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I’m no longer yet a believer in the capacity of IBM (NYSE:IBM) to make the shift to the brand new tech world beneath its present management. each other mega-cap know-how company has already tailored to the brand new ways except IBM. whereas IBM inventory came into its earnings event up 27% year-to-date compared to the S&P 500’s sixteen%, it nonetheless trails the index and its competitors incredibly for the long run.
IBM inventory should demonstrate Us it will probably be successful before it be a buy once againgreater
IBM is down 25% in five years, whereas the undercover agent is up 56%. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Salesforce (NYSE:CRM) are up 200% for a similar duration. more to that, Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) and Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) are up 145% and 38% respectively. So here is proof that old dogs can be taught new hints … except for IBM.
administration talks the speak, but for some reason, it’s hard to look the effects with no forensic technician available. If CEO Ginni Rometti has to aspect out the innovation, then it’s doubtless not as fabulous as she thinks it's.
InvestorPlace - inventory Market information, stock assistance & trading information
the new formulation for tech success is simple. businesses now need to use subscription functions that are primarily based within the cloud. the rest is considered ancient and is off style. here's more likely to continue for a number of years. CRM all started the mannequin and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) accelerated it with the advent of its AWS.
last nighttime, IBM management ignored on revenue but managed to beat their base line. This potential IBM is managing profitability, however nonetheless struggles to satisfy its earnings expectations. additionally, to make things much more complicated they rearranged one of the vital salary segments to litter issues. So I warning you on chasing mentions of “cloud” in their statements — now, it’s a matter of revealing, not simply telling.
whereas I’m not an expert on IBM’s business, I do know mediocrity after I see it. This document represents its third consecutive decline in quarter earnings 12 months-over-12 months. naturally IBM should make a further shift of sorts. anything the enterprise is doing now is not working, yet the CEO nonetheless gets the advantage of the doubt. At some element, IBM wants intervention so it could possibly transform itself as MSFT did with its new CEO Satya Nadella.
My criticism right here isn't the equal as shorting the inventory, but it’s now not an excellent bullish thesis both. The first rate news is that basically, IBM stock is low priced because it sells at a value-to-salary ratio of 12. here's even more cost-effective than Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), so there is price under and it’s now not prone to be an enormous loss to hold the shares here. It’s just stagnating.base line on IBM inventory
maybe its acquisition of crimson Hat (NYSE:RHT) is their ticket out of the inventory muck through which they're stuck. in that case, then lots is driving on that and if it fails for any cause, each of those stocks are doomed.
in addition to its fundamentals, IBM stock can’t rally right here because it’s dealing with heavy technical resistance. sure, IBM rallied a great 34% off its December lows. however up right here it runs into the supply of agents who had been stuck up for the reason that the October disaster.
Pivot zones like these are the place bulls and bears agree on price in order that they like to battle it out hard. This creates rate action congestion and when a stock is rallying this interprets into resistance. All of that means it won’t be as handy for IBM stock to breach the $one hundred forty five zone because it became getting right here. Conversely, IBM stock has help above $132 per share, so it will take a huge calamity within the equity markets for it to fall below it.
If I owned shares, I’d put them to work by using promoting lined calls in opposition t them. this is an easy strategy to create synthetic dividends above and past the enterprise’s 4% yield.
an additional little bit of doubtlessly first rate news is that the majority analysts have given up on the rally in IBM, so that they rate the inventory as a hold. When IBM finally offers actual turnaround outcomes there should be a slew of enhancements to trigger a buying catalyst for the stock.
Nicolas Chahine is the managing director of SellSpreads.com. As of this writing, he didn't hang a position in any of the aforementioned securities. which you could comply with him as @racernic on Twitter and Stocktwits.more From InvestorPlace
The put up IBM should reveal Us it might succeed earlier than It’s a purchase once more looked first on InvestorPlace.
SAN FRANCISCO and ARMONK, N.Y., Oct. 29, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Twitter and IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced a landmark partnership in an effort to aid transform how corporations and associations bear in mind their consumers, markets and tendencies – and inform each company determination. The alliance brings collectively Twitter statistics that distinctively represents the public pulse of the planet with IBM's business-main cloud-primarily based analytics, client engagement structures, and consulting features.
The collaboration will center of attention on three areas:
Integration of Twitter information with IBM analytics functions on the cloud: IBM plans to offer Twitter facts as part of select cloud-based mostly capabilities, including IBM Watson Analytics, a brand new cognitive carrier within the palm of your hand that brings intuitive visualization and predictive capabilities to enterprise users; and a cloud-primarily based information refinery service that makes it possible for application builders to embed facts capabilities in purposes. Entrepreneurs and software developers will even be capable of combine Twitter records into new cloud features they are building with IBM's Watson Developer Cloud or IBM Bluemix platform-as-a-service.
New statistics-intensive capabilities for the enterprise: IBM and Twitter will carry a set of enterprise functions to support enhance company decisions across industries and professions. the first joint answer will combine Twitter facts with IBM ExperienceOne customer engagement options, allowing income, advertising and marketing, and client provider specialists to map sentiment and habits to more desirable interact and aid their purchasers.
specialized enterprise consulting: IBM global business functions authorities can have access to Twitter records to enrich consulting functions for purchasers throughout business. moreover, IBM and Twitter will collaborate to improve unique solutions for selected industries similar to banking, client products, retail, and commute and transportation. The partnership will draw upon the skills of tens of thousands of IBM world enterprise services consultants and utility gurus including consultants from the industry's most effective integrated method and Analytics follow, and IBM Interactive journey, the area's largest digital company.
