June 18th, 2013
A student leaving college today with a degree in one of the STEM majors – science, technology, engineering or math — can practically dictate terms to potential employers. Those with advance degrees in one of the STEM disciplines are treated like royalty, and courted with promises of signing bonuses, big salaries, and cutting edge assignments.
But what about a humanities PhD? Even those at the top of the class, with works published in scholarly journals, scrounge for work. Many end up underemployed or working in careers having nothing to do with the field in which they earned their degree. Read the rest of this entry »
June 17th, 2013
The Financial Accounting Standards Board has endorsed three proposals from the Private Company Council that would simplify the accounting for privately held companies. In May, the council issued a set of proposals to modify specific U.S. GAAP accounting standards for private companies, involving accounting for intangible assets acquired in business combinations, goodwill, and certain types of interest rate swaps. The FASB expects to release the standards later this month for public comment. AccountingToday
June 14th, 2013
Large pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer and Merck are often celebrated for their marketing acumen. But, when compared with really successful marketing companies like the Internet giant Google, their performance is less than stellar. One way big pharma can learn from companies like Google is to give old products new life by improving the products themselves or by improving the delivery systems of existing products. New delivery systems provide an opportunity for drug companies to repackage tried-and-true drugs and regain market exclusivity based on the innovative delivery process. Forbes
June 12th, 2013
Adam Grant would have passed on Ari’s resume. Grant was hiring a salesperson, and on paper, Ari certainly didn’t look promising. He was a math major, and built robots as a hobby. But Grant’s boss thought him unusual and insisted he be interviewed. He bombed.
Grant reported that Ari lacked the social skills to build relationships, largely because he never made eye contact during the interview. Pointing out that it was a phone sales job, the company president had Ari return for another interview, using a very different approach. Ari got the job and went on to become one of the best sales people in the company. Read the rest of this entry »
June 10th, 2013
In your pocket, purse, or desk drawer there is a product once considered so remarkable and which became so much in demand that New Yorkers flooded the famed, now defunct, Gimbel’s when it first went on sale in 1945.
Within hours of its first sale on Oct. 29th, Gimbel’s sold out its entire supply of 10,000 Reynold’s Rockets, one of the first commercially viable ballpoint pens to be sold anywhere. Price: $12.50 each.
Today, in honor of the Invention that Changed the Way We Write we celebrate Ballpoint Pen Day. Read the rest of this entry »
June 9th, 2013
If you’re looking to hire a software engineer with certain skills, you’ve already made two mistakes. Software development is not engineering. And the best code jockeys — the kind of people you want on your team — are capable of picking up a new programming language in a matter of days.
“Just as Tiger Woods can easily embrace a new type of club or an unfamiliar course, a good software designer can easily embrace a new tool,” says Dale Reynolds is Visiting Professor at DeVry University and its Keller Graduate School of Management, and the president and CEO of edelan.
A programmer and manager with IBM before becoming VP of development at Dell, Reynolds argues that hiring managers would do better and have more success if they looked at software development as a creative process. Unlike engineering, Reynolds says, “software development is 95 percent design and 5 percent construction… Software developers are not engineers.”
Similarly, hiring managers should look for developers with an innate talent for software design, rather than someone who knows how to use a specific tool. Just as you wouldn’t hire a cabinet maker simply because they knew how to use a saw, Reynolds insists the same logic should be applied to hiring programmers.
“Many companies recruit by listing a set of skills that a candidate needs. These are irreverent. On a daily basis this leads to hiring people who know a tool, e.g., Java, but are quickly surpassed by a talented developer, who didn’t know the tool, when the next week the company needs people to develop in Python. Managers should hire for talent, not for skills.”
Reynolds offers these two guides to hiring software developers:
- “Look for the candidates that demonstrate a good history of design and interest in art, music and other similar disciplines, not just technical topics.”
- “During the interview process the person doing the interview should “talk” to the candidate. Ask them about what they like, what they have done, what things excite them, etc. However, be sure that the people undertaking the interviews are in fact talented interviewers. They’ll recognize quickly if this is the “right” person or not.
June 6th, 2013
One CPA firm is still recovering from a “superstorm” that damaged nine of its 14 offices. Another has constructed a safe room in its new office, which was built after a tornado destroyed its previous office. A third firm is adjusting to the “new normal” in a city forever changed by widespread flooding. For these firms, disaster-response planning has taken on a whole new meaning. In “Preparing for disaster: Survivors offer tips for CPA firms to make it through any catastrophe,” authors Jeff Drew and Ken Tysiac detail the challenges three firms faced after disaster struck and how the lessons they learned can be applied to you you and your firm. In a second article, they list specific issues and items to address in your disaster recovery plan. Journal of Accountancy
June 5th, 2013
You can’t pick up an HR magazine, check a website, or attend a conference without hearing the phrase “big data.” And not just once, but multiple times. It’s not only the latest HR buzzword, but the meaning behind it, if not the term itself has permeated the social consciousness so thoroughly that Google reports there are 22 million searches a day on the term.
But what is “big data” and how is it different from other kinds? Read the rest of this entry »
June 3rd, 2013
Accustomed to being challenged by consumer groups, pharmaceutical companies, and the medical profession, the FDA is now in the uncomfortable position of having to defend itself against one of its own top scientists.
Thomas Marciniak, an FDA medical team leader, is challenging the FDA’s conclusion that a popular class of high blood pressure drugs is safe, and does not increase the likelihood that those who take them face an increased risk of certain types of cancer, including lung cancer.
An independent study published in the medical journal The Lancet found that those taking angiotensin receptor blockers, or ARBs, had as much as a 25% increased risk of developing lung cancer. Read the rest of this entry »
May 31st, 2013
Many executives prefer to read and respond to emails without the help of an administrative assistant. But with the volume of email continuing to rise, more and more executives are delegating that responsibility.
Turning over the keys to the mailbox (or the password, to be precise) is a big step. It requires a special amount of trust between assistant and boss, not to mention confidence that important emails will get prompt attention. Read the rest of this entry »