Day: March 2, 2016

Hiring Like a Boss: How to Recruit Efficient, Effective Employees

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It’s easy to find adequate employees who can do the job required of them, but most companies are seeking more than satisfactory: they want to recruit workers who will help the company move forward. The world is full of clock-watchers, but assembling a team of motivated self-starters can take any business to the next level.

Below are 7 tips to help anyone hire the best employees for the job.

 

1. Let Diversity Deliver—

When considering new employees, avoid hiring a team full of people like yourself. You already have your point of view to offer, and hiring those with similar backgrounds might feel comfortable, but it won’t take you anywhere you haven’t already been.

The world is multicultural, and if you’d like to profit from it, you need to echo this diversity within your team. Having a variety of life experiences from which to pull ideas is a valuable resource that can push your company in profitable directions you might not have imagined.

 

2. Be Clear on Compensation—

To avoid wasting time spent interviewing someone who isn’t going to accept the job offer if you decide to make it, clearly establish the available position’s job requirements, salary, bonuses, benefits, vacation and sick leave from the very beginning.

If there is room for negotiation, set your limits early, and if the work compensation is set in stone, let the applicant know this early-on to avoid pointless follow-up interviews.

 

3. Call on the Crew—

Having current employees participate in the hiring process via group interviews can help you determine who might be the best match for available positions. Your present team knows exactly what the job involves because they do it every day, and might offer valuable insight on potential new hires.

Including the crew will also allow everyone the chance to interact interpersonally during the interview, to confirm compatibility amongst employees.

 

4. Don’t Discount Different—

When perusing potential job candidates, avoid following a formula of rigid requirements, and listen to your intuition. Don’t discount someone lacking experience or a traditional background for the job, because people may surprise you when they adapt quickly and excel in a new field.

The charmer with a theater degree might be amazing at sales, for example, because one of the most important aspects of sales is selling yourself, which is what actors do best. If you have a good gut feeling about a non-traditional applicant you’ve interviewed, consider giving different a chance – you may be pleasantly surprised.

 

5. Find Former Feedback—

People can change, but you don’t want to waste your training time and money undoing bad work habits you didn’t detect in the screening process. For this reason, calling former employers of potential new hires to ask about their job productivity is a smart move.

If there are no references, this should set off warning bells in your head, but be sure to ask why before you throw the application into the “no” pile. There may be a logical reason (i.e. the company went out of business) or a situation that can be explained.

 

6. Consider Commitment—

Training can cost money, not to mention the time lost by mentors teaching trainees new skills. This makes it important to hire people who see your open position as a career and not just a stepping stone.

Ask probing questions during interviews to make sure you’re hiring someone seeking a future with your company, and discuss long-term employment goals.

 

7. Grab the Go-Getters—

Unfortunately, when faced with an amazing candidate, some managers avoid hiring them for fear of losing their job to the motivated soul sitting before them. This is a huge mistake, because exceptional employees are not competition: they are the people who will make you look good for hiring them.

Be confident that your job is secure, and consider a smart new hire the person who will help you achieve your next promotion.

 

As the boss, you feel excited about the success of your business, and need to hire employees who not only share your enthusiasm, but want to work hard to turn all potential opportunities into victories. Use the hiring tips above to recruit the most efficient, effective employees possible to increase profits and make your company a success.

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Are You That Person? 8 Common Gym Etiquette Offenders

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Those who work out in a gym may recognize certain people who annoy others with rude or oblivious behavior. Discourteous actions can put a damper on a workout, making it a frustrating and irritating experience, rather than a positive one.

Read below about 8 common gym etiquette offenders anyone can avoid becoming with a little consideration for others.

 

1. The Slammer—

You may be startled this person’s weights crashing to the ground, or by their weight machine clanking deafeningly between repetitions.

Not only are these loud noises annoying for those near The Slammer, people with anxiety disorders such as PTSD can find them to be anxiety triggers, turning a trip to the gym from cathartic to stressful.

The Slammer is also known by anyone with knowledge of proper form as The Cheater, because not controlling weights on the way down doesn’t allow muscles to be fully used, and is lazy lifting.

 

2. The Super Soaker—

Yes, sweating at the gym is normal, but people should realize that excess sweat has to go somewhere, and unfortunately, the weight machines, bikes and benches are not made of sponge.

Most gyms have paper towels available and conveniently placed, hoping people will wipe up their own wetness. But if your gym doesn’t offer this feature, there is an amazing moisture-absorbing invention called a towel we can all use so the person after us won’t be forced to share our DNA.

 

3. The Machine Monopolizer—

Boy, you’d love to use that weight machine. And that one, too. But that person at your gym has decided to drape a towel over each one to “save” them while rotating, making it so nobody else can use the machines they’re monopolizing.

