Hiring algorithms vs. understanding human nature

Categories: Hiring & Firing | Leave a comment

Big companies are using hiring algorithms and with great success to find the best employees for the job. There are so many factors involved in hiring, that an algorithm is the only way to sort through the stack of resumes. I use algorithms in every stage of my business, but my algorithms are simpler and can be created by simple computer programs or on paper. I use algorithms to buy stocks, hire companies, and sort search results on my directories. Some of my algorithms have 14 factors, while others have only 3 that can be calculated in my head. I think that three factors is not enough and over time I will try to complicate my overly simplistic algorithm for one of my search results with some new factors.

Today’s management seems to be obsessed with computers, labor saving technology, and algorithms. These are all good things. But, there is no substitute for good old fashioned skills. Similarly, with all of the new social mediums coming up whose names I don’t even know who are the successers to Facebook, Twitter, the telephone, telegrams, hand written letters, medieval scribes and messengers — good old fashioned writing skills are still paramount and “some things ain’t never gonna change!”

Putting algorithmic considerations aside, there are basic personality considerations.

1. Does the new employee feel like someone the boss and team wants to work with? Would you want to be stuck in a car for three hours with this person? Would you want your kids to hang out with them?

2. Have the employee do some test work for the company for a while and evaluate the work. Also evaluate the interaction between the worker and the boss.

3. The biggest test in an employee is seeing how their attitude is roughly four to five months after being hired. This is when people’s good attitude starts to fade. No matter how good your algorithm is, it cannot predict a person’s future attitude. You can see how fast they quit their previous jobs which is some sort of indication.

4. You can learn a lot by looking at someone’s personal life. It is not appropriate at a job interview to ask personal questions, but knowing a person’s private life can tell you a lot about how they will work. I hired a lady who kept boyfriends for exactly eighteen months and then went on to another boyfriend. She did this again and again over the course of decades. Guess how long she lasted at her job with me? Exactly eighteen months!

My final point is to incorporate personality into algorithms. But, how can this be done? You can enter your assessment of someone’s personality or compatibility with your company into the algorithm to give them more points or less points. The problem is that the biggest factor in the personality algorithm encompasses whether or not you will lose interest, quit, or become a personality problem for the company. Maybe hiring agents should hire a psychic and put their input into the algorithm — now we’re talking!

Was your business decision wrong, or was it just a bad quarter?

Categories: Management | Leave a comment

Making business decisions is hard. Sometimes I think about a business decision and rethink it for years. I often come out with completely different solutions as time goes on. The problem is that assessing a business decision after the fact is not so easy.

Let’s say you decide to add more workers to your company, but then profits went down in the 3rd quarter. Did profits go down because you added new workers, or was it just a bad quarter? You have to take a closer view at what really happened with the new workers, and where the loss of profits was incurred.

I made a stupid decision last month. I tested my analytics after I removed many of our older reviews and added mobile pages at the same time. Since I did two changes at the same time, I cannot know if the decline in my stats was because my reviews were removed, or because Google didn’t like my mobile pages. Hmm. When you make changes to your business, if you want to get a clear analysis of the results of your change, you have to make one change at a time and measure the change over a reasonable period of time — and what is reasonable may vary based on what type of change you made.

Large companies like Samuel Adams experience huge ups and downs purely based on quarterly income. My stock plummetted two days after I purchased it. I lose 15% in a day. Then, I had to wait six months and they had a good quarter and the stock went up to 1.5% above where I purchased it at. So, I sold it because I decided that I didn’t like the volatility.

Another mistake is to base business decisions on short-term results. Sometimes business decisions might help you five to ten years down the road and you can’t measure what happens the following quarter when assessing long term plans. It is common for Asian auto manufacturers to sell cars at below cost to get the market moving overseas. They will wait for a decade and then start selling cars at cost, and twenty years before they make a profit. I might be exaggerating here, but long term business practices require patience, and if you have no patience, perhaps being a business man is not the right career for you!

Should Native Americans lead the solar energy industry?

Categories: Of Interest | Leave a comment

I am seeing so much news about the protests at Standing Rock these days. It seems that modern society has an endless thirst for fossil fuels, but has no understanding about the permanent damage we are doing to our planet. The Native Americans in the Dakotas do understand the damage and that is why they are protesting. But, to end our dependence on fossil fuels, there need to be affordable alternatives. Solar and wind are easy alternatives that could become a lot more widespread if people would spread them.

Since Native Americans have a philosophy of loving the earth and animals, it seems only reasonable that they dominate the solar energy field. They would believe in it the most strongly, and also serve as a good example to others. If the world seems people using solar energy and wind power in America, the rest of the world will gradually follow, even if it is more expensive.

