NEW YORK (AP) — When Michael Dwan starts interviewing job candidates, he doesn’t use the phone or an in-person meeting — he texts with them.
“It’s a real-world test of how we actually work,” says Dwan, chief technology officer at Highrise, a business software company where employees including programmers and design engineers work remotely.
The changing dynamics of the U.S. workforce — its shrinking pool of available workers and ever-increasing use of technology — have led some small business owners and managers to be more creative when recruiting staffers. Some like Dwan use messaging or chatting programs to make that first significant contact with a candidate, or social media to lure potential hires. Others go low-tech: They offer free training to prospective hires because of a shortage of skilled workers, or meet with candidates in casual atmospheres away from the office.
A look at the strategies of five small companies:
RECRUITING STRATEGY: A two-month, tuition-free course in caregiving at a senior care company.
OWNER, COMPANY: Carrie Bianco, Always Best Care Senior Services, Los Angeles.
HOW THE STRATEGY WORKS: Bianco hires a nurse to teach a course in caregiving for seniors to prospective employees. The course includes lectures, homework, videos and exams. Before it begins, prospective students are interviewed to see if they have the compassion to be caregivers. When they’ve completed the course, they agree to work for Bianco with pay for 60 days.
WHY BIANCO USES IT: “I saw the demand for caregiving rising and the supply of caregivers dwindling rapidly. And the standard way of recruiting was falling short,” Bianco says. She also advertises online, asks staffers and clients and their families to refer potential hires, and she seeks recruits from schools that train nurses’ aides.
WHY IT’S SUCCESSFUL: Bianco has gotten 15 staffers from four courses during the past year. The courses also help with a necessary winnowing-out process — some people realize they don’t want to be caregivers to seniors, and Bianco finds this out before trying to schedule them with clients.
RECRUITING STRATEGY: Spending time in a coffee shop with prospective hires.
OWNER, COMPANY: Tim Gerst, Thinkswell, online marketing company based in Nashville, Tennessee.
HOW THE STRATEGY WORKS: After looking at resumes of people he finds via LinkedIn and recruiting software, Gerst invites prospective staffers to meet him at his favorite coffee shop. He sets up appointments with the first 10 who respond, then chats with them individually. If he feels there’s chemistry with candidates, he’ll invite them for more formal meetings at his office.
WHY GERST USES IT: Talking at a coffee shop takes away some of the intimidation an initial meeting in an office can create, and that helps Gerst get a sense of whether a candidate is someone he and his staffers would be comfortable working with. “I know your personality pretty quickly,” Gerst says.
WHY IT’S SUCCESSFUL: Gerst gets to see how a candidate interacts with people — because it’s his regular hangout, people he knows often come say hello, and he always includes the candidate in the conversation. “When hiring, personality and how the candidate will meld with our team is most important,” Gerst says.
RECRUITING STRATEGY: Visiting online forums where prospective employees network, and using websites that cater to a specific profession.
OWNER, COMPANY: Idalia Gastelum, Translation Direct, translation and interpretation service based in Miami.
HOW THE STRATEGY WORKS: When Gastelum needs full-time staffers or freelancers for specific projects, she visits TranslatorsCafe.com, a forum where translators and interpreters connect with one another. People often post about their work, so Gastelum gets a sense of their experience. She also searches the website of the American Translators Association, which has a directory of people offering translation and interpretation services.
WHY GASTELUM USES IT: She finds that websites focused on translation and interpretation have many more qualified people than more general job sites. That focus is especially helpful when Gastelum gets a project with a tight deadline. “We go into the chat rooms to try to pull out people,” she says.
WHY IT’S SUCCESSFUL: Recruiting within a community of people has helped Gastelum build a network of staffers and freelancers she can call on for a project. And if a specific translator can’t help, “they’ll usually give you someone else in their own circle,” she says.
RECRUITING STRATEGY: Using an online text chat for a first introduction and screening for a job candidate.
MANAGER, COMPANY: Jennifer Orozco, recruiting manager for Braden Business Systems, office equipment and information technology company based in Fishers, Indiana.
