Monday, March 3, 2014

How Do You Hire?

This is the time of year when many students ask me for recommendation letters for job prospects, advice on how to better prepare for job interviews or what is the best job for me.
Besides giving them the Chamber of Commerce answer, I also explain to them how I hire or recommend employees to clients.

Most people I interview have demonstrated that they’re successful at something. It’s my job to figure out what they’re good at, and that’s how I approach it. So it’s not a “gotcha,” but instead trying to understand, “Where are you going to succeed, and where are you going to be happy?”

I don’t believe in talking someone into a job. I spend a lot of time trying to understand where the person will thrive and what they want. They have to want to do the actual job we’re hiring for. So I like to paint a granular picture of the job — “Here is what you will do, and here are the hard parts and the parts that may not be so much fun.” I don’t want anyone to come in and say, “I didn’t realize I had to do this.”

A favorite question is, “Tell me the things that you didn’t like about your last job.” When you learn the things that get under people’s skin and make them dissatisfied, you can make the judgment about whether they’re going to work in your culture.

I think you want optimistic people who are problem solvers, not problem spotters. It’s easy to analyze what’s wrong, but if you come in and say, “I have an idea; here’s something we can do,” that’s so wonderful. You want people who give you energy, and not take energy from you.

FORBES BILLIONAIRES: Record 1,645 Billionaires Made the [28th annual] List of the World's Richest People ... Bill Gates Topped the List ... Has Been #1 for 15 of the last 20 Years ... [Carlos Slim #2; Amanacio Ortega of Spain's Zara fashion chain #3.] Warren Buffett (#4) with a net worth of $58.2 billion. [Larry Ellison #5; Charles and David Koch tied for #6.] American gambling tycoon Sheldon Adelson (#8), increased his net worth by $11.5 billion, and made it back into the top ten for the first time since 2007. ...

The biggest net worth gainer was Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg (#21), who more than doubled his fortune from $13.3 billion in 2013 to $28.5 billion as shares of his social network soared. The company's COO, Sheryl Sandberg (#1,540), made the list for the first time and is featured on one of this year's six covers. Given a $19 billion deal with Facebook, WhatsApp founders Jan Koum (#202) with a net worth of $6.8 billion, and Brian Acton (#551) with a net worth of $3 billion, joined the Billionaires list for the first time. ...

A record number of women made the list this year: 172 versus 138 in 2013, representing an increase of 25%. The U.S. boasted the most women billionaires on the 2014 list, with 58, followed by Germany with 16, and Brazil with 14. The highest ranked woman on the list, Christy Walton (#9), with a net worth of $36.7 billion, beat out Liliane Bettencourt (#11) [of L'Oreal, France. Jim Walton was #10.]

Thanks to the tech boom and strong equity markets , the U.S. led with the greatest number of billionaires, with 492, followed by China with 152 and Russia with 111.Regionally, Europe boasted the most billionaires outside of the U.S., with 468 billionaires, followed by Asia-Pacific with 444. Wealth is stretching to new corners of the world, with four new countries represented on the list -- Algeria, Lithuania, Tanzania, and Uganda. Aliko Dangote (#23) of Nigeria moved into the top 25, becoming the first African to rank that high, worth $25 billion. He moved up 20 spots and was ahead of many investment gurus, including Carl Icahn (#24), George Soros (#25), and John Paulson (#78).

AND THE WINNER IS - YEARS' BEST FILM: Searing slave drama, 'Gravity' are the night's big winners : Even though many Oscar voters found filmmaker Steve McQueen's searing chronicle of enslavement almost too harrowing to watch, '12 Years a Slave' prevailed Sunday to win the best picture trophy in one of the closest contests in modern Academy Awards history. In a ceremony in which the space thriller 'Gravity' collected a leading seven statuettes - including the first directing Oscar won by a Mexican-born filmmaker - the biggest honor went to the true-life account of the kidnapping and auctioning of Solomon Northup, a New York freeman bartered as a Louisiana cotton picker. ...

