How to interview a job applicant. For Steve Hannah, CEO of The Onion, this is what he's trying to get at: "Can you do the job, and would I enjoy working with you?" he tells The New York Times. His approach to getting those answers, though, is a bit indirect. "I want to know how many children are in your family. I want to know where you fit in and what your role was. I want to know what your mother and your dad did, what influences they had on you," he says. This line of questioning, Hannah explains, helps him figure out "whether you were a kid who was entitled, [or] whether you worked hard." The biggest red flag? An applicant who trashes a former employer. "People think that by telling their prospective employer that their previous employer was a complete slug, that somehow this is going to make me feel, what, sorry for them?" Hannah says. "I generally figure: Well, you didn't work hard enough, and apparently you weren't smart enough to figure out the system. That's probably why you didn't advance at your last job." And here are our tips on improving hiring practices.
How to recruit interns for your start-up. A new online community called YouTern could become a valuable resource to start-ups looking to recruit talented interns. YouTern is designed to help students with an interest in entrepreneurship find positions at start-up companies, ReadWriteWeb explains. The site, which uses information about the student's degree and a business's needs to rank the compatibility of interns and potential employers, launched its pilot program in California and plans to expand it nationwide as more and more college students look to gain valuable work experience through internship programs. If you haven't done so already, check out our guide to managing interns.
Can workplace reviews be hazardous to employee health? Workplace morale has reached a serious low point. So says The Conference Board, which reports that job satisfaction in the U.S. has dipped to just 45 percent, compared to the 61-percent satisfaction rate in 1987. The New York Times says workplace reviews, and the unhealthy amount of stress they cause employees, may have something to do with it. The story includes input from management experts who reject the idea of holding regular reviews because they believe they only contributes to employees's high levels of anxiety, and they are largely subjective anyway. Mark Shahriary, president and chief executive of Lucix Corporation tells The Times why he no longer gives performance reviews, saying "People confuse the review with who they are...If they get a review saying, 'You're not effective at work,' they would hear, 'You're not effective as a person.'" As health care costs become more unaffordable for small businesses, it may be time to reevaluate some of the age-old practices that are stressing employees out. Check out Inc.'s guide for tips on how to deal with employee complaints.
The Senate ruling on angel investors. Last night, the Senate agreed to uphold a bipartisan amendment to the contentious financial reform debate that weighed in favor of angel investors, and therefore start-ups. But as peHUB reports, the struggle isn't over. The proposal that would require a 120-day review of angel investors transactions was struck down as was the requirement that angels would have to show $2.5 million in net worth. Instead, they can have an income of $200,000, and a net worth of $1 million, not including the value of their homes, but counting their spouse's assets. The proposal that angels would have to file private placement documents to both state and Federal regulators was also eliminated. Under the new amendment, "bad actor" provisions in place before 1996 are back--prohibiting investors with a criminal record or bad history with state regulators to get involved with securities offerings for 10 years. And angel investors can continue to file to the same regulators. In the end, says peHUB, it's pretty close to status quo, but with years of debate and appeals on the horizon with the SEC.
Using augmented reality to drive foot traffic. When your brand's been around for 60 years, it can be a challenge to remain relevant. Especially if you're catering to the younger demographic. Lego Group, however, hasn't been having that problem. The LA Times has a video of a kiosk in a Lego store that allows you to hold up a set while it's still in the box and display an animation of the finished product. Here are some other ways to use augmented reality to market your business.
JASON DEL REY was a senior reporter covering technology, branding, and company culture for Inc. magazine. Before joining Inc., his work appeared in Newsday, The (Newark) Star-Ledger, and the Staten Island Advance, and on ESPN.com. He lives in New Jersey. @DelRey