HOW THE STRATEGY WORKS: When Orozco finds promising candidates on job search sites like LinkedIn or Indeed, she texts them through the online service Canvas. She’ll start a chat, sharing details about the position she’s trying to fill, and asking about their experience and what they want in a job. The back-and-forth can be immediate, or the chat might extend over a few days; Orozco understands candidates are at work, and she gives them time to answer a question thoughtfully. If candidates seem like they could be a good fit, Orozco requests an in-person interview.
WHY OROZCO USES IT: “We thought, this would be great for capturing talent in the millennial generation,” Orozco says. She wants to communicate with prospective hires in a way that will be comfortable for them.
WHY IT’S SUCCESSFUL: Orozco has found online text chats to be a good way to easily find possible hires or rule out people who clearly wouldn’t be a match with the company. And she has found that candidates of all ages like this form of initial contact.
RECRUITING STRATEGY: Using social media to build relationships with potential hires.
OWNER, COMPANY: Rob Janicke, SoundEvolution Music, record label in New York.
HOW THE STRATEGY WORKS: Janicke discovered by accident that his posts on social media about the music business and other topics can be a recruiting tool. His followers respond to his posts, and he’s gotten to know several, including one who asked how he could get involved with SoundEvolution. “That person eventually did come on board, a couple of months ago.” Janicke is also considering another follower, who said, “I want to learn more about what you’re doing.”
WHY JANICKE USES IT: Online exchanges give Janicke a good introduction to people and allow him to see whether they might be a good fit. Later on, in-person interviews are part of the process.
WHY IT’S SUCCESSFUL: Janicke expects to hire younger workers who are technology-focused. “I need to go where they are,” he says.
Follow Joyce Rosenberg at www.twitter.com/JoyceMRosenberg . Her work can be found here: https://apnews.com/search/joyce%20rosenberg
BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — In a story March 7 about a Hungarian official in Austria, The Associated Press erroneously translated a word in a quote from Janos Lazar, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s chief of staff. The translation should have been “dirt, filth,” not “hospices.”
A corrected version of the story is below:
Hungarian minister says migrants make Vienna dirtier, poorer
The chief of staff for Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban has posted a video on his Facebook page showing him in a district of Austria’s capital that he says is dirtier, poorer and increasingly crime-ridden since migrants began living there
By PABLO GORONDI
BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — The chief of staff for Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban posted a video on his Facebook page Tuesday showing him in a district of Austria’s capital that he says is dirtier, poorer and increasingly crime-ridden since immigrants began living there.
Janos Lazar says in the video that in 20 years, Hungary’s capital of Budapest could look like that unidentified Vienna neighborhood if opposition parties “let in the migrants.”
Hungary’s parliamentary elections are April 8 and the fervently anti-immigration Orban’s Fidesz party has made migrants the focal point of the campaign.
“Evidently the streets are dirtier, evidently the area is poorer and there’s lots more crime,” Lazar says. “If we let them in and they will live in our cities, the consequences will be crime, impoverishment, dirt, filth and impossible urban conditions.”
“We are working to prevent this phenomenon,” Lazar said.
Lazar said only elderly pensioners remain in the Vienna district “among whites and Christians,” while “everyone else is an immigrant” for whom “a city within a city” is being created.
“There are a great number of schools in Vienna where there are no white Viennese children left, only the children of Muslim immigrants and immigrants from the Middle East,” Lazar said.
During a Jan. 30 meeting in Vienna with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, Orban thanked his host for “being not only a good friend but a good partner of Hungary on the issue of migration.” Orban also thanked Austria for sending police and border guards to help patrol the anti-migrant fences Hungary built on its southern borders in late 2015.
Earlier Tuesday, the U.N. human rights chief said he was standing by “every single word” of his criticism of Orban, whom last month he called a racist and xenophobe.
Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, criticized Orban for saying that Hungarians don’t want their “own color, traditions and national culture to be mixed by others.”
