Machines Taking Over (Forbes)

The machines haven’t taken over. Not yet at least. However, they are seeping their way into our lives, affecting how we live, work and entertain ourselves. From voice-powered personal assistants like Siri and Alexa, to more underlying and fundamental technologies such as behavioral algorithms, suggestive searches and autonomously-powered self-driving vehicles boasting powerful predictive capabilities, there are several examples and applications of artificial intellgience in use today.
However, the technology is still in its infancy. What many companies are calling A.I. today, aren’t necessarily so. As a software engineer, I can claim that any piece of software has A.I. due to an algorithm that responds based on pre-defined multi-faceted input or user behavior. That isn’t necessarily A.I.
A true artificially-intelligent system is one that can learn on its own. We’re talking about neural networks from the likes of Google’s DeepMind, which can make connections and reach meanings without relying on pre-defined behavioral algorithms. True A.I. can improve on past iterations, getting smarter and more aware, allowing it to enhance its capabilities and its knowledge.

How to Reinvent Yourself After 50

I serve on a Task Force that was assembled to address the issues related to “experienced” individuals (over the age of 55) who are seeking career advancement, placement and fulfillment as well as the increased demand by employers for qualified candidates. A fellow member of this Task Force emailed this Harvard Business Review article to me and I, in turn thought it was very worthwhile to share here.

The Ego Trap Will Clamp Down On Your Career

Author Jen Shirkani writes in her book, EGO vs EQ, that there are eight common ego traps that will derail a leader’s career. No matter where you think you are in your career, your company probably expects you to show leadership traits… and it’s not just a perquisite for those in the C-suite. This article is a synopsis of Shirkani’s conclusions and is a worthwhile read for anyone at any level. 8 Common Ego Traps could be the reminder that keeps you grounded, focused, and even more productive in your career.

Are You A Free Radical?

Scott Belsky is an entrepreneur and best-selling author who founded the online creative platform Behance, which he recently sold to Adobe. He is a much sought after speaker on the emerging patterns of work in the 21st century, and this article is an excerpt from his foreward to a new book, Maximize Your Potential. Belsky says that “free radicals” demand a lot of themselves AND their employers, expect their skills to be fully utilized, abhor ‘easy jobs’, and have little tolerance for bureaucratic friction or old-boy networks. With the increasing exit of baby-boomers from the workplace – and with it, the demise of “we always did it this way” mindsets – employers should be asking themselves important questions. Are you a free radical? Can you accommodate free radicals in your workplace? If not now, when? What advantages could be gained from embracing more free radicals? Belsky believes that free radicals are already changing the face of work and jobs, and organizations will foster dramatic innovation by accelerating their contributions. The Free Radical At Work is a worthwhile read. 

Best Companies to work for…SAP Users

As Recruiters we are always asked about who are the best companies…And so I just found an announcement that might be helpful for those candidates looking for career opportunities in The Utilities Industry…SAP AG has just published it’s list of award winning Utilities for 2013.  The list includes First Energy, Atmos Energy, Puget Sound Energy, and Centerpoint Energy.  SAP AG says that these are the best-run Utilities because they have implemented innovative and sustainable practices based on SAP Software.

Making Sense with SAP!

Have always enjoyed people who seem to understand the sense around IT Technology.  Just read a comment by Jonathan Becher, Chief Marketing Officer at SAP who said…”I’m also championing SAP’s strategy of helping organizations close the gap between strategy & execution so that they can optimize business performance.”  And I say BRAVO Johnathan!  Keep up the good work and tell us more about closing this gap!

Bad Hires Can Ruin A Good Strategy

Lou Adler is a New York Times best-selling author of such books as Hire With Your Head and The Essential Guide To Hiring And Getting Hired. Adler believes that there are really only four (yes, 4!) jobs in any business and only four (there it is again) types of corporate strategies. I’ll admit skepticism… until I read this article. Adler makes a compelling case for getting the right matches and understanding their various roles in order to propel your corporate performance to new heights. Read How Bad Hiring Decisions Can Mess Up A Good Business Strategy to avoid the path to mediocrity… or worse.

Tips For A Successful Video Interview

EDI Specialists is a boutique recruiting firm focusing on the IT integration and electronic data interchange fields. This article is written by Adam Barron and it spotlights some “how-to advice” when you receive a request for a video interview. This is not something to be treated lightly, even though it may seem “different” or “more casual” than a real face-to-face interview. It is actually neither, and doing it right requires some serious thought and pre-planning. Treating a video interview as anything less than the “real thing” can eliminate a qualified candidate from further consideration… and it doesn’t have to happen! 6 Tips For A Successful Video Interview is a worthwhile read for anyone on a job search when technology is increasingly a tool to bridge time and distance.

From My Perspective: Are You Listening?

Ever wonder why you struggle when it comes time to make a decision on which candidate to select?  Try listening more actively. Just a few ideas that help me:

1)       Resist Distractions – Clear your desk for every conversation so you can focus your attention.  I take it one step further, meet away from your office and you’ll even stop thinking about that “voicemail waiting” light blinking at you.  And for goodness sake turn off the ringer on your smartphone and put it your pocket!

2)      Get to the Point – Ask good questions of each candidate, not necessarily the same ones or in the same order.  In other words, have a plan – when you “wing it” the interview tends to become a verbal recap of the resume’.

3)      Listen to Gain Real Understanding –   If you aren’t careful it is too easy to listen only long enough to formulate your response or follow up question.  Take Notes!  Write down the great follow up question or comment. 

Overall, assume each candidate will be the one you want to hire. Listen to have the information you need to make a good “buying” decision and also to understand the focus to bring to the “sales” presentation you’ll need to secure them for your team!

The above is the seventh installment – Year Four of “From My Perspective” – a collection of observations and anecdotes from the more than 29 years of business and professional recruiting experience of Bill Hagerty, an owner and principal consultant with Johnson ReSource Group.