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    Interview Tips for the Candidate-Be Specific

    Be Specific when Answering Questions

    Sometimes – or more like every time – you go for an interview, your nerves make it hard
    to concentrate and answer questions to the best of your ability. The important thing to
    remember is to really listen to the questions being asked. If the interviewer tells you they
    want a specific example, don’t answer with a general how you would do something – it is
    a surefire way to ruin your chances for the job.

    These types of questions are known as situational questions. If an interviewer were to
    say to you, “Tell us about your favorite vacation.” You wouldn’t respond by telling them
    about all the places you would like to go or make a generalization:

    “My favorite vacation is to go someplace hot with my family and sit on the beach.”

    Instead, you should answer as specifically as possible including all the pertinent details:

    “My favorite vacation was two years ago when I went to California with my family. We
    spent a lot of time on the beach. It was very relaxing.”

    The second answer adds credibility. It is obvious that you are providing information
    from something that actually happened as opposed to making something up just to
    answer the question.

    Potential employers are trying to gauge how you react or perform in specific situations.
    Common questions that are asked include:

    “Tell me about a time you led a team project.” Include what the project was, how many
    people, and any challenges including how you overcame them.

    “Tell me about a conflict you had with a co-worker.” Only pick situations that had a
    positive outcome.

    Employers today want to know how you are going to perform on the job before they even
    hire you. By answering situational questions specifically you can assure the interviewer
    you have the skills and thought processes that they are looking for.

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    Recruiting Issues-Double Checking It All.

    Most human resource managers today are limited to providing only the basics for employment verification. Fear of litigation nullifies anything that may be deemed subjective or, more considerably, litigious. Conducting the formal employment verification will typically return little more than the date your candidate started employment, the date he left, and the position he held. You will often find yourself lacking the input needed to make an informed hiring decision. Once in awhileIn fact, at the writing of this article, there was a radio program where the show’s commentator reinforced this principle. The commentator admonished Human Resources Personnel that there is as much a danger in providing a positive reference as there is in providing one that is negative. He went on to say it is important to keep all employment verifications as uniform as possible. He suggested providing only the start date, completion date and the position held.

    Is this bare bones information enough to make an informed decision on an employment candidate? Sometimes. When the job is simple enough and no special skills are required… yes. Then all you need to know is whether or not your candidate actually worked at his previous place of employment. You may need to know more about an IT candidate’s technical skills, but whether or not your candidate’s last job as a pizza boy can shed any real light on his abilities is open to debate.

    Because the typical employment verification yields such sparse information, more and more businesses are turning to the reference verification in order to find out more about their candidates and their respective skills. While the reference verification can have its pros and cons, for a fair number of hiring situations it’s a smart way to go.

    Reference verifications can be best used to discern the skill sets of your job candidate. Recruiters will employ the reference check to determine if their candidates are qualified in special skills and experience. You may call upon references to define a job candidate’s level of IT skills, or his fluency with general and industry specific software programs. You may wish to better understand his abilities in graphic and web design, which can provide essential considerations.

    As a recruiter, you may want to know more about your candidate’s networking capabilities, who he knows in his industrial sector. If he is a sales person, you may know just how well connected he is in, say, licensing product in certain geographic regions. For international candidates, when language capability is a concern, you can use the reference verification to help assess these abilities.

    Of course, there are other questions you may ask in your reference verification process. You may want to know more about your candidate’s management skills or style. You need to determine if he works well with others, if he is a team player or the sort that works better off by himself. Does he show up on time? Is he absent frequently? What are the areas where he can improve?

    At Corra, as part of the verification process, we ask the reference to rate the employment candidate using a scale of one to ten. Ten is the highest score. Usually, to be considered a viable employment candidate, our clients would like to see at least a seven rating. Seven and up is considered pretty solid.

    Sometimes the reference gets carried away and barks out a ten. Most employers will look at this as boosterish. But there are the exceptions. If the reference is an upper level executive and qualifies his or her statement with such phrases as “I’ve been around for umpteen years and rarely have I seen someone work as well as So and So,” the employer will take it more at face value.

