After one orchestra where I've subbed for a long time recently revamped their substitute hiring procedures for my instrument (not favorably), it got me thinking how substitute/extra horror stories are a dime a dozen among major orchestras.
Are there any orchestras out there who handle this process particularly well? If so, how?
Is there a transparent hiring process?
Is there a predictable hiring practice? How is it predictable?
Do you know your ranking on the sub list? Is this clearly communicated? Is there a call order? Or is the hiring rotated among a pool of people?
How far in advance are you hired? Do the full-time orchestra members advocate for their subs? Or are they kind of clueless about the whole sub process? I ask this because some orchestra members won their jobs early in their careers and never really participated in freelance work "in the trenches," and often don't approach sub issues from a point of understanding, or empathy.How involved is your Principal in the hiring process? Do they change their mind frequently with sub hiring decisions?