This is very rude, because by making people wait to use an empty machine, The Monopolizer is saying to everyone, “My time is more important than your time.”

Working different muscle groups is effective, but can be done without hogging machines.

 

4. The Slowpoke—

The Slowpoke is that person casually reading a book, or sitting for long stretches of time between sets on the same machine, not really working out hard enough to accomplish anything.

Usually only at the gym to placate their nagging doctor, or to feel like they’re “doing something for their health,” what The Slowpoke doesn’t realize is that if they aren’t going to actually work the muscles, they’re only wasting their time. And yours.

 

5. The Cardio Keeper—

The general rule in most gyms, whether posted or not, is that if the cardio machines are full, gym members should limit time to 30 minutes to allow other members a chance to warm up.

You’ll recognize The Cardio Keeper as that person who sees people waiting to use a cardio machine, but inconsiderately stays on for an hour.

 

6. The Weight Leaver—

The most perplexing of gym etiquette offenders, The Weight Leaver is an elusive and confusing creature.

You won’t see the weight leaver, but you will know them by their trail of weights. You know… the weights they came to the gym to lift, yet lazily left on every machine they used?

Gym etiquette experts have yet to figure out why anyone would come to a gym to use their muscles, but then be lazy about doing exactly that.

Perhaps someday the mystery of The Weight Leaver will be solved, but until then, the rest of us will have to rack the weights these slothful mammals leave behind.

 

7. The Expert—

That’s funny – you don’t recall hiring a personal trainer. Yet looming over you while you work out, giving you “pro-tips” is a complete stranger who has decided to boost their ego by telling you what you’re doing wrong.

If nobody asked, there’s a reason for that, but The Expert seems to have no clue. The best way to avoid The Expert is by ignoring them until they go away.

 

8. The Yapper—

This person has a cell phone, and they’re not afraid to use it – loudly – and usually while you’re trapped next to them, trying to get some cardio.

Try as you might to outpace their conversation, it will race along beside you, forcing you to be an unwitting participant in a complete stranger’s relationship with another human.

When faced with The Yapper, feel free to hum loudly, or even join in on the fascinating discussion about what their co-worker said today and what they’re making for dinner.

 

It really isn’t difficult to be a considerate gym member or human. By trying to avoid the behaviors above, and having respect for the people around us, we can all have a great gym workout every time.

Human Hacking: Ways RFID-Blocking Products Can Protect Your Identity

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Many passports, credit or debit cards and forms of identification contain little RFID microchips containing personal information that can allow thieves to steal our money or identity – and all they have to do is walk past us.

Because these RFID microchips use radio frequency to transmit information, all a thief needs to copy the information they contain is easily-made RFID-reading equipment hidden in a briefcase or backpack. This means the person walking past you in the airport, or standing next to you in line may be harvesting your valuable information as you unsuspectingly go about your day, oblivious to the nightmare of identity theft in your near future.

Fortunately, there are plenty of things to do to keep these human identity hackers out of your personal business, because the RFID-reading equipment can be blocked. Below are some products and ideas you can use to keep your financial information private and avoid identity theft.

 

1. RFID-Blocking Travel Wallets—

Radio frequency is blocked by metal and water, making us wonder if water-lined RFID-blocking bags and wallets are in development. But in the meantime, we have metal-lined products to keep prying criminals out of our wallets, credit cards and passports.

One of the most popular of these products is the RFID-blocking travel wallet. Generally these offer places for multiple credit and ID cards, as well as separate holders for passports. Lined with flexible metal or aluminum inside, but nylon or leather on the outside, these wallets look and feel like ordinary wallets – only you know of their hidden superhero powers.

 

2. RFID-Blocking Sleeves—

If you already have a wallet you love, you can simply buy protection for everything you keep inside. RFID-blocking sleeves are great for protecting the credit cards, debit cards and other identification containing RFID chips.

Thin, form-fitting and usually made to hold multiple cards at a time, these credit card shields are an inexpensive and extremely effective way to keep the bad guys out of your business.

 

3. RFID-Blocking Passport Cases—

Designed specifically to protect a passport from RFID-reading equipment, if you keep your passport somewhere outside of your RFID-blocking wallet, it’s a great idea to give your international identity its own safe cover as well.

Some passport cases are designed only to hold a passport, but many include places for credit cards, money and other important traveling necessities, and hang as a pouch from the wearer’s neck for extra security.

 

4. RFID-Blocking Aluminum or Stainless Steel Cases—

These RFID-blocking wallets are often rectangular and somewhat boxy in appearance, but still sleek enough to fit inside of any purse.

