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Interview Questions that Reveal Everything

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You have thirty minutes to gather all the information you need to make the perfect hire. You’re aware of the negative impact that a bad hire has on a company and you want to leave confident knowing you made the right decision. Where do you start? Our own John Younger offers up his top three interview questions that reveal everything about the candidate.

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  • The Importance of Teamwork in Hiring

    November 10, 2014
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    The recent San Francisco Giants World Series win is a great story of teamwork, communication and determination. To advocate further playoff competition, the MLB decided to add an extra wild card team to the playoffs, making for two teams that would face a single-game elimination before advancing into the Divisional Series. For the second time in baseball history, the two Wild Card teams – the San Francisco Giants and the Kansas City Royals – beat the odds and advanced to the World Series. Despite a rocky season and countless team injuries, the Giants persevered through hard work and collective commitment to victory in Game Seven.

    The importance of teamwork, communication and the pursuit of a common goal does not only apply to professional athletes; all aspects of your talent acquisition process should be working together toward a single goal: making a hire that will drive success in your organization. The only catch is that, depending on the size of your company and your hiring demands, you could very well have several processes or people within your recruiting function working towards different objectives.

    In order to achieve World Series-level success in your hiring efforts, it is important to examine each functional unit of your recruiting process and ensure that all of your resources are playing on the same team, so to speak. Read More…

  • Major Cities Are Banning Criminal Background Checks

    October 30, 2014
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    The best way to achieve a truly unbiased hiring process is to ensure that every applicant is given the same opportunity to get the job. If any personal information about an applicant (e.g. age, sexual orientation, race) effects his or her fate in the screening process, then the hiring process cannot be considered unbiased. There are a few reasons why an impartial candidate selection process is essential. First, and most notoriously, failing to screen applicants in a way that complies with EEOC and federal hiring regulations can lead to legal repercussions for the company and the offending hiring manager or managers.

    Besides the fact that it is the law, the candidate-driven marketplace has made an equitable hiring process essential for maintaining positive candidate perceptions of your organization. Introducing bias into any selection process will skew your results, meaning that the best fit candidate for the job may be eliminated unnecessarily. Today’s blog will discuss an emerging trend of city and state government agencies banning criminal background checks on the grounds that they negatively impact the chances of past offenders of being considered for the job, let alone hired. Read More…

  • A Bad Application Experience can Drive Away Candidates

    October 23, 2014
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    How has your hiring process changed over the past five years? Has your organization, in response to the candidate driven job market, placed a greater emphasis on providing a courteous, easy application process for interested professionals? Has your organization, in order to create a pipeline of ready and willing passive candidates, followed up with every person who applies regardless of their status in the consideration process? In this blog, we will examine how the quality of a candidate’s application experience influences their perception of the company that they applied to. Forming positive relationships with the candidates who show interest in your organization can both improve your reputation with job seekers and fill your talent pipeline with willing candidates for future hiring. The only catch is that some of today’s most common screening practices are causing candidates to have negative application experiences.

    There have been significant changes to the candidate search since the early 2000′s. Where paper resumes and spread sheets once ruled, more advanced recruiting tools such as applicant tracking systems have proven themselves to be more effective for sourcing and evaluating candidates.  Similarly, many of the hiring conventions that companies have followed for years or even decades are being questioned, tested and, often, dismantled by hard facts. One practice that has emerged as essential in recent years is providing all candidates with a respectful, consistent interviewing and hiring process.

    In today’s candidate driven market, companies must see the application process as two-sided. Candidates are just as capable of rejecting your organization as you are of rejecting them, and, if you don’t present them with a compelling reason to choose to work for your organization over another, well, you might lose great talent to your competition.

