Archive → February, 2012
Take a moment and try this exercise. Close your laptop, turn off your computer screen, and look at the items on your desk. Do you have a rolodex, an appointment book, or calendar in front of you? Chances are you don’t. Let’s get even more basic than that. Do you have a pen and something to write on other than the back of your business cards or a piece of paper from the printer? Once again, chances are you don’t. These are all items from the days of yesteryear when records were kept in manila folders and recruiting was done with local newspapers and telephones – the non-cellular kind.
Just in case you’re wondering, this is not a nostalgic trip down memory lane. The point we’re trying to make is that we’ve become dependent upon our computers to organize our lives. In the case of recruiting and applicant tracking, we’re often too dependent, at least on standard databases and scheduling.
If you’re not doing those tasks online, you’re running the risk of losing data, perhaps setting your company’s recruiting efforts back several months in the process. Just saving to your hard drive is no longer okay. You might as well start writing notes on sticky pads again. They’re safer.
As a recruiter or human resource person, you’re most likely familiar with the term “ATS applicant tracking”. For those not in the know, the abbreviation stands for the system used to do the tracking and it almost always refers to web based recruiting software. Job applicant tracking that isn’t online is really just a database with limited space and search capabilities. On the web, your potential for expansion is unlimited, at least in theory. The company you choose to use may not have unlimited bandwidth, but chances are the space they can offer is much larger than you have in your office.
Web based recruiting software keeps your records online, safe from viruses and computer crashes.
You can save copies to your hard drive if you like, they could come in handy if you don’t have internet access at some point, but you’ll find that other than that you’ll rely on the online version completely. It’s more compact, takes up no disc space at all, and will give you better search and storage capabilities. The best applicant tracking systems will store resume information and allow you to search for specific skill sets by keyword. Doing that on a hard drive would take up far too much space and time.
Using online software to run applications essential to operating your business is a process known as cloud computing. The “cloud” is basically the entire web. It’s the modern day term used to describe what was once called cyberspace. As computers have gotten more advanced and mobiles with limited disc space have become more common, cloud computing has increased in popularity. You’ve probably heard the term used in relation to applications for your cell phone or netbook. Did you know you could access many of those apps from your desktop PC or MAC? Web based recruiting software is one of them. Give it a try.
I write content on a variety of topics including internet marketing, San Francisco SEO, PPC campaigns, recruiting software, applicant tracking, plagiarism detection, junk hauling services, vacation deals and franchise marketing.
The most common complaints from those making car insurance claims frequently revolve around a lack of full disclosure of information or insurance companies not asking all the appropriate questions, particularly at renewal stages. Often, renewals happen almost automatically, with a company just confirming payment details as opposed to fully confirming the applicant’s information. Then, in the event of a claim the information held by the insurer is out of date so they refuse to pay.
If this happens to you you might feel aggrieved, and believe that this is the insurance company’s fault. However, it might not be that straightforward. For a start, it is very difficult to prove that they didn’t ask you all the relevant questions. Secondly, you do have a responsibility to inform your insurer of changes to your circumstances – you’d have to be able to prove that they are rejecting your claim on the grounds of a piece of information which you genuinely didn’t perceive as relevant.
Another common complaint is that the payment for written off vehicles is insufficient – the payment should cover a comparable vehicle, but some insurers frequently only offer trade prices. If you believe this has happened to you, you can contact the insurance ombudsman to complain.
Why is car insurance such a complicated business? Finding a good, reasonably priced policy seems to be increasingly difficult these days and there are frequent stories of people becoming the victim of fake policies or not being able to insure their car due to excessively high prices. In the discipline of “auto insurance risk selection” (the process used to determine how much policies should be) classification of an applicant is based on many factors. As the car industry evolves and the number of different models and makes increases it becomes more complicated. While this might be good news for people looking for actuary jobs it can make the process really confusing for the ordinary motorist. On top of this, insurance companies tell us that fake claims and a blame culture push up premiums. However, this doesn’t excuse them refusing to pay out for genuine claims or charging unreasonable prices for policies or undervaluing vehicles.
The real world of work isn’t how we picture it as a child. As a child we imagine a nice job that pays well enough for us to have a house, and careers such as “doctors”, “gardener” and “footballer” are fun aspirations as opposed to life choices filled with highs and lows.
