Category Archives: Hiring & Firing

Can’t find good workers? Hire a refugee!

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Worldwide, it is hard to find good workers. Especially in India, America and the UK, there is a shortage of qualified workers for many tasks. But, what if you could hire a refugee? Workers in America typically say, “I don’t know if I really want to do this.” Refugees don’t talk like that. They have bills to pay and bellies to fee. They will do the most unpleasant work for pennies. But, how do you get a Somali guy to come to India to work at your BPO? And can you train them?

The good news is that many Syrian and African refugees speak English (perhaps better than you do.) If you could train them to do certain tasks for your company, you might have a reliable workforce. In India, it is common for people to quit their jobs on a whim to seek better opportunities. Refugees would be more likely to stick to their job since they have tasted starvation and don’t want any more of it.

On the flip side, having refugees in India would worsen the Hindu-Muslim divide. So, although you might get your work done, there might be more riots, and eventually a civil war. So, in the long run it might not be worth it unless you live in a part of India that is already mostly Muslim.

What is important in dating is also important in business

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When you go out to find a date, your friends will push their narrow-minded views down your throat. They will insist that the girl comes from your type of background, has the right type of job, and dresses the right way. In my experience, none of this matter, not even a little bit. I dated a girl from the right background, the right spiritual group, the right type of job, and the right type of family — it was the worst relationship I’ve ever had and broke in a very painful way.

Years earlier, I dated someone from a different continent who was not educated, hardly spoke English, was eighteen years older than I was, and had nothing in common with me. I had a much longer and more pleasant relationship.

After I summed up all of my platonic and romantic relationships and friendships and figured out what was good and bad about each one, what I discovered was…

1. The relationships that lasted the longest were with people who were from a similar class whose parents were from the same educational level and/or level of sophistication my parents were from. But, they weren’t necessarily from the same country.

2. In romantic relationships what matters most is:
Chemistry, Conversation, Cooperation, Consideration, Similar attitudes about abortion, Similar attitudes about sexuality

3. In marriage what matters most is
Family — whether you get along with them, Attitude about saving & spending, Type of job the other person has, Spiritual Views, Cultural Views, Common Goals, and Loyalty (perhaps this one should come first)

As you can see, the list for marriage and romance are completely different the minute a commitment is there — at least from my point of view.

Finding an Outsourcing Company
So, what if you were looking for a BPO to hire, and you talked to a few of the managers for a while. Would it make sense to hire a company because you felt good chemistry with them?

CUSTOMER: I really like your voice.

RAHUL (BPO MANAGER): Gee thanks.

CUSTOMER: I feel like we have good chemistry together and a deep connection.

RAHUL: That figures, I majored in chemistry in college. This connection is pretty good. It’s Fios.

CUSTOMER: I’m looking for a meaningful relationship with an ePublishing company

RAHUL: We can deliver meaning in any context — online or book format — your choice. But maybe we can shoot for an eFling first.

CUSTOMER: That’s not what I meant. I’m looking for a deeper friendship

RAHUL: I”m not sure my wife would be okay with that. I’ll have to ask. Or she could come along

CUSTOMER: I just feel so happy when I meet everyone’s family.

RAHUL: You obviously haven’t met my sister. Just one more question…

RAHUL: Yes. Yes.

CUSTOMER: What are your views on abortion?

RAHUL: I’m pro-choice: eCommerce format or PDF.

CUSTOMER: We mesh perfectly. I’m finding you very sexy right now. What are your attitudes about saving and spending?

RAHUL: I save for a rainy day. And I spend on umbrellas.

CUSTOMER: Spiritual views?

RAHUL: I pray it doesn’t rain today. I just washed my car.

Developing your hiring intuition

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Do you hire others? Does it never work out that well? Most employers feel the same way. It is hard to hire perfect people. In real life, we would be better off with employees who were more like partners — people who had our back at all times no matter what. If outsourcing companies would get it through their heads that they would get more business by being partners instead of demanding some legal partnership contract — the world of outsourcing would be completely transformed. People only care about themselves, and that is the problem with todays world — and with hiring.

