Laughing all the way to the bank


People who make recruiters laugh during the interview process are not only more successful at getting jobs, they also earn more in subsequent performance bonuses.

A report by Hays Consulting found that candidates with a sense of humour didn’t talk any more than the others, but they engaged more successfully with the interviewers by making them laugh or smile.

The study also found that women were more likely to use humour than men, and that men were generally more inclined towards negative humour such as sarcasm, which is not as effective.

Guru is not so sure this is the case. He has been to interviews where potential employers found him so funny, that they skipped the laughter and went straight to the crying. He never got the job. Funny that.

CBI talks a load of oddly-shaped balls

Now the Christmas spirit has firmly worn off and staff return from Santa’s Grotto to the grotty office, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the good will that was spread around during the festive season.

The CBI – purveyor of fine employers’ opinions – took the rather hypocritical step of giving its employees an extra day’s holiday after England won the Rugby World Cup. A fine decision if ever there was one. However, head honcho Digby Jones once said: “We would damage our economic position in the world if we gave ourselves more holidays. It is crucial that British business remains competitive – our jobs depend on it.”

So the only thing to sway employers is the lure of the men with the odd-shaped balls, eh? Guru thought as much.

Meanwhile, on the internet superhighway, a company advertised its HolleArt Decorative Signs on auction site Ebay to further Christmas cheer. At the time of writing, the signs had attracted no bids and prices had remained static at $9.95.

It might seem surprising that a sign that is “so pretty it looks hand-painted and can be displayed anywhere in the office with artistic pride” wouldn’t sell. Maybe it had something to do with the sign’s message, which read: “Have you hugged a human resources director today?”

Monkey business dogs postal union

The internet is a hive of conspiracy theories, and a superb conduit for spreading subversive thought. How’s about this then? When you type CWU (as in the Communications Workers Union) into Google, you get a link to the part of the Central Washington University website that deals with intelligent monkeys. At present, the university is ‘caring’ for five chimpanzees that are being taught to speak ‘American’.

Monkeys are known for their temperament when provoked, their thick skin and their dwindling numbers. This can mean only one thing – a super-intelligent simian is leading the Communications Workers Union. Guru has no idea how many more are in the union’s ranks, but is beginning to understand the reasons behind why his mail isn’t arriving.

Let’s just hope that no more unions ape the behaviour of this union.

Scottish red mist descends on CIPD

Sad reports from north of the border this week. It seems once again that this esteemed publication has upset the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) in Scotland.

Guru McTavish, a distant and earnest uncle, reports that the institute refused to talk to him for an article that was to be used in these pages. Apparently it’s too ‘political’, and the CIPD would rather speak to a certain, less hard-hitting publication, which incidentally is run by the um… er… CIPD.

Guru hopes the good people of Scotland don’t feel too left out. We did manage to speak with other organisations that were happy to advise readers about the HR scene up there (see next week’s issue for our regional focus in Careerwise).

Getting the right type of exposure

Right then. The festive season is over. Let’s get down to some serious business.

Guru would like to hear about the indiscretions of you and your co-workers at Christmas work functions. Submissions will be kept anonymous upon request. The juiciest replies will win the renowned Guru mousemat – 2004 edition.

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