Archives for July 2014 | Collins McNicholas

Top Tips When Starting a New Job

Starting a new job can be a stressful and exhilarating experience. No matter how far into your career you are, beginning a new job is always a little intimidating. The government is in the process of reshuffling its cabinet, and several members of government are likely to be taking on new ministerial posts. In honour of these changes at the top, we are giving our top 6 tips for starting a new job. Tip 1 – First Impressions Count The single most important thing you can do on your first day is make a good impression with your colleagues and superiors. The impact of a bad first impression can linger for a long time, and prove quite difficult to overcome. It is vital that you are punctual and enthusiastic, show everyone that you are happy to be there. Tip 2 – Learn Your Role Obtain a detailed job description from your boss so that you know precisely what is expected of you, and what you are responsible for. Having a clear understanding of your duties and responsibilities will help you prioritise how much time you give to each task. In situations where you are working under a tight deadline, knowing what is the most important task to be completed will help you avoid making any costly mistakes. Tip 3 – Understand the Culture Learn the culture of the company. Most employees will undergo a training period of a few days, or a few weeks, when they start their job. Use this time wisely. Learn everything you can about the company’s policies and procedures, observe how people interact with one another and how they go about their work. Talk to everybody, from the cleaners to the manager, your new colleagues will be a great source of information on how to fit in, and what the expectations are for you and the company. Getting to know your colleagues will also help you settle in quickly. Tip 4 – Find a Mentor This can be your immediate supervisor or someone else in a more senior role in the organisation. Having a mentor to guide you is a huge advantage. A mentor can give you an inside perspective on what it takes to get ahead in the company, is an excellent source of knowledge and advice, can provide you with opportunities to gain experience, and can assist you in developing your talents. Mentors are a trove of insights and experience that will help you develop your career. Tip 5 – Move on, mentally and physically There is nothing worse than hearing someone constantly refer to “the way we used to do things”. This is not what your new colleagues want to hear every few minutes.  Yes, of course you should suggest improvements based on your past experience but don’t harp on about how great your previous employer was! Change your LinkedIn profile immediately. It will demonstrate how committed you are to the new company. Leaving your old job up for a couple of months can really create a negative impression. Tip 6 – Be Patient   Finally, be patient, it takes time to settle in to a new job. Ask questions, be enthusiastic, work hard, and everything will come together. Niall Murray, General Manager Collins McNicholas Recruitment & HR Services Group Email:...

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The World Cup, Messi, and the Future of Big Data Analytics

If you are anything like me you will have been spending most of your free time over the last few weeks glued to the World Cup. It has been one of the most exciting tournament in years; whether it is the sublime runs of Neymar, the superb finishing of Columbia’s James Rodriguez, or the wonder that is Lionel Messi, there is something to admire in every match. Lionel Messi, arguably the best player in the world, was recently the subject of a fascinating article on the data journalism website FiveThirtyEight. The article, entitled ‘The Impossible Messi,’ did a statistical analysis of his performances in every game since 2010. The author analysed everything; goals per game, assists per game, dribbling success, pass completion, shooting efficiency, and many, many more statistics. The level of detail, and the sheer volume of data analysed was astonishing. It essentially provided a touch-by-touch analysis of Messi’s performances, compared him to the best players in football, and found that by almost every conceivable statistical measure Messi outperformed his fellow professionals; and by a considerable margin. The ‘Messi’ article aptly highlights the rapidly growing importance of data analysis in the world today. Right across the business world, in every industry, from pharmaceutical manufacturing to international finance, managers are exploring the ways in which data analysis, or ‘Big Data,’ can help them improve the efficiency of their operations and increase their profits. According to the EU, big data is growing at 40% annually, seven times faster than the rest of the ICT sector. The market for big data technology and services is expected to reach $16.9bn globally in...

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Amazon Pays Employees $5,000 to Quit

I read an interesting article recently in the CIPD magazine ‘People Management’, describing how once a year Amazon offers employees in its fulfilment centres up to $5,000 to quit their jobs. The offer begins at $2,000 for new employees and increases by $1,000 a year until it reaches $5,000. The ‘Pay to Quit’ scheme was revealed by CEO Jeff Bezos in his annual letter to shareholders in May. It is a practice that originated with online shoe retailer Zappos in 2008, with Bezos becoming familiar with the idea after Amazon acquired Zappos in 2009 for an estimated $1.2bn. Amazon is not looking to downsize, or reduce its wage burden, the headline on the announcement is ‘Please Don’t Take This Offer.’ Amazon is actually increasing its headcount and building new warehouses across the US. The reason for the ‘Pay to Quit’ scheme is to get rid of unmotivated and dissatisfied workers, and ensure that the employees that remain are committed to the company and its culture. This raises some interesting questions. What are the costs and benefits for a company over the long and short term? And, what would it say about a company’s hiring practices if lots of people decided to take up the offer? The key to the strategy is that it forces Amazon’s employees to assess their career, their place within the organization and their level of satisfaction with their job. In doing so the vast majority, who turn down the offer, are rededicated to their job and morale improves further. Since its launch in January take up of the offer has been low, considerably below 10%...

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