I bet Warren Buffet has a very refined intuition when it comes to hiring. He has hired and fired so many people in his life and seen the results. I bet he can spot a winning horse from a mile away. I am beginning to spot winners and losers too. It has nothing to do with skills either. Motivation, integrity, and intelligence are what I look for. Most people have none of these traits. But, your star employee must have all of them otherwise you are screwed.

But, how do you know who has the winning traits, plus job related skills? Spotting intelligence is easy. Just talk to someone for a few minutes. Throw out some complicated thoughts, or make a few slightly intellectual jokes and listen for the silence. I can tell just by listening to someone’s tone of voice what their IQ is. Normally at an interview, after the first 30 seconds have passed, I know if the person is going to make it or not. I throw out some thought provoking questions to see if I get an intelligent answer or not.

Knowing someone’s level of motivation and integrity are a little harder. When people want a job, they tell you what you want to hear. This is a waste of time, especially if you can’t read between the lines. How much trouble are they willing to go through to work for you is the only thing you should be thinking. After all, after four months have passed when you are in a bind and need them to put in a little extra work, if they have the “why bother” attitude, you are screwed. So, think of that before you hire them. This is why large companies have four interviews — yes four! Someone not motivated or committed probably won’t show up for all four.

But, you can ask them about what happened at their last job. If they seem to have been motivated about how they handled business, that is a good sign. If they showed concern for all of the details of the job, rather than just how they felt, that might be a good sign. It’s certainly not a bad sign.

Figuring out if someone has integrity is much harder. You can think of some trick situations to see if they will cheat. Or, you can ask them about their relationships with their parents, boyfriends, etc. If they have poor relationships with them, they will also have a poor relationship with you for whatever reason — including possibly integrity.

Some people who cheat a lot are always watching others to catch them cheating. This is a form of projecting. On the other hand, karmically speaking, cheaters work with cheaters. You can ask how upset they get if someone lies to them too.

Figuring out how much the other person likes you is also very important. People who like you will do much more for you. How good is your intuition for figuring out who likes you?

There is a lot to think about when hiring someone. I hope you can figure it all out. My solution is to not hire people, because I already know what is going to happen!

What does Warren Buffet look for when he hires people?

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Warren Buffet is a long term thinker and a very practical man. Business advice from the master himself might seem deceptively simple. In a sense it is, but in a sense it is not. Warren likes to hire people who can handle entire projects on their own with minimal intervention. Otherwise, his business cannot grow as he would be busy micromanaging people. I understand his philosophy well as I spend all my time micromanaging people or doing tasks myself. From time to time I find people who will do some of my tasks, but never all of them, so I am always busy catching up on work.

The problem is that most people have limited work skills and are not that loyal. I find that not one person I’ve ever met will just bow down to me and do whatever task I give them no matter what I pay them. I’m not sure it is possible to find someone who will be reliable to me in the long run, but I’ll keep hoping.

Warren has been in business so long, he can probably tell early in the interview if the person seems like they will be reliable in the long run. Over the years he developed an intuition or gut feeling about people. For the rest of us, finding the right people is a lot harder.

Most people cannot function on their own initiative. In most organizations there is a mean guy who is the manager who makes sure the others keep working. If you hire people directly without an intermediary, you need to make sure they keep working. You might have to go through hundreds of people to find one who you can truly rely on.

Since I have very poor intuition, I prefer to see how people do on test jobs. If someone does well and asks for more, that indicates that they want to work. However, it doesn’t indicate how helpful they’ll be when they get busy. You really need to see how people behave during their first four months, and first year. If they do well for twelve consecutive months, it might be time for a promotion.

Finding people who are motivated might cost a lot more than what you are paying now. If you hire people who need to be micromanaged, then micromanage them or they might not function at all. Sometimes the only way to motivate people is to pay them a lot more than they would get paid elsewhere. It is a shame that people can’t just love their work and own their work naturally. But, that is the way the world works. Also, certain industries tend to attract reliable people. Doctors, Attorneys, Accountants and Insurance people tend to be reliable while the people I work with are not. All I can say is good luck!