Owing to its unflinching representation of whippings, rape and lynchings, '12 Years a Slave' was not intended to be easy viewing. But it was continually buoyed by tremendous critical acclaim, and throughout the seemingly endless awards season it maintained momentum even when facing filmmaker Alfonso CuarĂ³n's blockbuster 'Gravity' and writer-director David O. Russell's popular con game tale 'American Hustle.' McQueen became the first black director to make a best picture winner.

Number of Oscar wins, by film: 'Gravity' 7 ... '12 Years a Slave' 3 ... 'Dallas Buyers Club' 3 ... 'Frozen' 2 ... 'The Great Gatsby' 2 ... 'Blue Jasmine' 1 ... 'Her' 1.

FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE -- Putin's Reckless Ukraine Gambit: President Obama's handling of the Western response to the Ukraine crisis is now arguably the biggest test of his presidency. It is a crisis that no one anticipated and that the West has been frustratingly divided over since the European Union's original, misguided attempt to force Ukraine to make an either-or choice about going east or west. For too long we have heard U.S. officials says repeatedly, 'The Europeans are taking the lead.' That needs to stop. ...

The break in the West's relations with Russia is bound to be deep and lasting. The G-8 will be its first casualty with the Western powers likely to reconstitute the G-7 in its original form as a direct rebuff to Putin. Other important international mechanisms -the U.N. Security Council, ad hoc diplomatic efforts on Syria, the P5+1 process on Iran, the Six-Party talks on North Korea, and so on-will be filled with renewed acrimony and dysfunction. Some may break down entirely. Inevitably, there will be congressional calls for sanctions against Russia, which the White House will be hard-pressed to resist no matter how much it may want to preserve the shreds of cooperation with Russia on Iran, Syria or Afghanistan. The West and Russia are in uncharted waters.

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to: Lester Holt (55), Catherine O’Hara (60), Willard Scott (80).

COLLEGE CHRONICLES – Position Posted: Director of Fiscal Services, Pasadena City College. Under the direction of the Executive Director, Business Services, plans, organizes, and directs staff, activities, and operations related to the Fiscal Services department, including accounting, accounts payable, accounts receivable, budgeting, financial reporting, student banking services, controller, bursar’s office, collections, and other functions. Employee works in an office environment with moderate noise levels, controlled temperature conditions, and no direct exposure to hazardous physical substances. Employee may interact with upset staff and/or public and private representatives in interpreting and enforcing departmental policies and procedures.

Established in 1924, Pasadena City College has been serving the San Gabriel Valley for more than 87 years. PCC enrolls more than 30,000 students each semester and offers 60 academic and 76 Career and Technical Education programs. The main college campus occupies an idyllic 53-acre site, while the Community Education Center and Child Development Center are located in separate facilities. The college is renowned for its high student transfer rate, national mathematics and forensic honors, and extensive study abroad offerings. PCC is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. For more information, go to

STRAPPED FOR CASH:  They may be called student loans, but that doesn't mean they are always used for educational purposes. We find that Americans are lining up for federal student aid to take out low-cost loans, sometimes with little intention of getting a degree. "The only way I feel I can survive financially is by going back to school and putting myself in more student debt," says Ray Selent of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., who has added $8,000 in student debt from living expenses since returning to school. Though it isn't clear exactly how much of the U.S.'s swelling $1.1 trillion student-loan debt has gone to living expenses, data and reports indicate that students are indeed borrowing for personal expenses. One government report found that a sample of universities and colleges had disbursed an average of $5,285 in loans to more than 42,000 students who didn't log any credits at the time.

TWENTY COLLEGES WITH RESTAURANT QUALITY DINING ON CAMPUS - The quality and variety of campus dining options can vary widely from school to school. The below list of schools were singled out for having the best food on campus.  To give you a taste, Rink Rats and associates selected some of our favorite menu items for a few of them (note:  we do not recommend writing a food article at lunchtime… we’re 100x hungrier now than when we started this article!).

