An interesting article in the New York Times last week about how technology companies are very young and very male, fails to even mention the possibility that the IT world may be too focused on hiring the under-30 crowd. And if indeed that’s the case, that the industry may be discriminating against older workers.
This from the piece:
The seven companies with the youngest workers, ranked from youngest to highest in median age, were Epic Games (26); Facebook (28); Zynga (28); Google (29); and AOL, Blizzard Entertainment, InfoSys, and Monster.com (all 30).
The author does mention some possible reasons these IT firms are heavy on the youth. (more…)
We’re all for the lastest gadgets to help employees get their work done faster, but this may be pushing the work-life envelope a bit too far.
I heard about a new product coming out that’s supposed to solve that pesky problem of juggling chopsticks, a soup spoon and your iPhone all at the same time that you’re trying eat a bowl of ramen noodles. The Anti-loneliness Ramen Bowl (the name already makes me feel a little sad) makes it possible for you to check your email, read your books, check in with social networks and presumably FaceTime with someone without actually taking a lunch break.
But if your employees feel compelled to check email while risking choking on noodles at lunch, (more…)
Most of the career advice out there cautions employees from saying anything negative about their managers or company out in cyber space. But there are times trashing your boss on Facebook or Twitter is OK.
For the past few years I’ve been writing about how the government was pushing back on employers who fire employees for saying bad things about them online. A story I wrote for TheAtlantic.com in 2010 looked at how the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), an independent federal agency that defends employee-organizing rights, was beginning to step up and take complaints from workers who felt they were fired unjustly.
The NLRB felt companies were beginning to violate a long-existing provision of the National Labor Relations Act that provides protections to employees who get together and complain about a host of workplace issues - everything from conditions to benefits. Just because the discussions occur in cyber space doesn’t make a bit of difference, Jonathan Kreisberg, the NLRB’s Regional Director in Connecticut, told me then.
Well, it looks like the agency has solidified it’s standing on this topic. (more…)
(Below is a guest post by Emmanuel Conde, a respected IT recruiter and writer. It is part of a series of guest posts I will be publishing on CareerDiva offering a different perspective and expertise on jobs and careers.)
By Emmanuel Conde
I became a recruiter out of necessity.
I was an IT manager and a technical assistant center manger and then a consultant manager, and through these last few roles I was always called upon to do my own recruiting. It was easier for me to search on Monster myself for candidates than explaining what I needed to human resources. So, after so many years of doing this on my own it changed my career.
Now I essentially run a geek dating service.
Recruiting is often like herding cats. If you have never had more than three cats in your responsibility at one time, then you don’t know. I mean cats are great for stuff like ignoring you, allowing burglars to take stuff they don’t use, urinating in places you cannot locate, and running in different directions.
Geeks are like that if you are scheduling interviews for more than one in a day. So, you get them lined up and they can’t find the cell phone charger, or the server room has no signal, or they forgot, or they found a new place to urinate.
And they’re slow to make decisions, even critical career decisions. The problem can be even worse for geeks who are married. (more…)
(Below is a guest post by Emmanuel Conde, a respected IT recruiter and writer. It is the first in a series of guest posts I will be publishing on CareerDiva offering a different perspective and expertise on jobs and careers.)
By Emmanuel Conde
All the good IT jobs are going to India! Or are they?
We live in an age of fictionalized sensational sound bites on TV. What an undue influence some of this has on our children, and let’s face it, since the television was accepted into our homes we have all felt this influence.
Ask an American kid what they want to do for a living, and you will hear answers based on what TV shows they like. Crime Scene Investigators might be in demand in a few places, but is every wide eyed child going to cut the mustard?
What we do not see are a lot of real world job heroes sensationalized on the boob tube. How do you make an IT geek look good in tights and a cape? It won’t happen! So, we look to our news announcers in their sound-bite worlds saying there are millions of American IT jobs going unfilled. We have to retool our workforce damn it! Well, they don’t generally say damn it, but I do.
There is nothing more boring than watching some geek do geek stuff on TV. Who is there left to influence our young people to step up and take IT careers seriously? The nerds on the TV show, Big Bang Theory are as close as we have come in the USA to glorifying nerds, but they are not IT geeks.
Still, they are inaccurate in their depiction anyway; shouldn’t there be more than one Indian guy? Take a look at the cast and I would challenge any American university to present a ratio of only 25% of a class of science majors who are immigrants. Indian? Yes a lot are from India. Where have all the good IT jobs gone? They are still there, waiting to be filled. (more…)
I keep a written list in a reporter’s note book of things I have to do, but I decided to add another list for up-coming stories and story ideas. My brain is always overflowing with ideas but I’ve found if I don’t write them down right away those ideas disappear back into that creative nook in my head and never come out again.
Well, somehow I got both lists mixed up and inadvertently started yet another to-do list in another book, and somehow I ended up using that one as a make-shift plate for my midday snack, and couldn’t find it under the rubble.
All to-do list hell broke loose. What had I finished? What was left to do? Were the words written in my chicken scratch — “worker, fired” — a reminder to email someone or a story idea?
I sat there frustrated, wondering why the heck I needed these lists anyway. I never used to rely on them? Was my brain aging?
There’s been a lot written lately on how employers and recruiters are doing all they can to dig up dirt on employees and job seekers, but in reality not every manager is putting on their Sherlock Holmes hat.
Yes, it’s disturbing to hear that some hiring managers are asking for Facebook passwords from job candidates; and there’s nothing worse than employers who dig into the credit histories of job applicants. Criminal background checks are also a thorn in the side of many workers, especially those who get nixed for a job even though they may have never been convicted of a crime.
But in reality, Big Brother has not taken over the workplace.
A recent study by EmployeeScreenIQ, a worker screening provider, found that many companies are not rushing to the web or any place else to look you up. (more…)
I know women have energy and strength to fight real sexism in this world. How do I know this? If you say a sexist word about women; or suggest a douche will make women more confident; or create an exploitive TV series about Playboy Bunnies; gals come out fighting like Visigoths.
Case in point:
The editor of a well-respected IT journal, IEEE Spectrum, felt that it was necessary to send out an email apology to thousands of readers over a headline on a story.
The article was about an easy to use computer circuit board called Arduino, and the headline of a tech alert that went out about the story said: “With the Arduino, Now Even Your Mom Can Program.”
Well, I guess people, probably women, got riled up and the editors at IEEE Spectrum got a cyber earful. This was the email the Editor sent out this morning to calm the storm: (more…)
Major grocery chains like Albertson’s are eliminating self-checkout aisles at their various locations because management claims they’re too impersonal. What a crock. That’s a polite way of saying some people are simply ill-equipped to use them efficiently.
I don’t know where Loftus shops, but I’ve seen a bunch of really old guys and gals scanning their Ensure and Polygrip at the supermarkets I frequent with little trouble working the supposedly mysterious technology. Maybe they’re not going very fast, but they’re doing just fine.
That said, I always bypass the self-checkout lanes because I like to interact with people and I hate the fact that the machines may be replacing a real worker.
What ever the reason for getting rid of the lanes, it seems Albertson’s is making a good call if it brings back some jobs, no? Well, even that’s up for debate. (more…)