    In most cases, the higher level ratings are a nine or nine plus. The reference will often qualify his rating with “Everyone has room to improve…”

    Always bear in mind the reference that your job candidate supplies you, will be a favorable reference. No candidate in his right mind would give you references that would go out of their way to sink his ship. Sometimes the reference may not find the candidate as favorable as the candidate would like to believe. While the reference wants to be a good person, they may also want to divulge the more negative aspects as well. There is any number of reasons for doing so. Sometimes they wish to give you a heads up. Sometimes there are personal issues. Sometimes they are just covering their butts.

    The reference may not tell you directly that the candidate is tough to deal with or is someone who they would never hire again. Yet they would like to. So it is not the answer itself, but the way they answer that serves as the indicator. It’s what they don’t say or their hesitation that provides the tipoff they were less than thrilled with your candidate.

    Listen for the speech inflection, the hesitation, or the reference’s struggle to find the right word or term. Sometimes they are working so hard at being diplomatic you can glean a more negative appraisal. Sometimes, if prodded, they will tell you a little more about the downside of your candidate. Sometimes that won’t veer from the positive appraisal, but while they don’t say it outright, there is something in the way they answer that can tell you more than they had wished. Or, they told you exactly what they wanted to say, but with plausible deniability.

    It should be noted for the rare but embarrassing occasion that when you get a reference contact information, make sure they are a legitimate source. Either insist on the business phone number as well as their cell number, or find some way to substantiate that the reference isn’t your candidate’s cousin Larry pretending he is the former CEO of Nonexistent Enterprises ready to give your candidate a really great review.

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    Bulletproofing Your Career

    In the not-too-distant past, ascending the corporate ladder assured management professionals of a bigger office, a stronger compensation package and a more secure future. But today, executives are being told: Don’t get too comfortable in that corner office, and don’t buy that fancy new car or boat you’ve always dreamed of – because your job is just as vulnerable as everyone else’s. Evidence suggests that the higher up the ladder you go, the more precarious your position may become! The attitude toward executives and the roles they play within companies have drastically changed in recent years. I’ve seen executives who have been with the same company for 20 or more years. They’ve worked their way up the corporate ladder and felt that they had proven their value – then they were unceremoniously dismissed from their positions as if they had just been hired as an entry-level worker. As a Career Consultant, it’s my job to re-instill the client’s confidence, identify his or her strengths, and “re-package” that individual for the current job market. But, to navigate effectively through the career transition process and ultimately make your career bulletproof, you must first be informed about what’s really going on in the work-world. I see several important trends taking place with regard to executive-level job stability and security, including:

    TODAY’S CHALLENGING EMPLOYMENT TRENDS

    Job Market Trend 1:

    More and more positions, even at senior levels, are now being offered on a contract or temporary basis. The position, in these cases, lasts only as long as is needed to fulfill the employer’s contract with their client. This requires job seekers to think differently – more like an independent consultant who works on assignment – rather than as a permanent employee. In many business sectors and industries, it could be said that the “permanent, full-time job” no longer exists as we knew it. This trend also puts the responsibility on the part of the executive to consistently promote and market himself or herself for the next opportunity – and the one after that!

    Job Market Trend 2:

    Companies are still very cautious and careful about making any hiring decisions of high-paying, senior management positions. Executives seeking such jobs must now “sell themselves” more than in the past. They need to demonstrate just how they will enhance the company’s productivity, efficiency and profitability – or they probably won’t get the offer. This means that the job seeker really needs to learn how to effectively present and market himself or herself.

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    When Organizational Change is Required by Lean Manufacturing?

    Lean manufacturing has become a very popular and widely adopted economic and corporate management philosophy. Companies around the world are starting to turn to it amid political and economic crises even in the most progressive all nations.

    Yes, the hard times have extended from the third world countries to the fully developed or first world countries. It is because economies are now led and influenced by volatilities involving oil producers and companies.

    Because all industries are practically run and powered by energy, companies seem to not get away from the problems hounding the energy sector.

    For almost more than a year now, firms around the world have been suffering from crunches brought about by the increasing and soaring prices of oil in the world market.

    A lot of companies have fallen and have weakened due to the rising oil prices. There are more and more companies now filing for bankruptcy protection not because their management messed up or some executives defrauded them, but because of the external environment posed by volatile oil prices.

    That is why, lean manufacturing is getting more and more attention, and more and more companies are deciding to finally implement the principles of the strategy.

