Hungry students typically know the faces of the people who serve them their meals, but they may not know that many of these Dining employees are not actually hired by Bowdoin.
The use of Career Pathways Initiative (CPI), an outside hiring agency, to staff temporary positions at Bowdoin has been an important part of the hiring process for over 15 years.
In the fall of 2010, Bowdoin Dining Services will stop using CPI to hire dining employees and will transfer hiring responsibilities to Dining Services staff members.
Director of Dining and Bookstore Services Mary Lou Kennedy said that the College primarily uses CPI during events that require extra staff.
"It's a temporary staffing agency [used] to fill those needs for casual jobs, so at commencement and reunions there are a lot of people," said Kennedy.
"During winter breaks there is virtually no one because we have no need."
"When the student availability is low we use more people," she added.
"Because if students aren't filling the jobs we'll use more [CPI hires], or if we have a year where people are out on leaves we might have a higher number of spots."
Most of the employees sent by CPI are Brunswick residents and many have worked at Bowdoin in temporary positions for years.
"Some waitstaff have been here for a number of years," said Kennedy.
Since these employees are not hired by Bowdoin directly, they technically cannot be "fired." According to Kennedy, Bowdoin works closely with CPI to ensure appropriate employee action and efficiency.
"They are not employed by Bowdoin. They come and go as any employee would come and go from an agency," said Kennedy. "If someone was working through an agency had inappropriate employee behavior, we would ask the company not to send them again, which is what anyone would do in working with a temporary agency."
Bowdoin began using CPI in order to compensate for lack of manpower to hire, pay and organize all of the Dining staff that the school requires.
"When we first started using the agency, we didn't have the resources here to do all the hiring and payroll and everything, and now we have very robust online systems," said Kennedy. "So all of those functions that an outside agency used to do are now very easy for us to do."
Because of the College's new capacity to handle hiring online, Bowdoin will no longer use CPI come fall of 2010. The Bowdoin Dining Office, which already employs staff members specialized in hiring new Bowdoin employees, will take over the hiring practices of the dining staff.
All Dining Service staff currently employed through CPI will return in the fall, but will be employed by Bowdoin instead of by their original agency. Bowdoin's permanent dining staff is already employed directly by Bowdoin and so will not be particularly affected by the move away from CPI.
"Everyone who is here this year will be here next year," said Kennedy. "We'll probably do some reassignment of positions in our office, but we already have staff that does hiring of students on campus and we'll probably just reorganize ourselves to fit this in."