Considering how many meals you’ll likely eat in the dining hall, we encourage you to check out and even eat lunch (if possible) in the campus dining hall during your college visit. In fact, many admission offices will give you a voucher for a free meal in the dining hall!

Carleton College:  Featured menu items for breakfast at the East Dining Hall this morning – Chorizo and egg breakfast skillet and a side of mint chocolate chip pancakes.  Yes, please!

Claremont McKenna College
Concordia College–Moorhead

Gettysburg College:  Bland vegetarian meals… nope, not at Gettysburg.  The Veggie Corner features items like Jamaican black beans with tofu and golden jewel rice .

Gustavus Adolphus College
Lawrence University
Lourdes University
Michigan State University
Occidental College

Pitzer College:  In true Cali style, Pitzer focuses on “farm to fork” meals.  On tonight’s menu, grilled cauliflower steaks with chicken kabobs.  Recipes for the nightly menus are even featured on their blog.

Roger Williams University
Scripps College
Skidmore College

St. Lawrence University: No better place to have a food fight.

St. Norbert College:  Think you’ll be missing the wings from your local BW3?  Not at St. Norbert!  Enjoy your Macho Nachos and chicken tender basket while watching the Green Knights at Dale’s Sports Lounge.

University of California, Davis
University of California, Santa Cruz
University of North Texas

COLLEGE HOCKEY PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 3/8, 7:00 PM ET, HGTV; Game #2 of the ECAC playoffs has #8 seed St. Lawrence University Skating Saints (13-17-4) hosting #9 seed Brown University Bears (11-15-3). Saints are tough in Appleton Arena, they will be celebrating at THE Owl, Saints win 5 – 3.  Season to date (5-3).


(NCAA Men’s Hockey, Mar. 8) Michigan State University Spartans (9-15-7)  at University of Michigan Wolverines (16-10-4). Big Blue 6 – 3.

(NHL, Mar. 8) Boston Bruins (38-17-5) at Tampa Bay Lightning (34-22-5), Tampa 3-2.

(D-III Game of the Week, Mar. 4) baseball; Chapman Panthers (6-4) at Cal Lutheran Kingsmen (4-1). Early battle for 2nd place, Cal Lu  7 -5.

2014 Season to date (16-15)

MARKET WEEK - With a rough start to March likely today, stocks are coming off their biggest February advances for the Dow and S&P 500 since 1998. The gains last month wiped out the worst start to a year since 2009. The government is out with personal income and consumer spending numbers for January at 8:30 a.m. ET, with economists expecting a 0.3 percent increase in income, and a 0.1 percent rise in spending. Income had been unchanged in December, with spending up 0.4 percent.

A rare mutation gene has been found to protect against Type 2 Diabetes. Pfizer (PFE) and Amgen (AMGN) are looking to develop drugs that mimic the phenomenon.

DRIVING THE WEEK - The White House unveils fiscal year 2015 budget proposal Tuesday ... Senate Banking Committee hearing Tuesday on Fed nominees Stanley Fischer, Jerome Powell and Lael Brainard ... House Financial Services Oversight Committee hearing on "The Growth of Financial Regulation and its Impact on International Competitiveness" on Tuesday ... Financial Institutions Subcommittee hearing on data security on Wednesday ... Sen. Tom Carper hosts digital currency event on report by International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children Wednesday ... Senate Agriculture Committee CFTC nomination hearing Thursday for Timothy Massad, Sharon Bowen and J. Christopher Giancarlo ... CFTC Acting Chairman Mark Wetjen testifies before a House Appropriations agriculture subcommittee Thursday ... House considers Rep. Michael Grimm's flood insurance bill (H.R. 3370) ... February jobs report on Friday.

Next week: Cool apps, the best wine via home delivery, and the read of the month.

Until Next Monday, Adios.

Claremont, CA
March 3, 2014

#IV-46, 203

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