    Lean manufacturing

    What exactly is lean manufacturing? The popular Web site Wikipedia defines lean manufacturing as a philosophy in management that concentrates and looks closely at the reduction and elimination of the seven wastes.

    The seven wastes are the usual tasks, equipment and practices found in the modern day work place. The seven wastes are identified as factors that hinder productivity or significantly weakens it.

    The seven wastes lean manufacturing tries to scrap are the following:

    Over production—experts believe that over production is a total waste of energy, efforts and capital. That is because overproduction makes up for over supply and piling up of inventories, which in turn will lower or bring down prices for the manufactured goods.

    Over production also drains capital from firms, with most of the excess products either put into the trash can or reaching expiration dates.

    Over processing- Over processing is basically similar to over production, only that over processing commands additional and unnecessary processes.

    Transportation and motion- Lean manufacturing aims to reduce unnecessary costs for transportation. Motion is the pace of action within the work places. If the work stations are too compressed and small, workers will not be able to move freely, affecting their productivity.

    Inventory and waiting- As mentioned earlier, lean manufacturing eliminates piled up inventories. Waiting time in all aspects is abolished because of the streamlined structure and because productivity is accelerated.

    Scrap and defects—Mostly, lean manufacturing aims to combat the manufacturing of commodities and merchandise with scrap and defects.

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    The Four Industrial Revolutions Infographic

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    The Theory Of Constraints And Lean Manufacturing

    The theory of constraints and lean manufacturing are two of the most famous business beliefs that have made an impact to the business industry for years.

    Though both popular in the business field, the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing are both similar in some aspects as they are in complete conflict in other views.

    Listed below are some of the strengths of the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing:

    1.The theory of constraints provides focus to the student in a world of information overload.

    2.The theory of constraints provides its practitioners an opportunity to improve their organization by limiting their focus on very few issues which are the seen constraints to ongoing profitability.

    3.The lean manufacturing on the other hand became famous after being derived from the system of the successful Japanese automobile maker Toyota. The lean manufacturing approach teaches that to improve the organization, a practitioner must focus on the elimination of any or all waste.

    Listed below are some of the similarities of both the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing:

    1.As is evident, the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing both focus on the improvement and advocate techniques to control the process flow of a material on the manufacturing shop floor.

    2.The theory of constraints and lean manufacturing have both demonstrated impact results of implementations. That is, profitability skyrockets, as well as inventories and lead times are slashed and the operations are drastically simplified in both the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing.

    3.Both the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing recognize that the perspective of the change agent must not be limited to the manufacturing part of the business but must echo throughout the rest of the company. This is in order to gain and maintain the improvement trends that both theory of constraints and lean manufacturing are focused on.

    4.Both the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing are able to expand their scope in order to cover principles and practices of the entire business system. This will enable a continuous system-wide improvement for both the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing.

    5.Both the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing embrace the concept of value. Both the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing are two philosophies that agree that value is defined by the end customer.

    6.Both the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing have an acknowledgement that the customer value is created by a chain of interdependencies that pushes far beyond the walls of manufacturing.

    7.Both the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing also acknowledges that the work goal of every person in the business organization is to turn the inventory into throughput.

    8.Both the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing observe defining the system and understanding the actual process flow as an early step.

    9.Both the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing advocate the concept of the importance of flow.

    10.Both the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing embraces the Pull principle while also offering methods of control to the flow of product that are based from the Pull principle from the market.

    11.Both the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing agree that the business organization is focused on pursuing ongoing improvement. Both the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing agree that it is an endless pursuit of perfection.

    12.Both the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing are also recognizing the importance of the workforce in participating in improving systems. It is noted by both the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing that it is the ownership of ideas together with the demonstrated results that ignites the flame of continuous improvement.

    Listed below are the main difference between the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing:

    1.Both the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing differ in how they focus their energies. The theory of constraints focuses on the notion to improve the system beginning with the current state of the system. The lean manufacturing, however, is bent on eliminating or reducing waste.

    2.Both the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing differ in how the boundaries are defined in the value stream itself. The theory of constraints focuses on resources that are shared across value streams while lean manufacturing organizes itself around specific products.