If solar becomes mainstream, there will be more research into more efficient ways of building solar infrastructure and the price of the solar equipment will go down making it affordable. Another factor to consider is that solar energy is much more cost effective if the energy is used when and where it is produced.

Solar energy is much more easily produced in the American Southwest where it is sunny 95% of the time. However, the Germans have been successfully using solar energy for 30% of their winter energy needs when it is snowing, raining, or cloudy. If Germans can use solar in the winter, then anyone can use it successfully.

The other thing to remember is that there is terrible unemployment in Native American parts of the country. Having a solar industry where they live would give much needed jobs. So far the only successful industries in native areas have been casinos and jewelry. It would be nice to see people making money at doing something wholesome like alternative energy instead of gambling which is detremental to the human race.

A client of 123outsource.net’s divulges it’s marketing secrets!

Categories: Outsource Marketing | Leave a comment

“To be precise our only avenue to clients has been simply our standards and practices that we adhere to on a daily basis. It is critical from a client’s point of view, that he/she does not worry about his non-core activity and spend too much time and resources in grooming a outsourcing services provider because that is the sole purpose in the first place when it comes to choosing an outsourcing services provider. Binfex is meticulous while approaching a client for an engagement, we believe without the right research and knowledge about the customer’s core business one cannot deliver customer delight and enable the customer to be free of worries with his non-core activity.

There are key ingredients which as a team we always believed that would separate us from the lower quality service providers.
Our unwavered focus and commitment to service delivery, strategic knowledge about customer’s core business function and most importantly a strong and effective campaign management strategy for quality driven performance.

A list of methods that we apply while working approaching.

1. A Strong corporate brochure explaining why we are a value addition to the customer

2. A service portfolio that give absolute clarity on service delivery standards

3. Our quality culture, performance management, employee development practices, data security practices

4. Strong Core Team with in depth knowledge and experience

5. Effective and secure technology infrastructure with high availability.

6. Constant interaction with probable clients who need our service.

These are some of the methods follow and have inculcated as a culture at Binfex and we feel these standards and methods are critical for any service provider’s success.

BPO Directory — find BPO companies with us!

Categories: BPO | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Do you need to find a BPO company to outsource some back office tasks to? You’ve come to the right place. 123outsource.net has 800 highly qualified BPO companies all around the world. We used to have over 4000 companies, but we filtered out the lower quality companies and kept only the absolute best companies. We have BPO, KPO, and LPO companies in India, The Philippines, Central America, Eastern Europe, and many other places.

We update the information in our BPO directory every month, so you are assured to find highly accurate and useful information whenever you do a search! 123outsource.net gets abgout 30,000 visitors per month. Your company is welcomed to join us and create a profile. Just visit our sign up page! The link to sign up is on the left of the home page in red!

India’s scam call centers get in trouble

Categories: Call Center | Tagged | Leave a comment

A call center in India was telling people in the United States that they were in trouble with the IRS for tax evasion or tax fraud. Luckily, I know that the IRS writes letters and doesn’t email or leave voice mail unless you have a personal relationship with a particular agent. the US Justice Department claimed that people had been scammed out of $300 million with this scam.

There were 20 people arrested in American and India did several raids to arrest several dozen in India regarding this scam. The individual knownn as “Shaggy” who allegedly masterminded the entire scam has taken refuge in the United Arab Emirates — out of reach of Indian authorities.

Meanwhile Indian authorities have seized an Audi that the alleged mastermind Thakkar gave to his girlfriend and are looking for other assets.

The main technique used during the scam operation is typical. They bullied Americans with threats of arrest, jail, confiscated assets, and more. The IRS threatens to confiscate assets, but I have not heard of them threatening people with jail time unless their Attorneys have reviewed your case and a serious case of fraud has been proven such as in the case of the famous gangster Al Capone from decades ago. The government couldn’t find enough dirt to jail Capone on his criminal activities, but were able to bust him on tax evasion of all things.

Maybe this scam call center should get a written testimonial from Al Capone (no longer living) to prove that real people do get jailed for evading taxes.

The moral of the story here is to be on the lookout for scams from India. But, there is tremendous dishonesty right here at home too. Most Americans have their bristles up when someone tries to scam them and are even suspicious of you when you are not trying to scam them. It is that occassional person who is not registering that they are being taken advantage of that the scammers capitalize on. Make sure that person is not you!

Would your BPO or Call Center get more clients if you personalized yourselves?

Categories: BPO | Leave a comment

Many companies in India tend to try to be as impersonal as possible as being impersonable and unfriendly seems businesslike. Trying to get someone to blindly sign a contract when you tell them nothing about yourself seems typically Indian — and seems like the type of company who I would not do any type of business with.

The way to get ahead in business is to develop rapport with clients, and deliver reliable, good work. Being secretive, distant and unfriendly may be a sign of our times, but doesn’t get you in well with clients contrary to popular belief.