"Twitter provides an impressive new lens during which to seem to be at the world – as both a platform for tons of of millions of buyers and enterprise authorities, and as a synthesizer of trends," stated Ginni Rometty, IBM Chairman, President and CEO. "This partnership, drawing on IBM's leading cloud-based analytics platform, will aid purchasers enrich business decisions with a completely new classification of facts. here's the latest illustration of how IBM is reimagining work."
"When it involves commercial enterprise transformation, IBM is an undisputed world chief in enabling companies to take competencies of emerging technologies and structures," stated Dick Costolo, Twitter CEO. "This essential partnership with IBM will trade the way enterprise choices are made – from picking out emerging market alternatives to more suitable attractive consumers, partners and employees."
With the development of recent solutions to improve enterprise choices across industries and professions, IBM and Twitter should be capable of enrich existing business information streams to increase company selections. for example, the mixing of social data with business facts can support accelerate product development with the aid of predicting lengthy-term developments or pressure true-time demand forecasting in keeping with actual-time situations like climate patterns.
"IBM brings a unique aggregate of cloud-based mostly analytics options and a world services team that can help agencies utilize this really pleasing facts," pointed out Chris Moody, vp of Twitter statistics method. "groups have had successes with Twitter facts – from manufacturers more comfortably managing stock to customer digital groups doing fast product construction. This partnership with IBM will permit faster innovation across a broader latitude of use instances at scale."
IBM has established the world's deepest portfolio in large information and analytics consulting and know-how potential in keeping with experiences drawn from more than forty,000 records and analytics client engagements. This analytics portfolio spans research and building, options, software and hardware, and contains greater than 15,000 analytics consultants, four,000 analytics patents, 6,000 industry solution business partners, and four hundred IBM mathematicians who are assisting purchasers use massive facts to seriously change their companies.
For greater assistance regarding the new Twitter and IBM collaboration, please discuss with www.ibm.com/IBMandTwitter or https://weblog.twitter.com/ibm, and observe the dialog at #IBMandTwitter.
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Gary Strauss and Mike Snider, us of a today published 5:02 p.m. ET July 15, 2014 | up-to-date 9:21 p.m. ET July 15, 2014
Tech giants and historic competitors IBM and Apple are teaming as much as advance ratings of enterprise apps so that it will marry large Blue's big facts capabilities to Apple's person-pleasant iPads and iPhones. VPC
americans ready in line image an Apple save.(photo: Mario Tama, Getty images)
Tech giants IBM and Apple are teaming as much as develop rankings of business apps a good way to marry huge Blue's huge records capabilities to Apple's user-friendly iPads and iPhones.
The business business partnership, introduced after Tuesday's market's shut, goals to "redefine the manner work will get accomplished, handle key trade mobility challenges and spark proper cell-led business trade,'' the organizations referred to in a joint statement.
FIRST TAKE: Tech's ordinary couple, Apple and IBM, have usual pursuits
acting on company cable channel CNBC, IBM chief govt Virginia Rometty and Apple CEO Tim cook referred to the companies were working on more than a hundred business application classes for Apple's iOS working device, which can be attainable q4.
Rometty stated the apps would tackle certain trade wants, similar to assisting airline pilots shop gas, and could be used in a wide range of enterprise applications, turning iPads and sensible phones into money-saving equipment. "this can retailer 10% to 15% for an airline deployed generally,'' Rometty noted.
Apple shares rose $1.51 to $ninety six.83 in after-market trading. IBM won $3.forty one to $191.ninety. The groups, former computing device world adversaries, have worked together on the task for a number of months.
"we're in unbiased positions of strength," Bridget van Kralingen, senior vice president of world business carrier at IBM, told united states of america today. "we're the gold requisites for enterprise (IBM), and buyer and design (Apple)."
Apple's first fundamental joint venture partnership in years is "absolutely huge, or not it's landmark,'' prepare dinner mentioned. "It takes the better of IBM and Apple. there isn't any overlap. it be absolutely complementary.''
Tim cook has heritage with IBM. all over a dozen years there, he rose throughout the ranks to become North American success director for IBM's very own computing device business in the Americas.
Apple and IBM collaborated in the past, too, along with Motorola, beginning in 1991 on a semi-a success assignment to boost laptop chips and an operating device to supplant Intel and Microsoft's superiority. The PowerPC, utilized in Macintosh computer systems for more than a decade, was a influence.
Analysts applauded the movement, so they can extend Apple's purchaser base into company and burnish IBM's huge-records analytics capabilities. IBM will promote iPhones and iPads to enterprise valued clientele beneath an exclusive IBM MobileFirst for iOS contract.
"They in reality do complement each and every other," said Richard Doherty, director of the Envisioneering community, a analysis consulting firm. "This seems to be one of those rare win-win-win issues. I simply see much less indecision and more satisfaction and perhaps people at work getting to savour an iPad on the enterprise's dime as an alternative of them having to go out and purchase it."
IBM will boost the "deliver your own equipment" to work flow "because individuals do equate believe and safety with IBM more than every other business," Doherty says.
Many places of work will benefit from the tech giants' collaboration. "it be going to alternate lots of carrier industries and make them advantageous and extra dependable," he says.
At retail, customers may additionally see extra iBeacons, in-keep transmitters that alert iPhone and different iOS device carriers about income and method transactions. "(iBeacons make) transactions go quicker and more securely," Doherty says. "(Apple) isn't a functions business, however IBM services retail from Wal-Mart to Starbucks."