Judge a book by its cover; Judge a company by its office (2016)

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As children we are taught not to judge a book by its cover. We are taught not to judge people based on appearances. I was watching a TV show about cops in New York who were explaining to their children that just because someone looks scary that they are not necessarily a bad guy. However, experience has taught me that if there is something scary about you, some negative character trait will turn up somewhere. You might not be a criminal, but some other bad tendency will surface. If you associate with bad people, there will be something bad about you. The apple never falls far from the tree, so people — let’s use our common sense here.

You can learn a lot from the salesperson
So, how does this silly discussion apply to the world of business? Doing business is a little like being a cop. You need to judge your instincts. You need to assess situations and offers. You need to know the right companies to hire. You cannot tell much by talking to the salesperson over the phone. They are always pleasant and up beat. However, if the salesperson can’t answer questions and tells you that everything you want is easily possible, they are probably talking nonsense as I have never seen a company cooperate more then 20% with me in the long run — there are always many snags and limitations.

Communication is the indicator you’ve been waiting for.
If a company sends illiterate looking emails to you, it is a sign that their service is not that good. When I get poorly written emails from companies and then call them, the oral communication is always unbelievably bad. I am not perfect myself, but I judge companies on how good their writing skills are. See how clearly they talk to you. Do they like talking to you? If not, then don’t use them. Some people talk too fast, others mumble, while some garble. Try to find someone who communicates clearly. I deal mostly with foreigners, so they will have accents, but that is okay. If their English is educated sounding and clear, that is the main thing. Additionally, a company with a poor phone line that is so bad that they are constantly making you repeat yourself and then blaming you for not using a better phone — is not a company you should use. So, judge a company by their phone lines, conversation, and emails. But, my favorite indication of a company is their office.

The office is the window to a company’s soul
Charlie Munger always used to do walk arounds in people’s offices. He wanted to know if the company would be a good investment. He could tell a lot by how the employees acted. Did they have good body language? Did they look happy? Did they dress well? Did they slouch? I do many walk arounds at companies. When I ask questions, I seldom get good answers. When I ask people to email me back, I always have to wait for weeks only to get a useless answer. I can tell by the energy of the workers that they are mentally dull most of the time and not interested in their work or in their customers. I am more interested in companies that are alive.

Decor means a lot too
Some offices are not very thoughtfully decorated. Others have cheap or incomplete decor. I went to a spa at the Singapore airport that had nice plants, beautiful tile floors, Japanese sliding paper doors, and aroma therapy. I felt immediately relaxed upon entering. I went to another spa in Los Angeles where they had beautiful pictures of the Buddha, fancy pillows, and plants too. I felt relaxed there too, and their spa services were much better than another spa I went to with cheap looking decor. There was one case of an office with a very plain and inexpensive decor. They offered good service to me for years, but then the boss lost his temper and I stopped using their service. Sometimes there is a delayed reaction in business. If you see a bad sign in someone you’ve hired, it is like a ticking time-bomb. You know something will happen, but you’re not sure when, where or how. In this case it was 17 years before something happened.

How do you judge overseas companies
It is harder to judge a company that you can’t visit. My suggestion is to visit it anyway, or don’t use them. Invest in getting to know people personally. It is too risky to do any type of business with people you aren’t sure about. But, if you use companies that you don’t have time to visit, try to do that office walk around without physically seeing the office. You can learn a lot by interviewing a few of their workers. Instead of seeing haggard looking people slouching around, you can hear the slouching over the phone. You can hear the “I’m tired and want to go home” tone in their voice. Many of the signs are there. Blind people can’t see, but compensate by using their other senses more elaborately. If you can’t see a company you want to work with, try to be like a blind person and learn about them using your other senses.

Summary
Remember — Christianity says judge not lest you should be judged. In business you have to judge. So, try to be intelligent about how you judge. Look for the signs, and try to look around in as many ways as you can to see more signs. Additionally, when you compare companies, you might consider comparing hundreds rather than two or three as most companies are not what they are cracked up to be — except for spas in Singapore!

Hiring Freelancers? How do you deal with fraudulent bills?

