Posts Tagged ‘Wall Street Journal’

Resumes? That’s so 2016.
Thursday, June 29, 2017

Resumes? That’s so 2016.

I was recently chatting with a friend about the job search process (can you tell there’s a recent college grad in my life?). Given the cost of replacing an employee—according to Monster it can be up to 150% of their salary—it does seem a bit crazy that many companies make big hiring decisions based off a couple 30-minute interviews and that the whole thing starts with trying to format your life’s accomplishments into a one-page summary.

So, I was curious to see that one of the world’s biggest companies, Unilever, is now relying on algorithms and online games to recruit and sort potential hires. (I know, I know, you can’t read it unless you have a WSJ subscription, but try Googling the title and you’ll be able to find a variety of sources that deliver the gist: “In Unilever’s Radical Hiring Experiment, Resumes are Out, Algorithms Are In”).

It sounds like a fascinating experiment and one that seems to be paying off for Unilever: 80% of the people who make it through the tech maze and got an in-person interview (the only part of the process that involved intersecting with a real person) got a job offer, though the company wouldn’t say how much money it saved them and the process is too new to measure results.

One of the parts of this story that most appealed to me? That these tools allowed Unilever to solicit new employees from 2,600 colleges instead of the small number of schools they historically visited in person. That sounds like a great way to meritocracize (yes, I know that’s not really a word) the hiring process and increase the quality of new-hires to boot.

 

Posted in Uncategorized
Show more
Show less
Funny safety videos—yes or no?
Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Funny safety videos—yes or no?

According to an article in today’s Wall Street Journal, many frequent flyers are saying ix-nay to funny safety videos (the kind that try to put a little spark in the dull routine of how to buckle your seatbelt and the importance of knowing the location of the nearest exit). Perhaps because I’m a relatively infrequent flyer, my initial reaction was “bring ’em on—who doesn’t love funny?!?”

But then I went to check out a few and you know what? They are kind of annoying! Though I might feel differently if I was preparing to spend the next six hours trapped in my economy seat.

Check some out and see what you think.

Posted in Uncategorized
Show more
Show less
Not bringing sexy back. You go Abercrombie & Fitch!

I was absolutely delighted this morning to see that Abercrombie and Fitch (A&F)—originally providers of safari gear to the British elite and most recently purveyors of all things too-sexy and downright objectionable—has decided to clean up their act and celebrate diversity and an ability to outfit people who have two digits in their clothing size. I’d like to say that they’ve seen the light and realized that they shouldn’t be sexualizing 12 year-olds, but the cynic in me realizes that sales drops are the key reason the dark mood lighting, pouty lips and washboard ab shots are gone.

The company has had some run-ins with a broad cross section of groups in recent years. After they admitted that they didn’t stock sizes XL or XXL because the “cool kids” weren’t curvy, social media  had a field day and encouraged muffin top moms to squeeze into and parade their A&F clothes and to give A&F to the homeless.

 

Even the Supreme Court, got into the act by ruling against the company’s decision to deny a woman a job because she wore a headscarf.

Am I thrilled to know that A&F will now be pushing a message of inclusion and coverage over sex on the beach and cleavage? You betcha. Not likely to change the world, but certainly a step in the right direction.

Posted in Uncategorized
Show more
Show less
This is not a Yeti cooler
Thursday, September 1, 2016

This is not a Yeti cooler

Have you heard of Yeti coolers? They are bear-proof (really!), have been known to cool food for upwards of two weeks (purely anecdotal, according to the company’s FAQs) and can cost a cool $250-$1,300 (but that large size can hold two tuna or three dressed elk, darn it!).

 
Unfortunately, all these great features have made Yeti coolers the target of very clever thieves who have gone to extreme measures to steal them—and are even passing up fancy fishing equipment and GPS systems to do so. (Check out this humorous article in today’s Wall Street Journal).
My Coleman doesn’t offer many of the features of the Yeti—and it’s certainly lacking in product design flair!—but I think I can rest assured that it will be sitting at my campsite no matter how long I leave it.
Happy Labor Day weekend!
Posted in Uncategorized
Show more
Show less
The “beauty” of acronyms
Thursday, August 11, 2016

The “beauty” of acronyms


One of my clients always used to describe acronyms as a tool to separate the insiders from the outsiders. After all, if you can’t throw around BMAE (Blind Men and Elephant Approach—software development), ABC (Always Be Closing—business) and ASD (Atrial Septal Defect—medical) with a certain level of confidence, should we really be having this conversation? (and, yes, I totally relied on the Internet to find each of those).

I understand that acronyms can be helpful tools and likely employ them pretty much every day (even if it’s only to tell my kids my ETA or share a helpful tidbit—FYI—with a friend), but they can also be really annoying. Do we really need another conversation that’s comprised only of alphabet soup?

