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Tech and Behind The Scenes

Want to Boost Your Productivity? Go Tech-Free & Embrace Stillness

no emailHave you ever felt busy but not productive? Like you’re sitting at your desk for several consecutive hours and yet nothing is getting accomplished?

Per a piece on Fast Company, there’s a strong case for sitting still. Being over doing, silence over noise.

For instance, the writer spent a month at an artist residency in Wyoming. In addition to living off a dirt road without cell phone service and spotty internet connection, she writes, “It was also a dream.”

The New Yorker initially looked at her phone and after a moment of panic she quickly realized that her phone was going to take on a new identity. Yes, it had morphed into a paperweight. Read more

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Nashville Company Incorporates Ping-Pong into Job Interviews

ping pongYes, you read that right! The Nashville-based company, TechnologyAdvice, incorporates a friendly game of ping-pong into their hiring process.

And per a piece on Inc., it sounds like it’s not such a bad idea after all. Per their CEO, Rob Bellenfant, this hiring technique has been incorporated to the final step of the job interview.

After all of the interviews have been finished, a company executive asks each candidate if they are willing to play a game of table tennis because the company is participating in a study. Prior to playing, the candidate completes a questionnaire addressing questions like rating their aggressiveness.

Next, the candidate plays three 11-point games against the company’s data strategy director. As each game proceeds, the director ups his own game and makes it more and more challenging for the job candidate.

Are they looking to assess how well they play? Not exactly.

Bellenfant explains in the piece,

“We’re not looking at people’s ability to play but at their approach. Are they open to trying something new if they haven’t played before, or not in a long time? If they win, how do they celebrate? If they lose, do they take it in a difficult way? How seriously do they take it? Do they take it as a joke, or do they put in a lot of effort? As the games get more difficult, do they adapt? Those are the types of things we’re looking at.”

Interestingly enough, games are recorded on video and then the CEO evaluates each one, along with a statistician and psychologist from Vanderbilt, along with the president of the Nashville Table Tennis Club in an effort to make it “as objective as possible.”

After the three games have been finished, candidates complete yet another questionnaire asking them to rate the experience. Bellenfant says this set of questions could reveal self-introspection. If a candidate rates him or herself a seven prior to playing and then after gives a self-rating of three, perhaps they learned from something. And maybe they originally rated him or herself as a three and then a seven — that shows harsh self-judgment.

He adds, “For a position in sales, we’re looking for someone a little more aggressive. For a job in data or research, we want someone who can think things through.”

Will Robots Replace Retail Workers? One Expert Thinks So

robotEverything feels like it’s becoming more automated, doesn’t it? Well, if you currently supplement your income with a retail gig, you won’t want to miss this nugget of insight.

Per a piece on Business Insider, retail workers are most at risk to becoming replaced by robots. Yes, we said robots. As much as technology makes our lives easier, it also downsizes humans.

Doug Stephens, author of The Retail Revival: Re-Imagining Business for the New Age of Consumerism, told the site he anticipates Wal-Mart, Kohl’s, Target and other retailers to make “a very concerted effort” to pursue robots within the next three to five years. Read more

The Scoop on Protecting Your Own Data On Your Company’s Phone

mobile phonesBack in the day, if you left your job you really only had to be concerned about your online files and some occasional hard copy ones. Well, corporate devices complicate things because they’re technically owned by your employer.

And yet when you leave, regardless of where the data resides, the device needs to get returned. Should you keep personal items on your device? Shouldn’t you also be able to keep the contacts’ information, too? Read more

How to Make Reverse Mentoring Work for You

new_twitter_logoIf you’re an older worker and your company has a reverse mentoring program for younger employees to train you on technology, no worries there.

There’s no need to be concerned if you’ll look like a dinosaur. After all, the program was implemented for a reason. Per the New York Post though just be sure you don’t refer to social media as “the Twitter.” Read more

New White Paper Reveals the Rise of the Contingent Workforce

Job-SearchMaybe one of your parents or even their parents can remember working for the same company for 25 years.

Well, that was then and this is now. Even working for the same company for five consecutive years may feel like an eternity (and a milestone).

According to a white paper released by Execu|Search, an executive recruiting firm,  the contingent workforce isn’t only here to stay, it’s on the rise. Per the paper, data from NBC News revealed 33 percent of all wage-earners in the U.S. are technically freelancers or contract workers. Let’s repeat that for emphasis — 33 percent! Read more

How to Unplug for the Holidays

rookiefreelancing1Anyone doing a digital detox for the holidays? If so, you’re not alone. We’re going to try to at least limit our usage somewhat but now that we think about it, we don’t have a concrete action plan.

Lucky for us, the folks at Mashable created one. Incorporating a variety of strategies into their game such as “internet eraser” and “the login liquefier,” there’s one that truly resonated with us.

Yes, the “workaholic’s withdrawal.”  Read more

Simply Hired Releases Data on the Mobile Job Seeker

simply hired mobileAccording to Simply Hired, a technology company operating job search engines, the mobile audience is universal and relying on their device more frequently than their desktop or laptop to pound the pavement.

After crunching data on more than 30 million job seekers during the month of August, per the report issued today mobile users are serious. As for the breakdown: 75 percent of job clicks came from mobile phones compared to 25 percent coming from tablets.

More engaged in jobs than ever before, they’re spending more time on the site, and clicking through more and revisit the same job 60 percent more times than desktop users. And when they do revisit jobs for the second time around, they’re checking them out on their desktops.

Interestingly enough, peak hours for mobile users were 8 to 9 p.m. and for desktop users it was 11:30 a.m. Read more

Would You Circumvent Work Policies Banning Personal Tech Devices? Survey Says…

mobile phonesAccording to a Fortune piece, Fortinet released a 20-country survey which revealed that more than half of its 21 – 31 year-old employees would circumvent their company policy banning the use of personal devices at work.

So, if you’re an employer it sounds like asking employees to stay unplugged from their personal devices during the day isn’t exactly a viable option. Apparently 51 percent of participants in the survey mentioned they would break the rules and find a way around the policy! Read more

CEO of TheLadders Talks About Its Top Ranked Job Search App

Last month, TheLadders released its native iOS app, “Job Search by TheLadders.”

In merely one week it rose to the top spot in the free and business categories in the App Store. We knew they had to be onto something so we sat down with the CEO to get the scoop.

Alex Douzet, CEO and co-founder explains the significance of job searching via a mobile app: “What’s the last thing you do at night before you go to bed? You turn off the light and intend to look at your phone.” Read more