The Apple-IBM partnership "is a landmark agreement," observed Forrester analysis analyst Frank Gillett. "Given IBM's market energy and insurance, this partnership gives Apple commercial enterprise capabilities and credibility at one stroke — and gives IBM a top rate abilities within the race for mobile business leadership. search for Google and leading business suppliers to are seeking partnerships that present a credible option."
comply with Strauss on Twitter @gstrauss_
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Of all the artistic careers and hobbies, photography remains one of the most popular. And thanks to the accessibility and availability of information on the internet, it's never been easier to keep up with shifting trends or learn the necessary skills, software, and industry know-how that makes photography enjoyable, challenging, and profitable.
If you're looking for an inexpensive way to develop photography skills or glean industry insight from experts, you'll probably find yourself on CreativeLive at some point. There are plenty of online course platforms for coding, marketing, and general business (Udemy, Coursera, LinkedIn Learning, and EdX come to mind), but CreativeLive is sort of the equivalent resource for creative hobbies and professions. The site has over 1,500 classes taught by 650+ industry-leading experts that run the gamut.
And, on any given day, about 90% of its best-selling courses are photography-based. You can learn everything from lighting and posing to essential software to pricing and sales insight for, typically, $30 - $200 depending on the topic and breadth of the class. You can watch on-air broadcasts for free on CreativeLive 24-hours a day, or you can buy a class and own it for life — a perk that's invaluable for hobbyists looking to navigate software with many features and intricacies or simply as a refresher.
Below are the site's current 15 best-selling photography courses. They're all on sale, but you can get an additional 10% off your cart with the code "BUSINESSINSIDER10" until September 30.Below are 15 of the most popular photography courses on CreativeLive:
Descriptions provided by CreativeLive and edited for length.
Most companies are trying to squeeze more work out of fewer people -- and are in no position to pick up the slack a bad employee can cause. The result: you can't afford to recruit and hire the old way. Here's what smart CEOs are doing instead
A few months back Tom Garrison was shopping for an anniversary present for his wife. He found himself in a jewelry store with a friendly salesclerk who showed him a beautiful, but pricey, diamond-studded bracelet. When Garrison balked at the price, the clerk asked him how long he'd been married. Twenty-one years, he said. Well, wait a minute, she gently pointed out: "This bracelet costs only $143 for every year you've been married."
It may be the oldest trick in the jewelry-retailing book, but Garrison, president of Brown, Moore and Flint, a Dallas-based food broker, thought the clerk "really had a good soft approach." In the end he walked out with the jewelry. More important, he says, he left with the name of someone who might make a good employee at his company.
Click. This little episode seems like the quintessential hiring story. Something just clicked, they say. They don't know exactly why, but the job applicant seems right. Or wrong. Or something in between. When it comes to hiring, in fact, many of us are in murky territory. Sure, they look at job experience. Education? Naturally. But a good part of their decision rests on a shadowy collection of vague impressions. They call it intuition, chemistry, a gut reaction.
Others call it a crapshoot. And Garrison, for one, doesn't believe in it. His apparently casual contact with the jewelry clerk was actually part of a painstakingly choreographed process to steer a certain kind of person into his company. He had to learn the hard way -- when lack of customer confidence in his people put his business at risk -- that hiring isn't just another operational necessity, like collecting receivables or marketing. In fact, apart from actually conceiving the idea for your business, hiring those who will bring that idea to life is the single most consequential step you take. With every person you hire, you determine how great your potential successes may be -- or how awful your failures. And if it's always been true that a company's prospects are defined by its work force, it's equally true that now its work force defines them more than ever.
Think about it: when a company lays off workers and runs more lean, each worker has a greater effect on the company's performance; each employee becomes more important. And it's not just the demand for more elbow grease that's raised the stakes in every staffing decision you make. These days you need workers to perform more than their obvious duties -- you need workers who can offer perceptions about your customers, or insights into your production process. In these resource-parched times, an order clerk who can pinch-hit as a salesperson, analyze operations like a consultant, and communicate like a leader would fit the bill nicely.
And if you were to say your business can't afford to sustain the disciplined, continuous recruiting process needed to find such people -- that it's too short on management time, energy, or money -- then we'd argue that you can't afford not to.
Consider the downside of getting it wrong -- the price of a mishire. The tangible costs are obvious: salary, fringe benefits, recruitment and training expenses. According to Michael Riordan, president of Riordan and Associates, a Kansas City management-consulting firm, a salesperson who lasts six months in an office-products dealership, for example, would cost the company about $17,000.
Not a very threatening number, true. But then tally the intangible expenses: the time you, the manager, invest in that person; lost sales opportunities; loss of morale on the sales team. Riordan says such costs can come to seven times the purely tangible losses, bringing the price tag of this particular bad hire to $136,000.
That multiplier may be hard to believe until you consider the ripple effect of the bad hire in your marketplace. "First of all the guy doesn't work out. He does not take care of the customer," says Mike Koether, president of Infincom, an office-equipment distributor in Phoenix that has 5,000 to 6,000 customer contacts each month. "He eludes the team's efforts and erodes the manager's confidence. What looks like a $1,500-a-month hiring mistake becomes a lot more expensive when you multiply that with my annual turnover and the number of customers that are let down."
The cruelest cost, however, is the most subtle: the loss of what might have been. In wrongful-death and personal-injury legal cases, lawyers sometimes argue that their client has suffered "hedonic loss." That means that not only has the client experienced the obvious costs -- forgone income, medical expenses, and pain and suffering -- but he or she has also lost the enjoyment of life. Similarly, their mishired salesperson has cost you all the positive things that would have occurred had you hired the perfect candidate: a reenergized sales team, a fresh flow of new product ideas, your next vice-president of operations -- who knows?
So what do you do to find and hire perfection? Begin by renovating the hiring strategy you carry around in your mind. If you're like most managers, it's a strategy that's antique -- they want to hire someone who's done the job before. This logical-sounding idea springs from an earlier time, when companies were hierarchical, labor was plentiful, and technology was slow moving. You needed a pair of hands that would do what you asked. Job experience equaled competence.
