What To Know about job openings


This episode is about advertising job openings and hiring people.

I’ve worked in IT, Information Technology, for over 30 years.

I hire computer programmers, system engineers and marketing staff.

Have you ever applied for a job that looked like an ideal match and never heard back?

One time, I posted for a developer and got over 200 resumes in two days.

Most of the applicants were not at all qualified.

The good applicants got buried in a sea of bad applicants.

What I wish I knew then, is that a lot of people aren’t reading the  job posting before they apply.

There had to be a better way.

That’s why I recorded this show.

We’re looking for people who usually get the details right.

What happens when a marketer doesn’t pay attention to detail? You get brochures with the company name spelled wrong, wrong phone numbers or websites, repeated in 30,000 copies. I wish I was making up my examples but these mistakes were actually made. It’s unprofessional and costly.

What happens when a systems engineer doesn’t pay attention to detail?  A typo in a DNS entry can disable access to your email and website for hours. It’s disruptive and stressful.

When a programmer doesn’t pay attention to detail, the compiler will catch it.  I’m kidding. A typo can change the logic of program from true to false.

We all make mistakes. It’s not about being perfect

You may be watching this because someone I trained linked to this  in a job posting.

If so, congratulations, you’ve already set yourself above the other applicants.

We call this the Van Halen test.

Van Halen is a rock band mocked for their behaviour in the Spinal Tap movie.

Van Halen required promoters to provide a bowl of M&M’s backstage.

Nothing horrible about that, lots of people like M&M’s. I’d like to have a bowl of M&M’s in my contract.

But Van Halen demanded the removal of all brown M&M’s.

That’s crazy, M&M’s all taste the same, regardless of the colour.

When I heard this, I thought they were needlessly making people jump through hoops

Van Halen even had a hit song called Jump.

It looked like an abuse of power.

And maybe it was.

But on the other hand, there may a good reason for it.

Can you guess what it is?

I’ll give you a clue “How you do anything, is how you do everything”.

Why would Van Halen demand the removal of all brown M&M’s?

Well, there are hundreds of details to get right when setting up a show.

It would be a huge job to go through and double check that every bolt had been tightened, every scaffold and light was rigged properly.

Performers and stage hands have been injured and killed due to the details not being handled.

Van Halen has a unique stage that had to be setup correctly.

Now can you guess why Van Halen insisted on no brown M&M’s?

The answer is that removal of brown M&M’s proved that the concert promoter had paid attention to that detail.

If the promoter got that silly little detail right, then they probably got hundreds of the important details right.

“How you do anything, is how you do everything”

In our version of the Van Halen test, we ask you to report your typing speed.

We type all day, so we ought to be good at it.

Please take a minute to go to www.TypingTest.com I’ll provide a link in the show notes.  TypingTest.com will help you increase your speed if you choose to do that.

In the first line of your cover sheet include your error adjusted speed.

It takes us 2 seconds to cut the people who miss this detail

On a recent posting we eliminated 75 applicants.

That gives us more time to focus on desirable applicants, like you.

Don’t worry if you have a slow typing speed, so does Stephen Hawking.

What we’re testing is that you read our job posting and followed directions.

You’ve watched this far, which means that you’ll probably read our documentation and emails.

“How you do anything, is how you do everything”

Would you believe that some people read only the first line of your email?

Can I tell you another story?

It’s from a New York times article about a phishing email attack.

I’ll include a link to the full story in the show notes.

What I want you to focus on is this email.

“This is a legitimate email”. Would you stop reading at that point? He goes on to write “John needs to change his password immediately, and ensure that two-factor authentication is turned on his account. It is absolutely imperative that this is done ASAP.

He even  provides the correct link to make the password change.

Are you pondering what I’m pondering ?

What system administrator is going to tell you to change your password because you received a good email?

I’m certain what he meant to say was “This is NOT a legitimate email.”

It would have been more clear if Charles had first written “You’ve been targeted with a dangerous phishing email. Don’t click on any of the links in it.”

Strangely, no one questioned why the systems administrator strongly recommend changing passwords in response to a supposedly legitimate email.

I think it’s because they didn’t read past the first line.

The phishing email was treated as legitimate.

John Podesta unwittingly gave hackers his Gmail password.

Which gave the hackers access to a treasure trove of his confidential email.

Which led to embarrassing Clinton campaign emails being posted on WikiLeaks

Which led to the humiliation of the Clinton campaign.

Which led to the resignation of the chairwoman and a few top aides of the Democratic National Convention.

Which some argue contributed to Clinton losing the US presidential election.

Which led to Donald Trump being president.

And so on…

So details do matter. That’s why we ask for your typing speed.

Good luck in your job search.

Feel free to link to this video when you are hiring.

I guarantee you that it will save you a lot of time and help you find good people to work with.

Thank you for watching.

Show Notes


The full article about the phishing email