A Challenge to Dare

There are small jewels on the Web and I found one today. A video that takes only one minute and 29 seconds. No narration but the perfect musical background. Beautifully acted, photographed and edited. A series of visual metaphors for self expression, play, sexuality, career, relationship and life. It illustrates and delivers a challenge to dare!

I hope it inspires you as it has me.

short link: http://wp.me/pzEdw-7Y

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Recruiters, Google & You

A recent round of Tweets noted that: “85% of recruiters influenced by positive online rep, study from Microsoft.” The full quote from the original study: “Positive online reputations matter. Among U.S. recruiters and HR professionals surveyed, 85% say that positive online reputation influences their hiring decisions at least to some extent. Nearly half say that a strong online reputation influences their decisions to a great extent.”

I figured that if recruiters were working this hard to check me out on the Internet I ought to do a little checking myself. Hal Amens is a pretty unique name so I figured it should be easy. It was. Just one other person showed up on Google: Hal Amen (no “s”). Like me a writer and a traveler: http://matadortrips.com/. There are enough photos of each of us on my site and his that no recruiter should ever be confused about who was who.

But just to be sure, I searched on “Hal Amens” — quotes added — and a quick review of the top 95 were all mine except a couple for my dad who has the same name with a different middle initial. Google says it found “about 2,240 for ‘hal amens’” I didn’t bother to check all of them.

What happens if you have a common name? Google reports, “about 50,000,000 (that’s 50 million) for bob smith” Pity the recruiter looking for information about Bob. And, there is bound to be some bad stuff in there about “bob.” Putting your photo on any of your sites on the Net may be a good idea.

Google is probably your best place to search. One Web post suggested also checking http://pipl.com One of their sources cited 13 references for me. Eleven were for me. One noted that my father, also Harold Amens but with a different middle initial, is on the phone bill for the condo were we live. He passed away long before we used his name. Another noted that Harold R. Amens, (my grandfather) was in attendance at the founding of the Masonic lodge in Henderson Nevada in 1931. Wow! That’s in-depth research.

I have a set of links on the bottom of my resume; the usual: Linkedin, Twitter, etc. Just to minimize the risk that some recruiter will confuse me with the other traveler, I have added a Google link with quotes to my list of links. Maybe if I help recruiters with their job, they will be more inclined to help me find a job.

For those of you who have common names that have millions of Google links …? Good luck.

Related links: Google yourself? You betchaHave you googled yourself lately?; Google Yourself

Other tracking tools: socialmention

Short link: http://wp.me/pzEdw-7g

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Looking at the Horizon

You cannot solve a problem on the same level that it was created.
You must rise above it to the next level. Albert Einstein

There are opportunities barely visible on the horizon that can only be realized by rising to the next level of creativity and management. Many of these opportunities are being driven by a combination of advancing technologies, changing consumer expectations, and the economy. 

These are challenging times or exciting times or both depending on whether you are being forced to respond or are pursuing new opportunities. The content is yet to be defined, but the processes to plan, develop, manage and implement solutions will be draw from the success of earlier creative projects.

I have been there.

Examples of successful first-of-their kind projects from my personal experience include:

System design and blogging about electronic medical records and their impact on health care quality and costs and the need for comprehensive data sharing.

Participated in the design and management of the largest bank merger of its time including coordination of planning and reporting across geographically dispersed diverse organizations and integration of project communication.

• Explored a series of infrastructure changes for a client and found a combination that cost justified the evolution from physical to electronic distribution of time sensitive financial instruments and documents.
• Guided private sector implementation of Federal health care regulations as the regulations were being developed to assure compliance and minimize the time to realize benefits.
• Designed and managed the training for 1,800 route salesmen and delivery drivers on the use of hand held computers that utilized street maps based on satellite imagery to improve service and reduce costs.
• Managed requirements analysis for Customs clearance of international airfreight for the first integrated air freight system; implemented at London Heathrow.
• Developed project plan for first online regional banking system in Asia and delivered executive and user training in eight countries.
• Created and managed communication strategy to build credibility for decentralization and outsourcing of critical infrastructure services; business units agreed to budget reductions of $100 million as a result of expected cost savings.

If you are working on a significant new opportunity or considering one, I would be interested in discussing ways we may be able to work together on the processes to plan the project and manage it to a successful conclusion.

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Ever is limited to just 7 years?

I was working on an online job application and had to stop and add this question to my list of stupid things corporations do and say on job applications: “Have you ever been convicted of a felony within the last 7 years?”

If I had been convicted of a felony 8 years ago–I haven’t, but …–I would have to answer yes to the part of the question: “Have you ever been convicted …” and no to the part of the question “within the last 7 years.”  Some companies would have added insult to injury by asking me to swear that all answers are true under risk of termination; this company didn’t do that.

If you expect to hire intelligent employees, ask intelligent questions during your screening process.

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Good job? Good commute?

This week I began evaluating a possible new job. Obvious question in Los Angeles: How’s the commute? At times like this, I love the Internet.

Did a Google search on, “los angeles traffic by time of day.” The first option was:

Traffic Predict.com – Los Angeles Traffic Map

The past weeks freeway traffic reports – Los Angeles Freeway Traffic Data  Click on the Historical Timeslices then choose the day/time of the week that … [http://www.trafficpredict.com/]

There it is. Traffic by day of week and time of day for the last week. All the freeways with little dots along both sides to show traffic speed. Skip through the morning or evening or all day long. Step from Monday through Friday and back again.

Great news. Slowing in a few spots–this is Los Angeles–but mostly green—60+mph—at the hours I would be commuting and in the direction I would be going. Most of the way it would be a reverse commute.

The commute is a little long but traffic is reasonable. Now back to the job …

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Corporate Websites for Recruiting #2

Why do corporations make it so difficult for good people to come to work for them? Today I was helping a friend find a job using the Internet. On her list of places she would like to work were two chains of bookstores. Barnes & Noble and Borders. B&N uses HotJobs.com. She logged, on answered a few questions and posted her resume. Par for the course and will now get notifications of openings that she can follow up or any store manager can call her. I have advised her to follow the active road and follow up.

She now works in a store that is closing and there is a Borders store just across the street. There are three other Borders stores between that store and where she lives. Borders uses Kronos. It took about 35 minutes for her to enter answers to all the questions and take a psychological test. You know the kind: “Do you always like everybody?” Strongly Agree, Agree, Disagree, or Strongly Disagree. OK, once, but … To apply for jobs in all four stores she has to go through the same process three more times. Is this a test of endurance – how hard will an applicant work to get a job at a terrific store like us? Or a test of memory. Answer one question differently in the psych part of the application and we label you as either stupid or forgetful and rule you out. Heaven forbid Kronos’ computer would simply make that information available to the store managers in any store closer to where the applicant lives then the store where they applied.

I suspect Borders pays Kronos more than B&N pay HotJobs. B&N is certainly getter more value and creating a much better image of themselves as a good place to work, a place that cares about the people who want to work there and probably the ones who do.

Fast forward to 2011: Borders (what was left of it) is now part of B&N.

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Love a coincidense

Doing a bit of Internet surfing and ran across this bit:

Muslims use the word “’Āmīn” [Amen] not only after reciting the first surah (Al Fatiha) of the Qur’an, but also when concluding a prayer or dua, with the same meaning as in Christianity. The Islamic use of the word is the same as the Jewish use of the word.

My nickname is “Hal” and my last name is “Amens”

If you read the following in Roman letters it says “Hal” and in Arabic it is Āmīn [Amen – what is the plural version of this in Arabic?]


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