As mass production has given way to customized products and services, and technology has shouldered a greater portion of the work, business's needs have changed radically. A pair of hands is by no means enough. Managers rely more heavily on workers' insights and initiatives. A successful service business depends as much on the attitudes of its employees as on their technical skills.
In this context, evaluating job applicants on the basis of their education and previous work experience is myopic -- like looking at a candidate through a peephole when you could open the door for a full view. Some business owners go so far as to say you should be wary of these old standbys. "Looking at rÃ©sumÃ©s and experience is a trap," claims Bruce Male, president of TravCorps, a temporary-nurse service in Malden, Mass.
The pickiest companies they found aim to do what might be called holistic hiring. They believe that a person's behavior, interests, and personality are crucial contributors to his or her success or failure in a job. So they have found a way to decipher this soft data, to decode the click. Some use personality tests -- though they avoid calling them that. Some use activity tests of their own design. Some don't use tests at all. But all strive to objectify the subjective.
There are other components to successful hiring -- hundreds of them, in fact. But to do it well, you can't pluck a few scattered techniques. What's needed is a comprehensive system that starts, above all, with the premise that hiring is an ongoing process, a constant investment of your company's time and energy whether or not you have a job to fill. The rewards are handsome -- in most cases far greater than you might expect.
The penalty for not elevating hiring to number one on your company's priority list? You systematically shortchange your company's potential, as Jim Fuchs, president of Fuchs Copy Systems Inc., in Milwaukee, knows all too well. "We were reactive. All of a sudden they would lose an employee. We'd jump right into action and say, 'We've got to hire quick.' Six candidates come in and they hire one. Chances are, they're not a good fit, but they hire the best of the worst -- they hire out of desperation."
Step One: Recruit All the Time
Constant recruiting is what makes the difference between hiring the best of the worst and hiring the best for the job. Very simply, it is forward-looking, ensuring that the pipeline of high-quality candidates is full when you have an opening. Does that mean advertising continuously? Definitely not, according to Tom Garrison, the Dallas food broker. "People who read ads are looking for a job. They are looking for people who aren't looking for a job -- they're happy and productive where they are. When they find that person, they try to sell him on why he should work here," he says.
Garrison and his retail managers call their technique "center of influence" recruiting. When Garrison runs across someone -- such as the aforementioned jewelry clerk -- that he thinks he'd love to have as an employee, or conversely, that he himself would like to work for, he engages her in a conversation about his industry. "If she's excited, if they see she's reading us, then they move into why Brown, Moore and Flint is a good place to work."
Then Garrison begins describing the characteristics he looks for in a job candidate and asks his newly minted center of influence to be on the lookout for anyone fitting the description. Now that 10 or so Brown, Moore and Flint managers have been seeding the area with centers of influence for six years, Garrison gets four or five calls a week regarding potential candidates. Good scouts may come from anywhere; some of the food broker's best recruiters are its clients. Sometimes the recruiters are so sold on the company that they decide to apply for jobs themselves.
Not only did Garrison build a pipeline to future employees, he was careful about its placement. As a result he taps a labor pool that isn't traditional for his industry. Adina Marcheschi did the same thing even before her pipeline was in place. Her recruiting problem: people were turned off by the two most visible characteristics of her company -- it's in the head-hunting business, and it pays commissions only. "A lot of times when people called in response to their ad, they'd say they weren't interested as soon as I mentioned the word commission," she recounts.
Yet she knew that visitors often fell in love with the company's young, open environment. So two years ago, when her fast-growing firm, CPS Employment Services Network Inc., in Westchester, Ill., had a handful of openings, she decided to hold an open house; it attracted people who might not have responded to a conventional ad. Sixty prospects were led through a casual but carefully structured introduction to the company. Each attendee watched a video, was screened by a manager, and filled out an abbreviated application form.
To get at an entirely different group of prospective employees -- those who did not respond to the open-house invitation -- Marcheschi asked attendees to refer her to other people who might be interested in her company. All told, an ad and the open house yielded more than 100 applicants, 5 of whom were hired. "When you need to hire a lot of people quickly, it's your best way to do it," she asserts.
Step Two: Write a Real Job Description
We think this little piece of homework is the single best thing you can do to hire well. That's right, write a good job description. It may sound like a bureaucratic nuisance you don't want anything to do with, but that's not the kind of job description they mean. We're talking about reaching an understanding of a position that goes far beyond a list of duties.
The reason that is so critical? If you have real intimacy with what's required in a particular job, you are disciplined to look for someone who matches the description. Without a blueprint, managers will usually hire the person they like the best who's done the job before. "Most often they make the mistake of hiring in their own image," says TravCorps' Bruce Male.
He recently crafted a job description that dramatically altered the kind of person he hired for a key position -- the manager of TravCorps' growing information-systems department. "Initially, I thought that I needed someone who had technical mastery," recalls Male. Then he defined the job in terms of its objective -- what would be the result of hiring the right person? What he wanted, he realized, was someone who could develop the department and discern what the rest of the company required of it. He needed a nurturer and communicator -- not an inspired computer hacker.
To continue building a profile, define the traits needed to succeed in the job. At Advanced Network Design, a third-party telecommunications handler in La Mirada, Calif., managers begin by writing down a list of actions a person will undertake in the job. Then they itemize the behavior necessary to execute those activities successfully. Finally, they concoct a script for the interview: "You write open-ended questions that will get people to discuss their previous work history in such a way as to disclose whether they have those traits," explains Dave Wiegand, the company's president.
