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'[OT] Google Hit Score'
2005\08\29@182853 by Lawrence Lile

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I am looking at a big stack of resumes (don't get excited, it's not for a
job any of you guys would want) and just for fun, I type in some of the
names in Google.  Candidate number 1 has published an article or two
(impressive) but candidate #2 and 3 have no hits on Google with any variant
of their name I can think of.

Where have these guys been?   Have they been clinging to the bottom of a
boat hull since the Internet was born?   Were they buried by an avalanche of
disco clothing in 1989 and have just now emerged?   If I type in my own name
in quotes I get 5,560 Google hits, my wife's registers 70+.  (no wonder I
get so much Spam)

Just for a test, the prolific "James Newtons Massmind" gets 255 hits,  
"Wouter van Ooijen" scores 15,700. Not to single you guys out (there are too
many  "Roman Black"s in the history books, adding noise to the Scientist and
Philosopher Roman Black's 14,900 Google score) just to pick a few unusual
names out of the PIClist crew for a test.

So one way to evaluate potential hires, along with publications, references,
and so on, is to Google them.  The raw google hit score is instructive,
albeit misleading. A hothead who participates in flame wars might have a
phenomenal score. A guy with a cheesy website, who posts on Geneology boards
and sends letters to the editor, like me, inflates the score. A guy with a
common name like Jim Smith might score more than a person who merely posts
intelligence. James Newton's 255 hits represent a zillion gigabytes of high
quality content at piclist.com and years of diligent effort.  However, one
can learn a lot about an applicants publications, professional affiliations,
politics, ability to spell, demeanor, criminal record, and so on.  Hmmmm.  
Big Brother is Watching You, Mr. Applicant.


--Lawrence Lile

_________________________________________________________________
On the road to retirement? Check out MSN Life Events for advice on how to
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2005\08\29@201519 by William Chops Westfield

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On Aug 29, 2005, at 3:28 PM, Lawrence Lile wrote:

> candidate #2 and 3 have no hits on Google with any variant of their
> name I can think of.
>
> Where have these guys been?   Have they been clinging to the bottom
> of a boat hull since the Internet was born?   Were they buried by
> an avalanche of disco clothing in 1989 and have just now emerged?

Well, people that showed up in the "post-www" era have pretty much
learned to keep their true identities somewhat hidden on the internet.
I hope you can't find any of my kids' names, for instance :-(

And then you have nicknames and variations.  A google search for
"William Westfield" turns up a paltry 600 hits, many of which
are not me.  "Bill Westfield" also turns up about 600 hits, and
more of them look like me.  If you happen to know "William Chops
Westfield", you get a more representative 11000 hits :-), but you
wouldn't be able to derive that from my resume...

Likewise, old-timers are more likely to have usernames that were only
unique within the company they worked at.  When I was "billw@sri-kl",
it didn't bother me that there was also a "billw@isi-a" (or whatever),
but alas "billw" turned out to be popular (there are even "I am a friend
of BillW" bumper stickers, which confused me no end till I figured it
out!)
and I missed getting it as a username on most of the public email
services.
"westfw" that I'm using now (gmail, yahoo, .mac, comcast...) dates back
to 6-character limits in college (westfw@wharton-10), and is more
pleasantly unique.

BillW

2005\08\29@212803 by Bob Barr

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On Mon, 29 Aug 2005 17:28:52 -0500, "Lawrence Lile" wrote:

>
>I am looking at a big stack of resumes (don't get excited, it's not for a
>job any of you guys would want) and just for fun, I type in some of the
>names in Google.  Candidate number 1 has published an article or two
>(impressive) but candidate #2 and 3 have no hits on Google with any variant
>of their name I can think of.
>

Unless your requirements include experience as a congressman, don't
bother to google my name if I ever apply for a job. :=)

That shared name was particularly troubling on a political website
that I frequent. I was constantly being asked if I was *that* Bob
Barr.

