Pet World has officially changed our hiring process to twice per year, effective January, 2013. Please read more about Pet World's hiring process, spend some time in the store, observe the employees, and then decide if a job at Pet World is right for you!
Read the last section below to find out HOW TO GET HIRED! Also, please "like" Pet World Lawrence and follow us on Facebook for weekly updates about the curent hiring process. Updates are usually made on Mondays.
Important Dates for the January 2013 Hiring:
(Check this section often as dates are subject to change. All new hires must attend at least one Group Interview followed by Orientation and Customer Service - in that order before that can be placed on the payroll. No exceptions. Missing training seminars is not an option.)
Dec. 15- Jan. 9 ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS! Please give your application to a Pet World manager and be prepared to answer a few questions. It's important to make a great first impression! We can take apps up until Wednesday, Jan. 9, 8pm. Apps turned in after January 9 will not get reviewed. The earlier the better!
Phone Interviews: January 5-10. Please try to be available to accept a 5-10 minute phone call between 9am-9pm on one of these dates. Pet World will text you first to set up a good time to talk.
Face to Face Interviews: January 10-11. (Note: If you turned in your app before January 10 and didn't receive a call by January 11, your app was passed over. Please try again next time with a more impressive application.)
Group Interview (Fright Night): Friday, Jan. 11, 6-10pm @ Pet World
New Hire Orientation: Sat, Jan. 12, 10am-2pm, Pet World Education Room
Customer Service Training: Sun, Jan. 13, 7-10pm, Pet World Education Room
Additional scheduled mandatory training shifts:
Saturday, Jan. 19, 8-9am (Personality Plus)
Sunday, Jan. 20, 8-10am, 7-10pm (Small Mammals 1)
Sunday, Jan. 20, 7:30-10pm (Fish 1)
Saturday, Jan. 26, 8-9am (no training)
Sunday, Jan. 27, 8-10am (no training)
Sunday, Jan. 27, 7:30-10pm (Fish 2)
Sunday, Feb. 3, (no training - Superbowl)
Sunday, Feb. 10, 8-10am (Outreach Team)
Sunday, Feb. 10, 7:30-10pm (Fish 3)
Sunday, Feb. 17, 8-10am (Birds 1)
Sunday, Feb. 17, 7:30-10pm (Fish 4)
Sunday, Feb. 24, 8-10am (Reptiles 1)
Sunday, Feb. 24, 7:30-10pm (Blue Buffalo, Premium Edge, Taste of the Wild)
Saturday, Mar. 2, 8-9am (Green Team)
Sunday, Mar. 3, 8-10am (Canine 101)
Sunday, Mar. 3, 7-10pm (Fish 5)
Saturday, Apr. 6, 8-9am
Sunday, Apr. 7, 7-10pm
Saturday, Apr. 13, 8-9am
Sunday, Apr. 14, 7-10pm
Saturday, Apr. 20, 8-9am
Sunday, Apr. 21, 7-10pm
Friday, Apr. 26, 7-11pm Mandatory sale preparation (all staff)
Saturday-Sunday, Apr. 27-28 Thank You Days sale weekend (all staff work open to close Sat and Sun)
Sunday, Apr. 28, 7pm All Staff Post Sale Dinner
All of the above dates are mandatory paid training shifts. All new hires must be present.
What are Pet World employees like?
Pet World employees are passionate, dedicated hobbyists who can afford to work cheap. Most work at Pet World to further their own pet interests and be a part of something special. A few, select teenagers occasionally manage to prove mature enough to handle the job, but many of our best employees are generally college age or above. The majority of our staff is made up of young adults in their early twenties but we have employees from age 16 to 76.
Why do so many people want to work at Pet World?
Honestly, most people seek employment with Pet World in order to be compensated for something they would otherwise do for free. Hobbyists appreciate the opportunity to further their own interests, share their passions with others, and make a positive difference in the community. Finally, Pet World is known for being a great resume job you can use to launch you into your new career when it's time for your first "real" job.
I turned in my app weeks ago. Why haven't I been called?