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I just hired a freelancer a month ago. This lady told me that she used to be an executive at Disney making six digits per year. I was impressed. She had good communication skills, and had good energy. She answered her phone and got back to me fast. However, as I gave her training and tested her on her basic abilities, I learned that she lacked basic grammatical and writing skills which is indicative of a faulty aptitude. On a brighter note, she had an impressive vocabulary — however, vocabulary alone will not get you anywhere (even though it’s really cool.)

Pay me first because I don’t trust you
In any case, I assigned her several tasks. She was to put in a few ads on an online portal. She was also supposed to interview her Disney colleagues to get some interesting and real content for my outsourcing blog. I prepaid her for the first ad, and she put the ad in. The problem happened with the next three ads. She told me she wouldn’t put in the first ad until I paid her. So, I had to wait a week to learn that she refused to do her job unless it was prepaid. She didn’t make this clear to me until after she kept me waiting. In any case, after I learned she wanted money, I paid her. Then, she put the ad in. She thought that I would rip her off if I didn’t prepay her. So, I figured that since I paid her lots of money, that she would trust me for the second time around. I asked her to put in three ads.

She never put in the ad
She put in the first ad, but did it with a free ad, not a $25 ad as discussed. The result was that I got one inquiry instead of twenty. I suspected that she did not put in the first ad. I got no inquiries from the other two ads I assigned to her. So, once again, she did not do what was assigned. Additionally, she wasted my time which I am deducting from her pay for the few minutes she did put in posting the advertisement that I paid her in advance for.

The interviews never happened
The next thing that went wrong is that her interviews never happened. She spend some time on the phone trying to reach key people at Disney who I thought she knew personally from her “executive” work there. It turned out that she was treated like a stranger by the staff at Disney and was not able to secure an interview with anyone. If she were a real executive she would at least have been able to talk to a real contact person who would give her a real reason for not giving her any information. After all, the information might be embarrassing for Disney if they were involved in outsourcing.

“I knew that you would rob me.”
So, she tried to bill me for five hours for the time that she allegedly spent talking to Disney. She furnished me with no dates and times of her calls. She omitted to tell me who she talked to and what she was told. There was no information other than the verbiage, “I knew that you would rob me!” She basically is trying to bill me for work that never happened and then blame me for robbing her. It is very clear that she is trying to scam me, but not doing a very good job. If you do want to scam someone who hires you as a freelancer, my suggestion is to do real work, and have real evidence of what you did, and then add some more well documented hours that never existed. You will still get karmically punished for this trick, but at least, the documentation will ensure that you probably get paid.

When I asked the lady for documentation for the money she spent on advertising and documentation for the calls she made for the interviews, instead of information, she wrote me back and said, “God bless you — that’s all I can say.” She proved that all her claims were false in one sentence.

If you hire freelancers
If you hire freelancers, make sure your tasks have time limits. If they don’t finish putting in an ad, or doing an interview, or writing tweets within a certain amount of days, they don’t get paid. Also, let them know a fixed maximum amount of time you will allow for particular tasks. Let them know they won’t get paid if they don’t get results. You don’t want to hire tricksters who will fake a bunch of hours. If they can’t get results, they should not be in business as a freelancer in any case! So, that is their problem, not yours. I get results for my work, and in the rare situation where I don’t, I take responsibility.

People who take the first job offer they get might be unhappy in the long run

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When you are out of work and short of cash, you might be tempted to get a job fast. But, this is not always a good idea. When we are in a hurry, we often lose track of the long term goal which is to have a meaningful and rewarding career.

A smart employer doesn’t just interview two or three people. He/she/it knows that finding the perfect person takes a lot of digging around. And just because you make someone an offer doesn’t mean they will take it. Most employers make contact with 100 people to find a single employee. Not all 100 will result in interviews, but might involve a short email conversation about the job at hand. So, why should a job seeker be any different?

In order to compare multiple offers, you need to have multiple offers. It might make sense to interview at one hundred companies. That way you might get a handful of offers and pick the one that caters to your long term goals. Or, you could sell out and find something that pays well in the short run.