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un grins, just on the verge of a belly laugh, as he grasps the hand of a visiting South Korean official. He sits at a wide conference table and beams as the envoys look on deferentially. He smiles broadly again at dinner, his wife at his side, the South Koreans seeming to hang on his every word.
Kim is used to being the center of gravity in a country that his family has ruled with unquestioned power since 1948, but the chance to play the senior statesman on the Korean Peninsula with a roomful of visiting South Koreans has afforded the autocratic leader a whole new raft of propaganda and political opportunities. He’ll get another major chance to shine next month: Seoul says that Kim has agreed to hold a summit meeting — the rivals’ third-ever — with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
The photos released by North Korean state media on Tuesday showing Kim meeting with Moon’s envoys on Monday evening are all the more remarkable coming just months after a barrage of North Korean weapons tests and threats against Seoul and Washington had many fearing war.
Kim can be seen in a North Korean TV video smiling and laughing, proposing a toast at the dinner reception, and waving as two limousines carrying the South Korean delegates left the main building of the ruling Workers’ Party.
The extraordinary images spread rapidly across the southern part of the peninsula a day after the North said Kim had an “openhearted talk” with 10 envoys for Moon. Kim reportedly expressed his desire to “write a new history of national reunification” during a dinner that the South Korean government said lasted about four hours.
The meeting marked the first time South Korean officials have met with the young North Korean leader in person since he took power after his dictator father’s death in late 2011. It’s the latest sign that the Koreas are trying to mend ties after one of the tensest years in a region that seems to be permanently on edge. The South Korean delegation led by presidential national security director Chung Eui-yong returned to the South on Tuesday and announced the Kim-Moon summit planned for next month. Chung’s trip was the first known high-level visit by South Korean officials to the North in about a decade.
North Korea hasn’t announced the summit agreement in its own media, more than a half-day after the South’s announcement.
Given the robust history of bloodshed, threats and animosity on the Korean Peninsula, there is considerable skepticism over whether the Koreas’ apparent warming relations will lead to lasting peace. North Korea, some believe, is trying to use improved ties with the South to weaken U.S.-led international sanctions and pressure, and to provide domestic propaganda fodder for Kim.
But each new development — and especially a summit — raises the possibility that the rivals can use the momentum from the good feelings created during North Korea’s participation in the South’s Pyeongchang Winter Olympics last month to ease a standoff over North Korea’s nuclear ambitions and restart talks between the North and the United States. Seoul said the North also agreed during the talks to impose a moratorium on nuclear and missile tests if Pyongyang holds talks with Washington.
The role of a confident leader welcoming visiting, and lower-ranking, officials from the rival South is one Kim clearly relishes. Smiling for cameras, he posed during the meeting with the South Koreans and presided over what was described by the North’s official Korean Central News Agency as a “co-patriotic and sincere atmosphere.”
Many in Seoul and Washington will want to know if, the rhetoric and smiling images notwithstanding, there’s any possibility Kim will negotiate over North Korea’s breakneck pursuit of an arsenal of nuclear missiles that can viably target the U.S. mainland.
The North has repeatedly and bluntly declared it will not give up its nuclear bombs. It also hates the annual U.S.-South Korean military exercises that were postponed because of the Olympics but will likely happen later this spring. And achieving its nuclear aims rests on the North resuming tests of missiles and bombs that set the region on edge.
Kim was said to have expressed at the dinner his “firm will to vigorously advance the north-south relations and write a new history of national reunification by the concerted efforts of our nation to be proud of in the world.”
There is speculation that better inter-Korean ties could pave the way for Washington and Pyongyang to talk about the North’s nuclear weapons. The United States, however, has made clear that it doesn’t want empty talks and that all options, including military measures, are on the table.
Previous warming ties between the Koreas have come to nothing amid North Korea’s repeated weapons tests and the North’s claims that the annual U.S.-South Korean war games are a rehearsal for an invasion.
Chung’s delegation included intelligence chief Suh Hoon and Vice Unification Minister Chun Hae-sung. The South Korean presidential Blue House said the high-profile delegation was meant to reciprocate the Olympic trip by Kim Jong Un’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, who became the first member of the North’s ruling family to come to South Korea since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War.