Depends. Many applications never get called. Remember, you have to pass the initial prescreening (eager, friendly, first impression when turning in your app) then your application has to pass through several more screenings. Applications most often get discarded for inadequate information, poor essay, weak employment history, or bad references. Sometimes, however, applications are simply in one of the review stages and have not yet made it all the way through to the "Call" folder. Be patient. Check the processing dates. Often applications are turned in a month before calls even begin. If you are absolutely certain you turned in a great application and positive you should have already received a call, feel free to come in and talk to a manager in person. (No phonecalls, please!) A PW manager can find your app and let you know where you are in the process.
Why is turnover at Pet World high the first few weeks and so extremely low later?
Working at Pet World is not for everyone. This job is tough and it must come at the right time in your life. It is a great job for people who can afford to work for minimal wages and are truly passionate about pets and education. Because we set the standard for all pet stores in Kansas, serving as a training site for new state inspectors, employees have a lot of responsibilities. Expectations are high and the job is never easy. For those who succeed, the job turns into something very special and most employees don't leave Pet World until they experience a major life change. Average employment at Pet World is about 4-5 years, up to 10 for a few die hards.
Is getting a job at Pet World in Lawrence as tough as people say?
Yes! Pet World is unlike any other pet store in the country and a local Lawrence icon. Employees are passionate hobbyists who compete with hundreds of other applicants just to get an interview! Each fall we try to hire about a dozen new employees from up to 500 applicants. The competition is tough. Only a little over 10% of applicants make it through the hiring process. Once hired, only about 50% of new employees successfully make it through the 90 day trial period.
Why is it so difficult to get a job at Pet World in Lawrence?
Competition! The process goes like this:
- Step 1: Historically, our hiring page gets thousands of hits when we are hiring but after researching the difficulty of getting hired, only a few hundred of the people who review the page actually apply. Learn about the hiring process before you even bother to download/print off a blank application. Potential new-hires turn in their application to a manager for pre-screening where they are asked key questions relating to their potential employment and given the opportunity to verify their availability. It is important to make a great first impression with a friendly, positive attitude and an impressive application. The majority of applications don't make it past the initial interview and are never seen by remaining managers, let alone ownership, and placed immediately in the red, "discard" folder.
- Step 2: Applicants who pass the initial management prescreening are sorted into a yellow, “read” folder. The entire management team will then study the applications more closely and read applicants’ essays. An impressive essay is critical to making it to step 3 because at this point you are not present to sell yourself so your app has to do the work for you. FACT: Less than half of all applications are even seen by ownership. Take your application and your initial screening very seriously if you want your application to be considered.
- Step 3: Applications with impressive essays which have passed the managers’ screening and reading are sorted into a green, "review" folder for additional screening by ownership. Remember, the store owners don't even look at applications that never made it through the first round of screening so if your app doesn't make the green folder you have no chance of being hired.
- Step 4: Store owners reread essays, narrow the applications down even further, and send text messages to potential new-hires offering them a chance for a phone interview. Applicants who fail to reply within 24 hours and confirm a time are removed from the green folder and their applications are not seen again. Make sure to provide a phone number that can receive text messages! During the phone interview, applicants are expected to share basic information about themselves and what they are looking for with regard to employment. We expect applicants to speak freely. Too much silence during the call (merely answering questions and offering nothing more) will not get you to Step 5.
- Step 5: After the phone interview, applicants who handled themselves well are given the opportunity to interview face to face with the store owners. At this point, applicants have been narrowed down by about 85-90%; meaning only 10-15% of applicants receive a face to face interview. The hardest part in the entire hiring process is getting to Step 5. If you get a personal interview with Tim or Sherry you are only two steps away from getting the job and ahead of at least 85% of the other applicants so take it very seriously. During the face to face interview, applicants are expected to do more than simply answer questions. Sharp, intuitive applicants should anticipate what to say and when to say it, freely sharing relevant information. We expect a warm, friendly attitude, superior communication skills, with exceptionally good manners. Dress casually, wearing whatever makes you feel great. Do not feel a need to hide piercings, tattoos, etc. Just relax and be yourself.
- Step 6: Applicants who did an outstanding job with their face-to-face interview are called back and invited to participate in a group interview. This is usually about 3 out of 4 face-to-face interviews. Calls are always made by 10pm the day of your interview. If you are invited back, your chances are now very good - if you can handle Step 7.