Regards, Bob

2005\08\29@214908 by Carey Fisher - NCS

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  > From: spam_OUTpiclist-bouncesTakeThisOuTspammit.edu [.....piclist-bouncesKILLspamspam@spam@mit.edu]On Behalf
  > Of Lawrence Lile
  > Sent: Monday, August 29, 2005 6:29 PM
  > To: piclistspamKILLspammit.edu
  > Subject: Re: [OT] Google Hit Score
  >
  >
  >
  > I am looking at a big stack of resumes (don't get excited,
  > it's not for a
  > job any of you guys would want) and just for fun, I type in
  > some of the
  > names in Google.  Candidate number 1 has published an article or two
  > (impressive) but candidate #2 and 3 have no hits on Google
  > with any variant
  > of their name I can think of.

I hope people are D*** careful about using Google to
research other people.  Searching on  my name
gives several entries that say:
"Carey Fisher pleaded guilty to possession and delivery of methamphetamine,
arising
out of events that occurred in 1998. Before entry of her plea and ..."

Of course they're referring to Carrie Fisher the actress
but correct spelling doesn't matter to some people.

Can you imagine checking on me via Google for a job?
Would you stop at "Carey Fisher pleaded guilty to
possession and delivery of methamphetamine"?  Or
would you investigate further?

(the real) Carey Fisher
(never possessed or delivered methamphetamine)

2005\08\29@220616 by Spehro Pefhany

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At 09:49 PM 8/29/2005 -0400, you wrote:


>I hope people are D*** careful about using Google to
>research other people.

This is the advantage of having a unique name. There only ever have been, to my
knowledge, three people in the history of the world with my name. One is my
grandfather (long deceased), and another is a first cousin who keeps a fairly
low internet profile. ;-)

Maybe, in the future, search-engine-savvy parents will deliberately misspell
their child's name in order to make them findable in a search engine. Or
perhaps they will give them a name that makes them meld in (the name of a
mid-rank sports star or something like that-- chances are the sports star
will be forgotten by the time the kid gets to 10 or so, except by the net).

Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
.....speffKILLspamspam.....interlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com
->> Inexpensive test equipment & parts http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQsassZspeff


2005\08\29@220727 by James Newtons Massmind

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How about googleing email addresses? That is specific and can not be
mistaken unless someone hands over an email account...

---
James.



> {Original Message removed}

2005\08\30@011606 by PicDude

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And to counteract spam/identity-theft (or at least make it more difficult), I
just use PicDude.  On other lists, I have other aliases, such as CobraDude on
an automotive list, etc.  So assuming that someone is clinging to the bottom
of a boat hull may not exactly be a valid way to compare candidates.  It's
much better to ask for achievements directly and know how to probe to
separate the truths from the extensions to the truths.

Cheers,
-Neil.



On Monday 29 August 2005 05:28 pm, Lawrence Lile scribbled:
{Quote hidden}

2005\08\30@014510 by D. Jay Newman

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> And to counteract spam/identity-theft (or at least make it more difficult), I
> just use PicDude.  On other lists, I have other aliases, such as CobraDude on
> an automotive list, etc.  So assuming that someone is clinging to the bottom
> of a boat hull may not exactly be a valid way to compare candidates.  It's
> much better to ask for achievements directly and know how to probe to
> separate the truths from the extensions to the truths.

When I worked for Penn State I often had to judge candidates quickly.

One of my rules of thumb was that anybody who was willing to stand
behind his name thought his name was worth something.

And yes, I preferred it when I had better ways to judge somebody, but
I have found that resumes and student performance are horrible ways
of telling performance in a job.

On the other hand, strong participation in open source projects
UNDER THEIR OWN NAME was a fairly good way. Kids who used aliases
could go either way.

Remember, most of my hires were either students, grad students, or entry
level programmers.
--
D. Jay Newman           ! Polititions and civilations come and
EraseMEjayspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTsprucegrove.com     ! go but the engineers and machinists
http://enerd.ws/robots/ ! make progress

2005\08\30@020601 by Wouter van Ooijen

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> Can you imagine checking on me via Google for a job?
> Would you stop at "Carey Fisher pleaded guilty to
>  possession and delivery of methamphetamine"?  Or
> would you investigate further?

Of course I would search further. And you would not want to work for the
types that don't search any further. Although the chances are that such
type would not know how to spell google anyway. (Maybe 'google', because
that's a company with interesting shares, but not the www. .com parts :)

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2005\08\30@031121 by PicDude

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On Tuesday 30 August 2005 12:44 am, D. Jay Newman scribbled:
> One of my rules of thumb was that anybody who was willing to stand
> behind his name thought his name was worth something.