One Filipino Call Center decided to take lots of photos of them having birthday parties and show how their staff looked in real life while not figuratively chained to a phone. People will be more likely to hire you and keep you if they get to know you and see how you look, etc. The more they know about you the better, even if it is negative. Just as long as you didn’t murder anyone, people relate to you more if they know how you broke up with your girlfriend, your brother lost his job as they closed down his facility (through no fault of his own) and your car got totaled in an accident in a bad rain storm. Just as long as the negatives don’t pain you as irresponsible or reckless, they help people to relate to you.

On your company website, or Facebook, you can show photos of staff having parties or on their day off at the beach, etc. If you connect clients to these more personable moments, it really helps to create that emotional bond.

People in India are very hospitable when off duty or have in-person client visits. But, over the phone, Indians tend to be unfriendly and unhelpful, and impersonal. I hope this blog helps Indians get it through their heads that the rest of the world needs you, but would use you more and pay you better if you would just be a little more personal and smooth in your communication skills.

What types of stocks should you be buying?

Categories: Of Interest | Tagged , | Leave a comment

I always warn my friends not to trust funds. When you buy shares of a fund, you don’t know what you are getting. There are too many stocks to get to know any of them. To me it is safer only to have six to eight stocks and know their behavior well. Some stocks crash in a recession while others hold steady like Coca-Cola. If you have a fund with 500 stocks, you might be fooled into thinking you are “safe.” But, when the market crashes and you lose 80% of value, I’ll be holding on to KO (coca-cola) stock which only loses around 25% in a bad crash. Coke holds its value when the market fizzles.

My basic ideas for investing include the concept that whatever you buy should hold its value during the worst of times including war, famine, drought, depression, unstable interest rates, etc. I like stocks that stay steady during a stock market crash. I also like stocks that deal with very basic products that people will always need. Here are some of my basic categories for investing.

Food & Water
Coca-Cola and Pepsi are the two best conglomorates for food and bottled water. In a bad water shortage or war, these two companies will survive well while others will perish. They also do well in stock market crashes.

Basic Products
Proctor & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson and other companies that deal with basic grocery store or drug store products seem pretty stable to me.

Basic Technology & War Technology
IBM, LMT (Lockheed Martin) and RTN (Raytheon) are companies that sell technology or weapons that the government needs in peace or war, but especially in war. You have to plan for war, especially these days when there will be wars and rumors of wars.

Banks
Banks sometimes have very low price/earnings ratios which is wonderful, especially if they offer good dividends. The danger is that banks can lose their value in a bad crash while the stocks that sell commodities basic to survival stay steady. Banking stocks also can fluctuate with interest rates which is a great way to make a quick profit if you play the market correctly.

Oil & Transportation
The problem with oil and transportation stocks is that in a crash, people use less oil and have less products to transport. Oil and railroad stocks can make you a nice profit, but owning too much can be a danger when the economy slows down.

Airlines & Auto
These two are very unstable, but have very low P/E ratios. Warren Buffet bought some Delta Airlines a few months ago and has gotten a 37% appreciation in such a short time. Warren pays attention to hundreds of stocks and is always ready to buy when he sees a bargain.

I put most of my money into the top four categories and put less into medical, innovative technology and other types of stocks as they are too unpredictable. I love the prospect of having a gain, but not if it involves too much risk. I put less than 10% of my money into volatile stocks as a safety precaution. But, with stable stocks, you can make good money if you profit from the small ups and downs in the market. If you can make a 4-8% profit on stocks with a short turnaround of a few days, weeks or months, that is a way to make a very nice profit at the end of the year if you play your cards right.

At the current time of December, 2016, I am selling, or have sold most of my bank stocks and bought more food oriented stocks as they went down in price and have become more affordable. The bank stocks went up as the public thinks that Trump being in office will enhance banks ability to make money. The public might just be right!

Trump will bring jobs back to the US when there is nobody to do those jobs

Categories: America | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Trump is going to create new tax laws that will make it expensive to outsource jobs or move plants overseas. This seems wonderful for the American worker. But, unemployment is so low in the United States, how will you find quality people to do those jobs which are being brought back here — or jobs that are being prevented or discouraged from leaving here? When I try to get anyone to do anything in the United States I run into road blocks. The people who don’t have jobs are normally lazy, unproductive, argumentative, or just plain picky about what they do. The people who will work are normally extremely sluggish about getting anything done and expensive.

I am all in favor of making America great again and punishing China for currency manipulation. However, with low unemployment here, it will be difficult to find people. Personally, I feel our government should help people find jobs and ensure zero percent unemployment. You might have a job you don’t like, but at least you would have a job in an ideal society.