- Step 7: During the Group Interview, applicants participate in 3-4 straight hours of touring the store complete with hands on experiences with live animals (rodents, birds, snakes, arachnids and aquatic life) and learn about what is expected of them as Pet World employees. Applicants are carefully observed with regard to their interpersonal skills, attitude, interest level, attention span, and ability to handle the job. Applicants are put on the spot to see how they handle awkward situations and how well they can think and act under pressure (since every day working with animals and humans is a day under pressure). We make this group interview as uncomfortable as possible in an attempt to weed out the weakest applicants. You'll handle and carry heavy merchandise, view live feedings, and hear all the behind the scenes, dirty jobs, horror stories we can muster. Applicants have fainted, become ill, and even cried during this interview. Very often one person leaves during the break and doesn't return. PW employees have affectionately nicknamed the group interview "Fright Night" with good reason. We want no misunderstanding that working at Pet World is easy. It's not.
- Step 8: After the Group Interview, applicants still interested in the job email Sherry expressing their thoughts and intentions. Step 8 is the last chance to get the job. Interested applicants who email a sincere essay regarding why they should be hired after handling themselves well during the group interview are then offered a 7 to 30 day trial position. Remember, traditionally at least one person does not even complete Fright Night. Generally, not all participants are offered a job. Working at Pet World is simply not for everyone and success depends more on timing and a good match than ability or experience. In fact, previous experience is not necessary. We can train the right people. Most of the necessary qualities, however, can't be taught.
- Step 9: Applicants are hired on a temporary basis and generally given up to 30 days to complete a minimum number of training hours in a variety of areas. Managers evaluate new hires every Friday and “cuts” are made weekly. During the first few weeks, it is not uncommon for about 30% of new hires to either quit or be let go. Seriously. Every Monday, the rookie list is posted in the form of an ever changing batting order based on training completion, attitude, and performance. The competition is tough! New hires always want to see their names at the top of the order. Cuts are made so quickly we don't even bother to add rookies to the schedule during the first month. New hires schedule themselves the first month, taking as many open training shifts as they can handle to beat out the competition.
- Step 10: At the end of 30 days, remaining new hires are added to the schedule one at a time based on performance and completed training hours. Some complete training in two weeks, some take four or five. Seeing your name on the permanent schedule is a huge relief. However, cuts continue to be made as needed for the next 60 days. After 90 days, all remaining new hires (about 50% of the original group) become permanent members of the Pet World staff! Generally less than 1 in 50 applicants actually get and keep the job. No kidding, it is that difficult. This is why our employees are so good.
How can I increase my chances of getting hired at Pet World?
First, make your application really stand out. Get creative. Use color, drawings, photographs, etc. and write an impressive essay making us want to meet you! This is not PetSmart. We are local, independent, and different than most businesses. If you pass the initial screening, your app still must clear 4 other managers and both owners so make it good. Second, make a great impression on the manager when you turn in your application. Dress casually and be friendly, smiling a lot, genuinely expressing your interest in the job. Next, reply to our text promptly and be available for a phone interview. Consider your outgoing voice mail message (how might it sound to us, if it states your name so we know we've dialed correctly, etc.) and carefully follow directions as to when to call back if we miss you. Watch for a text message before your call and be ready. We have many calls to make and little time so prompt replies to text messages are important.
During your phone interview, speak clearly with enthusiasm! If you get called back for a face-to-face interview, dress comfortably and casually and be prepared to talk about yourself. Don't be shy! Don't hide piercings or tattoos or try to put on a show for us. We want you to relax and just be yourself. Remember we hire all types of animal loving people, from all walks of life. We hope to learn enough about you in 15 minutes to convince us you are the right person for the job so relax and open up. We look for outgoing, enthusiastic, confident, hard working people who are passionate about animals and not afraid to get dirty, sweaty, scratched, and bitten! Impress us! Finally, if you are asked back to the group interview, use every opportunity to show your superior communication skills. Speak up when appropriate and listen respectfully when others speak. Be quick to volunteer to go first but mindful of others. We want to see that you can handle yourself in a group, function as part of team, and lead when necessary.
Most importantly, remember you are competing with hundreds of people for this job so take it seriously and give it your best effort!