Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Passion for the work

Buffalo Wild Wings CEO Sally Smith: When interviewing job applicants, Smith looks primarily for one thing -- passion, no matter what it's for: "Is it a sport, is it reading?"
This only works when the company is willing to invest in the employee to create a passion for the product/service/customer. If you expect the employee to show up with a full set of skills, expect them to act like a hired gun with a passion for their pay check and if you're very lucky a passion for doing their job very well.
You can’t hire passion for your product, you can only grow it!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Why can't the press report the facts?

Births in the United States in 1985 were 3.760,000. 17 years later in 2002 approximately 2,900,000 students graduated from U.S. high schools. Divide those 2,900,000 students by 12 months and you get 241,666,667 people entering the work force every month.

Some may go to college but the ones graduating in the same year just replace them. There might be some minor variations in the numbers starting and finishing in any given year but that should be such a small number that we can safely ignore it.

Some may not enter the work force at all for a lot of reasons, some may become housewives or house husbands, some may not get a job for health reasons, some because they have independent means and don’t have to work. So lets cut that number to 200,000 new jobs every month.

The point being that any month that we don’t hire roughly 200,000 workers we are loosing ground. While the June 2011 number of new hires (117,000) represents “only” 83,000 first time workers who can’t find a job it’s an increase of exactly that number of people who are out of work.

This number is represented as a gain because more people found jobs in June than in May. That’s always good, but if we accept the June figures as representative then over the course of a year 996,000 more people will be out of work over that 12 months.

And that’s before we even talk about getting jobs for those people who were out of work at the beginning of the year!

We expect politicians to quote only the most favorable numbers so I won’t fault them. But it took me less than an hour on the US government web site to dig up these numbers AND to write this. So how is it that trained professional reporters can’t do the cursory fact checking to put the statements into perspective to show what is really happening?

If I believed in conspiracy theories I’d think the press was in collusion with the government, but my common sense tells me that it’s just too many journalists to ever get them all to “toe the party line”. So I’ll fall back on a quote:

Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence.

Napoleon Bonaparte