Business Communication


Recent Posts


Business Communication with Cengage Learning


  • Is Yahoo!'s Hiring Process Too Long?

    Marissa Mayer, Yahoo!'s new CEO, is criticized once again. Recently, she made headline news for asking remote employees to work in an office. Now, her employees are taking issue with what they consider to be a long hiring process . Business Insider outlines her process, which includes teams of people interviewing each candidate and Mayer's final approval of every new hire. One employee complained to Business Insider, "It's a big waste of senior people's time to be sitting in all these interviews and generating all this paperwork & so on. And, teams suffer and productivity suffers while we endure the endless waits to bring people on." Apparently, forms have to be filled out, and decisions can wait for weeks. Employees worry that Yahoo! is losing good candidates because offers aren't extended quickly enough. But some of Mayer's requirements aren't unusual for technology companies. Google CEO Larry Page approves every hire, and Tim Page, AOL CEO, did the same when he first joined the company. A little more control might be just want Yahoo! needs. Some say expenses are too high, and perhaps Yahoo! hasn't hired top talent in the past. Can we blame Mayer for acting like, well, a CEO? Image source . Discussion Starters: As a job candidate, how long do you think the hiring process should take, from when you send your resume to when you receive a job offer? How would you handle a situation where you're waiting to hear from your first-choice employer and receive another offer?
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  • Facebook Profiles Predict Job Performance?

    According to one study , a person's Facebook page can predict job performance more accurately than some personality tests. For the study, conducted by Northern Illinois University, the University of Evansville, and Auburn University, one faculty member and two students looked at Facebook profiles of 56 undergraduate students. The Wall Street Journal summarizes the results: "After spending roughly 10 minutes perusing each profile, including photos, wall posts, comments, education and hobbies, the raters answered a series of personality-related questions, such as 'Is this person dependable?' and 'How emotionally stable is this person?' "Six months later, the researchers matched the ratings against employee evaluations from each of the students' supervisors. They found a strong correlation between job performance and the Facebook scores for traits such as conscientiousness, agreeability and intellectual curiosity. "Raters generally gave favorable evaluations to students who traveled, had more friends and showed a wide range of hobbies and interests. Partying photos didn't necessarily count against a student; on the contrary, raters perceived the student as extroverted and friendly, says Don Kluemper, the lead researcher and a professor of management at Northern Illinois University." Although employers may be intrigued about using Facebook as a screening tool, lawyers caution against making decisions that could be perceived as discriminatory. This is particularly an issue because employers can easily determine sex, race, religious beliefs, age, and other factors on a Facebook profile. This is a small study, but the findings are interesting and may lay the groundwork for more research. Discussion Starters: Do you agree with the study findings? Why or why not? How do you think a prospective employer would view your Facebook profile? In addition to potential discrimination claims, what are other reasons that employers may want to avoid looking at applicants' Facebook profiles?
  • Future Doctors Tested for People Skills

    Medical schools are finally seeing the importance of a good "bedside manner" and are testing applicants for people skills. The "M.M.I." or multiple mini interview is now in place in at least eight medical schools in the United States and 13 in Canada. Applicants face ethical questions, such as circumcision and alternative remedies, and have to discuss their views in nine brief interviews. A New York Times article explains: "Candidates who jump to improper conclusions, fail to listen or are overly opinionated fare poorly because such behavior undermines teams. Those who respond appropriately to the emotional tenor of the interviewer or ask for more information do well in the new admissions process because such tendencies are helpful not only with colleagues but also with patients." Discussion Starters: What is your opinion about this new selection technique? In what ways is this similar to employment interviews for corporate jobs? What do you think about the emphasis on people skills for medical school students? Is this important, or should doctors just be good scientists? What is your experience with doctors and their people skills? Do you see room for improvement that this selection process might help?
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