866-764-TECH(8324) · Subscribe to Application Solution Providers, Inc.News FeedSubscribe to Application Solution Providers, Inc.Comments

Screen Shot 2015-05-25 at 5.37.01 AMI recently watched the new Avengers movie Age of Ultron. The plot has more holes in it than a North Dakota oilfield and the story is little more than one scene after another of things been blown up or knocked down, but that’s to be expected. Not many would pay to watch it if the movie featured the Avengers in a sequel to Dinner with Schmucks. Ultron looks like the child of C3-PO and Yoda and uses artificial intelligence to threaten humanity.

This represents the worst fears of Bill Gates, Stephen Hawking, and Elon Musk — all of whom have publicly said that artificial intelligence could spell the end of humanity. That remains to be seen, but the more immediate threat to many is the end of their jobs from automation and robots.

Rise of the Machines

Automation through both hardware and software is replacing a lot of jobs, at an increasing pace. (more…)


There were a few representative tweets in the article I read on the accounts of Twitter’s S-1 announcement last week. My favorite was, “This is Peak Twitter,” implying it was time to sell — but that overlooks the inconvenient idea that except for the secondary markets, there isn’t anything to sell yet or a place for most of us to do so. I think the person doing the posting, the tweeter I suppose, had that old Wall Street maxim in mind: Buy on the rumor and sell on the news.

ere-falllogo-facebookTuesday morning, at the opening keynote session of the Fall 2013 ERE Recruiting Conference & Expo in Chicago, kickoff speaker Ravin Jesuthasan, managing director and global practice leader at Towers Watson, offered this piece of wisdom: “You don’t need to have the answers, you just need to ask good questions.”

It’s great advice, of course, and it was just part of Jersuthasan’s opening address on What the Coming Years Will Bring to Recruiting Leaders — and How You Can Respond, which took the results of Talent 2021, a research study conducted jointly by Towers Watson and Oxford Economics, that examines the future of the global workforce.

The research found — and this isn’t a big surprise — that it will look very different from what it looks like today.

But the value of the study isn’t that it says that the global workforce will be different eight years from now, but rather, the map it laid out of where recruiting and talent management is going and what we all need to do as we follow the path to get there. (more…)


It’s easy to be blinded by the obvious. It happens in business all the time. Something is right in front of you, but you attribute its effect to a different cause. I see this most typically when observing a paradigm shift — the reason for the shift is not always the obvious causative agent. For example, Dell became a great producer of PCs — despite the company’s recent shortcomings, which mirror the entire industry — by mastering the logistics of just-in-time inventory, highly flexible manufacturing techniques and great logistics.

Randstad confidence indicesConfidence among U.S. finance and accounting workers spiked nearly 10 points in the second quarter to 63.1, the highest since 2007, according to Randstad’s Finance and Accounting Employee Confidence Index.

Another Randstad index showed engineers, too, are more confident about the future, and, of all the groups regularly surveyed by the global HR firm, engineers are the most confidant about their ability to find another job if they choose.

Randstad, a staffing, search, and HR services firm, quarterly surveys workers in engineering, accounting and finance, and healthcare to assess their sense of  economic well-being, and their perception of  job trends in their field. The surveys provide a snapshot of their confidence about the future. Because of how the surveys are conducted, and the sample size, the results are more suggestive than conclusive, but they do suggest how confidence is trending. (more…)


Am I making up a term? Maybe. This column is inspired by the continuing dreadful news out of PC land. Last week Dell announced its profits for the just finished quarter dropped 72 percent year over year and Lenovo took over the No. 1 one spot in PC manufacturing from HP, though both companies saw declines. Even though the declines in shipments of PCs and laptops are serious, the numbers being produced are still prodigious even as the numbers of tablets and smartphones continue to soar.

I keep seeing articles about the “hottest trends in recruiting” that are, in reality, of little value to the recruiting community.

These articles list “new” recruiting concepts and ideas, but there’s a hitch: most of the “trends” listed have been talked about for years. What’s more, the kinds of ideas that are named must actually be paired with traditional practices and are not enough to effectively drive results on their own. This kind of misinformation can be dangerous for recruiters, particularly those who are just starting out and looking for guidance.

Let me explain a couple of the “trends” mentioned in these types of articles that are most bothersome to me and make note on why they aren’t really trends or, if they are, how to take advantage of them. (more…)


Wireless customers are generally much happier with the quality of service they receive from providers via the companies’ self-service websites than through other outlets, a new survey from J.D. Power reveals. In addition, they’re happiest with AT&T among service providers, the study found. The semiannual report — which was split into the Wireless Purchase Experience Full-Service Study and the 2013 Wireless Purchase Experience Non-Contract Study — examines the overall wireless purchase experience of customers using a variety of channels.


Oh, bother. “Only 35 percent of the average Twitter user’s followers are real people,” suggests a recent article in The New York Times. The rest? Bots or robots, of course. It seems that email bots, spam bots and other algorithmically driven software entities have been adjusted to hold conversations (too strong a word, really) — to tweet and retweet with us mortals. In my naiveté I wondered but did not put a lot of mental energy into how my blog could get so many idiomatically correct and totally nonsensical comments.

Last year I did some work for a large company that decided it would not hire anyone who was unemployed. It would automatically reject any candidate who had been unemployed even for a day. As I’ve learned, this attitude toward candidates is pervasive — many employers seem to have concluded that the long-term jobless are damaged goods. (more…)