It might take two or three extra weeks to interview “enough” companies to get a good choice. That will seem like a long time, and the lost income will see like a lot too. But, if you are stuck fro two or three extra years at a job or company you are not happy with, that will seem like an eternity.

And one last point. A lot of job satisfaction happens when you work with people who you feel good about. Do what Warren Buffet’s buddy Charlie Munger does and do a “walk around.” Walk around the company, shake some hands, get to talking with a few people. Size them up. See if they are the types that you want to be working with in the long run or if you are just being desperate. You might be much happier in the long run doing a dull job with wonderful people rather then a dream job with nightmare coworkers! Think ahead!

8 profiles of “caring” workers. But, which type are you better off with?

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Your success in business could be determined by having workers that care. But, how do you differentiate a caring workers from one who does not? In real life it is not so easy as there are many levels to caring. There are many profiles of workers and each one is different.

Also See: Good Sign Bad Sign: What to look for in newly hired workers

The Drone – The worker who just does their job
There are many people who just do their job. They don’t care if the work is good and they don’t even double check or look for feed back. They just don’t care, and it shows. Miraculously many bosses keep this type of worker and don’t look for better which results in very mediocre output!

The Nice Person – The worker who is pleasant to all
There are some workers who are very polite and pleasant. They are so considerate that you might be fooled into thinking that they really care. Don’t be!

The Good Communicator – The worker who will have detailed conversations with you
There are other workers who will have long talks with you about work. They will suggest their own ideas which are often good ones. They will make sure work gets done. But, this type might slack off starting a few months before they quit, so beware!

The Loyal Worker – The worker who sticks around
Some people are quitters while others show loyalty to the boss. This doesn’t necessarily mean they care about their job, but they value the stability of the work.

The Selectively Caring Worker – The worker who cares about some aspects of their work
Some people care a lot about the parts of their work that they relate to, but don’t care at all about many other parts of the work that the boss tries to get them to put more emphasis on. These are “selectively” caring workers.

The Undependable Caring Worker
I know people who care tremendously about their work and its results. They care so much that if one person calls them back, they will look through the trash to try to find the data to associate the person’s number with their name. They will invest twenty minutes calling someone back who didn’t even leave a message and then go to the beach when they are supposed to be at work the next day. This type of worker will waste endless time on something that is completely meaningless and completely neglect the bigger picture.

Also See: What does Warren Buffet look for when he hires?

The Limited Availability Freelancer
With freelancers, this is a regular problem. You might have a very caring and conscientious worker who just won’t do more than a few hours a week for you because their other work is a priority. At least they didn’t leave you completely in the cold. This is a type of worker you can work with in the long run because they are panning out even though they always leave you wishing for more!

The Midnight Toker
Ideally, you need a worker who will care about all of the aspects of their work. You need someone who will stay until midnight if necessary. You need someone who is constantly trying to improve upon themselves. And finally, you need someone who is loyal and won’t quit on a whim.

Perfection is Not Always Possible
It might not be so easy to find perfect workers every time. But, if you are constantly interviewing people all the time, you might get better at finding them and keeping them on board. The perfect company has perfect workers, so keep perfection as your goal.

As my friend Chung-Ho who owns a Chinese bakery always says, “Reach for the moon cake!”

You might also like:

A 20 minute office visit reveals the character of a company!
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2013/12/12/a-20-minute-office-visit-reveals-the-character-of-a-company/

The 2% rule; Only 2% of companies are worth hiring
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2013/10/21/the-2-rule-only-2-of-companies-are-worth-hiring/

Do you hire for social, technical or organizational skills.

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After assessing my new helpers’ skills, I see that hiring is not so simple. To be a good worker, you need to be strong in many types of skills. I hire people to do phone work which involves a lot of interaction skills. Americans tend to be best at interaction although many back offices tend to attract those who aren’t. However, the other skills such as showing up on time, knowing how to keep information straight, or understanding technical terms can get in the way.