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    Getting The Lowdown On The Principles Of Lean Manufacturing

    Principles of lean manufacturing heavily focus on the reduction or elimination of waste during the operation of a manufacturing business. It is so important to reduce waste that it even has its own term in principles of lean manufacturing, “Muda” which also means waste in Japanese.

    There are seven types of waste these principles of lean manufacturing are dedicated to eliminate, namely:

    1. Defects – Having to repair or refurbish the defected product and the time and effort it takes.

    2. Processing – Having different add-ons that the customer does not need.

    3. Motion – The movement of people during production.

    4. Inventory – Having to store the product.

    5. Over Production – Producing more than what is demanded in the market.

    6. Transportation – Unnecessary transportation of products or materials from one location to another

    7. Waiting – Idle time of people because of bottlenecks in the manufacturing system.

    In minimizing these wastes, the principles of lean manufacturing employ strategies that focus on improving the production process. These are:

    1.Value – The price of the product is solely based on the customer’s expectation. This means that as one of the principles of lean manufacturing, it must be value for money and must meet his or her requirements at a designated time. What manufacturers do to change the raw materials to the finished product is not of relative importance to the customer.

    These principles of lean manufacturing are one of the hardest to achieve because of competition that the company has to optimize its operations and identifies the different tasks that add value and those that don’t add value.

    2.Continues Improvement – As one of the principles of lean manufacturing, this involve mapping out the whole business process. From analyzing the business process to reviewing the most efficient points, as one of the principles of lean manufacturing, this changes how the business is handled from the very foundations.

    As part of the principles of lean manufacturing, it is crucial to gain optimized levels of performance from time, delivery, to resource management and of course, profit.

    3. Customer Focus – Every manufacturing firm always has the customer first before profit. As part of the principles of lean manufacturing, customer focus makes sure that customer satisfaction is reached, feedbacks are heard and the necessary changes implemented to satisfy the customer base as a whole

    4. Perfection – One of the principles of lean manufacturing takes into mind that there are lots of ways of using company assets efficiently. This principle focuses on the reduction of operating costs while meeting customer’s expectation.

    To be able to carry out all the principles of lean manufacturing in a business, the consultant has to be able to:

    1. Motivate People – Motivate people for the new changes that the principles of lean manufacturing has done to the company. This can be done through training of the personnel and recruitment of people with the needed skills for the job.

    2. Employee Involvement – Giving the normal workers the right to decision making will give them a sense of involvement and value to the company is essential to follow the principles of lean manufacturing. Having different activities that will bring out the best in each person.

    3. Sharing of Information and Experience – Having experienced co-workers give information to the newer ones on how to get the desired results while carrying out the specific task serves the principles of lean manufacturing.

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    Talent Spotting in 2018 and Beyond

    Claudio Fernández-Aráoz –a regulatory recruiter with more than 30 years of experience tells a story about looking for a CEO for a small company. While working with the outgoing  CEO he learned a great deal and believed that the man he had helped to hire had all the right stuff.

     

    He was a well thought of professional with the right schools and the right background. What’s more, he had worked for all the right companies. He’d scored remarkably well in every avenue. In spite of all of those things, he simply did not adjust well to the massive changes going on in regulatory and after three years of sub-par performance, he was asked to leave the company.

     

    Why did he do so poorly?  He lacked one thing that simply couldn’t be tested—the ability to adapt to new and changing situations. He did not have that ability and as such was unable to fulfill the role for which the company had hired him and for which they needed him so badly.

     

    The recruiters who have spent the most time tracking and finding the best executives in marketing, in regulatory and in food manufacturing agree on one thing—nothing is quite as important today as the potential and adaptability of the candidate. It is the harbinger of success at nearly every level, from the most junior executive to the C-suite and beyond.

     

    Learning how to identify that potential and use it to find the right person for the job is imperative to your success as a recruiter. It is a new era of talent spotting. Intelligence, experience and performance in the past are only a part of the equation.

     

    Potential is a fair amount of it but it’s also the part that may be the most difficult to ascertain and to discern than how competent they are. Not only is it hard to find but you’re looking for it in a marketplace that is the most difficult in the past ten years.

