Column and Beam

A blog for design and construction professionals.

Using Social Media to Evaluate Potential Employees

Let’s assume that you have an opening at your firm for an open position.  You have screened the resumes submitted and narrowed the field of potential candidates to six.  You can easily Google each candidate and see what information is available on the internet about each, which might help you further narrow the field.   A study from CareerBuilder shows that 70 percent of employers now use social media to screen job candidates before hiring, up from 60 percent a year ago and 11 percent in 2006.  Should you?

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What You Need to Know Choice of Law

You’ve seen it in many contracts, it is a contract clause that states something like:

This Contract is governed by South Carolina law.

You might have even debated with your client which state should be inserted into the clause.  Many architect, engineers, contractors – and even some attorneys  – do not understand the implication and importance of a choice of law clause. 

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Is Anyone Listening? Your Virtual Assistant is.

Virtual assistant are flooding the marketplace.  There is Amazon’s Alexa, the Amazon Echo, and Echo Dot.  There is also Google Home/Google, Siri, Cortana and Samsung’s Bixby.   Last week, we learned that Amazon and Microsoft have been working together to make Alexa and Cortana communicate with each other because they recognize the future importance of virtual assistants.

Voice-assisted technology makes life easier.  For example, Google Home can control thermostats, appliances, lights and security systems.  You could leave your office and command that all lights turn off and the temperature change.  Alexa can play music during the work day, accessing Prime, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio and Tunein.  Google Home can perform research through a Google search.  By using these devices, however, you are exposed to privacy risks because they are listening for voice data and transmitting it to third parties.

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Subcontractors and Suppliers – Why Should You Send a Notice of Furnishing of Labor/Materials on Your Next Project?

On large construction projects, it is common for significant labor or materials to be supplied by lower-tier subcontractors and material suppliers – that is, entities who do not contract with the general or prime contractor, but instead contract directly with a subcontractor.  Without a direct contractual relationship, the prime contractor may not know the identity of all lower-tier subcontractors or suppliers.  As a result, the prime contractor may lack sufficient information to ensure that lower-tier subcontractors or suppliers have been paid before releasing payment to its subcontractor.  The prime contractor may first learn the identity of lower-tier subcontractors or suppliers when they contact the prime contractor claiming that they have not been paid for their labor or materials or when they file a mechanic’s lien or payment bond claim.

However, remote subcontractors and suppliers may avoid this situation by sending a Notice of Furnishing Labor or Materials to the general contractor before supplying labor or materials.  This provides notice to the prime contractor of the identity of lower-tier subcontractors and may help subcontractors get paid. 

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What You Need to Know About Wearables

Wearable technology was once limited to athletes and medical practices, but in recent years, it has become almost ubiquitous for both personal and professional use.  Sales of wearable devices generated $3.5 billion in 2014, and that amount is expected to quadruple by 2019.  Wearable technology has massive potential for the construction industry, but before you implement it, carefully consider the potential risks.

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