The conventional job description, for example, focuses on activities. Here's the traditional salesperson's job description: generate and close new sales, make 15 cold calls a week, write call reports, and attend weekly sales meetings. Sound familiar? Obviously, there's nothing inaccurate about the description, but it leaves you clueless to find someone who will be a good salesperson. You're stuck, essentially, with just looking for a candidate who has done those five activities before.
In contrast, Wiegand's job description for a salesperson consists of 17 behavioral traits. One of them is healthy "self-talk," the mental dialogue they have with ourselves. To uncover that characteristic, Wiegand might ask the applicants what they would say to a fellow salesperson who was getting a lot of rejections and having difficulty making appointments. "By twisting the situation around and suggesting that they're helping others, you are discovering what they say to themselves," says Wiegand. What he wants to hear is a buck-up-and-keep-going speech to the imaginary colleague; he believes the inclination toward that response, rather than empathetic pessimism, is a key predictor of a salesperson's success.
A first step to constructing a truly useful job description: itemize the patterns of behavior of your most successful employee in each job class. Then revise that list as you get better at hiring. Over time, it will become a valuable recipe. At Millard Manufacturing, a food-processing-equipment manufacturer in Omaha, job profiles are reviewed, discussed, and tinkered with every time a position is filled. One personality trait may be replaced with another. Brown, Moore and Flint's Garrison considers his job profiles such an important template that he keeps the master copies in his desk.
Step Three: Interview According to Plan
After prescreening with minimum requirements and a five-minute interview, the serious interviewing is at hand. When preparing for interviews and while doing them, there are two things to think about. The first is what you probably already concentrate on -- the actual interchange between you and the aspiring employee. The second is your overall interview strategy. That usually neglected part of hiring involves choosing how many interviews you'll give each applicant, how long they'll last, the purpose of each, and who will conduct them.
Look first at how your approach might contrast with those of your competitors. Ari Weinzweig, co-owner of Zingerman's, a delicatessen in Ann Arbor, Mich., attributes his success in hiring to interview standards that are much higher than others in his industry. "To do three interviews is almost unheard of, and for the owner to do one of them is real different," he explains. Turnover at Zingerman's is half what its competitors suffer.
The strategy at Advanced Network is to market the position to applicants -- "We really make them fight for the job," says Wiegand. When a candidate walks through the door for the first time, he or she is handed a piece of paper that describes the multifaceted hiring process. The list of hoops that applicants will have to jump through is introduced this way: "As you may know, the selection process at Advanced Network Design is tough. If you are up to the challenge, then here are the steps to take. . . ." They include an application form, a basic math and filing test, a 10-to 15-minute meeting with the president, and an in-depth interview.
Think, too, about the variety and texture of your interviews. Tom Garrison includes a home interview in the lineup. Coming at the end of the process, this meeting with the candidate's spouse isn't so much an interview as another window into the applicant's soul. "I don't care what the house looks like," explains Garrison. "I just want to know that the husband or wife is supportive in this move."
Of course, interviews with the candidate are what are most critical. Doing a good job here is tricky because of one unalterable fact about those presumably polite interchanges: you want to get under the applicant's skin, and he doesn't want you to.
Because you're in the position of power, you can take your pick of techniques that encourage the truth to surface. Time is a key ally. Tom Garrison's main interview lasts two to five hours and contains carefully timed peaks and valleys. After reviewing with candidates the results of a personality quiz, Garrison asks them to start with high school and describe their experiences up to the present.
"When you're talking about yourself, that's an upper," says Garrison. "Then they take the candidates on a downhill portion of the roller coaster." He will express concern with certain of the quiz's findings. The applicants must defend themselves. After a bit of that, Garrison says, "Let me tell you a little more about the job." That sends the applicants' spirits soaring again, because they figure they might get an offer.
After a few ups and downs, says Garrison, "you'll see their role playing come down. They'll say, 'Let me tell you the truth about something." Advanced Network's Wiegand, who says interviews must last between 45 minutes and 90 minutes to scratch the surface, concurs. "Once they hit that point, you can ask incredible questions about their job history and they'll just tell you."
Your other key interviewing tool: listening. In order to do that well, you need to know in advance what you want to hear. This is where your carefully crafted job description comes in, becoming a blueprint for the interview. Take your script of questions or list of behaviors into the interview and pose follow-up questions until the trait is uncovered. Don't concentrate on candidates' descriptions of their actions as much as you listen for the attitude or preference you're trying to uncover. Where possible, ask for examples from the past. It's too easy to make up wonderful responses about a hypothetical case.
Millard Manufacturing's Ron Parks is one of the most disciplined listeners they found. He first devised a list of questions that uncover behavioral traits and are also hard for applicants to see through. Then he trained himself and his managers to listen for linguistic patterns, as well as content, in their answers.
For example, to discover an applicant's chief means of learning and relating to any task, Parks will ask, "How do you know if a coworker is doing a good job?" There's no right answer. Parks simply wants to find out what kind of "proof" is offered. If the applicant says she can simply see the results of a good job, she is dominantly sight-oriented, as most people in the world are. Others are hearing-oriented, and still others are reading-oriented.
To find out whether a person enjoys a lot of detail in a job or prefers a more general, big-picture orientation, Parks listens to the specificity in a response. Asked what part of a job gave him the greatest gratification, one fellow said, "Installing chicken cookers." Then he corrected himself and said, "No, installing big machines." To Parks's ears that means: "This is a very general guy. Even though installing a chicken cooker is a very broad description of a job, it was too specific for him. He's going to make lots of detail mistakes if they force too much of it on him."
Remember the purpose of interviewing: to get and give information. The process you construct should aim to collect data on what some call horizontal and vertical planes. Horizontal information, such as a candidate's schooling and background, isn't very hard to discover, but you need a sizable amount of it to begin to make your decision. Vertical information plumbs the depths of a candidate's personality, and it will determine who gets the job.