Agreed, but my point was that because someone's name is not available on the
internet or if they use a different name, does not mean that they don't want
to stand behind their name.  There can be other very valid reasons why they
use a slang name or other alias.

> And yes, I preferred it when I had better ways to judge somebody, but
> I have found that resumes and student performance are horrible ways
> of telling performance in a job.

I have always hated hiring people based on GPA and certifications -- it's so
easy to get a piece of paper and not really understand/user the material.

But resumes are good when you know how to delve and see what they know about
what they claim.  It provides a nice set of technolgies and skill areas upon
which to focus a discussion.  In a short time though, I can see that being
difficult to do.

> On the other hand, strong participation in open source projects
> UNDER THEIR OWN NAME was a fairly good way. Kids who used aliases
> could go either way.
>
> Remember, most of my hires were either students, grad students, or entry
> level programmers.

Lucky you.  I had to deal with people who were already in the real world and
were experienced in stretching the truth or completely making it up.  Even
worse, many were contractors whose representative agency would adjust their
resumes well beyond "polishing".

Cheers,
-Neil.



2005\08\30@031354 by PicDude

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On Tuesday 30 August 2005 01:05 am, Wouter van Ooijen scribbled:
> Of course I would search further. And you would not want to work for the
> types that don't search any further.

Problem here is that the ones doing the searching are probably in HR or an
external hiring agency, and reporting the summary or opinion to the ones you
would actually work it.

Cheers,
-Neil.




2005\08\30@045211 by Wouter van Ooijen

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> > Of course I would search further. And you would not want to
> work for the
> > types that don't search any further.
>
> Problem here is that the ones doing the searching are
> probably in HR or an
> external hiring agency, and reporting the summary or opinion
> to the ones you
> would actually work it.

So would you want to work for a company that hires that way? I think I'd
rather apply for working with Olin...

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2005\08\30@082536 by olin piclist

face picon face
Lawrence Lile wrote:
> I am looking at a big stack of resumes (don't get excited, it's not for
> a job any of you guys would want) and just for fun, I type in some of
> the names in Google.

I've been using this technique for years, ever since a potential customer
did that to me while he was talking to me over the phone.  This was back
when internet access wasn't all that widespread.

> So one way to evaluate potential hires, along with publications,
> references, and so on, is to Google them.  The raw google hit score is
> instructive, albeit misleading.

Right.  You have to follow up on a few of the hits to get the general
flavor.

Unfortunately this technique doesn't work well on people with common names.


*****************************************************************
Embed Inc, embedded system specialists in Littleton Massachusetts
(978) 742-9014, http://www.embedinc.com

2005\08\30@120437 by Aza D. Oberman

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<William Chops Westfield observes in part>

> Well, people that showed up in the "post-www" era have pretty much
> learned to keep their true identities somewhat hidden on the internet.
> I hope you can't find any of my kids' names, for instance :-(

US DOD security checks include an Internet search to see what sorts of
contacts one has.  That too militates against using a clearly traceable
name.

I've hesitated to place much emphasis on Internet searches to describe a
candidate.  There are a few exceptions such as thesis publication, but I'd
agree with your observation.  Most folks don't want to be SPAM targets, or
targets in general, so they use disposable addresses and aliases as
protection.

About all a high Internet profile shows is a flair for self-promotion that
can be very counterproductive in a team setting.

Aza D. Oberman

2005\08\30@121954 by Aza D. Oberman

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<D. Jay Newman observes in part>

<snip>
> One of my rules of thumb was that anybody who was willing to stand
> behind his name thought his name was worth something.
<snip>
> Remember, most of my hires were either students, grad students, or entry
> level programmers.

Have you tried salting the interview room with puzzles?  Step out for a
minute and hire the one with a background in music who picked up a puzzle.
It seems like an odd way to go about things, but for entry tech jobs I've
noticed a performance correlation from among a population of close to 45
hires.

There's no "silver bullet" here.  Hiring is just plain hard work and talking
to as many references as you can.  Heaven is when a respected collegue
wanders in and says "I'm impressed with this lad/gal, do we have a slot?"

