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For most managers, learning how to effectively lead a team is a daunting task. Understanding what skills everyone brings to the table, and how to use them to the company’s advantage, is a challenge on its own. But oftentimes the most difficult part of management is knowing how to deal with that one employee or manager. The one who always seems to be in the middle of a heated argument, the one whose name is constantly brought up in HR meetings. Here are a few tips on how to manage a toxic employee or manager.


How to handle a toxic employee:


Look Past Their Brilliance


To form an objective opinion on a difficult employee, you need to separate their work performance from their behaviour. Sometimes the most competent worker can have a poor attitude, which eventually affects the rest of the team. This can be destructive to the company’s morale in the long run, so how do you correct the problem? Start by keeping an eye on their team dynamics; jot down feedback from their co-workers; document HR complaints. Make it clear that the employee’s performance is not relevant to the issue, but rather it’s their attitude that’s a problem. Once you stop rationalizing their troubling behaviour because of the value they bring to the organization, you’ll begin to see the full picture more clearly.


Reinforce Accountability for Everyone


There’s only one set of rules for the whole team, and everyone should understand that. If others become aware that certain people get a pass for their bad behaviour, resentment and dysfunction will begin to simmer beneath the surface. Be firm with your team and make your expectations clear. Establish the ground rules for appropriate behaviour, and reinforce the penalties for not adhering to them.


Be Proactive


Observe the individual in action, provide feedback and coach them if necessary; these are your tools for implementing real change. If you create opportunities where you can work with the individual and provide constructive feedback, you can offer advice to improve their behaviour and show them alternative ways to approach a situation. Equally as important, make sure you provide positive feedback to the individual when it’s justified; this well help them see how situations can be handled with a positive approach moving forward.


If There’s No Progress, Go Further


Once you’ve implemented the above steps, you’ll have to assess whether the individual is making progress. Be honest with yourself; if the employee continues to disrupt the work environment, you must take further action. Keep your superiors informed of the entire process, as they need to understand how this employee’s negativity impacts the entire team and overall productivity. You may want to work with your HR specialist as well to develop and implement an escalation program which includes termination for lack of compliance.


How to handle a toxic manager:


Learn to Speak Their Language


Dealing with a difficult boss is not an ideal situation for an employee. But sometimes learning more about your boss – their likes, dislikes, goals and fears – can work in your favour. Observe your boss’s behaviours and preferences; if you speak to your boss’s core interests and match their style of communication, it can be a great way to get them to listen to what you have to say.


Focus on Their Strengths, Help with Their Weaknesses


You can help your boss by emphasizing what they’re already good at. A great way is to help them improve their own performance. If your manager lacks organization, offer to help him or her stay on top of their schedule. If showing up late to meetings is a problem for your boss, take the initiative to start the next one yourself. If you help your boss succeed, you’ll be seen as an asset, and the work you’ve put into making the company better will be appreciated.


Address Your Concerns Directly


Don’t be afraid to speak up, you owe it to yourself and your boss to be honest about how you feel. Although it may be easier to keep quiet or move on to the next opportunity, give your boss a chance to respond. If you approach them respectfully and with the intent of mending the relationship, you may be surprised to see it open a new level of trust and collaboration between you. And at the very least, you can tell yourself that you gave them the opportunity to change.


If All Else Fails, Prepare for Your Next Move


You’ve exhausted all your resources, and you’re content to move on to another company, so prepare yourself for this change. There’s nothing worse than escaping one toxic work environment and moving to an even worse one, so do your research: Meet your new co-workers for coffee and learn more about the work culture; ask questions about the team you may be joining and what sort of management practices are common. Whether you’re moving internally to another department or joining a new company entirely, it never hurts to be prepared.


Aileen Ormoc | Contributing Writer

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Blog

Have you experienced job rejection at some point in your life?  If so, don’t be discouraged.  You’re not alone.  Almost all of us have gone through the process.  It is commonly encountered, yet it can be avoided.  Though causing much disappointment, the reasons behind job rejection are oftentimes beyond your control.  Among these could be: the cancellation of the advertised position due to recession or cost-cutting; the hiring of a more qualified person; or, the hiring of somebody based on “who-he-knows” contrary to the “what-he-knows” process.


