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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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  • Free LinkedIn Job Posting

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    LinkedIn LogoAs of March 7, 2014 the Bureau of Labor Statistics has announced that unemployment is at 6.7%. That is about 10.5 million people who don’t have jobs. Unfortunately, this isn’t a joke. Accolo is always looking to help reduce the unemployment rate, and that’s why we want to partner with you – To tackle unemployment even if it’s one job at a time!

    Try Accolo during the month of April and you’ll get a Free LinkedIn Job posting! 92% of businesses are using social media to find the best candidates, and we’ll help you join them.

    We know that we can help you fill any position, no matter how hard it is, and we know that we’ll even introduce you to your next hire within an average of 8 days!

  • Success for Baby Food Entrepreneurs “Tasty”

    February 28, 2014
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    Some of the greatest business success stories start when enterprising consumers experience a hole in the marketplace first hand. Just take Liane Weintraub and Shannan Swanson, two health conscious moms from Los Angeles who were surprised at the scarcity of organic baby food available to them. With so few healthy options available to them, Liane and Shannon (who has worked as a cook for Wolfgang Puck) decided to whip up some healthy, home-made baby goop. But don’t let their good intentions and the fact Liane’s baby taste tested their first recipes fool you. From the very beginning, it was all about getting their product onto the shelves for these enterprising ladies.  Read More…

  • Hate Your Job? Get Out of There!

    February 27, 2014
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    Would you show up to work tomorrow if you won the lottery? While this may seem like a no-brainer, you might be surprised by the amount of folks that  would continue to work if they suddenly came into a vast amount of money. According to Gallup, 63% of workers who are “Engaged” with their job would go to work, same as always (well, with the addition of some new Italian leather shoes and a convertible). While that’s a pretty big percentage, you have to keep in mind that engaged workers are in the clear minority in the United States, representing under 1/3 of the workforce. For the rest of us, who would have a healthy preference for cruises and caviar over our 9 to 5 (given that we hit the jackpot, of course), you can bet that there would at least be some extended vacationing if not an outright move to Tahiti or some other island paradise.

    What if you can’t even think about your job or some of your co-workers without getting agitated? If you hate your job, make like you won the lotto and get a move on! Read More…

  • Scott Harrison: How Cleaning Up His Act Lead to Cleaning Up Water

    February 26, 2014
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    In case you missed our feature on Richard Montañez earlier this week, this week’s theme on the Accolo blog is stories of business success. It’s important to keep track of stories like Richard’s simply for the reason that it’s important to keep success as not just a possibility within our minds, but a tangible end result for our hard work. Sure, not every business venture works out and not every great idea that you’ve ever had has amounted to anything useful, but that’s precisely what makes success so meaningful when you do achieve it. It’s the struggle that you faced along the way that makes the victory that much sweeter in the end. Just take today’s inspiring story Scott Harrison, founder of Charity: Water. His organization has raised over 70 million to help combat the global water crisis, which accounts for about 80% of the sickness on earth.  Read More…

  • Falling Back In Love With Your Job

    February 25, 2014
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    Falling out of love with your job is pretty common. Heck, being in love with your job in the first place actually puts you in a pretty small minority of professionals in the United States. According to Gallup’s last “State of the American Workplace” report, only 30% of this country’s workforce is “engaged,” meaning that they are: “involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to their work and contribute to their organization in a positive manner.” Now, to me, this definition doesn’t sound like the sort of passion that a lot of people equate with someone who loves their job. It sounds more like the ingredients to a successful marriage: involvement, commitment and contribution. While you may not be able to fall head over heals for your job, you might be able to get a little more out of your 9 to 5 by putting a little more in every once in a while. So, let me be your love doctor for the next few minutes and we’ll try to figure out what exactly the problem is.  Read More…

  • Richard Montañez: From Janitor to Vice President

    February 24, 2014
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    Photo: www.thewatchdogonline.com

    This week on the Accolo blog, we thought it would be nice to feature some of the most inspiring business stories that we could dig up in order to…well, inspire you guys. It’s pretty easy to lose sight of the big picture in the day-to-day of your working life and you might even have forgotten why you got into your line of work in the first place. It’s important to remember that you always have options and that there’s no reason why you can’t have the next 1 million dollar idea for your company. Just take the example of Richard Montañez, the one time janitor at he Frito Lay factory who invented Flamin’ Hot Cheetoes and is now the executive vice president of multicultural sales and community activation for PepsiCo North America. Read More…

  • Which Business Type Are You?

