Computer weekly readers have their say
Gut feeling can end in a costly recruitment error
I read with incredulity the article by Chris Bartlett of GCS “Why first impressions really add up” (Computer Weekly, 20 June). Bartlett states, “Generally, that feeling in the stomach, positive or negative, will prove to be the most reliable tool in picking the right people to have around us.”
Since human beings with emotions are involved, there will always be a degree of “gut feeling” in any decision. However, by dismissing aptitude and psychometric testing tools as being the “easy part” and by failing to even mention pre-employment screening, he has written an article in favour of a woefully inadequate and old-fashioned understanding of the recruitment process.
Perhaps he should have added, “It would help if the candidates are wearing a school tie from an establishment you or your pals in the golfing fraternity have heard of.”
Every candidate who goes for a job is on their best behaviour. They will do everything they can
to hide any shortcomings, perceived or real, from the person interviewing them.
In complex technical jobs, involving a mixture of technical and people skills, these shortcomings often do not appear until well after a candidate has been hired. By then the interviewer’s “gut feeling” may be an expensive mistake.
Director, SMC Personnel Vetting
Underestimate wireless networks at your peril
Your article “Moving closer to pervasive wireless” (Computer Weekly, 30 May) expressed the opinions that wireless systems would not replace wired networks within five years and that nothing will be as reliable as a wired network. I disagree (in part).
By 2011 we will see wireless networks as not just complementary networks but as part of the core business strategy.
We are less than five years away from universal mobility, when the ability to connect wirelessly from any location will become the de facto method of connectivity. This will include Wi-Fi within buildings, 3G/4G and potentially Wimax externally.
The impact on the fixed network will be that it will no longer grow, but will evolve, be replaced and/or upgraded.
Point-to-point and point-to-multipoint standards exist and can deliver low-cost leased line replacements, but delivery of broadband communications to the mobile user is another matter.
Realistically, this will be achieved by 2007/2008 and by then 3G networks that are currently in
a trough of disillusionment should be delivering tangible business results.
Mobility specialist, Telindus
Why Gates would make a good sleeping partner
Just as we complete research that shows UK businesses are failing to support the charitable wishes of employees, Bill Gates announces he is stepping down to focus on philanthropy (Computer Weekly, 20 June).
According to our survey, two-thirds of employees want to do more for charity but are constrained by the lack of visibility of their companies’ corporate social responsibility initiatives. We would hazard a guess that they don’t have this problem at Microsoft. How refreshing.
There are of course companies that embrace corporate social responsibility and every year 250 senior executives from the IT industry sleep out for a night, in support of children’s charity NCH.
But we could use the marketing might of Mr Gates to attract more people to give up their beds in favour of sleeping bags to help raise awareness of youth homelessness. So Bill, if you’re free on 22 September…
Co-founder, Byte Night
Executive director of fundraising, NCH
Turn off and tune in to problem of hidden heaters
I agree with David Kerr’s letter (Computer Weekly, 13 June) regarding wasting power and would add the ubiquitous external DC power supply unit (PSU) that is switched on all the time.
Some of these PSUs get appreciably warm and are therefore still drawing some current, even when the device they are attached to is switched off.
Surely all those PSUs that are left plugged in 24 hours every day worldwide must make a significant contribution to global energy consumption?
The answer is to switch off each PSU at the socket but how many of us will get down on our hands and knees to unplug one in some tricky position? I suspect most will take the easy way out and just leave it where it is, gently warming the room.
This was first published in July 2006