I worked at Canadian Standards Association full-time (More than 3 years)
Benefits were good. HR is not evil. Most of the people in sales and engineering are good to work with.
Salaries have little connection to competitive reality. They tried to remedy the situation, but instead they made it worse. A fair percentage of upper management consists of people who did not perform well in the for-profit sector. CSA is very much like a government agency. Management defends turf and budgets, with little regard for managing the business in a competitive way. Most of the company's obstacles are self-imposed. The path to longevity is achieved by not making waves and avoiding "March Madness".
Advice to Management
Certain departments continue to underperform. Senior management knows EXACTLY which departments these are. Sweeping changes are necessary. In one department, they need to replace the VP, most of middle management, and some of the technical people. I could tell them which department that is, but they already know. And yet turf and budgets continue to be the top priority. To sum it all up: Stop acting like a government agency or a social club.
I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at Canadian Standards Association (Mississauga, ON (Canada)).
Depends on the Manager. Two experiences with two separate managers (for two separate roles); the first being dry, structured and uninspiring, the second being creative, lively and intelligent. The style of interview is extremely indicative of the stye of management (ie: dry and structured interview = dry and structured role, etc), so pay attention to the long-term effects.
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