On the flip-side, there are also many factors that are within your control.  Below are common ones to take note of, with corresponding tips on how to prevent rejection:


Resumes and Cover Letters


Lengthy, irrelevant resumes – Limit your resume to 2 pages as recruiters only spend 6 seconds when screening.  Ensure that it contains all the essential elements like the keywords indicated in the job posting plus any of your specific achievements that relate to the position being applied for.  It should be error-free, no discrepancies like employment gaps, and with simple but effective format.


Irrelevant cover letters – Customize the cover letter for every job position that you apply for.  Ensure to attach your resume when you send it via email.


Incomplete applications – Read the job ad properly and make sure that you comply with what the employer requires, i.e., video resumes, work samples.


Interviews


Being late – Always come early for an interview.  Arriving late will give the employer an impression of your carelessness and unreliability.  Inform the employer ahead if you cannot be punctual on the day of the interview.


Being unprepared – Conduct a research about the company and the position being applied for before the interview.  Nonetheless, do not forget to mention what you can bring to the table as the company wants to know how they will benefit from you.


Lack of technical knowledge or giving short and non-substantive answers – Respond in more detail to technical questions.  Showcase your core competencies by elaborating your answers.  Do it in a clear, concise, and engaging manner and give specific examples of competencies by using the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, and Result) technique.


Inability to relate – You should relate your skills to the position being interviewed for or in addressing the company needs.


Lack of enthusiasm – Be energetic; show your interest and excitement about the job and the company.


Asking the wrong questions – Never ask about vacation and other related questions as this will reflect what’s on your mind.


Dressing improperly – Dress professionally and neatly as this reflects the type of personality that you have.  Cover body prints or remove piercings, if any.


If you are not successful in securing a position, don’t despair.  Never make the mistake of perceiving rejection as a sign of failure; rather, view it as a test to your patience and resilience.  Rationalize it by thinking that the firm which rejected you is the wrong company and that you deserve a better one; yet, be cognizant of the stiff competition given the large population of job searchers composed of the unemployed like you, the yearly addition of fresh graduates, and those from recent company layoffs.


Make it a habit to analyze your job application process, what worked and what did not.  Learn from each experience.  Identify your mistakes, make improvements, and move on.  There are plenty of opportunities out there.  Widen your network.  Connect and make yourself visible.  Build your core strengths, be more competitive, focus on other opportunities, and continue to present yourself to the best you can.  Don’t give up!  Sooner than you expect, a better opportunity will come along.


M. L. Galvez-Ver | Contributing Writer

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Blog

Recruiting metrics are used to gather and analyze information to improve a business’ hiring process. Recruiters and stakeholders must remain aware of evolving trends to successfully manage turnover.


Sourcing Quality Hires


Recruiting managers are deployed to proactively leverage the sourcing channels used to hire quality recruits. Some of the most common sourcing channels include referrals, recruitment agencies, resume search, social media shares, notifications, career sites, and other job boards. To ensure recruiter efficiency, metrics and activities reported in a timely manner can identify potential problems and opportunities for improvement.


Pipeline Development


A key business goal is to develop a pipeline of quality candidates, which hiring managers can call upon when positions have to be filled. This facilitates easy tracking and monitoring of leads, while also managing traditional metrics, such as the Interview-to-Offer Ratio (the number of interviews to the number of offers extended) and Offer-to-Acceptance Ratio (the number of actual hires versus the hiring goal).


New Growth Attrition Rates


In some cases, more time is spent on replacing employees instead of growing the team. Some businesses experience higher turnover rates in particular industries, which can result in high vacancy rates. Lower turnover is a main indicator of the effectiveness of the recruitment process. It demonstrates that real value is being contributed to the growth and success of the business.


Performance Dashboards


To benchmark performance success, dashboards create a snapshot of key performance indicators for further examination and analysis. For instance, the amount of revenue generated is a clear indication of whether a growing organization should hire. They also act as a tool to measure productivity.