The next serious problem with America (besides lazy people who argue all the time) is that our local skill sets are not adequate to do the jobs of the future. People need to know computer programming, robotics, and other high tech skills. Americans are weak at these skills and without Asian immigration we would have an even more severe shortage of tech workers. Bringing back jobs won’t do us any good unless we have Americans to do those jobs. And Trump wants to make it harder for Indians and Chinese to come to America — those are the only people who can do the high tech jobs he is bringing back. And the Mexicans he wants to keep out are the only people who will do the low paid manufacturing jobs.

The moral of the story is that you can’t have your cake and eat it too. If you want low paid manufacturing in the USA, the only way to do that is to turn the US into Latin America which has already happened in my neighborhood — but, the papusas are good so I won’t complain!

Guest Bloggers Needed

Categories: Social Media | Leave a comment

123outsource.net loves to have guest bloggers write for us. If you live in India, Manila, or the good old USA and want to write for us, we will gladly give you a link or two in exchange. We might even hire you if your writing is popular with our crowd. Thanks again.

What hard or soft-skills do BPO workers learn on the job?

Categories: BPO | Tagged | Leave a comment

In India in the old days it was hard to find a job. Socialism made it impossible to fire people, and also impossible to get a job. If socialism makes life impossible for everyone, then what is the point of it?

But, now in India, The Philippines and other places, it is easy to get a job in the BPO sector if you have passable English. Young people can get a job right away, but they don’t only get paid, they also learn skills.

People reported learning all types of skills working in the BPO industry such as MS Work & Excel, database knowledge, keyboard shortcuts, spreadsheet, as well as solving technical and internet problems and programming languages for those in a more technical capacity.

But, also learned softer skills such as communication skills, customer service, multi-tasking, and more.

The skills learned made employees more desireable for future employment which seems to be a huge long-term perk. Many recent college graduates surveyed commented that working at a BPO was a good first job. On the other hand, it might be nicer for clients of BPO companies if the workers had a little more experience and were a little older!

Tweets:
Working at a BPO is a good first job and the work experience can be a credential for a future job.

Native American Marketers (could) use Visions to determine strategy

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Vision Quests vs. Hindu Meditation
I’ve been watching a lot of movies about Native Americans on youtube. Apparantly they are not so different from us Raja Yogis in many ways. In Raja Yoga it is common to have visions during meditation when we are in a deeply meditative state of mind. But, we don’t seek the visions, we just have them and then write about them in our journals and forget about them. Raja Yoga is too much about forgetting — otherwise you get attached which is bad.

But, in Native American culture, to become a man you have to go out into nature with no food and water in some cases for a few days. The idea is to conquer your fear, and also to be in so much pain that your body chemistry and brain chemistry changes to the point where it is hypnotic. Under these conditions, it is more possible to have a vision. Part of the assignment for the children is often to have a vision in addition to dealing with fear and dealing with being alone.

You can imagine how it would be even for an adult being out in nature with not enough clothes, no food, no friends, and trying to survive out there for a few days. In tribal culture, they might send someone to check on you once or twice per day as a courtesy. Also, the spirits would probably bother you if you were afraid and out in the middle of nowhere. They bother me, so they will undoubtedly bother you.

Visions are a big part of Native American life as well as the culture of most indiginous cultures in one way shape or form. We all have visions, particularly when we are dreaming, half asleep, daydreaming, or sometimes even during full consciousness. Muslims do not distinguish visions from dreams. The truth of visions is that they are messages from deep in our subconscious. Some of us are better at accessing our subconscious than others. It is an art actually to gracefully access information from deep within.

Hallucinogens were part of all indiginous cultures
Hallucinogens were common in many tribes. Some had magic mushrooms, somes use leaves from trees to create Iowaska, some used Paeote from cactuses, while some tribes had grasses that produced the same result. The Hallucinations are induced partly because of a chemical or drug that natually occurs in these plants. In ancient times, shamans had to have visions for the survival of their tribe in order to find food far away. If they goofed, the whole tribe would die. God put these plants in one form or another throughout the world for native peoples to use, survive and develop a culture of visions.

Visions for Marketing
I am a business man. I grew up in Anglo society here in America. But, I am deeply spiritual and meditate on business issues in addition to doing general mediation. The others who do meditation in our Raja Yoga group do not use spirituality as a tool to succeed. They just zone out and meditate and don’t care about anything. I have many past lives as a shaman, so I realize that spirituality is not only a nice thing to do, but can be a tool for survival looking for food, or looking for business. Over the years I have had many visions about my business. Some came to me in my sleep, others in meditation, and others during trips to the underworld. But, can you meditate and get visions that will help you with your business? If you are a Native American, this should be a standard part of your routine. But, regular folks can do it too. The question is, can you interpret your visions in a way that is accurate and helpful?