Keeping it Straight
The types of jobs I hire for do not have a pool of ready-trained people. I rely on people who know nothing, but learn fast. I am more interested in tracking your learning curve and attitude that seeing what you already know. For the last year and a half I have been training a lady who learns fast. After three coaching sessions she can master any of the tasks that I have her do even better than I can do them. Unfortunately, she doesn’t have the time to put in the hours I require, but at least she can get the job done. I hired another person who gets very upset whenever she has to learn anything new that she doesn’t understand. Any time there is a small confusion, she blows her top. Working with me involves a lot of changes in pace, and there are always new things to learn. I am not an expert at training people as I only train one new person every 18 months. I am good at what I do daily, but not good at what I do year-and-half-ly. Can’t my trainees just understand that I can’t possibly foresee every possible situation that they might be in or every possible word a client might use with them that might be hard to understand? Just write down your questions and ask. When in doubt, have the client email me. Solutions to unforeseen problems are easy, so why get upset?

Technical Understanding
But, some people can learn technical terms well, and understand technical situations well while others remain confused for the rest of their lives. I had to teach many people about loan documents. Most people cannot keep track of the various attributes of the various documents. They always get the documents confused. Unfortunately, if you are giving tests on loan document knowledge, you need to know the basics, otherwise you can’t give the test!

Organization
Then there are others who can’t display their data in an organized fashion. The commas are never where they are supposed to be. Nothing lines up. Unnecessary information is always added, and critical information is systematically omitted. If I am reading a report, you will be wasting my time if the information is not orderly, and complete.

Assessment
If you hire new people, you might be very smart to test them on organizational skills before you officially hire them. Have them do some small projects. See if they actually finish the project without whining about if they are going to get paid. See if the data is arranged properly in a data output assignment. See if they can handle snags during customer service phone calls. Train them on technical terms and see if they can get them straight after an hour or two of training without getting upset. Most people cannot handle a task that is technical and that involves organizational and social skills. Some people might be good in one department or the other, but to line up all three in a row is hard to find. One solution is to simplify the types of jobs you give to others so that anybody can do it. That simplifies the hiring process and makes it easier to outsource work too. Idiot-proofing is one of the best strategies a business can have if you have trouble finding people who can be as smart as you!

Is a woman’s productivity less than a man’s in the workforce?

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I have a friend who is slightly biased. I grew up with very feminist and “liberal” people who didn’t believe in traditional notions. However, as I am growing older, I realize that women’s behavior in the work world is not like men at all. What are the differences?

Feminists say that women can do anything that a man can do just as well or better. This is partly true, but what makes it not true?

1. Pregnancy
If a woman becomes pregnant and has a child, she will not be able to work her job the same way a man will. Additionally, after the child is born, it will need its mommy, and if mommy is working forty hours a week and commuting, who will be raising the child? You can’t be both — you can’t compete in the work world and be a mommy at the same time. You either need to choose one or the other, or divide your time equitably by working part-time or preferably part-time from home.

2. Mid-life burnout
Men have a mid-life crisis sometimes in their late forties or fifties. They want to get the sports car, leather pants, travel, have affairs, try new things. They grow tired of work sometimes. Perhaps this is temporary. I have my mid-life crisis every several months and then I snap out of it and get focused. Women often have a crisis in their thirties where they lose their drive to be a good worker and long for meaning in their lives. They often want to slow down and be at home. This is because women are genetically programmed to nest, not hunt — something feminists can’t get through their heads!

3. Menopause
Women do not work as effectively in their late fifties. They get more cranky, and slow down. It is hard to do well in the work world if you are upset all the time and have less energy.

4. High Turnover
As far as people I have interacted with, I have seen that the businesses I am familiar with have a 100% turnover rate with female employees. A local social media company assists me with Facebook. Only one of their female employees lasted longer than three years. At our local massage place, five years later the two guys who manage it are still there. But, not one of their ladies has lasted more than three years.

5. Overtime
Are women as willing to do overtime as men? I have heard mixed reviews on this. But, if you have a family and kids, it becomes almost impossible to do this without sacrificing in a devastating way.

6. Drama
When men lose their temper at work you have a flare up. But, my experience working with men is that they are there to work. Women like to complain more and create dramas much more than men.