All jobs have lows, but what if the lows of your ideal profession come in the form of judgement and animosity from others?
It is perhaps harder than ever to work in a controversial industry, with social media and online news and comments not only making it easy for protestors or detractors to track down and target individuals, but also meaning that rumours and stories can spread like wildfire and a whole industry can be brought into disrepute in a few days or hours.
The problem is the public mood wanes and is shaped by news, PR and exposure, so a seemingly reputable career can become sullied. Look at journalism at the moment – and this ill feeling is starting to spread to the police force who were complicit in the corruption. For some career choices, it’s unlikely that they’ll ever be completely controversy free. For example, it’s unlikely that testing products on animals will ever become completely accepted by everyone, animal rights activists will probably always attack those involved in it. But if you believe in the necessity of testing medicines on animals, you will have to weigh up whether the potential abuse and danger involved in this work is worth it for the greater good.
Other sectors might have their perception changed in the future or they might not – it’s a risk you could end up facing at the start of your career. With the current energy problems being high on the government agenda, nuclear energy is set to play a large role in our future resulting in good prospects within careers in nuclear engineering. At the moment nuclear still has many detractors and the debate about its safety is raging on – it will need a good PR machine to make it less controversial in the future.
Broadband customers rejoice! Broadband speeds at the close of 2011 averaged out at 7.6Mpbs. That’s an increase on 6.2Mpbs. Overall, broadband speeds are up by 22%, according to consumer magazine Which? Ofcom cites the main reason for this as being that many customers have upgraded to faster broadband packages. Fibre optic and cable services still offer the fastest speeds (you can check out your broadband speed with a broadband speed test.)
However our average speeds are still slower than countries such as Latvia, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea. Estonia tops the list with an impressive average speed of 40.91Mpbs and South Africa has the unhappy honour of being amongst the countries with the slowest broadband. Within a population of 50 million, the penetration of broadband facilities is estimated to be at about 10 per cent.
The British government is aiming to improve the situation by 2013. The plan is not simply about making entertainment more easily available on people’s home computers, but increasing access to government-published information. Industry spokespeople still criticise the persisting divide between rural and urban broadband utilities.
Other critics cite the disparity between advertised speeds and what customers are actually getting. New guidelines suggest that the advertised speeds must be achievable by 10% of the service provider’s customers. Others have commented that companies must be pressed to advertise an average speed alongside their highest speed capacities. Download speeds are rarely ever as high as advertised but upload speeds are usually closer to the truth.
It will probably come as a surprise that Britain lags behind less wealthy nations in the broadband speed stakes. However the cost of rolling out high speed broadband to an entire country has as much to do with existing communications infrastructure and the willingness of providers to invest in expanding their services where they might see less profit.
Previously it was thought that it takes an average of about 24-26 working years to land a chief executive role. However, a new study has revealed that there is an increasing trend of workers making it into the top office in their 40’s. Over 40 per cent of current FTSE-100 CEO’s fall between the ages of thirty and forty. If you’re in the middle of your career and you’re wondering how to make it into the corner office, use these four tips as building blocks in your plan. Then start hunting for those chief executive jobs.
1. Get an MBA – if you want to
Recently an MBA has come to be regarded as a must-have if you wanted to shoot straight into the top salaried roles. However recent studies show that only one in three chief executives hold an MBA. This might just represent a generational shift as the MBA becomes the norm amongst the new generation of business leaders.
2. Figure out a strategy
It might be a good idea to write out a plan for your career. Write out detailed business plans for your own business projects too. Take a look at case studies and biographies written on the leaders you admire and figure out how they got to the top.
3. A good CEO has multidisciplinary experience
That means finance, sales, marketing, production, hr, operations, etc. Of course you don’t have to do everything – but it’s essential to have a solid spread of experience to be able to confidently lead a business with a variety of functions.
4 . Work on your social skills
Being a good team player is an essential skill that many recruiters place at the top of their list. What good is being talented if you can’t communicate your ideas to other people?
The good news is that all of the qualities needed to be a CEO can be learned with a little hard work. Being a CEO isn’t something that’s so much in the DNA but something that is acquired through the right experience and gaining the right traits.