    February 21, 2014
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    Does work ever seem like and episode of The Office to you? There’s that person who’s always trying to do the least work possible (Stanley), that person who gets way too serious about birthdays/holidays/anything that requires planning (Angela),  and, of course, that boss that makes everything a bit more… interesting (Michael Scott). Stereotypes, while potentially hurtful, usually come from somewhere. There’s no way that you haven’t made assumptions about a co-worker that you thought was lazy or erratic or just way too freekin’ cheerful all the time. And how often have those assumptions been correct? It’s true that an individual person is pretty distinct,  but, at work, it doesn’t always matter who we are on the inside. If your boss has a temper like an active volcano, you probably aren’t too interested in the reason behind why they make your day more stressful. You just accept the fact that their attitude makes them pretty difficult to work with and file them away under “Hot-Head” in your mental Rolodex.  Read More…

  • Improving Your Communication Skills

    February 20, 2014
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    The ability to communicate clearly and effectively is one of the most important “soft skills” for professionals to have. Unless you’re running a 1 man start up or have robots for co-workers, you’re going to have to work with other people, which will require a lot of back-and-forth, explanations and even some good old fashioned convincing. Even if you don’t work closely with a group of colleagues, working on your communication skills will only benefit you in the long run. Aside from making things run more smoothly between you and your co-workers, practicing good communication will also benefit you throughout your life, making everything from family matters to romance run a bit more smoothly. 

    The first step that you should take if you’re trying to improve your communication skills is to self-test for bad speaking habits, or speech patterns that get in the way of being understood or taken seriously. What I mean by “speaking habits” are those fallback phrases that so many of us use when we need a moment during a conversation. Words like “like” and “um” are conversational crutches, plain and simple. While you might be relaying a compelling, articulate argument otherwise, saying “like, 50,000 units” or “um, yes” can really knock you down a peg in terms of how professional and intelligent you seem. Even though these speech patterns are pervasive (especially in the younger generations), most professionals believe that it’s kind of…well, unprofessional. We use these words to stall; making them place holders for those split seconds of silence in which we decide what comes next in our trains of thought. Instead of using these verbal crutches, try omitting them. Using these silences in conversation makes you appear deliberate and thoughtful, pretty much the opposite of what people will think about someone who is “like, pretty sure about that.”

    The next step in improving your communication skills has to do with tone. Now, most people are pretty used to the way that they talk, making it hard to detect how they sound to others. You can try to pay more attention to the way that you come off (impatient, unsure, enthusiastic, etc.), but a much easier way is to record yourself the next few times that you’re on the phone with a customer, client or colleague. Being recorded will make you speak a little differently than usual, making this an effective exercise. Pay attention to the mental corrections that you make throughout the conversation. Are you reminding yourself to speak with more conviction or in a way that sounds engaged? Are you trying to hide your frustration with a difficult customer a little more than usual? While we make these sorts of corrections to our speech constantly (often without even realizing that we do it), they are a reaction to how we perceive our own side of the conversation. If you are trying to sound more enthusiastic, chances are that your delivery might be a bit flat when you’re not paying attention.

    Developing the ability to hear yourself objectively will help you to change any bad speaking habits that you’ve picked up over the years. Whether that habit is using abrupt, terse language in your conversations with co-workers or ending all of your sentences with an upward inflection (making everything you say sounds sort of like a question), developing the ability to sense how you’re communicating will help you to get rid of these habits and improve your communication overall.

  • Where Does All Your Money Go?

    February 19, 2014
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    We could all probably be a bit more frugal. We all have blind spots where money is concerned, and that goes double when we purchase the things that we enjoy or “need”. For instance, you don’t “need” a new phone or laptop every year,  but, if you happen to have a weakness for shiny new gadgets, you factor it into your budget the same way that you would food, utilities or the roof over your head (rent, mortgage, etc). A little splurge on nice shoes or a new piece of tech every once in a while probably won’t push you out onto the streets, but getting into bad spending habits is best to be avoided. The most important thing to do with your finances is to keep track of where and how much you’re spending. That way, if you need to do some belt tightening, it’s easier to see what needs to be cut to keep everything running smoothly. Read More…

  • How Personal is Too Personal In the Office?

    February 18, 2014
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    Forming relationships with the people that you work with is only natural. Companies hire based on the professional competencies of candidates, but also for how well they envision the new hire getting along with the existing staff. This means that, whether you think so or not, you probably have a bit more in common with your co-workers than you realize. If you’re on good terms with the people that you work with, you have undoubtedly seen the advantages that these relationships bring. They’re more willing to help you, even if they aren’t working on the same project, and are just more likely to improve your day through interacting with them. But, as you’ve probably guessed from the title, some things just aren’t appropriate for the professional context. While you’re getting to know your co-workers, you want to watch how much you share and how much they share with you. If you’ve heard gossip from them, how do you know that your sensitive story won’t be their next talking point? Getting too personal (or to nosy), too quickly can strain relationships between colleagues and make what was a productive, healthy relationship into a stifled, awkward mess.  Read More…