Candidate Satisfaction


Satisfaction ratings can provide essential feedback from new hires and employees who are seeking opportunities for internal mobility. From the candidate’s perspective, feedback from the interview process through post-recruitment surveys can influence the company’s recruitment strategy. The surveys can identify gaps in the recruitment process and provide critical information for the improvement of recruitment campaigns.


In the information age, many businesses have implemented software tools, such as the Human Resource Information Systems, which aid in facilitating easy review of pertinent human resources functions. Most importantly, this system software encompasses metrics for monitoring and tracking recruiting data. Success factors can be achieved when a business efficiently and effectively understands the benefits derived from making investments in the Human Resource Information System.


L. Chadee | Contributing Writer

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Blog

Everyone who has ever worked on a team will agree that the key ingredient to a successful team is collaboration, yet few have a thorough understanding of what this entails. Collaboration is a team’s ability to interact efficiently and work towards achieving a common goal. However, numerous studies show that without openness, any opportunity for collaboration will be lost, and the team will fail.


What’s the best way to create a sense of openness within your team? Consider the following tips:


Open Communication is Key


Open communication is not limited to your organizational hierarchy or a set team meeting. Team members should have access to opportunities and resources to communicate whenever and wherever it’s necessary. One way to create an open communication dynamic is for yourself and your team to familiarize yourselves with Tuckman’s Team Development Model. Assess what stage your team is at, and proceed from there.


Actively Listen to Team Members


While many of us hear what others are saying, we rarely truly listen. By encouraging team members to listen to one another and acknowledge understanding of their peers’ ideas, you’re facilitating improved productivity in all relevant processes. If your company employs remote workers, always make them feel as if they are in the room with the rest of your team to help encourage effective participation.


Establish Transparency Across All Operations


Transparency in your business practices is one of the shortest paths towards creating an open and supportive workplace. Before team members can trust one another, they need to be able to trust that the company’s mission, vision, and values are in line with their own. Not only will this improve collaboration within your team, but it also encourages accountability for every action taken.


Turn Failures into Learning Opportunities


The largest setback for many a team is the fear of failure, which often stems from leaders who focus on the here and now rather than the big picture. Remember, there is no innovation without risk. The simplest way to get this message across is to openly encourage risk-taking within your team. Although not all risks lead to rewards, allowing your team members to implement their own personal touch in company operations promotes trust and flexibility in the workplace.


Plan Regular Team-Building Exercises


At the end of the day, a team is a group of human beings who must feel comfortable to step outside of their respective comfort zones to share their ideas with others. In addition to open group discussions, members should be encouraged to grow closer through informal activities, such as lunch outings, to help promote mutual support and trust.


Openness inspires creativity. As Steve Jobs once said, the larger your “bag of experiences,” the more diverse the connections you can make between the ideas set before you. Creating a sense of openness within your team is not only beneficial for the team’s overall performance, but also for each team member’s individual growth and development.


Diana Spektor | Contributing Writer

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Blog

There is a lot of competition in the workforce, not just in finding a job but also for attaining a higher position or raise. Being a good worker is not enough, as most employees in a company are. Great employees possess special characteristics that differentiate them from the rest. They do things differently and take advantage of opportunities that are presented to them. The following are some of the traits a great employee should have:


Takes action. Waiting for instructions and only doing what is require is what an average worker does. A great employee will go further, even if it is risky. They go the extra mile to make a difference and they are the ones who take on the tough tasks others are not willing to do.


Passion. They love their job and are enthusiastic about it. They go to work not just for a pay check or promotion, but for the satisfaction of what they do.


Ambition. Career success is one of their main goals. Employee’s ambition is what helps a company succeed. They create new ideas and are always looking for new ways to make procedures more effective and efficient.


Autonomy. The ability to work without supervision is key for effectiveness. A manager needs to work with people that will not require too much hand-holding or supervision. Employees who understand instructions quickly and are able to help others do so are an asset for any company.


Energy. People with good energy and a positive attitude are not just more productive, they also help make the work environment more enjoyable. Having someone on the team that is always positive and enthusiastic helps others do their job better and contributes to a better workday.


Reliability. This is one of the most important aspects, as having someone you can trust and depend on is key for success. It’s imperative for a great employee to be dependable. Supervisors will be able to trust that any job given to this particular employee will be done on time and accurately. This is a person anyone can trust, and a true asset to the business.