ASAP

That said, I was quite amused to see in Dan Ariely’s weekly Wall Street Journal column—an always wise and typically amusing  Ann Landers-esque take on etiquette, looking smarter at work, the irrationality of our supposedly rational decision-making, etc. —that he suggested a business newbie throw some of his favorite business acronyms into their next work meeting to help increase others’ perceptions of their business savvy: WAG (wild-assed guess) and the even more delightful SWAG (scientific wild-assed guess). Can’t wait to do that myself!

 

Posted in Uncategorized
Show more
Show less
Thrilled, excited, delighted to share these insights, ponderings, thoughts

Don’t you love the daily article on the front page of the Wall Street Journal that’s dedicated to some bit of weird and wonderful?

Today’s (‘Use More Expressive Words!’ Teachers Bark, Beseech, Implore) is actually a bit mundane compared to some of the topics that have graced that spot over the years (I just ran down to flip through last week’s stack for examples and only uncovered pets indulging in holiday leftovers and Cubans’ rush to learn English vs. Russian), but, trust me, there have been great ones over the years.

I’m not sure I want my everyday writing to be too embellished—see my Annetta Cheek post—but I can understand the desire to push kids’ boundaries as they explore the wonderful world of reading and writing and the beauty of using language to capture nuance.

 

Posted in Uncategorized
Show more
Show less
A salute to the ballpoint pen!
Sunday, June 7, 2015

A salute to the ballpoint pen!

Ah, the lowly ballpoint pen! I don’t actually use you that much (I prefer the Foray rollerball) but until today I didn’t appreciate what a wonder you are!

Here are a couple fun facts: the first ballpoint pen was invented by László Bíró who was inspired by marbles, an early American ballpoint pen (which, incidentally, didn’t work very well) sold like hotcakes for $12.50 a pop in 1945 (which is $160 in today’s money boys and girls!), and the present design, which was perfected by Marcel Bich—a Frenchman who wisely dropped that last “h” to reduce pronunciation confusion—is now ensconced in the Museum of Modern Art.

If you want to learn more, check out this fascinating article in Saturday’s Wall Street Journal, courtesy of James Ward, author of the book that I keep meaning to reserve at my local library: The Perfection of the Paper Clip:Curious Tales of Invention, Accidental Genius, and Stationery Obsession. 

 

Posted in Uncategorized
Show more
Show less
No ‘proper English?’ Sr. Renita would beg to differ

Did you happen to catch the article in the Wall Street Journal last weekend about why there’s no such thing as “proper English?” According to the article’s author, language is constantly evolving and if people generally speak and write a certain way, that’s the “right” way to use the English language.

I can’t help but think that Sr. Renita, one of my favorite high school teachers, would disagree with this gentleman. Sure, I know that the English language has changed greatly over time (Chaucer anyone?) and that I am hopeless in my use of “hopefully” (according to one of my college teachers the only way to use it properly was to say that “Penelope stood hopefully at the window awaiting Odysseus’s return”), but, heck, I like the idea that there are rules and standards to follow even if I don’t always follow them!

 

Thank you to hollywoodgossip.com for your image.

Posted in Uncategorized
Show more
Show less
Will Bitcoin really be a thing?
Monday, March 2, 2015

Will Bitcoin really be a thing?

It seems like there’s a point/counterpoint article about Bitcoin pretty much every week. The latest was in today’s Wall Street Journal, which had an even bigger article just a few weeks back.

There are experts on both sides of the fence who can back up their claims that Bitcoin will/won’t work with any number of stats and anecdotes. I’m certainly no expert, but I’ll go out on a limb and say “Sure, I think it will eventually work—probably in ways we can barely begin to imagine.”

It doesn’t help that Bitcoin’s reputation has been sullied by the disappearance of half a billion dollars worth from an online exchange in Japan last year and that it’s the currency of choice for drug runners and arms dealers (being so nice and anonymous). But it just seems like one of those disruptive forces that will eventually catch on and that we’ll wonder how we ever lived without (I remember a world without Internet, boys and girls!).

Eventually, that is.

Or, maybe not!

Thanks to en.bitcoin.it for your logo

Posted in Uncategorized
Show more
Show less
Be still my heart—a new kind of chocolate!
Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Be still my heart—a new kind of chocolate!

If you know me well—or, let’s face it, if you’ve ever read my posts—you know that I like chocolate. At one time I would have said that I liked any kind of chocolate. Now, I will admit to leaning heavily toward the dark chocolate end of the spectrum (for health reasons, of course!). I was extremely excited to read in today’s Wall Street Journal that there’s a new chocolate in town. The article describes it as having a consistency of “crunchy dirt.” Why does that sound strangely delicious??? Amazon Prime, I hope you have this on order!

Thank you to the Wall Street Journal for your photo—and this tasty chocolate update!

 

Posted in Uncategorized
Show more
Show less

Knowledge junkie. Raconteur.

Vicky Franchino

I love to learn about new things. And I love to tell a good story. Let’s get together and tell yours!

More about Vicky

“Vicky is one of the best writers I’ve worked with. She provides a high quality product on time and is a joy to work with. Vicky is able to take complex financial subjects and turn them into readable prose.”

Jim Jerving, Editorial Director
LendKey

More testimonials