Easily found inside a bag or backpack, a small metal case offers the added protection of visual strength: those with RFID-reading equipment will take one look at your metal protection and search elsewhere for today’s victim. Consider this tough case a “Beware of Dog” sign for the fence surrounding your identity.

 

5. RFID-Blocking Bags and Backpacks—

If you’d rather skip the little products and purchase one larger, all-encompassing piece of protective gear, an RFID-blocking bag, hip pouch, backpack or purse might be the way to go.

A larger metal-lined surface can give you the peace of mind found in knowing that no matter where you’ve stashed your identification or financial information inside, it’s not getting stolen.

 

6. DIY RFID-Blocking Creations—

Making duct tape wallets has become a popular and trendy craft over the last few years, and with the addition of aluminum foil to one of these homemade holders, you can create your own RFID-blocking protection on the cheap.

Some people also skip the duct tape completely and make aluminum cases and covers for all microchip-containing cards and identification, which works great as well.

Other tips experts recommend to thwart would-be RFID-readers is to always stack credit and debit cards together in the same spot to scramble the information. It’s also important to monitor your bank statements, credit card bills, and check your credit report often to catch thieves before they can do serious damage to your credit rating.

 

Consider using some of the smart RFID-blocking ideas and products above to keep your personal information, identification and financial security out of the hands of thieves.

The Psychology of Color: Picking a Perfect Paint for Your Personality

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The effects of color on our moods has been studied, with experts finding that the shades with which we surround ourselves can drastically change our mental and physiological states for the positive or negative.

There are many variances, of course, because everyone has different associations and memories psychologically tied to certain hues, but there are colors that tend to affect the general population in similar ways.

Below are some useful color choosing tips and the effects research has shown they may have on our mindset.  

 

1. Red is vibrant. Popular in restaurant and food product branding for its eye-catching and appetite-stimulating appeal, red has been shown to speed up the heart rate, raise blood pressure and increase levels of energy.

If you like red, you are likely a strong-willed and high-spirited person with a passionate appreciation for bold décor and strong design statements.

Often used in interior design to bring the homeowner good luck, red is considered a very rich, saturated color generally used for accessories. But if you have a larger room and feel like red represents your personality, don’t be afraid to go big and paint a feature wall this lively color.

 

2. Blue is soothing. Well-known for the calming effect it has on almost everyone, all one has to do is look up at the sky on a sunny day to understand that blue makes us feel good.

Blue has also been shown to lower body temperature and slow heart rate, making it a great choice for a bedroom or relaxing retreat.

Many people like blue, and a room painted in this color can reflect a person who is peaceful, serene and even-tempered. If you have high blood pressure, blue walls might actually improve your health with their relaxing vibe and pulse-slowing influence.

 

3. Yellow is cheerful. If you want to make a room feel happy, welcoming and bright, yellow walls might be just the uplifting addition you’ve been seeking. Yellow can create a welcoming feeling and bring light into a room, making it an excellent choice of paint color for the walls in a small or dark home.

Studies on the psychological effects of colors have shown that yellow can actually raise self-esteem and create a feeling of well-being in those who surround themselves with this joyful hue.

People who gravitate toward this color are often optimistic and known for being observant and good at communicating, according to color psychologist, Heinrich Frieling.

 

4. Green is goodness. The most common color associated with nature and a favorite of compassionate people, green seems to communicate to humans on a subconscious level that we are safe. We feel a primal sense of calm confidence when surrounded by this lush color of abundance and harvest.

Used by interior designers to promote healing, health, wealth and new beginnings, green is a favorite color of those who are perceptive, intuitive and comfortable with themselves.

Green has also been shown to increase productivity, so consider using this hue in workspaces and offices.

 

5. Purple is creative. Proven to stimulate brain activity and loved by artists, musicians and people with inventive minds, purple represents spirituality, self-awareness and emotional growth.

Purple is considered an excellent color for meditation rooms and studio walls because it can stimulate the imagination of those who surround themselves with it, inspiring people to dream and be innovative.

 

6. Brown is warm. A stabilizing, earthy and comforting tone, perhaps because we associate it with the natural world, brown is a great color to bring neutrality, depth and calm into your home.

Used in interior design to create a rustic feel with accessories in shades from beige to deep chocolate, the right shade of brown on a wall can make lighter-colored furniture and décor pop in contrast.

Those who like brown tend to favor stability, routine and security in their environment.

 

Color can enhance feelings of relaxation, well-being, increase appetite, soothe, energize, stimulate, forge creativity and more, making it necessary to choose design colors that create the atmosphere you desire in every room. Use the psychology of color tips above to cover your walls in shades that perfectly represent your personality and goals.