Step Four: Do Use Personality Tests
Personality testing is one tool that some of the best hirers use to probe vertical, or soft, data. Yet it's probably the most controversial issue in hiring. Understandably, too. No one likes the idea of his or her dazzlingly unique self being reduced to a test score or personality type. Tests of hard skills, such as typing, spelling, carpentry, and machine operations are fine. But their predispositions? "There's a constituency that feels it is un-American -- a breach of privacy," says Infincom's Koether, who asks candidates to fill out an "interest analysis."
Here's how to get over that hurdle: Assume there are no bad or good workers. There are, however, a lot of people in the wrong job. Consider the supervisor of a sophisticated inventory of 50,000 parts who can't stand detail or repetitive tasks, for example. Is he a happy man? No. And no sane manager would have put him there if she'd known about his preferences. The best personality tests don't produce answers; they produce a profile of leading indicators about someone. And the best use of the profile is to supplement or confirm what you have already learned.
Koether doesn't use the interest analysis until he's already sure the person has the capacity -- or "can-do," in his terminology -- to do the job. Further interviewing and the analysis provide a glimpse into an applicant's "will-do" -- his or her inclination to do the job successfully. Koether says that when he discusses the results of interest analysis with candidates, "9 times out of 10 they say, 'Yeah, that's me.' "
If you accurately assess a person's soft skills, the payoff is enormous. You've not only landed a productive employee but freed the employee's manager to do constructive, rather than remedial, coaching. "The first mistake that anybody in management makes is to assume that through training, incentives, or disciplinary action, you can change people who are not doing the job right. People can change, but in the end, they think, most people won't," Koether says.
To implement testing in your company, decide whether you want to create your own or buy an established test. Either way, be judicious; a test must be technically sound, be appropriate for the job and company involved, and comply with a slew of government regulations, including the new civil-rights act. The American Psychological Association suggests company owners contact the psychology department of a local university to find an industrial psychologist who can make recommendations.
Step Five: Keep Score with the Right Goals in Mind
Score your candidates immediately after seeing them, and make sure the same -- preferably senior -- person is seeing all the candidates for any one position. Assuming you have two or three candidates that have the characteristics to succeed in the job, the final piece of the puzzle is how well they will fit into your team or your company's culture. Look at whether the candidate has similar goals and how well his or her personality traits will mesh with existing employees'. Grade according to that as well, or compose questions to probe further.
The most important thing to remember while doing evaluations is that you are matching a person to a job profile, not comparing candidates with one another. "Comparison works OK if the worst candidates are sixes and sevens, and you select an eight," explains consultant Riordan. "But if the worst is a two and the best is a four, then you have a problem."
Another quality-control feature: make your decision based on a candidate's weakest score. Let's say you've graded a job candidate in three areas, as Riordan and Infincom's Koether do: she scores eight in her capacity to do the job, another eight for her behavioral preferences in a job, and a six on how well she fits the company team. Says Riordan: "Many selection processes would say, Well, you've got two eights -- hire her. I say, wrong. The smallest number will always bring the other two down. Your lowest number should be a seven or above."
Step Six: Finally, Check References Anyway
By this point, you won't be eager to do reference checking. After all, you've already worked so hard to get the right person that you don't really want to know if there's a problem. What's more, if you've been systematic in every other part of the hiring process, reference checking won't turn up anything you don't already know.
Still, do it. But to make it worthwhile, be sure to reach beyond the references -- acquaintances and former bosses -- that the applicant expects you to call. Ask those references for further references for the candidate, then call them.
* * *
Your biggest reward for creating and following a good hiring process will surprise you. It won't be the lower turnover or other concrete results you set out to secure -- though you'll likely achieve them. It will be this: if you hire the right way, you will manage your people better than ever before. You won't be able not to. You'll know precisely what motivates them, where they're likely to make mistakes, and how to package your feedback.
So while Infincom's turnover dropped dramatically when Koether altered his hiring practices a mere three years after starting the company, he doesn't rave about that. He says: "It gave us a common language among all their different disciplines. And talk about capacity to produce -- they went from zero in sales to $25 million in nine years."
Millard's Ron Parks knows which of his workers need to be assigned their machine-tooling jobs sequentially, rather than all at once at the beginning of the day. He knows which need continual external reinforcement and which would be insulted by such compliments. Understanding his new hires better begot an entirely new management style. Explains Parks: "Certain personality events used to make me angry. Now I understand that sometimes people can't help it. As long as I hire right, I don't have to put 80% of my energy into trying to change employees. I play to their strengths and subsidize their weaknesses."
Violins in various stages of completion lie scattered around violin maker Charles Rufino’s home workshop in Dix Hills.
Warm russet, amber and honey patinas color the nearly finished and varnished models, while pieces of bare wood glued and clamped together inside forms show the beginning stages of new instruments. Nearly completed violins and violas hang by their scrolls from a rack, awaiting finishing touches.
Rufino, 66, sits in the light of a south-facing window at his carpet-covered workbench. His tools surround the bench and line two walls; a segmented box holding knives for doing delicate scroll and cutting work sits within reach.
“I’m trying to do this one thing well,” he said, waving around his workshop at the violin forms, tools and instruments in progress. “I enjoy the awareness when I’m working and shaping and cutting the wood. I’m the luckiest man I know.”
While he talks, Rufino uses a woodcarver’s gouge to channel the edge of a violin in progress, one of the many steps in making a member of the orchestral string family, which includes violins, violas and cellos.
A visit with him to discuss his work turns into a run-through of the history of violin making and violin makers, along with a healthy side of technical information on wood types, measurements and techniques.
