really have no say in the matter. (unless you have something serious on the TM to bring to someones attention, anyway)
It all depends on your district, the DTL, and your store leadership... The best ETLs and STLs will build relationships outside of their store and communicate with their DTLs and even their GTLs... If they have those relationships then yes, it is possible for them to influence a TM or TLs promotion to ETL! I have seen a non-recent grad, long time TL promote to ETL in the last year because the STL had those connections!

Now once you get to interviews, its up to the person to pass them obviously, but that isn't any different than any promotion! Half the battle is getting sent to interviews, and if the DTL passes you then it becomes a lot more manageable of a battle after that...
 

Rock Lobster

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#41
So, honestly, what are the chances of a team member ever becoming an ETL? Does that even happen anymore? Or am I doomed to stay a tm forever in Target's eyes since that is how I started? Just wondering. I have a four-year degree and years of retail experience, even interviewed for an ETL spot several years ago before deciding to take a different job. Does the fact that I joined Target as a team member mean that's all I will ever be seen as? Just curious as to how this works at Spot.
Most districts will value being a recent grad over EVERYTHING else... which means you got your degree within the last year... doesn't matter if you worked for Target before or not really! If anything working for Target before might hurt a bit but if you are in good standings there is no reason it would completely stop you (unless you made enemies in your time there)...

In your case (having your degree for a while as a TM)... It isn't impossible, but more likely than not if you were to go for a promotion you would have to climb up the ladder (first to TL, then probably Senior, then ETL)... Unless your district has ETL staffing issues, in which case they may give you a look... Its hard to say without knowing specifics!

I will say my number one Target rule when it comes to promotions... "They will never move you from your current position until they have a job open where they need you MORE!"
 

Parker51

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#42
I wanted to conduct a little experiment last week. Really out of morbid curiosity than anything else.
To really make this an interesting experiment, you'll have to add an experimental control. For example, submit another application (you'll need another willing volunteer with a different name, of course). Make their application the opposite, but not too crazy. Some suggestions:

- Degree in business, marketing, or economics from a reputable state or private (preferably religious, e.g., Jesuit, Wesleyan, etc.) school with a 3.0 GPA.

- Fraternity, sorority, or other student organization membership, and in a leadership position.

- Maybe some professional or avocational experience in fashion or modeling (Spot wants attractive, well-dressed, employees as much as anyone else).

- Substantial retail work experience at a recognizable store that represents Spot's competition.

Now, if no one followed up with an experienced person like this, that would make a much stronger case for your hypothesis that Spot doesn't want to hire anyone with substantial experience (too much $$$, or have to re-teach them into the Ways of the Bullseye). Otherwise, one reasonable alternative explanation would be that the HR person just had an interview quota to meet, but you wouldn't have gotten much past the original screening.
 
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#43
To really make this an interesting experiment, you'll have to add an experimental control. For example, submit another application (you'll need another willing volunteer with a different name, of course). Make their application the opposite, but not too crazy. Some suggestions:

- Degree in business, marketing, or economics from a reputable state or private (preferably religious, e.g., Jesuit, Wesleyan, etc.) school with a 3.0 GPA.

- Fraternity, sorority, or other student organization membership, and in a leadership position.

- Maybe some professional or avocational experience in fashion or modeling (Spot wants attractive, well-dressed, employees as much as anyone else).

- Substantial retail work experience at a recognizable store that represents Spot's competition.

Now, if no one followed up with an experienced person like this, that would make a much stronger case for your hypothesis that Spot doesn't want to hire anyone with substantial experience (too much $$$, or have to re-teach them into the Ways of the Bullseye). Otherwise, one reasonable alternative explanation would be that the HR person just had an interview quota to meet, but you wouldn't have gotten much past the original screening.
Even if I were to create an impressive looking profile and apply I am sure they would contact me.... The thing is, however, we don't know what would happen after the actual interview. In your experiment this dream team ETL would likely end up being offered a Sr ETL or STL spot right off the bat. Unfortunately there is no way to test the interview and beyond.

