Have a Cup O’Joe Whilst You (Very) Deep Background Your Candidate

Sep 28, 2012

Background checks have been in the news this week. CareerBuilder says 51 percent of employers have hired people with criminal records.

At our sister site,, lawyer and recruiter Jeff Allen offers some legal advice about what can, can’t, and might be ill-advised in checking references. At, another lawyer weighs in on the significance of the NLRB taking Costco to task over its social media policy.

All that’s important stuff. But can you really say you’ve done a thorough job if you haven’t done a past life background check? Especially when it’s so easy and free? Simply enter the candidate’s DOB here and press Diagnosis.

Turns out I was born in 1775 in the northern U.S. and became a professional philosopher and thinker. Which kinda squares with my current life. I was born in the northern U.S. and am a liberal arts major. No big marketable background then, none now.

Why Do They Call It Joe?

I’m wondering what it means when food service workers, scientists, teachers, sales reps, writers, PR people, network admins, and nurses all are at the top of the list of occupations in which the respondents say they need coffee to get through the day. I’m just not seeing the connection.

Since this little survey was sponsored by both Dunkin’ Donuts and CareerBuilder, I was thinking we’d see cops and recruiters on the list. Business executives, however, are there, which makes sense since I’ve never been to a morning meeting that didn’t have both donuts and coffee.

Another finding: It’s the Northeast where workers consumes the most coffee; 64 percent drink at least a cup a day. The rest of the country barely breaks 50 percent. Take that Seattle.

Coffee also boosts productivity, at least that’s what we think: “43 percent of workers who drink coffee claim they are less productive without their cup of Joe.” Serve free coffee and keep the thermostat just below 77 degrees and watch productivity go through the roof.

Now why am I telling you this? Tomorrow is National Coffee Day. Now, to answer my question: There are three theories about how coffee got nicknamed Joe. Except for the one about it having to do with the banning of booze on ships in 1914, none of them are especially interesting.

Happy Birthday to Google

The doodle on the Google search page Thursday had 14 candles on it. One for each year the company has been around, though at first hardly anyone noticed. Google, as almost everyone knows by now, is a play on the math term googol, which was meant to symbolize the magnitude of the task of organizing all the world’s information.

Want to impress the techies at your next networking event? Ask who knows Google’s original name. (It was BackRub.)

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