Rufino is a luthier, the name for those who craft stringed instruments that also can include guitars. Violins — unlike guitars, which have ends and sides flush with the top and back — have a curled, overhanging edge of about an eighth of an inch.Get the Breaking News newsletter!
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“It protects the side from a lot of damage that guitars do get,” Rufino said.
The edge of the violin is highlighted by a narrow decorative inlay called purfling. The purfling — two bands of black-dyed pear wood that sandwich a strip of white aspen for contrast — shows a maker’s skill and mastery, particularly how the points join in the corner.
When the violin is nearly finished, Rufino applies an oil varnish to it, based on a recipe he has developed over the years, made of natural plant resins mixed with drying oils.
Making a violin takes six to eight weeks of work, all told, Rufino estimates. “It’s not in a straight line,” he said. “You’ve got to be totally on your game. Sometimes you just don’t feel like doing it. That’s what makes it art.”
He has made several hundred instruments, the majority of them violins — but also violas and cellos — since he began training in 1974 after leaving New York University, where he had been a classics and history major. He had responded to an ad in the Village Voice to help build a house in Maine. He didn’t get paid, but he was able to live on a 100-acre property during construction. When the job was done Rufino returned to New York and worked as a carpenter, but found it wasn’t enough of a challenge. He wanted an apprenticeship where he could “study and learn secrets that didn’t come out of a book.”
“I’ve never looked back,” Rufino said. He first explored different options, visiting furniture makers, harpsichord makers and the late New York City guitar maker James D’Aquisto.
“I knew I wanted to work with wood, and then I got bit by the violin bug,” he said.
Rufino signs and dates his instruments, writing “Ad maiorem dei gloriam” (To the greater glory of God) inside his violins. The tagline ties back to his faith and family — both his wife and daughter have master’s degrees in theology — and his fondness for his wife’s uncle, who was a Jesuit priest. “We are a family of God-lovers,” Rufino said.
“I’ve been given astounding gifts and opportunities here, and I’m responsible to a higher power to fulfill what has been given to me,” he added. “It’s not just about me.”
Rufino apprenticed at the Newark School of Violin Making in England and also studied at the London workshops of J & Arthur Beare Ltd. and W.E. Hill & Sons.
After graduating, he returned to New York in 1977 and trained under luthier V.Y. “Nigo” Nigogosian, who also was a master violin restorer. In 1980, Rufino began a 4-year apprenticeship with Carl Becker & Son of Chicago.
He opened his own studio in 1984, on Broadway near Columbus Circle in Manhattan, making violins, violas and cellos, and also helped Nigogosian establish the Oberlin Restoration Workshops in 1986, where violin and bow makers study restoration and learn new techniques.
Rufino, who also plays viola in the North Shore Symphony Orchestra, is a member of the American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers and is on the executive committee of the International Society of Violin and Bow Makers.HE ALSO SELLS RETAIL
While violin making is his passion, one he runs under the Charles J. Rufino Violin Maker name, Rufino’s Long Island Violin Shops are what he calls his brasserie (an informal French restaurant), where he offers stringed instrument sales, lessons and repairs. Rufino initially did sales t students from his home, including after he closed his Manhattan workshop in 2004. He opened the Huntington store in 2008 and the East Setauket store in 2014. He plans to open a Smithtown store this year.
On a 1977 trip to Europe, Rufino bought wood he now uses to make his instruments, going for the sound that is made by spruce from the Alps in Italy and maple from Bosnia, searching for wood with the tonal characteristics that give violins their sound.
“If you want to make a supremely great instrument, you need great raw material,” he said.
You also need a design plan. Like any great chef or painter, luthiers start with the same raw ingredients and recipe, but the results differ.
“It’s not a formula,” Rufino said. “When you discover your voice or soul as a maker, you discover it’s OK to bring your life experience to creating this violin.”
Rufino said he considers the instruments he makes to be inspired by works of master luthiers in earlier generations, but not copies. “I want to be a maker of instruments for today and tomorrow,” he said.
Some of Rufino’s handcrafted violins can cost tens of thousands of dollars. While he enjoys making fine, handcrafted instruments, he notes that there is room for many options depending on budgets and a player’s needs.
A violinist who uses one of Rufino’s instruments sings its praises and the creator’s.
“I consider him one of the finest makers alive,” said Dale Stuckenbruck, 64, of West Hempstead, an adjunct professor of violin at LIU Post in Brookville and orchestra director at The Waldorf School of Garden City. “He’s had the best training possible and really does know what he’s doing. Historically, he’s very solidly rooted, and yet he’s making violins for the current generation, to meet their needs.”MODERN-DAY VIOLINS
The whole setup in instruments used today — from the tension to the tuning to the standard pitch — is different from what was needed to play in 17th and 18th century orchestras, Stuckenbruck said, adding that modern-day violins also must have enough projection to reach the back of far larger concert halls.
He has firsthand experience with how one of Rufino’s violins performs. The week before Christmas 1996, Stuckenbruck’s violin was stolen from his car parked in the driveway. As concertmaster of the “Victor, Victoria” orchestra on Broadway, he was due to play that night, and he also had a weekend performance scheduled at Lincoln Center’s former Avery Fisher Hall.
“Charles came in that night with a violin he was able to dedicate for my use,” Stuckenbruck recalled. “It was a competitive violin that I was able to use in my solos, my chamber music and in recording sessions with my colleagues. I felt comfortable with it.”
A week later, police recovered and returned Stuckenbruck’s stolen violin, but he continued to use the Rufino. “I realized what Charles’ violin was doing for me, and I decided to sell the old one,” Stuckenbruck said.