     

    Senior talent is scarcer than ever before due to the vast changes in the marketplace in the past few years. Due to globalization, to age demographics and to the companies who are not properly developing a pipeline of future company leaders, it is more difficult than ever before for companies to have the leadership they need when they need it.

     

    This problem is not confined to small companies or to large ones but seems to be universal. In 2014, Price Waterhouse did a survey of CEOs. The survey encompassed more than 65 countries and over 60 percent of those companies said that they were “concerned about the future availability of key skills at all levels.” In addition, The Boston Consulting Group cited research that showed that more than 56% of executives can see where they have critical problems in their ability to fill senior roles in the years ahead.

     

    That makes recognizing potential more important than ever before. How then, do you accomplish that?  What is the best way to recognize the potential for a given job and to take the new method of talent spotting into account when you evaluate candidates?

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    Improving Manufacturing Cycle Times and Resourcing Manufacturing Jobs

    Improving Manufacturing Cycle Times

    Machining center manufacturers are all looking for and touting the ability to reduce part cycle times by offering faster and more efficient machines. That is what the job shop and part production customers of these products demand, because their end-product customers are driving a purchasing philosophy of lower costs per part.

    While the choice of a high-speed machining center makes a major difference in operational productivity and part cost, the tooling utilized on that machine can be another dominant factor. The efficiency of such new, special purpose proprietary tooling can even further enhance the output of a horizontal machining center. It can provide a wide degree of flexibility in compressing several machining processes, especially in parts production.

    As an example, there are a number of unique, special tools that can reduce the initial capital investment and drive out substantial process time in the machining of engine blocks. Cylinder bores can be finished and honed with a precise closed-loop boring system that automatically compensates for tool wear or thermal distortion and produces exceptional repeatability.

    You can also grind bimetallic surfaces utilizing a cubic boron nitrite super-abrasive grinding wheel all on a standard machining center.

    Machines incorporated with this special, multi-functional tooling will outperform a number of individual specialty-purpose machines when used in an integrated system. Mid- to high-volume parts manufacturers often invest in state-of-the-art machine tool technology, and can further enhance their flexibility and productivity with the use of such special-purpose tooling.

    With more and more demand to streamline processes and production cycle times, especially from original equipment manufacturer outsourcing operations, there is a growing need for more valuable and cost-effective solutions for jobs shops and production facilities. And, the solutions exist to allow them to “work smarter.” It is also important to note that the reason so many of the manufacturing jobs have been re-sourced to the US is that technologies like these have eliminated the price gap. It is now possible to manufacture in the United States what was once outsourced.

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    Improving Manufacturing Cycle Times

    Improving Manufacturing Cycle Times

    Machining center manufacturers are all looking for and touting the ability to reduce part cycle times by offering faster and more efficient machines. That is what the job shop and part production customers of these products demand, because their end-product customers are driving a purchasing philosophy of lower costs per part.

    While the choice of a high-speed machining center makes a major difference in operational productivity and part cost, the tooling utilized on that machine can be another dominant factor. The efficiency of such new, special purpose proprietary tooling can even further enhance the output of a horizontal machining center. It can provide a wide degree of flexibility in compressing several machining processes, especially in parts production.

    Makino, a global provider of advanced machining technology, says that the use of special-purpose and multifunctional tools, like the SmartTools it manufactures, helps in this process compression. These specially designed and patented tools reduce cycle times as well as production costs, which saves money.

    As an example, there are a number of unique, special tools that can reduce the initial capital investment and drive out substantial process time in the machining of engine blocks. Cylinder bores can be finished and honed with a precise closed-loop boring system that automatically compensates for tool wear or thermal distortion and produces exceptional repeatability.

    You can also grind bimetallic surfaces utilizing a cubic boron nitride superabrasive grinding wheel all on a standard machining center.

    Machines incorporated with this special, multifunctional tooling will outperform a number of individual specialty-purpose machines when used in an integrated system. Mid- to high-volume parts manufacturers often invest in state-of-the-art machine tool technology, and can further enhance their flexibility and productivity with the use of such special-purpose tooling.

    With more and more demand to streamline processes and production cycle times, especially from original equipment manufacturer outsourcing operations, there is a growing need for more valuable and cost-effective solutions for jobs shops and production facilities. And, the solutions exist to allow them to “work smarter.”

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