Aza D. Oberman


2005\08\30@131412 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> There's no "silver bullet" here.

In my experience there never is, in any work I have done. I guess if
there was a silver bullet they would never let me do that work in the
first place, there would be cheaper guys available :)

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2005\08\30@152816 by D. Jay Newman

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> Have you tried salting the interview room with puzzles?  Step out for a
> minute and hire the one with a background in music who picked up a puzzle.
> It seems like an odd way to go about things, but for entry tech jobs I've
> noticed a performance correlation from among a population of close to 45
> hires.

I worked for a unit at University of Delaware (20 years ago) in a unit
called OCBI (later OIT) and I was perhaps the first male programmer
non-musician hired.

Less than a year after I left a new president killed the unit.

> There's no "silver bullet" here.  Hiring is just plain hard work and talking
> to as many references as you can.  Heaven is when a respected collegue
> wanders in and says "I'm impressed with this lad/gal, do we have a slot?"

I've had this opportunity twice and I've been happy both times. I've
recommended three people and it worked out all three times (I eventually
married one of them).
--
D. Jay Newman           ! Polititions and civilations come and
jayspamspam_OUTsprucegrove.com     ! go but the engineers and machinists
http://enerd.ws/robots/ ! make progress

2005\08\31@200147 by Lawrence Lile

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I do take care to verify that I am looking at the right person, for instance only using references that are clearly tied to a name and a company, or that have a middle initial, etc.  For a common name, finding a publication under the correctly spelled name that references the proper company is pretty good.  This indicates to me that the person A. can write a technical article and get it published and B. can probably write gramatically in general, or at least can fake it.  While I am willing to hire people that are immigrants, I can't use anybody who can't "wryt Spel an' Cyfer gud".  If someone wasn't born in the US, but can publish a well penned technical article in English, that puts me at ease.

If I found a reference that said someone of a similar name had been a criminal, I would probably have to ignore it unless I could prove it was the same individual.  Checking live references is a better way to find that out, and that is not always certain.


--Lawrence

{Quote hidden}


'[OT] Google Hit Score'
2005\09\01@035548 by Alan B. Pearce
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>If I found a reference that said someone of a similar name had been a
>criminal, I would probably have to ignore it unless I could prove it
>was the same individual.  Checking live references is a better way to
>find that out, and that is not always certain.

Yeah, that can take a bit of doing. When I was working in NZ, there was
another Alan Pearce working in different electronics company to the one I
worked in. About the time I got married another Alan Pearce was had up on
drugs charges, and yet another Alan Pearce who was a policeman was noted in
an article in the newspaper as being injured in some way in pursuit of a
suspect - this all in a country of less than 4 million people at the time! I
also saw an paper published in an American magazine by a Dr. Alan Pearce at
around this time.

Now I have moved to the UK, and work in a laboratory where there is another
Alan Pearce working in the same department, and in the same wing of the
building - but he has no middle name (which is why I have taken to using my
middle initial in my email alias). I have also seen letters published in the
local newspapers by at least two other Alan Pearce's.

Ah, well, what it is to have a common name - guess I can always point the
finger elsewhere if the cops end up chasing me. ;))

2005\09\01@050533 by Howard Winter

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Alan,

On Thu, 1 Sep 2005 08:55:43 +0100, Alan B. Pearce wrote:

>...<
> Ah, well, what it is to have a common name

It doesn't always help to have an uncommon one - I once
worked in an office with a Howard White and a John
Winter!

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2005\09\03@163341 by Vitaliy

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Sorry this response is a little belated (had trouble with my SMTP server).

> good.  This indicates to me that the person A. can write a technical
> article and get it published and B. can probably write gramatically in
> general, or at least can fake it.  While I am willing to hire people that
> are immigrants, I can't use anybody who can't "wryt Spel an' Cyfer gud".

I chuckled when I read that Lyle is "willing to hire people that are
immigrants." Admitting the opposite would constitute "discrimination on the
basis of national origin" - a legally punishable offense in the United
States. >;-)

I find that I can spell better than a lot of native English speakers,
probably because when I was learning English I memorized both the way a word
sounds and the way it "should" sound.

Best regards,

Vitaliy

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