7. Patience
This is one area where women in their twenties do much better than men. Men are judged by their accomplishments and are in a huge hurry to get ahead, but sometimes want to cut corners or get out of doing the work necessary to achieve this. Women are more willing to put up with unflattering work year after year. Additionally, women who get ahead almost always do so by sticking with the same job for fifteen or more years and learning to be good at all of the facets of the job.

8. Trauma
I have noticed that women tend to excel in the field of medicine and education. These are industries that combine intelligence, patience, and nurturing — traits that come naturally to the average woman. However, jobs requiring being involved in hostile situations such as the police force, the military, or even the legal field bring out over-aggressiveness in women and also lead to mental trauma in women. Men suffer from PTSD after military tours, but women who I have experienced first hand go much more off their rocker after having military and/or police experience. They feel they have to overcompensate for being a woman by being extra harsh and brutal, not to mention the trauma which seems to affect them much more strongly than it affects men. How many decades will it take for the military to realize that men are biologically programmed to be able to handle stressful combat situations a lot better than women are.

Summary
The reason why women are not equivalents to men in the workplace has nothing to do with intelligence. It has everything to do with biological programming, emotional stability, and family obligations. Putting aside the fact that many women are excellent workers, they were programmed to nest, not hunt. How many more centuries will it take until society figure this out? After being raised and strong-armed by feminists my entire childhood, it is hard to get reality into my head and forced notions of gender equality out of my head. It has taken me 28 years, and I still see the world through colored feminist glasses, but I’m beginning to come to my senses.

Do you hire based on current needs or future needs?

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When you hire someone, you don’t know exactly what they can do for you (other than what they promise) or how long they’ll stay with you.

I wanted to hire people to help me write tweets. I realized that it is hard to write interesting tweets and that someone who doesn’t have a writing background won’t be able to do a good enough job. But, they could learn. Then, I thought that even if someone learned on their own time, by the time they learned, my Twitter account would be much bigger and my standards would be much higher.

Then it dawned on me that I need to think about the future in a new way. I need to behave as if the future is already here. I need to think that my Twitter account already has a million engaging followers and that my tweet writer needs to be the best in the business. With this attitude, my whole hiring strategy is completely different. Someone who is merely “good enough” now is not going to cut it. They need to have amazing talent. Even writers don’t produce perfect results on Twitter because they are daunted by the 140 character limit and tags. But, you can easily spot talent early on, and if someone has the talent, they might be your ideal future employee.

Then I thought about my sales needs. My sales needs have changed in the last seven years, but my salesperson has not. I’m trying to put hard pressure on her to adapt to my “new” needs. She is complaining every step of the way. I’m realizing that I need a salesperson who is versatile and can do inbound as well as outbound sales, not to mention be able to do other tasks. So, now I’m trying to hire multi-taskers and believe me that isn’t easy.

It’s hard to picture your future needs. You’ll probably be wrong if you try. But, by trying to predict what you’ll need, you’ll be closer to target than if you don’t. So, try to be in tune, and envision your future. You should do this anyway as the mind is your most powerful asset for your future success!

Do you tell the applicant what they can get from the job?

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Job interviews can be very useless if you don’t do them right. The interviewer asks some questions and the applicant tells the interviewer what he thinks the interviewer wants to hear. It is all so worthless. But, you can ask personality and thinking questions where there is no right answer. I find that interviews do not tell me which candidate will do well in the end, although it tells me who I like and who communicates well.

But, most bosses fail to understand the art of attracting good workers. Large companies succeed where many small companies fail because people might feel that they have a good future at a large company. Many feel that at a tiny company, there is nowhere to grow. This is not always true, but it is about the impression you make and not about reality.

A smart boss lets the prospective worker know what they can expect to get from the job, and what they can learn from it too. This way the applicant feels that they will develop their career at the job and that it will lead somewhere. Most applicants want to go in a direction, and if they can’t see that direction clearly, they might take a job from somewhere else which pays a lot less.

Another factor not to ignore is asking the prospective employee where they want to go with their career. If your offering somewhat matches where they want to go, you might have a match. The important thing is that a job is not just about the money. It is about the experience, who you will meet, what the office looks like, and what can be learned. If your interview doesn’t focus on all of that juicy stuff, you are missing the point.