    Read More…

  • Why Bonuses Can’t Solve Your Retention Problems

    September 22, 2014
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    Hiring is important, but the act of getting a candidate to sign their working life over on the dotted line is only the first step in that employee’s relationship with your company. In order for your company’s staffing efforts to be truly effective, you need to make sure that the people you’re hiring, actually sticking around for a while to do some good work for your company. Because that’s what hiring is, not an end to itself, but the process of finding the best possible person to fill a role within your company. If employees are leaving your company just as fast as you can fill positions (or even faster) then you’ve got to place more of an emphasis on strengthening the retention arm of your staffing function. Even if you had the most efficient, broad and selective candidate screening process in the world, it wouldn’t mean a thing if the hires that you make don’t stick around for long enough to give you some return on your investment. In light of the increasingly difficult hiring conditions faced by employers in this country and the accelerating rate of turnover, it’s more important now than ever before to make retaining the talent that you can attract, a top priority. Read More…

  • Work-Life Integration v.s. Work/Life Balance

    September 18, 2014
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    There has always been work that’s needed to be done. Whether it’s plowing your father’s field, making mud bricks or collating insurance claims, work makes the world go round and has since the dawn of society. Yep, work is a fact of life, but that doesn’t mean that everyone out there can face the facts. Right now, the majority of the workers in this country, 70% to be exact, are reporting that they are either “disengaged” or “actively disengaged” from their work. A disengaged employee has little to no connection with the work that they do and, consequently, doesn’t care enough to do more than the bare minimum required of them. An actively disengaged employee will take this detachment even further, caring so little for their position that they try to get away with sub-standard work and may even be actively working against the company’s interests.

    A company made up of disengaged workers is not one that’s thriving. Disengagement causes productivity to drop, turnover to rise and quality to falter across the board. Do you really want employees to be thinking “Eh, good enough. Time to go home,” when they finish a project or do you want them thinking, “Huh, could this use some more work?” The difference between a disengaged employee and the kind you want can be the difference between mistakes getting fixed and mistakes getting covered up. While there plenty of reasons why someone might not like their job, one of the most common is feeling like you have a bad work/life balance. Today, we’ll be talking about how companies are addressing the issue of the work/life balance and how the term “work/life balance” might even be part of the problem with reconciling the two. Read More…

  • Communicate Effectively to Build Employee Engagement

    September 16, 2014
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    Obligations are a funny thing. Even though people with obligations are, well, obligated to live up to them, it doesn’t necessarily mean that this duty will have any bearing on their actions. Gainful employment generally comes with a whole bunch of obligations tied up in a neat little bow, specific deliverables and standards for the employee to measure up against and aspire to surpass. But what happens when the obligations that an employee is given don’t bare any significance to them or the consequences of failing to live up to these expectations fail to scare them straight? Gone are the days when “because you have to” is a good enough reason for an employee to get back to work. Today, the majority of employees aren’t engaged at work and a good portion of this group has actually become “actively disengaged,” meaning that they’ve given up completely and are, in some cases, actively working against the company.

    While the more extreme cases of disengagement are generally an obvious thorn in their manager’s side, the quieter, more typical case of disengagement is much harder to spot and can cause an employee to walk the brink of under-productivity for months or even years. According to Gallup, 70% of the employees are disengaged, meaning that, if your company is more engaged than average, about half of your workers are gluing on a happy face every morning and going through the motions without a thought to what those motions are. Besides the lost potential for productivity and innovation, disengagement can easily spread if your company culture (explicitly or not) permits this behavior. Just think: if all you heard your c0-workers talk about was how they plan on switching companies or how they hate their job, would it inspire you to work even harder to make up for their shortcomings or just accept the hugeness of the complacency problem and count down the clock till quitting time? Read More…

  • How Your Employees Can Help You Attract Tech Talent

    September 12, 2014
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    Keeping up with technology can be a real pain. I mean, innovation never stops, even if the steps forward come in shorter and shorter increments. You know that exasperated feeling that overtakes you when, after finally getting around to upgrading some piece of technology, an even more tuned up model appears on the market. If you’ve been working for 30 years, you’ve seen an insane level of technology adoption across all industries: type writers to computers, monochrome monitors to touch screens, the internet. As the technological infrastructure that’s considered “standard” in various industries continues to grow more sophisticated, the talent required to operate this ever improving technology becomes similarly advanced.