Kim Yo Jong, who also attended Monday’s dinner, and other senior North Korean officials met with Moon during the Olympics, conveyed Kim Jong Un’s invitation to visit Pyongyang and expressed their willingness to hold talks with the United States.
Having concluded their Pyongyang trip, Chung’s delegation is scheduled to fly to the United States to brief officials about the outcome of the talks with North Korean officials.
President Donald Trump has said talks with North Korea will happen only “under the right conditions.” He was still cautious, tweeting Tuesday’s news was “possible progress.”
A summit next month would be the Koreas’ third. The past two summits, one in 2000 and the other in 2007, were held between Kim’s late father, Kim Jong Il, and two liberal South Korean presidents. They resulted in a series of cooperative projects between the Koreas that were scuttled during subsequent conservative administrations in the South.
Associated Press writers Hyung-jin Kim and Kim Tong-hyung contributed to this report.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A 47-year-old man has been charged with stealing Frances McDormand’s Academy Award.
Los Angeles County prosecutors said that Terry Bryant was charged Tuesday with stealing the statuette McDormand won for best actress from the official Oscars after-party in Hollywood on Sunday. Bryant could get three years in jail.
Video captured by The Associated Press appears to show Bryant walking with the statuette out of the party, the Governors Ball, and holding it up proudly to photographers and gawkers waiting outside.
One photographer didn’t recognize him as an Oscar winner and followed and confronted him.
Police say Bryant handed back the statuette without a struggle. It was soon returned to McDormand, and Bryant was arrested.
McDormand won the award for her performance in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.”
GENEVA (AP) — The Latest on developments at the Geneva International Motor Show (all times local):
With a cashmere and silk interior inside a futuristic frame, Aston Martin is going electric — in what the legendary British automaker is billing as the first luxury brand with zero-emission powertrain technologies.
The high-end car company has spun out its Lagonda “Vision Concept” that some automotive watchers call the standout item at a Geneva auto show already rife with eye-catching items.
The sleek, slim-line concept has doors open in to each other and a top hatch for easy entry. With the battery under the floor and armchair-like seats that swivel around, one attraction is roomy interior space. The seats have red epaulets, and the inside has details of red Melton fabric — the traditional material used by the queen’s Welsh guard, said Steve Platt, lead interior designer at Aston Martin.
Production is set to start in 2021.
At a presentation as booming and flashy as its cars, Ferrari has unveiled its 488 Pista speedster at the Geneva auto show. It features lighter weight than its predecessor and the most powerful V8 engine ever produced by the fabled Italian brand.
Marketing chief Enrico Galliera trumpeted how the 720-horsepower machine weighs 90 kilograms lighter than Ferrari’s 488 GTB, includes more carbon fiber, and is 20 percent more aero-efficient.
At Ferrari, image matters a lot — and the automaker blasted out a 110-decibel video of vehicles speeding along a racetrack to convey the power and noise of its vehicles, sending powerful vibrations through the rubbernecking audience and shaking the floor of the cavernous Geneva showroom.
Galliera noted the importance of “exhilarating sound” at Ferrari, “which always represents part of the emotion of driving a Ferrari.”
He said the Pista rounds out the Ferrari product range, which he considers the company’s most effective yet.
The head of Ford Motor Co.’s European business says the division’s profits will improve this year over last and that the company remains on track to meet Europe’s tougher carbon dioxide standards.
Steven Armstrong said that European sales indicated “a good start to the year” and that “we expect profits in ’18 to be better than in ’17.”
Ford of Europe made $234 million pre-tax last year despite the impact of Britain’s planned departure from the European union and losses on unspecified warranty issues.
Armstrong, who is head of Europe, Middle East and Africa, said Ford would meet the EU’s new, tougher standard for greenhouse gas emissions in 2020-2021 through a mix of diesel and fuel-efficient gasoline engines as well as the rollout of hybrid and battery-only vehicles.
