Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Hire Better Recruiters, Then

CNN/Money has an article on how not finding proper candidates for jobs means that even with rising unemployment many jobs are staying vacant. What this means to me is that the recruiters, and the hiring managers who are working with them, aren't necessarily qualified to be hiring for these positions. Anyone who has done a lot of hiring, which I have, knows that when an employer states "must have two years of industry experience" or "must have five years of professional C++ programming experience" or anything else what they really mean is "it'd sure be nice if we found the perfect candidate who is not only clever, hard working and personable, but also already knows everything they'll ever need to know to do this job". But if you're not filling jobs by sticking precisely to the criteria, it's time to actually (God forbid) think about the candidates as individuals and be flexible about the letter of the requisition.

When I was doing a lot of hiring, we often had more success with candidates who did not fit the letter of our requisition, but who had the spirit the company needed: whip smart, hard working, mentally flexible, and willing to dedicate themselves to learning whatever they needed to excel whether or not they came in the door with it. Those kinds of people (who, by the way, most often came through employee referrals) generally did much better than the recruiter-submitted "perfect" candidates whose resumes dotted every "I" and crossed every "T", but when the rubber hit the road the person just wasn't able to deliver as fully as their "lesser qualified" counterparts.

to the people with the mathematics degrees who haven't had a "real" job yet (or someone with any other "irrelevant" degree or prior job experience). Figure out which ones are those incredibly smart, dedicated, flexible and personable types who are also so hungry to get into your industry that they'll outperform the "better" candidate if given the opportunity. Then hire them. Within two years, they'll also have two years experience, and a positive attitude towards the company that gave them their "in" that can also translate into lower employee turnover rates.

Part of the job of recruiting is understanding people, thinking critically and flexibly about requisitions and candidates, and actually working to put the two together (rather than letting a sorting system do it for you). If your recruiters and hiring managers can't solve the problem of open requisitions during a down economy, maybe it's time for their bosses to think more flexibly and find new recruiters and hiring mangers who can.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Meanwhile, Back In Iran...

Ahmadinejad and his clerical superiors have started finding scapegoats for their brutalization of their own people. I hope that someday Iran's loathsome leadership will fall and the Iranian people can finally fulfill the actual goal of their co-opted revolution: real freedom.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Gay Marriage: It's Not Just for Liberals Anymore

David Boies points out that "If we were prepared to consign minority rights to a majority vote, there would be no need for a constitution."

And cites: As Justice Anthony Kennedy elegantly wrote rejecting the notion that a history of discrimination might trump constitutional rights, "Times can blind us to certain truths and later generations can see that laws once thought necessary and proper in fact serve only to oppress. As the Constitution endures, persons in every generation can invoke its principles in their own search for greater freedom."

Read all of David Boies' article.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Nearly a month later...

Iran's government forms new death squads to help prevent their own people from expressing themselves. So much for that thin veil of sham Democracy they'd been trying to hide their kleptocratic Theocracy behind. The West has so far at least kept paying attention, to some extent, though Michael Jackson's death has put a bit of a damper on that recently. There's very little we can do besides support those who favor real reform, because any attempts at interference will seem like 1953 all over again and likely serve to reinvigorate support for the current government.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Iran on Fire

Iran's security forces (and goons from the militia, called Basij) are on the loose, showing their true colors by doing what such forces do best the world over: beating, maiming and killing students, intellectuals, women, children, and any other unarmed civilians that dare oppose them.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Iran: Ahmadinejad on the Attack

Ahmadinejad arrests opposition leaders, essentially admits that the door is being left open to an assassination of Moussavi.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Whither Iran

Iran's election results, in which incumbent incompetent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has allegedly been reelected, were already being called rigged before the official count was even returned. Will the ensuing protests lead Iran down the road to cast off the shackles of its kleptocratic theocracy, in much the same way the Shah's failings led to his ouster at the hands of disenfranchised youth? Or will Ahmadinejad and Khamenei successfully take advantage of this situation as an opportunity to draw out young, energetic anti-status-quo parties and unleash the state security apparatus to purge them? Only time will tell.

Personally, I think the Iranian people deserve better leadership than reactionary fossils like Ahmadinejad and Khamenei, and I hope in this Obama era of hope and enthusiasm that the Iranian people can bring about some change of their own in the not too distant future.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Surgeon General

Team Obama has announced* Dr. Sanjay Gupta as their choice for Surgeon General. However, it is unclear whether or not Congress will seat Dr. Gupta, pending an investigation into whether or not the CNN correspondent used his position as a real person to exert undue influence on Obama in choosing him over other popular television Doctors such as Star Trek's Dr. McCoy, Doogie Houser, Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, Marcus Welby, M.D., and of course the lovable Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable. As for the as-yet-unfilled (and nonexistant) post of Musician General, behind-the-scenes sources say the contest between the suburban candidate, Dr. Hook, and the urban choice, Dr. Dre, remains contentious.

(*He's actually just been "approached" according to "inside sources.")

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Water, Water Nowhere

The UN and others have been circulating the idea that water, and not fuel, will be the resource impetus for the nextmajor world war. The popularity of bottled water already shows a trend towards outlandish, inaccessible pricing for a resource that is utterly essential to life. Control over water equates to control over life and death (just ask Tank Girl), and any time some authority asserts that level of control over peoples' lives, war becomes inevitable, even if it takes time before it actually happens. Not only do we squander water on things like bottling it, washing cars, watering wasteful plants such as grass (even in the L.A. desert), and so on -- we also pollute it like crazy, to the point where our fish are loaded with Mercury. The whole "Green Revolution" that people are talking about needs to include not only alternative fuel production, but a serious retooling of our water usage policies, including subsidizing the clean-up of drinking and fishing waters with taxes and fines on industrial users of water. This isn't socialism, it is transferring costs borne by one set of businesses (fishing, farming, restaurants, etc.) and the public (their drinking water) to the cause of the costs (industrial polluters, bottlers, and anyone who profits off water at the expense of other industries because unfair policies skew in their favor).

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Day Without A Gay

Today has been declared Day Without A Gay in protest of California's Proposition 8, and various other discriminatory legislation across the country. Because our workplace is so supportive of people, regardless of their sexual orientation (or race, religion, or other compartmentalizer), most anti-8 supporters here are volunteering before or after work, and/or are helping to spread the word through e-mails, blogs, and so on.

If you're not gay, imagine yourself in their position, being unable to live the same kind of lives as all your friends and neighbors because of discrimination. "The other," when observed, turns out to be much more like you than they are different. As Graham Greene says in The Power and The Glory: “When you visualized a man or woman carefully, you could always begin to feel pity — that was a quality God’s image carried with it. When you saw the lines at the corners of the eyes, the shape of the mouth, how the hair grew, it was impossible to hate. Hate was just a failure of imagination.”

Supporting gay rights is indirect support of your own rights, because the same kinds of unimaginative people who oppose gay rights would be just as keen to oppose your rights should doing so increase their own power and prestige in some way. I know they'd oppose mine, because very similar arguments were made from very similar pulpits about miscegenation not too long ago. In those times, Anu and I could not have married. Perhaps only a fringe consciously want to return to those times, but the parallels are obvious to me.

So this is my missive encouraging people to get out there and support gay rights in some way. If you can't take a day off work, or want to show support for a supportive workplace by not taking the day off, find some way -- volunteering, donations, propagandizing -- to help people secure rights you may very well take for granted, even if only because by doing so you help increase the value and security of your own rights.