I think, however, that this theory about a "quota" is BS. No company is going to sit around calling people in for interviews if they don't potentially plan to hire them.

If your theory about some "ETL interview quota" is correct, then you should be able to apply for ETL with no degree at all and also get called for an interview. Even though there is zero chance of you getting the job with no degree, based on your theory they would call you anyway just to meet this supposed interview quota. I'm sorry, it's just not realistic. Target doesn't believe in wasting time. They are not going to have some completely illogical rule telling HR they have to interview a certain number of people even if they have no intention of hiring them.
 
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Rock Lobster

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#44
I'm sorry, it's just not realistic. Target doesn't believe in wasting time. They are not going to have some completely illogical rule telling HR they have to interview a certain number of people even if they have no intention of hiring them.
Um... Sorry, but wasting time falls right in Target's wheelhouse! Sounds exactly like Target's normal BS to me :p
 

Parker51

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#46
Even if I were to create an impressive looking profile and apply I am sure they would contact me.... The thing is, however, we don't know what would happen after the actual interview. In your experiment this dream team ETL would likely end up being offered a Sr ETL or STL spot right off the bat. Unfortunately there is no way to test the interview and beyond.

I think, however, that this theory about a "quota" is BS. No company is going to sit around calling people in for interviews if they don't potentially plan to hire them.

If your theory about some "ETL interview quota" is correct, then you should be able to apply for ETL with no degree at all and also get called for an interview. Even though there is zero chance of you getting the job with no degree, based on your theory they would call you anyway just to meet this supposed interview quota. I'm sorry, it's just not realistic. Target doesn't believe in wasting time. They are not going to have some completely illogical rule telling HR they have to interview a certain number of people even if they have no intention of hiring them.
Sorry if I wasn't clear. What I was trying to say, to quote a scientific term, is that a properly designed experiment to establish proof would have to test the "null hypothesis":

What is a null hypothesis?

The site above explains it pretty well, but to clarify it for this example, you have to form a hypothesis like the following:

"Target will hire a young, inexperienced person off the street with just a college degree. Those with substantial retail experience will get passed over because either they cost too much, or won't be easily trained into Target culture."

You satisified the first sentence. However, it could be argued that other plausible explanations, random chance, noisy error-prone measurements, etc., can cause a non-null result (e.g., recruiters will contact everyone that submits an application and appears basically qualified, or the recruiter had a slow day and needed to look busy at work). To make a stronger case for your hypothesis, you would have to test for the second sentence, which is the null result. Testing for the null result in a scientific experiment is sometimes accomplished via an experimental control, such as giving a control group a placebo, or reversing the initial conditions to see if the result is reversed, etc. This is also known as making the test of your hypothesis "falsifiable." If you believe that the outcome is that both inexperienced and highly experienced applicants would both get contacted for interviews, possibly even made job offers, then your experiment is inconclusive, non-falsifiable, non-scientific, and unfortunately doesn't prove anything. Stating that some required conditions can't be fully tested (e.g., getting a candidate through interviews and to a job offer) unfortunately means that this is not a conclusive experiment.

If I've mistated your hypothesis, how would you restate it, and how would you state its reverse (or nullity) such that it could be falsified?
 
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#47
To add to Parker's statement about Target not wanting to pay an experienced person with much retail background, because it would cost too much $$$ I think it is safe to say that is 100% true! I mean if you look at what we get for our "fun" events at Target, it doesn't look like they spent more than $10 to organize the activities , and even when they cater they will find the cheapest place. Also if you have read about the electronic W-2's (which I did enroll in, because it is more accessible for me), they want employee's to do this, because for corporate it is such a "big" expense for them to print out and mail all those pieces of paper. You would think that would just be a drop in the bucket for them. That's why suggestions that we thrown in, more than not, get thrown into the garbage. If they don't see it as making sense (which things that do make sense, make too much sense to them), then they aren't going to throw so much as a nickel at the idea.
 
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