Archive for May, 2007

Points of Interest: ACM CareerNews: Tuesday, May 22, 2007

May 23rd, 2007

“Attracting the Twentysomething Worker” Fortune, May 15

The arrival of Generation Y in the workforce is causing a re-think of nearly every facet of office life, including how to dress, how to interact with colleagues, and how to understand the work-life balance. To older workers, the nonchalance and sense of self-entitlement of the average Gen Y worker can be disconcerting, if not downright annoying. As the article points out, members of Generation Y are different in many respects from their predecessors, from their upbringing to their politics to their worldview. … With their designer coffees, technology gadgets and yoga mats, the members of Generation Y are both opinionated and imbued with a sense of self-entitlement. Instead of working 60 hours a week and working behind a desk wearing a suit, they prefer to dress as casual as possible and work with mobile gadgets or laptops in comfortable, creative spaces. Already, companies are working to accommodate these workers, usually by addressing the work-life balance. 

“The Key to Managing Stars? Think Team” HBS Working Knowledge, May 14

A new study … addresses questions about the performance of star knowledge workers, focusing on the factors influencing performance as well as the best practices for inspiring, nurturing and recruiting these stars. As these researchers explain, past performance can be a useful indicator of future performance. In addition, they found that the quality of colleagues within the organization has a significant impact on the ability of workers to maintain a high level of quality. … When it comes to star performers, the key ingredient in their success is an organization full of high-quality colleagues. … As the basis of competition shifts to superior knowledge and information, organizations must attract, leverage, and retain the best knowledge workers possible. They must also understand that star knowledge workers are not the same as star athletes, in that their skills are not always portable to the highest bidder. Since star performers rely to a large degree on the quality of the colleagues that their organization provides to sustain top performance, they may not be able to replicate their top performance in any organizational context. 

Original Article:

Author: Adam Kahtava Categories: Career News Tags:

Notes on “The Hidden Cost of Turnover” from “Peopleware: Productivity Projects and Teams”

May 6th, 2007

Notes about employee retention from Peopleware by Tom DeMarco & Timothy Lister and The Best Software Writing I by Joel Spolsky.

In the mid 80′s DeMarco and Lister found that the “average employee longevity [was] from fifteen to thirty-six months”, that’s about one to three years, and that the “total cost of replacing each person is the equivalent to four-and-a-half to five months”. Joel Spolsky in The Best Software Writing I, mentions that “Recruiting and training a new employee is usually estimated to cost 12 months’ salary, total.” Joel goes on to say that the industry standard for turnover is somewhere around 5%. So accordingly, if you worked at a company with 100 people you’d normally expect to loose 5 employees every year. Anything above 5% and you’re probably working in an environment with high turnover.

DeMarco and Lister point out that, companies with low employee retention rates often enter into a cycle with negative financial implications and “an ugly invisible cost”, because “turnover [produces] turnover”.

This “ugly invisible cost” often manifests itself as:

  • Short-term viewpoints, a passing through mentality, degraded moral
  • Inexperienced management, early promotion, a top heavy organizational structure
  • A feeling of disposability, workers are treated as interchangeable parts, a degraded sense of loyalty
  • An undesirable work environment
  • A low employee retention rate
  • And the cycle continues
Author: Adam Kahtava Categories: Musings, Software Tags:

Points of Interest: ACM CareerNews: Tuesday, April 24, 2007

May 5th, 2007

“Specialists vs. Generalists”, April 5

organizations tend to express a preference for specialists rather than generalists, yet many managers acknowledge that generalists are more likely to provide management with a big picture view of the business. … specialists, not generalists, are most often rewarded at the vice president level and below. … generalists are able to drive innovation within the organization and often become responsible for long-term planning and corporate vision.

“Web 2.0 Provides New Opportunity for Recruiters to Find Tech Talent” Network World, April 12

recruiters are finding that there is more to recruiting online than simply posting jobs and searching resume banks. … corporate recruiters are using online resources to find more than 40% of their senior-level management and executive candidates. In addition, recruiters are finding nearly 10% of their candidates using search engines and another 3.5% through online social networking sites. … There are other ways to find passive job seekers online. For example, reading book reviews of technical books can help find reviewers who make intelligent comments on books about specific technical areas.

“London is the Place to Be in IT” Business Week, April 13

In London, the IT sector is currently growing at approximately 6% per year, making it one of the leading centers for IT talent and development within Europe. With that in mind, many Silicon Valley-based firms are expanding their London operations and investing heavily in the London IT and telecom sectors.

Original article:

Author: Adam Kahtava Categories: Career News Tags: