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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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  • 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.  http://www.accolo.com/wp-includes/js/tinymce/plugins/wordpress/img/trans.gif 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…

  • Talent Acquisition from the C-Level Perspective

    September 2, 2014
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    For the CEO, talent acquisition is at once far removed from the big picture of the company and a key component of just how pretty that big picture ends up being. Today’s executives are becoming more aware of the critical role that talent has to play in the continued growth and innovation at their companies. If you’ve been following the Accolo blog recently, we’ve been talking a lot about “the talent gap,” or the lack of availability of candidates with in-demand technical skills, and the impact that long vacancies and bad hires can have on the bottom line. For the most part, however, we’ve been talking about how people in recruiting and HR are meeting this challenge. While it’s important to know how HR views the talent gap, understanding the executive perspective can show you where resources may be allocated at your company in the near future. Understanding what’s important to CEOs will also help those in HR to present talent initiatives to management in the terms that executives want: hard numbers and solutions, not problems. That’s why, today, we’re going to be exploring how CEOs view today’s talent challenges, which talent issues they find to be most pressing and how prepared these executives believe their companies are for these challenges. Read More…

  • What Sort of Employment Brand is Your Online Presence Communicating?

    August 27, 2014
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    One of the biggest talent acquisition trends of the past year has been implementing effective employment branding strategies. The faith of employees in their employers is at an all time low (the majority of the employees in the United States are disengaged from their work), and this skepticism can be even more pronounced in the active and passive candidates that brave the job market on a daily basis. Negative criticism from frustrated job candidates and employees can spread rapidly over the internet and damage your company’s ability to attract talented hires.

    On top of overcoming the skepticism of the job seeking public, businesses must also adjust their recruiting and branding strategies to address the shift toward a candidate driven job market. Where, in the past, it was enough for companies to simply post vacancies, a bare bones recruiting strategy won’t generate the strong brand necessary to attract talent to your company. Pros with high levels of skill have options, and they know it. If you were in their shoes: receiving multiple communications, from multiple recruiters per-week, then you’d be in a comfortable position indeed. In today’s job market, success in attracting highly skilled employees has a lot to do with the working environment that your employer brand communicates to active and passive job seekers. Read More…

  • Why You Should Hire the Over-Qualified

    August 25, 2014
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    You don’t usually expect a man dying of thirst to object to a cup of water being too large or cold. Generally, when someone with a strong need encounters the solution to that need, you expect them to grab onto the opportunity with both hands and count their lucky stars that the problem is finally solved. That’s what you’d expect, anyways. According to the Amtec blog, the skill gap is having a significant impact on the ability of employers to make timely hires, especially for hires in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields. In fact, it’s so tough to fill specialty positions that 40% of companies report that certain jobs are remaining open for six months or longer. With all of the discourse taking place in the hiring world on ways to address the skill gap, you’d think that employers are more thirsty for talent than ever before. Read More…

  • What Can HR Learn from the Life of Robin Williams?

    August 22, 2014
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    By Randi Curhan

    Since the announcement of Williams’ untimely death, news and social media have been flooded with accounts of the kindness he exhibited over his lifetime. Robin’s willingness to go to bat for everyone -from his closest old friends, young co-stars, US troops, the homeless and random strangers he encountered – stands out in stark relief to today’s self-centered, narcissistic, celebrity pop-culture and anonymous online “social” interactions.

    Living in the Bay Area, there have been countless stories of his down-to-earth accessibility to everyone from shop owners to car valets. Robin was willing to use his comedy, Patch Adams style, to put a smile on the faces of those around him, especially those who were in pain. While his body of work was genius, Robin Williams’ kind deeds and humanity will be as large a part of why he will remain one of the most 
    beloved and revered actors of all time. Read More…

  • Active and Passive Job Seekers Prefer to Apply Through Facebook

    August 21, 2014
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    How many hours do you spend on Facebook at work every week? A few minutes here and there while munching on a bagel? An hour or two over the course of a slow afternoon?  If your answer is 20+ hours, you’re either: every boss’s worst nightmare or a recruiter/hiring manager utilizing one of the fastest growing candidate sourcing tools at your disposal. Social media, the one-time bane of workplace productivity, has, over the past ten years, transformed into one of today’s fastest growing recruiting channels. By maintaining a worthwhile social media presence (posting updates about company news and accomplishments, posting interesting 3rd party or original content and posting job opportunities), you’re presenting both active and passive job seekers with a chance to engage with your brand through a platform that they use every single day. Besides the fact that you don’t have to pay to post about your open jobs through social media; studies suggest that social networks, and Facebook in particular, are one of the best channels for businesses to bond with potential employees. Whether its high rate of conversion, (from someone discovering a job listing on Facebook to that someone applying for that job) has to do with its user-friendliness or the wide array of content that can be featured on the site, the bottom line is that Facebook is your best choice for pushing your open jobs out onto social networks. Read More…