25 October 2015


 Continued from the previous Aha!.

Brace yourselves!
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Continued in the next Aha!

14 October 2015

Do recruiters still need to ask for resume / CV printouts?

In a digitized world, it is quite a paradox that companies still require interviewees to bring a printout of their resume or interview invite email.

If the phrase"save trees" makes you roll your eyes, then please feel free to stop reading. The rest of this blog post requires a more creative and inventive mind to interpret it.

Why in the world would you require printouts?

Assume a company conducting just 100 interviews every three months.
  • That's 100 * 3 sheets of paper on average * 4 quarters a year = 1200 pages.
  • For 3000 companies in a city, that's = 1200 * 3000 = 3.6 million pages a year!!! With that much of paper, you can make 293.49 copies of the Indian Constitution. The bulkiest constitution in the world! As for cost, that'd be 7.2 million Indian Rupees.
  • And oh...in terms of trees, that's 432 of them.
  • On top of that, you also want candidates to carry a printout of the interview call email?
  • Some companies even expect candidates to carry and submit photocopies of their marks card and resume even if they have not yet been selected by the interviewer (when you ask a candidate to submit exactly the same details a million times, it's a sign that your recruitment process is messed up. Ever heard of referential integrity?).
  • Then there's the entering of candidate details on a bunch of paper forms!

Seriously, HR departments...haven't a single one of you considered moving into the digital age?

What can be done:
  • Let interviewers use their work laptops to view documents
  • Specifically ask the candidate not to bring a printout of anything
  • Candidates can email their resume and scanned copies of other documents.
  • They can bring a copy of the interview call email on their smartphone (a copy of this email is usually asked for by the security guard).
  • If candidates are expected to fill in their details in a form (do you even need a form? Why not fill in details after being selected?), allow them to do it via an online form (perhaps even a day before the interview). You could even create a user friendly form that could be used on a smartphone. Create forms that  can be shared with the candidate on the smartphone via bluetooth (if the candidate does not have connectivity to the internet).
  • If the candidate wishes to share any additional documents, it could be done either via bluetooth or via a pen-drive or rewritable CD/DVD. Make sure you use the pen drive on either a Linux or Mac OS, to avoid those annoying Windows viruses.

Yes, I know you might be a company which has very strict security and device policies. Do understand that these policies and security are meant to prevent sensitive company information from leaking out; not for preventing candidate information from coming into the company.

A creative/inventive mind will always find a way to create facilities and spaces where interviews can still be conducted with a minimal use of paper.
Once you've become digital, shout it out! Let the world know that your department is awesome! Spread the news. It really is time to get out of the feudal age.

No more printouts!!!

If you want to hear the magic word before going digital, here's me saying "Pleeeeeeease!!!".

07 October 2015

Automation: Script to set up tabs for you in a single terminal and run commands in them

I noticed many colleagues loved opening up multiple tabs in a single bash terminal, setting title names for every tab and running commands in them. They performed this ritual manually every single day.

The first thought that went through my mind was "Hey, why don't we automate the process?". I suggested it to them, but I guess they preferred doing it the old way. So when I had some free time, I did a bit of finding out and created this shell script:

#The ampersand in the end of this file makes sure that the gnome-terminal command is run as a background process. 

echo "Setting up environment"; 

--tab-with-profile=Default --title=TAB1 -e "bash -c \"trap 'bash' 2; clear; ls; exec bash\"" 
--tab-with-profile=Default --title=ANOTHERTAB -e "bash -c \"trap 'bash' 2; clear; ls; pwd; exec bash\"" \

Place this code in an empty file named sim.sh and use the command 
chmod +x sim.sh 
to make it an executable file and then run it with

and viola! You have a terminal with multiple tabs! Just replace the "clear;ls" and "clear;ls;pwd" with any other commands of your choice.

The syntax for adding more tabs is:

--tab-with-profile=Default --title=<THE TITLE YOU WANT TO GIVE THE TAB> -e "bash -c \"trap 'bash' 2; <THE BASH COMMANDS YOU WANT TO EXECUTE> ;exec bash\"" \ 

One more thing to do

Having the script is not enough. You'll notice that when you finish running any commands on the terminal, the tab title/name you set, would have gotten reset.
To circumvent this problem, do this:

Go to the Edit menu of the terminal. In Profiles select Default. For the option of When terminal commands set their own titles, select Keep initial title

That's it! Don't stop at this. Keep finding ways to automate tasks and save time!