The CIA scrapped a ho-hum test for steering job applicants toward mysterious careers, replacing it with one that’s cloaked in jest.
Invisibility or ESP? Jet pack or amphibious sports car? Walk the Great Wall of China or sip champagne at a New York gala?
The results from the CIA’s online personality quiz are just a few clicks away. Test-takers are diagnosed as daring thrill-seekers, thoughtful observers, curious adventurers, innovative pioneers or impressive masterminds.
The CIA wants to hire them all.
The quiz (https://www.cia.gov/ careers/CIAMyths.html) was designed to encourage job applications while dispelling myths about the agency, some of them born of the James Bond stereotype.
For instance, the CIA wants applicants to know that no one who works there drives a sports car with machine guns in the tailpipes. Successful applicants will, in fact, see family and friends again.
Also, according to the quiz, “you don’t have to know karate or look good in a tuxedo to work at the CIA.”
All fun aside, the hiring push began almost immediately after the September 11 terrorist attacks. The effort picked up steam in November 2004, when President Bush called for a 50 percent increase in the agency’s ranks of operatives and analysts.
The president wanted twice as many scientists whose research combats terrorism and the spread of weapons of mass destruction. The agency hopes to meet those goals by 2011.
One in seven of the CIA’s current employees signed up in the past year, and nearly 40 percent began working after the September 11 attacks — statistics at once helpful and troubling.
“This is the youngest analytic work force in the history of the Central Intelligence Agency,” CIA Director Michael V. Hayden said at his confirmation hearings in May. “In more disappointing language, this is the least experienced analytic work force in the history of CIA.”
The CIA stumbled as it stepped out of the shadows to recruit.
The agency rolled out black-and-white ads in 2002. Its television ads last year, aired during Washington Nationals baseball games, were so unassuming that fans might have thought their cable went out for 30 seconds if they headed to the kitchen for a snack.
Officials in charge of hiring realized they needed a new plan. They hired an ad agency, TMP Worldwide.
The “Bug Spot” was born. A snooping dragonfly zooms through the ad, showing how scientists at the CIA’s Directorate of Science and Technology develop Bond-esque devices — “technology so advanced, it’s classified,” the ad boasts.View Entire Story
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