Thursday, July 22, 2010

Deadliest Candidate

There is a cool TV show called “Deadliest Warrior” based on the age old premise of “who would win a fight between X and Y”. It has become a staple in my 10-year old’s life and the fact that he can watch last season’s episodes online is about as close to paradise as it gets (it also supports his argument that everything he needs to know in life can be found on Youtube and the Internet in general).

I love the idea of the show, since I remember debating the whole Batman vs. Superman showdown when I was a kid. The fact that a few other people haven’t grown out of this habit, created some fancy-schmancy computer simulation programs, and made a TV show pitch is kind of cool. The fact that it’s geared towards couch-ninjas that love the idea of testing weaponry on pig carcasses…not so much.

In addition to pairing up unlikely enemies, the program analyzes the effectiveness of each warrior’s short-range, mid-range, and long-range weapons. They then plug all of this into a program that runs simulated battles to determine who would likely come out the winner.

I want this for recruiting. Imagine the possibilities. You are down to two potential candidates. One is stronger in the technical area and the other seems to have a better organizational fit.

Which one will fair better?

So we skip the pig carcasses and plug into the computer program their various strengths and arsenal, from their ability to engage in small talk to creating a viable department budget. Then we let them battle it out.

Who will walk away with a few scratches, but their head held high and who will be left lying on the battlefield, bleeding and wounded?

Not only would this make candidate selection easier – it would be a hell of lot more fun.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Who is getting the best of you?

Part of working in a professional environment is well, dressing the part. I'm not really a fashion-gal, but do like to dress nicely and look part HR and part sexy-librarian. I am SO kidding on the second part.

Anyhow, I dash off in the morning and then arrive home some 9 hours later with one thought in mind - comfort. Full fledge yoga pant/ pyjama pants, t-shirt and flip flops. Despite the fact that it takes me a good 30 minutes to get ready in the morning, it takes me 2 minutes to un-do it.

Of late, I've noticed my husband's wistful look when I arrive home all professional-ed up only to disappear and return moments later as Comfort Woman.
Does he complain? No.
Is that a damn good thing?
Oh ya.

But, I've often wondered, who IS getting the best of me?

Who gets to see me looking my best and acting on my best behaviour? Who gets to listen to me discuss a number of topics in an assertive and persuasive manner, in English and French? Who gets to see me stay calm in the face of idiocy? Who benefits from my focused and undivided attention?

It doesn't take much to realize that it isn't my family.

And while this may not seem fair, I am truly comforted by the fact that they see me looking less than stellar, losing my shit over little things, jumping from one topic to another, as well as one activity to another, and making absolutely no sense at times...and yet they love and accept me.

It doesn't take much to realize that my work wouldn't be so tolerant.

So while the pay may not be as good, the benefits are certainly better. For that reason, I'm going to try and save some of my best for home.

Tomorrow, I will speak only in French and I will dress up when I do the dishes.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Can I expense a mirror?

So I'm slowly settling into my new job and one thing that has really helped is that my boss went on vacation. It appears my boss has either been a) sheltering me from the horrors that are HR or b)not bothering to delegate work to me. I'm going with option B.

Once people have been reaching her out of office messages they've contacted me and soon found out that I AM more than just office eye candy. In one instance, I had a discussion with a manager who wants me to look into some "soft skills" traning for one of her employees.

The manager's diagnosis: the employee has a confidence issue. He doesn't come to her for help and whenever he does (either in person or by email), he acts likes he's bothering her. He seems to require contsant reassurance that he's doing the right thing.

I'm pretty decent when it comes to displaying a neutral reaction, but I do have this one facial quirk (a certain eyebrow) that I seem unable to control in the face of questionable situations. This was one instance.

I asked the manager:

1. Do you give him feedback on his work? - Yes, when he comes to me.

2. Are you often too busy to help him? - Yes, I have a heavy workload.

3. The employee is relatively new - how was his training? - It's pretty much on-the-job and as we go along. I let them tell me when they don't understand something and then we go over that.

At this point, I am hoping that the manager is picking up what I'm shelling out, but alas...the manager then asked again, do I know of a course that might help the employee with these issues?

I'm seriously considering that my best investment is to take the money we would spend on a course and purchasing a large gilded-frame mirror that I could hold up to the manager.