Category Archives: Perfecting The Hiring Process

Apple’s Brash, Arrogant, Effective Brand

The “Google way” is supposed to be the way companies do business today. Their philosophy of making their prices as low as possible, even free, to get as many users as possible; of making their software both open-source and easily-integratable; of being invisible, instead of loud; of being focused on software instead of stuff; is the widespread best practice nearly all new-age organizations are looking to adopt today. All, but one: Apple. Not only does Apple reject the Gospel of Google, it relishes in its own mystique and ignores those who dare oppose it. The perfect illustration of the premise above? …Read more »

The Biggest Threat Facing Uber

Uber, on its surface, seems like a company that has very few issues. First off, it has a great business model. Just one benefit, Uber is responsible for almost no inventory, as drivers provide their own cars, which vastly reduces its risk. There is plenty of demand for Uber. The taxi market in the United States alone is estimated at $11 billion a year (it is even larger in other countries, particularly Japan), and it has the potential to hit more rural, previously-untapped markets. And margins do not have to be that high for them to make a lot of money, as roughly20 …Read more »

How To Hire Construction Workers, From Someone Who’s Hired A Lot

By William Petrone, longtime owner of Petrone Construction In the forty years I spent owning my own construction business, I’ve hired a lot of workers. I mean, a lot of workers. I’ve had great ones that have lasted years and we’ve become lifelong friends. I’ve had terrible ones that quit within a day. I’ve really good guys who worked for months and then just stopped showing up one day, with no real explanation; and others who thought the start time was more of a guideline, instead of a requirement. Truth be told, construction is tough work that attracts a lot …Read more »

Lessons From Google: A New Way To Think About Branding

Say you have $100,000 to invest on “branding.” What’s the best place to spend it? You could buy a commercial on local television, although then again, nobody really watches commercials anymore thanks to DVR and Netflix. You could buy an ad on YouTube, which people will skip in five seconds, or a banner ad, which garners a click-through rate of 0.04 percent. You could try pay-per-click, but that is both expensive and becoming less effective. You could try podcast commercials, although everyone just hits the 30-second forward button when those come on. You could try a newspaper, which is fantastic if …Read more »

What Companies Are Getting Wrong About Social Recruiting

Today, I spent time looking for companies that have social recruiting – i.e. recruiting via social media – right. I looked at all the big guys, almost all of whom have Twitter pages dedicated just to attracting candidates, and yet, after seeing a few, I quickly became disappointed. Quite frankly, many of them were bad. They had few followers and little engagement, as in very few retweets and favorites. This was surprising, as you’d think these feeds would be popular, simply because who wouldn’t want to work at some of the most famous and recognizable companies in America? And yet, …Read more »

Four Rules for the Perfect Work Lunch

Right now, as I’m writing this, it is 2:30 at my office in beautiful downtown Mystic, Connecticut and I should be doing work. But I don’t want to. I’m tired. Like I am every day at this time, because I’m suffering from a “food coma.” Or, as medical-types call it, postprandial somnolence. It sucks. Have no fear, though, as this food coma has served as the most inspirational food coma of all time. I spent it researching exactly what I should be eating for lunch at work, so I will never, ever have to battle through the devastation of postprandial somnolence …Read more »

The More You Tell Your Workers, The Better They’ll Be

Howard Schultz, thanks largely to his meteoric success as CEO of Starbucks, is worth $1.5 billion, making him the 354th richest man in America. And yet, when probed, he talks about a completely different kind of currency. I think the currency of leadership is transparency,” Schultz said. “You’ve got to be truthful. I don’t think you should be vulnerable every day, but there are moments when you’ve got to share your soul and conscience with people and show them who you are, and not to be afraid of it. Here’s a legitimate question – what is Schultz talking about? And …Read more »

Why A Charismatic Leader Can Doom An Organization

When hiring the leader of any organization, such as a CEO, one of the desired personality traits that comes up time and time again is “charismatic.” People say that they want a dynamic leader, who can inspire and lead the masses. But does charisma really lead to success? Is having a dominant personality that others instinctively follow necessarily a good thing? Jim Collins and his team spent five years indirectly researching what makes a great leader while writing the book Good to Great. What Collins found was that hiring a “charismatic” leader for CEO actually had a negative correlation to a …Read more »

The Definitive Guide to Employee Criticism

In 1964, when he was a sophomore at Lisbon Falls High School in Maine, a 17-year-old Stephen King worked as a sportswriter for a local newspaper. After turning in his first piece – a recap of a basketball game – his editor cut out nearly half of it, chastising King for overwriting. “I took my fair share of English Lit classes in my two remaining years at Lisbon, and my fair share of composition, fiction and poetry classes in college, but John Gould (the editor) taught me more about any of them, in no more than ten minutes,” King wrote …Read more »

The Scientifically-Proven Best Way To Hire

Time and time again, we hear the same mantra in business: it is all about getting the right people. No strategy, no piece of technology can overcome bad talent, whereas nothing can hold back the right group of people. That’s a great platitude. But how do you really know who the great people are? Obviously, everyone wants to hire just the best, but if you have a stack of resumes for a position, what’s best way to determine who should get the job? Well, science has provided an answer. In an exhaustive 1998 study by University of Iowa Professor Frank Schmidt and …Read more »

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