Shem Guibbory, a first violinist with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, bought a Rufino violin in 2007. He loved its sound during a blind sound test at the opera house in comparison with an Italian violin he considered selling.
Guibbory sat in the top rear of the hall and had a colleague on stage play excerpts from several works on both violins.
“On one song, I was certain Violin A sounded so much more present and warm and really caught my attention in the big hall of the Metropolitan Opera,” Guibbory said. “And I was kind of crestfallen, because I knew that was my Italian fiddle, and that made me think, ‘Well, I better not sell it.’ It turned out that was the Rufino! That really persuaded me. Plus, colleagues’ reactions were very strong.”
Guibbory said he has known Rufino since the late 1970s when Rufino studied with Nigogosian. During that time, he said he has observed consistency in sound from Rufino’s instruments.
“They’re beautifully crafted and they speak evenly and warmly in all the registers, so from the lowest notes to the highest notes there is a very smooth, even grade of sound,” Guibbory said.
Rufino likens his creations to “a Savile Row suit.”
“I like to think they’re instruments that stand up to the heroic instruments of the past,” he said.THE LONG ISLAND VIOLIN SHOPS
8 Elm St. Huntington
250 Main St. East Setauket
The stores handle equipment sales and rentals, and offer lessons. Owner Charles Rufino also is available to do a PowerPoint presentation, The Art and Lore of the Violin, for interested groups about the history of the violin, tapping his perspective as a maker and historical researcher. Teachers interested in learning instrument repair techniques can inquire for information on summer workshops.
— Kay Blough
By Kay Blough Special to Newsday
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HP [752 Certification Exam(s) ]
HR [4 Certification Exam(s) ]
HRCI [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Huawei [21 Certification Exam(s) ]
Hyperion [10 Certification Exam(s) ]
IAAP [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
IAHCSMM [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
IBM [1533 Certification Exam(s) ]
IBQH [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
ICAI [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
ICDL [6 Certification Exam(s) ]
IEEE [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
IELTS [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
IFPUG [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
IIA [3 Certification Exam(s) ]
IIBA [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
IISFA [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Intel [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
IQN [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
IRS [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
ISA [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
ISACA [4 Certification Exam(s) ]
ISC2 [6 Certification Exam(s) ]
ISEB [24 Certification Exam(s) ]
Isilon [4 Certification Exam(s) ]
ISM [6 Certification Exam(s) ]
iSQI [7 Certification Exam(s) ]
ITEC [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Juniper [65 Certification Exam(s) ]
LEED [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Legato [5 Certification Exam(s) ]
Liferay [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Logical-Operations [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Lotus [66 Certification Exam(s) ]
LPI [24 Certification Exam(s) ]
LSI [3 Certification Exam(s) ]
Magento [3 Certification Exam(s) ]
Maintenance [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
McAfee [8 Certification Exam(s) ]
McData [3 Certification Exam(s) ]
Medical [68 Certification Exam(s) ]
Microsoft [375 Certification Exam(s) ]
Mile2 [3 Certification Exam(s) ]
Military [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Misc [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Motorola [7 Certification Exam(s) ]
mySQL [4 Certification Exam(s) ]
NBSTSA [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
NCEES [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
NCIDQ [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
NCLEX [3 Certification Exam(s) ]
Network-General [12 Certification Exam(s) ]
NetworkAppliance [39 Certification Exam(s) ]
NI [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
NIELIT [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Nokia [6 Certification Exam(s) ]
Nortel [130 Certification Exam(s) ]
Novell [37 Certification Exam(s) ]
OMG [10 Certification Exam(s) ]
Oracle [282 Certification Exam(s) ]
P&C [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
Palo-Alto [4 Certification Exam(s) ]
PARCC [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
PayPal [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Pegasystems [12 Certification Exam(s) ]
PEOPLECERT [4 Certification Exam(s) ]
PMI [15 Certification Exam(s) ]
Polycom [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
PostgreSQL-CE [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Prince2 [6 Certification Exam(s) ]
PRMIA [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
PsychCorp [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
PTCB [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
QAI [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
QlikView [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Quality-Assurance [7 Certification Exam(s) ]
RACC [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Real Estate [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Real-Estate [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
RedHat [8 Certification Exam(s) ]
RES [5 Certification Exam(s) ]
Riverbed [8 Certification Exam(s) ]
RSA [15 Certification Exam(s) ]
Sair [8 Certification Exam(s) ]
Salesforce [5 Certification Exam(s) ]
SANS [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
SAP [98 Certification Exam(s) ]
SASInstitute [15 Certification Exam(s) ]
SAT [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
SCO [10 Certification Exam(s) ]
SCP [6 Certification Exam(s) ]
SDI [3 Certification Exam(s) ]
See-Beyond [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Siemens [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Snia [7 Certification Exam(s) ]
SOA [15 Certification Exam(s) ]
Social-Work-Board [4 Certification Exam(s) ]
SpringSource [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
SUN [63 Certification Exam(s) ]
SUSE [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Sybase [17 Certification Exam(s) ]
Symantec [135 Certification Exam(s) ]
Teacher-Certification [4 Certification Exam(s) ]
The-Open-Group [8 Certification Exam(s) ]
TIA [3 Certification Exam(s) ]
Tibco [18 Certification Exam(s) ]
Trainers [3 Certification Exam(s) ]
Trend [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
TruSecure [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
USMLE [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
VCE [6 Certification Exam(s) ]
Veeam [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
Veritas [33 Certification Exam(s) ]
Vmware [58 Certification Exam(s) ]
Wonderlic [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
Worldatwork [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
XML-Master [3 Certification Exam(s) ]
Zend [6 Certification Exam(s) ]
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