    Unfortunately, just as everyone has to get their hands on the latest gadget on the market, employers across the country are finding a new need for the latest tech talent, making it harder than ever to recruit these computer savvy pros. Besides the challenge of recruiting from a small, highly competitive candidate pool, recruiters and hiring managers are running into difficulties when they make contact with technologically skilled candidates. Developers, one of the most in demand positions in this country, are frequently contacted by recruiters, making a job opportunity nothing more than a routine annoyance for many of them. These guys have options, lots of em’, and when you sound like just another recruiter who doesn’t know the first thing about the job you’re offering, you won’t generate much interest on their part. The solution is simple: get them talking with someone at your company who does understand the work they’d be doing, namely, another developer. When you’re looking to appeal to tech workers, incorporating your own into the recruiting process can lend your company a great deal of creditably in the candidate’s eyes. Read More…

  • Rally Point: A Network Where Businesses and Veterans can Connect

    September 10, 2014
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    Changing careers is tough. When you’ve been working with an organization for years, it can be hard to adapt to a different way of doing things, especially these days. In today’s unforgiving job market, many employers are emphasizing direct experience (experience in the exact role that they’re advertising) as the end all and be all of candidate value. The only problem with demanding direct experience is that, if the desired talent is in short supply; your candidate pool will be more like a candidate puddle before too long. Most of the jobs being advertised right now are for positions that have only just been created, further decreasing the likelihood of your candidate search producing a candidate with the direct experience that you’re looking for.

    Due to this overarching employer preference to avoid risk and hire for direct experience, it has become harder than ever for job seekers to get their foot in the door, even if they have experience closely related to the vacant position. And this goes double for veterans. After departing completely from civilian life, living and fighting in foreign lands and sacrificing for your country, making the transition back to the working world can be a challenge. And this is especially true if, say, you went into the military right after high school. Many veterans are trained extensively in technology and are generally highly disciplined and highly valuable employees. Given what our veterans have sacrificed, it’s great to see more resources emerging to help job seeking veterans make the transition from a military career to the next step in their working lives. Read More…

  • Attracting Candidates With Your Company’s Mission

    September 8, 2014
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    A common purpose is a powerful motivational tool. In the hit summer blockbuster, Guardians of the Galaxy, savvy assassins, crass aliens and renegade outlaws band together in an unlikely collective in order to save a planet from total destruction, putting aside their differences to work toward something greater than themselves. Though your business might lack the computer rendered star ships and explosions that draws an audience of millions, you, like every company, have the opportunity to use your mission to strengthen your appeal to job seekers.

    Every company has a primary objective, so what’s yours? In order to attract the high level talent that you’re looking for, you must provide a clear, appealing company mission for high level talent to gravitate toward. Today’s job seeker, whether they’re experienced or entry level, whether they’re passive or active in their job search, wants more than just some job. Job seekers, especially millennial job seekers, want to identify with their employer. They want their daily work to be aligned with a greater purpose outside of your company’s walls and to know that they’re having an impact on the world through your company. Even if your company won’t make a huge impact on the future of the human race, simply making your company’s mission a greater part of your employment branding strategy will make your organization much more 3 dimensional and appealing for job seekers. Read More…

  • Why it Pays to Connect With Candidates

    September 4, 2014
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    After sourcing your way through pages of emails and mountains of resumes, after interviewing dozens of people dozens of times, you’ve finally, finally narrowed your hiring decision down to the last couple of qualified candidates. And boy are they qualified! These two were just what you were looking for: they’ve got the skills, they’ve done their research on your company and they even seem pretty friendly to boot! Though you’re pretty sure that it would be a good move to hire both of them, you’ve only got enough in the budget to hire one of these talented professionals. Though this is a problem that most hiring managers love to have, it’s not one that most experience. According to the Amtec Blog, 40% of companies report that certain positions are remaining open for 6 months or longer, due to a lack of qualified candidates. But, for now, let’s go on pretending that you’ve got that not-so-problematic problem of choosing between your 2 dream hires: which to bring into the fold at your firm and which to cast into the abyss, never to be seen again. Read More…