French automaker Renault has unveiled its futuristic — and funky — concept car EZ-Go, featuring a rooftop opening that allows passengers to enter by a ramp for easy access.
Envisioning smaller-scale public transport for increasingly populated cities, Renault has constructed a vehicle with a numeric display on the front and back, a bit like the screen on a bus.
The six-seater self-driving electric vehicle aims to bridge public and private transportation needs, with options like on-demand pickup like by a taxi.
Passengers sit around the windows in U-shaped seating. Seemingly almost symmetrical from the side, the tail lights and the opening hatch are the main ways of telling front from back.
Presenting the vehicle, Renault Chief Operating Officer Thierry Bollore called it an “urban, ‘robo-vehicle’ electric concept that can be tailored for public and private services.”
Head of design Laurens van den Acker floated the prospect that EZ-Go might one day become “part of a city’s calling card, like the yellow cabs in New York or the black cabs in London.”
Global carmakers are showing off a mix of low-emission electric vehicles and high-end sports cars at the Geneva International Motor Show.
Many of the new offerings display the battery-electric and autonomous technology carmakers say they need to meet tough emissions standards and cope with an expected shift to cars as a service to be ordered rather owned.
Mercedes-Benz rolled out its EQA concept car, a compact battery electric vehicle with a virtual radiator that changes appearance depending on the selected driving program.
Volkswagen’s I.D. Vizzion large electric sedan was shown in an autonomous version without a steering wheel.
Big horsepower and fossil fuels remained very much in evidence however.
Luxury sports car maker McLaren showed off its 211-mph (340 kph) Senna while Ferrari had the curvaceous, race-car inspired 488 Pista.
CAIRO (AP) — Saudi Arabia’s crown prince wound up his three-day visit to Egypt on Tuesday with a symbolically significant visit to Al-Azhar, the world’s foremost seat of learning for Sunni Muslims.
Accompanied by Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was given a tour of the mosque at the heart of old Cairo to see the outcome of three years of restoration work financed by a Saudi grant. Also at hand was Al-Azhar’s Grand Imam, Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb.
The mosque, built in the 10th century, is now part of a sprawling university teaching Islam as well as secular subjects and a nationwide network of schools. It is perceived to be a bastion of moderation whose teaching counters radicalism and violence, but it has in recent months been accused of theological rigidity and of resisting calls to renew Islam’s religious discourse.
Egypt and Saudi Arabia are viewed to be Sunni powerhouses whose weight, together with that of smaller Sunni Arab allies like Jordan and the United Arab Emirates, is called upon to counter the growing influence of non-Arab and Shiite Iran in the region.
Al-Tayeb thanked Prince Mohammed profusely for the kingdom’s help.
“This is our duty and every Saudi hopes that he can contribute, even in a simple way, to the renovation and improvement of Al-Azhar,” the Saudi heir apparent said in reply to al-Tayeb.
The prince was given a warm welcome in Egypt, whose government views Saudi aid and investment as key to reviving the country’s battered economy. Posters featuring the prince alongside el-Sissi lined major roads in central Cairo. Pro-government television networks broadcast promotional videos about Saudi Arabia and the prince’s efforts to modernize the oil-rich kingdom.
In what is perhaps a first for a Saudi heir apparent, Prince Mohammed and el-Sissi watched a play on Monday night at Cairo’s Opera House. In another first, he visited the spiritual leader of Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox church, Pope Tawadros II, at the Cathedral of St. Mark in central Cairo.
He and el-Sissi traveled through one of several tunnels being built under the Suez Canal linking mainland Egypt with the Sinai peninsula. They later boarded a boat from a red-carpeted dock as an army band played marching music. The two countries have plans to build a causeway across the Red Sea’s Gulf of Aqaba and to develop areas on both sides, including a multi-billion dollar city stretching across Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan.
The current close relationship between the two countries follows a period of tension in late 2016 and early 2017 when Riyadh unexpectedly froze shipments of fuel to Egypt in response to sharp differences over Syria.
The prince left later Tuesday for London where he would be visiting before he travels on to Washington.