Conditions at Elemental Data Collection are a severe example of everything that is wrong with employer attitudes in 2013 North America.
I normally take reviews on sites such as this with a grain of salt. But this is one situation where you should 100% take heed of these comments and not consider wasting your time applying.
A feeling of judgement and oppression is inescapable right from the interview. This gives you little if any motivation to perform with any enthusiasm.
Yet perfection is demanded from Day 1, and and this is constantly made ominously clear.
For comparison, I worked for a similar company 5 years ago. It was a comfortable, respectful place to work, and some days you'd leave with a smile on your face. We were paid well, positively reinforced and treated as equals.
Elemental is so far removed from that culture that I'm shocked they're still in business.
- The training insists that you employ a form of begging to "convert" refusals. "I haven't done any surveys yet and it will really help ME out"
- You will be expected at times to redial people who have earlier refused. Imagine receiving an email from a website you unsubscribed from saying, "please sir, you have to reconsider because we need you." In this situation, you the interviewer are on the brunt of any potential backlash.
- You will be asked at times to not take no for an answer. A recent client was "requiring" a 50% response rate. Factoring in dead lines and no answers, this is almost impossible to achieve. I liken this to a chain of slaves being led out to a large pond, and ordered to catch every second fish armed with only their bare hands.
- There will be unending pressure to hit a target rate of completed surveys per hour. This implies a sales environment where you are paid per success. Sorry, just flat minimum wage here.
- You will be constantly monitored on your surveying. The "demerit points" is designed with your failure in mind. Official verbal warnings will come thick and fast for things like not reading every single word of the poorly worded surveys word perfectly.
- Due to a loophole in the labour laws, you'll receive a 15 minute paid break for a 5 hour shift, and a 30 minute UNPAID break on a 6+ hour shift. So work for 4:45 for $50 or 5:30 for $55. Remember that extra $5 for 45 minutes won't even cover your return bus fare. All weekend shifts are 6+ hours.
- You'll be required to "inspect" your desk prior to and after your shift begins and ends. Should you not report that there were random bits of gum attached to the underside of the desk, you'll be accused of having been the culprit and be docked for "repair/maintenance" (these blemishes are never cleaned).
- You will be bullied into working extra shifts with phone calls and emails despite having your availability confirmed. This is even if you're a student with other priorities.
- Management have rolled out a "master availability" roster to ensure their booths get filled. So while they claim you have the flexibility to choose your shifts week-by-week, if unavailable on a day that is listed on this form, it will be considered holiday leave (loss of pay or disciplinary action.)
- Management use scare tactics to pressure high performance. Having a less than average completion and quality ratings will result in having less shifts confirmed. The reality is with such high turnover this won't happen.
- Aggressively worded emails will come through warning of cancelling shifts at short notice or "planning on being hungover" after Halloween.
- You will be forced to use a handset receiver for 5 hours if the booth's headset is broken, even if you politely raise the issue of neck pain.
Note to the owners - it's criminal to reap sizable revenues from corporate/government clients, pay the foot soldiers minimum and expect perfection.
Sadly, Ottawa's poor job market leads us all like lambs to slaughter. It's sad to see so much anxiety in my former colleagues.