Knowledge. They know their job and the company well. They know how to excel and understand how to best meet company goals. Understanding the company’s mission is important for them and knowing their supervisor or manager’s leadership and work style is key to their success.


Being a great employee takes time and dedication. Feeling appreciated and recognized also helps motivate workers to keep doing their best. If you are a company owner or manager, make sure to focus on these characteristics in your employees because even if they like their job, feeling undervalued will shadow all of their efforts and negatively affect their performance.


Viviana | Contributing Writer

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Blog, Human Resources

Finding a work-life balance is not easy. It’s important for an individual to have their employees’ support to achieve this. A person can only do so much if the company demands most of their time. In many cases, some businesses consider the number of hours the employees spend at work or their time-off to value their performance. Thankfully, more organizations are able to realize that the worker needs a work-life balance to be more productive. Helping your staff attain this goal will not just improve their daily operations, but also decrease the organization’s turnover rate. Listed are some of the benefits a business can offer to aid its workers.


Flexible Schedule

Create a program where employees can take a day or half day off by working extra hours during the week. This will assist your staff to have some time to work on personal tasks, be with family, or have an extra day before the weekend.


Telecommuting

Allow your personnel to work from home. It doesn’t have to be every day, but some days during the week will help. Nowadays, technology provides the option to authorize staff members to access the company network from home. They can also communicate with coworkers and managers from anywhere in the world as long as an internet connection is available. This will give flexibility to their schedule and allows for less time commuting.


Paternal Leave

In most countries, parents are entitled to a maternity/paternity leave when their baby is born. The length of the leave depends on the employer and government laws. But what most companies do not offer is a leave that allows parents to take time off when their children are in need of care, such as sickness or other emergencies. Employees always appreciate when management understands their needs and provides priority to family matters.


Lights Out Program

Establish a day during the week in which no one can work overtime. This policy ensures that staff members who often work extra hours take a much-needed break.


Vacation Time

Make sure your employees do not work for longer than 2 years without vacations. According to a Bankrate study, around 40% of Americans don’t take vacations. To avoid this, provide all the necessary tools, like work back-up to complete jobs before the absence.


Facilities

If your business can afford it, provide childcare and fitness amenities at work. These on-site services allow your personnel to spend less hours commuting and more hours taking care of their children or themselves.

Supporting your employees to achieve work-life balance will lead to a happier and healthier staff. Not to mention, higher productivity and lower turnover for the company. Create a win-win situation for everyone.


V.  Sanchez | Contributing Writer

 

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Blog, Human Resources

Who thought that having too many job options could be a bad thing? While it may be a win for highly qualified job seekers, it can make a recruiter’s job even more difficult when looking to hire top talent.

Mobile apps from companies like LinkedIn and Indeed have put the job search quite literally in the palms of candidates’ hands. A Pew Research Center study found that 54% of Americans have taken their job search online, while 45% have applied for a job online.

Employers must now entice potential candidates with more than just the promise of a hefty salary, and below are some examples of how to go above and beyond to attract top-level talent.

Professional Development and Growth

A recent study by recruiting firm The Execu|Search Group found that the opportunity for professional development is the leading factor influencing a candidate’s decision to accept a job offer. Not only will this help attract quality people, but the more satisfied your employees are with the opportunities for growth that you provide, the less likely they are to want to leave you for a competitor.

Work-Life Balance

In terms of job desirability, work-life balance comes in a close second after professional development. Providing flexibility when it comes to your employees’ work schedules is critical. More and more companies are allowing employees to work flextime hours or remotely from home. Research has consistently shown that an overworked staff is actually less productive, so you have lots of reason to strive for a healthy work-life balance beyond just attracting talent.

Teamwork

They say there’s no “I” in “team,” so it’s no surprise that studies have found that team-building activities improve communication as well as morale. Some simple examples include weekly team meetings, open seating arrangements, regular off-site activities, or the hiring of a team-building firm or consultant.

