Read a book an hour

Do you sometimes feel it takes too long to get to the good stuff from a business or self-help book? I do.

Sometimes the great ideas are just surrounded by waffle. Blinklist cures this problem in a handy app that is for both iPhone and Android. Blinklist will allow you to digest a book in a lunchtime. Blinklist cuts books and audiobooks down into short article or audio snippets that cover the key learning points from the text. It really is a beautiful concept. They have a wide range of titles.

Almost any decent non-fiction book will be on there. So why is this a life hack? You can use Blinklist to turbocharge your learning on a subject in a rapid time. Imagine having all the critical points from Adam Smiths Wealth of Nations read to you while on your commute to work? Or when you are eating lunch taking onboard the teachings of Anthony Robbins. Imagine what listening to all the best sales books would do for your daily calling and sales figures.

It may not be the entire book, but you get the best, juiciest bits. Blinklist does the hard work for you. You can find Blinklist in the App store or at


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Focus on the 1%

Now, what we’re not talking about here is focusing on the gilded wealth of the top 1% of the Bill Gates and the Mark Zuckerbergs of this world. What we are talking about here is focusing on the 1% within you, and that’s the 1% for getting better.

If you focus and aim every day to get 1% better at BD calls, by the end of day 70, you’ll be twice as good. The reason we say day 70 is because of the power of compounding. If you aim to do one more call every day, by the end of day 70, you will have 1% more calls. You will be doing twice as many calls as before.

A great example of this is to, for example, want to increase the number of candidates that you find. Aim to have 1% more telephone conversations per day with candidates. Make sure you track it because it not the fact if it is not fact.

So focus on being 1% better and doing 1% more, and within no time at all, you will double your statistics.   


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Smile before you dial

Smile Before You Dial This life hack I feel wins the award for being the cheesiest hack in the entire book.

Do not worry, I heard your groans, but please do keep with me on this. Smile when you dial is a cliche and as with alot of cliches people in this cynical internet age ignore them because they are after all quite awkward and embarrassing.

Something becomes a cliche because there is a real element of truth to it, and when it comes to smiling as you dial the truth is very much there.

Smiling when you dial does a number of things that will help you as you are making calls.

1) When you are smiling people can hear this in your voice and you will sound more appealing and persuasive on the phone.

2) When you make the muscle movements that form a smile it releases happiness chemicals that will make you feel happier and if you feel happier you will perform better on the phone.

3) When it becomes a habit that is repeated and repeated as you smile before you dial the body will automatically become hardwired into a positive state.

Thank you for bearing with me through the cheese!   

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Turn your phone to grayscale

 Mobiles are addictive things. They’re brilliant, though, I for one, for years, was addicted to Angry Birds. Mobile phones can also be a killer on productivity, steal family and friends time and damage sleep. They are probably the 21st-century cigarettes.

There is one simple, quick and easy way to reduce the addictiveness and the desire to want to be on your phone. It is called grey-scaling. What is grey scaling? Essentially, you are turning all the colours black and white.

So it’s like an old 1950s movie but on your phone. It essentially kills the blue haze background your cellphone off produces..

The instant you do this, going on Facebook, going on any app is nowhere near as fun or exciting because the colours are what give it vitality and addictiveness to the brain. The colours help to create that dopamine hit.

By going on grayscale, you won’t want to be on your phone as much, and you will be able to focus during work on the day to day stuff.


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The Book: Recruitment Hacks is now available on Amazon.   


Will VR become part of the recruitment process

Virtual Reality has a real buzz around it at the moment. Every-time you look in the trade press there is a story about another Virtual Reality start-up getting significant funding from venture capital.

The sums are mind-boggling. The question is, will Virtual Reality break out from its bad reputation of the past and become something that is used every day in the recruitment process?

I have presented some arguments for yes and some arguments for no below.

Arguments for Yes – Virtual Reality will be common

Real world assessments: Virtual Reality will give companies the ability to see how candidates react, act and do tasks in the “real world”. For example, it could present a mechanical engineer with a challenge that they will face day-to-day or a front of house receptionist with a situation dealing with an upset customer. It will allow candidates to be assessed on how they react and act in a given setting, challenge or scenario.

Fair and equal interviews: Within a Virtual Reality setting you can give every candidate the same interview experience. Imagine having a correctly the same conversation with every applicant. Imagine then being able to honestly shortlist based on fair and genuinely equal interviews.

Quantifiable date based hiring: Virtual Reality will create data. Data that can be used to make fair judgments based on the actions and outcomes at hand and compare it will include other candidates data.

These are powerful ways that Virtual Reality could in the future make the hiring process fairer, more useful and data-driven. However, it does come with some issues.

Arguments for No – Virtual Reality will not be common

Video interviewing has not taken off. So why would VR?: Look at Skype. Skype has been around for over ten years, the ability to FaceTime on iPhones has been around for circa five years. Both of these features mean that you are able to make video calls to people all the way across the globe. However, how many hiring managers, recruiters or HR personnel use these? I do not have the answer, but it will be small compared to the use of face-to-face interviews. VR may offer a better, quicker method to interview and assessment. That does not mean people will adopt it. Just look at Betamax as an example of better technology not taking off.

Cost/Benefit: Virtual Reality is going to be expensive for implementation for a long while, so although there will be numerous benefits to using VR in the recruitment process, the cost may become a factor. For example, a front of house receptionist position may benefit from selection via a specialist VR program, however, will the cost justify it?

VR recruitment and selection will create new problems: Virtual Reality, if used in the recruitment process, will create its own problems and issues that will have to be overcome. Solutions that may take too much time and money. For example, some people find VR makes them feel a version of car or sea sickness. Now if someone cannot use the VR headset, how can you assess them fairly versus other candidates who can?

Bias will still exist: Virtual Reality recruitment and assessment will only amplify the bias of those who create the technology. Generally, white middle-class well-educated men living in San Fransico and other tech hubs. Without implementation that eliminated the bias at source Virtual Reality could end up creating new or enhancing old recruitment bias.

So will it be used?

Sadly I do not have a crystal ball.

However my gut feeling is that Virtual Reality based assessments will become part of the assessment mix for some industries and positions, but not most. Mainly because as we enter a world of automation and the movement towards a more highly focused service economy, personal skills will still matter, thus face-to-face will mater. VR will have its place. Engineers, Pilots, Haulage Drivers and many other sectors will be able to incorporate this into their current processes.

Virtual Reality’s bright future regarding human resources and talent issues is with training and development. This is where I believe Virtual Reality will really come into its own.

Imagine being able to review and train live face-to-face sales meetings in Virtual Reality? Or rehearse sales calls in a non-rubbish role place setting. It really will beat role play with your boss. Or imagine how it could be used to up-skill our ageing workforce. These users really do mean that the future is bright.

Let’s just hope Virtual Reality will live us to its promise this time around.


As ever we would love to hear what you have to say.

Feel free to email about your thoughts on this or any other topic 

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