Independence

Team talk aside, the luxury of hiring top-tier candidates is that you can trust them to work independently. According to findings in The Journal of Occupational Health and Psychology, employees are more likely to succeed if they’re self-motivated. Employees perform better, are more engaged, and have a deeper investment in the company’s overall success as a result.

Corporate Culture

According to Psychology Today, the average person spends some of 90,000 hours at work over the course of their life. With that in mind, it’s no wonder that corporate culture is critical to our happiness. A company and colleagues that share an employee’s values and are committed to that individual’s satisfaction and comfort, in turn, makes that employee happy, which improves their job performance.

Creative Thinking

Thinking creatively shouldn’t just be left to “creative types.” When all employees are being creative is when they’re at their most engaged and are therefore experiencing the greatest enjoyment from what they do. According to a Gallup study, 70% of employees are not engaged at work. It’s another reason to find opportunities for your staff to express their creativity.

Critical Thinking

Creativity and problem-solving go hand-in-hand and produce similar positive results in terms of job satisfaction. When there’s opportunity for employees to be challenged and think critically, it makes them more connected, and also encourages collaboration between team members.

Greater Purpose

With millennials now a major presence in the job market, purpose has become far more of a priority, by as much as 50%. Job seekers are increasingly likely to want to work for a company that will allow them to have an impact on causes and issues that are important to them – and may even pass up a job opportunity if they don’t feel they’ll be able to get this sense of fulfilment. Giving employees a sense of purpose makes them more loyal to you and your company.

Perks

While rewards and perks may not rank as high in importance to employees today as they did in years past, they can still be a compelling reason to join an organization. While not all companies can provide catered meals like some Silicon Valley firms do, little things do count. The occasional paid-for staff lunch, half-day Fridays, and performance incentives are a few ideas to keep employees performing at peak levels.

Health Benefits

A Glassdoor survey found that 57% of people consider benefits before accepting a job. Investing in things like health benefits for your employees ensures that they’re healthy, happy, and more productive. While it may cost you as an employer to offer benefits, the rewards of being able to lure top-quality talent by doing so will pay off in the long run with a strong team. Plus, it shows your employees that you care about them.

Everyone deserves to feel valued and to work for a company that puts their employees’ happiness and success first. Remember, if you want to attract top talent, your company has to be on top of its game.

 

Laura D’Angelo

 

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Blog, Human Resources

Older generations have always been critical of the younger ones. From Socrates referring to youths as “bad-mannered tyrants with a lack of respect for their elders” to current young people being blamed for killing countless industries – the toxicity is real.

The current generation receiving the criticism flack is the “millennial,” currently between 21 and 37 years of age. The accusation that they’re the reason for the collapse of several businesses isn’t unfounded. They just can’t afford diamonds, houses, and sometimes even cereal. This comes as no surprise, as millennials carry an average debt of $42,000. As these debts soar and inflation continues to rise, it’s likely the deaths of once-booming industries won’t end any time soon. On the surface it appears as though millennials are doomed to fail, but is it all bad?

The average Canadian lifespan, as of 2011, is nearly 82 years. Compared to the 57-year average in 1921, Canadians are living approximately 25 years longer than previous generations. It was once believed that as people aged, they became more politically conservative. The millennial generation proves that it isn’t age that makes one conservative, but wealth – and millennials don’t have much of that. There’s a reason why money isn’t everything for the younger generation; they prioritize work that’s ethical and makes a social impact over a big paycheque, are more politically engaged, and more educated than any preceding generation (thus the heavy student-loan debt). Despite what some baby boomers might tell you, millennials are hard-working and motivated, making them an asset in the workplace.

Passion is what drives millennial ambitions. Previously, working hard at a job you hated wasn’t frowned upon. Now, you can work just as hard at a job you hate, just like your parents and their parents before them, and still struggle to make ends meet. Suddenly, working as a teacher might be just as risky as pursuing dreams of being an actor or painter.

But the ideal life is no longer built around a picket fence and a 9-to-5 job with benefits. In fact, millennials are dominating their side hustles, and putting their passions into overdrive on top of their regular work week. In the U.S., more than half of millennials are starting apps, freelancing their talents, or trying their hands at things like YouTube channels.

With all of this time and energy going towards work and passion projects, more and more members of this generation are waiting longer to have children, which also has its benefits. Having children later in life has proven to make you a more patient parent, and also makes you more likely to raise emotionally healthy adults. And, with people living into their eighties, waiting to have children doesn’t mean sacrificing time you get to spend with them.

All in all, millennials take a lot of criticism from previous generations, but obtaining multiple degrees and working longer hours doesn’t leave much time to dwell on those judgements. And eventually, we’ll turn our attention towards the entitled kids of the next generation.

 

Jasmine Cormier

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Human Resources

Beyond having the right product and service, it’s vitally important that every organization ensures that its employees are all good fits. Employing staff who are ill-suited to their jobs will cost your company time, money, and effort. However, with the proper tools, training, and direction, a new hire is a premium capital investment, and your company’s most valuable asset. 


While the world is increasingly driven by technology, nothing can replace old-fashioned experience and intuition, meaning your human resources department is required to ensure your greatest success in this regard.


With that in mind, here are some pointers to help you yield better results when seeking the perfect hire for your company.


Establish the Need to Hire
A proactive and strategic HR department will always ensure that the company has the right quantity and quality of people to keep the business running. In cases of manpower requisition, HR and management must be able to answer the two key questions before initiating recruitment:

  1. Is the vacancy created due to internal movement such as a resignation, maternity/paternity leave, demotion, or termination?
  2. If none of the above, is it due to business expansion?

Since hiring is an overhead expense, return on investment (ROI) should always be taken into consideration. It’s also crucial to examine your existing workforce, as you might have a potentially qualified internal candidate who’s long overdue for a promotion. Review employee profiles and records or announce vacancies internally. You can also check for underutilized personnel that can fill open positions. Only once you’ve fully exhausted your internal resources should you proceed with the search for an external candidate. Management, with the assistance of HR, may opt to promote from within or divide up the required duties within the department or the broader organization to save time and money while increasing employee motivation.


Conduct Job Analysis

Envision what you want and define your labour needs in clear terms. This tool is not only used in recruitment, it could also be a realistic basis for training, wage and salary administration, and job re-engineering. The output of job analysis is a well-crafted job description, which should be the foundation of a competency-based recruitment strategy. It clearly defines the scope and responsibilities of the job as well as relationship with other positions and departments. It should be up-to-date and include the reporting structure, challenges and opportunities, and qualifications.


Map Your Recruitment Platform

The goal is to have a systematic hiring process that will aid HR and management in attracting the best candidates for the job. The more qualified candidates you have, the more likely you are to find the ideal person for the position. Utilizing the details in the job description, management and HR will create job specifications, a salary range, and a hiring timeline. For employee morale, make sure to advertise the position internally; internal placement is a great way of motivating employees to perform well. If it’s to be an external hire, the reasons why should be clearly explained and communicated. One of the advantages of internal hiring is that culture fit – one of the top considerations in hiring – shouldn’t be an issue. When an internal candidate is offered the new position, a transition timeline with their current supervisor should be planned.


If there are no qualified internal candidates, HR can proceed to external sourcing, which should incorporate both traditional methods like posts on job boards (both online and offline), job fairs, campus recruitment at colleges and universities (if appropriate for the position), and social media. For more high-profile positions, HR should be trained on how to find skilled candidates who may not be openly searching for a new job.


Effective Screening and Selection

Most job postings will be met with a flood of applicants. To simplify HR’s job, setting criteria and preparing structured interview questions will aid in efficiently separating the best candidates from the pack, almost like a hiring scorecard. Effective HR should accomplish the following:

  1. Screen resumes by matching information to the job checklist.
  2. Conduct phone interviews with candidates who meet certain predetermined criteria (say, three out of five items on the checklist). The best of the phone-interview performers will be invited for a face-to-face interview. Again, based on internal scoring. HR should present the short-listed candidates to management.
  3. Verify credentials of the top three to five candidates by checking references (some industries also include a credit check as part of this process) and present the findings to management for the final hiring decision.

 

Overall, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to recruitment; it should always be tailored and catered to the type of business involved. By implementing the above tips, however, you’ll ensure that your organization is on the right track.


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