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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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  • Wondering How To Keep Your Employee’s Engaged?

    February 5, 2014
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    While most of us would probably choose a sunny beach over the cold glare of our computer screen any day of the week, there’s a a big difference between a healthy desire for time off and dreading coming into work in the morning. The main difference between a person who wishes that they had more vacation days one that wishes that their office building would get a termite infestation is that the first person would probably feel refreshed and ready to work after a little R&R. The second person, however, would be straight back to their old, dead-eyed ways after just a few days back on the job. If left unaddressed, employee disengagement can reach a level where motivational words and reprimands have little to no effect on their level of engagement. The key to improving employee engagement is to open a dialogue with your dissatisfied employees before they find another job or turn into a Dilbert comic strip.  Read More…

  • How Training Can Make Good Employees Great

    February 4, 2014
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    People are always changing. Whether it’s as shallow as their dress sense or as deep as their purpose in life, if you know somebody for long enough, you’re bound to see something unexpected to come to the surface. These changes might come from external pressures or they can just seem to spring from nowhere. If you’ve hired or facilitated in the hiring of a good many people at your company, then you know that you can’t really predict where they are going to end up. Sure, some of the hires that you thought were going to be a success might have climbed right up the ladder, but just think about all of the successes that you didn’t see coming. Even though they might have appeared to be “qualified but nothing special” when they were first starting, they made a name for themselves at your company in the end. The point is that, you can’t always tell who’s going to wash out and who’s going to be a success on day 1. By providing your employees with the resources to learn and grown as they work, you’re investing in their potential for greatness.  Read More…

  • Mastering the Mindset of the Millennial Candidate

    February 3, 2014
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    HR.com Talent Acquisition ExcellenceThe other day I was privy to attend HR.com’s 2014 Talent Acquisition Excellence Forum and loved the many takeaways that were throughout the sessions. That being said, there were definitely some sessions that struck closer to home than others. A prime example was the Careerbuilder.com and Hewlett-Packard (HP) presentation: “Mastering the Mindset of the Millennial Candidate”.

    In this fast past global economy, the workforce is quickly changing. By the year 2025, 75% of ALL workers in the United States will be millennials[1]. A scary thought, isn’t it? Before we jump into the reason why it’s scary, or how to work with the millennial, we should define what a millennial really is. Read More…

  • What Employers Want Out of Their Next Hire

    February 3, 2014
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    When you evaluate a candidate, either face to face or on paper, you’re looking for more than the work they can do for you and the expertise that they’re bringing to the table. You want to see if they have the potential to be a real stand out success at your company, if they have the all around skill makeup to both get the job done and work well with others. In other words, you want somebody who can do it all. Employers today want to make hires that have a more rounded skill set than at times in the past. Sure, it’s can be great to hire the most competent candidate based solely on their skill set proficiency, but all that knowledge and experience is almost put to waste if they don’t have the communication skills to get their ideas across.  Read More…

  • How Seasonal Conditions Affect Hiring

    January 30, 2014
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    With the recession growing smaller and smaller in America’s rear-view-mirror, the deep hiring freeze that once encompassed so many companies has begun to thaw, or in some cases, melt away completely. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the jobless rate fell in 39 states last month and payroll jobs increased in 30 states. It’s definitely not the Roaring 20′s, but we all know that things could be a lot worse. But this is all pretty general. What about your company? Did you come through the last few years by the seat of your pants or have you actually seen some growth despite all of the economic adversity? Did your staffing levels go unchanged throughout the recession or did you have to cut back your staff substantially? Whether you’re interested in expanding your staff  or just want to get things running a little more smoothly, i’ll be going over some of the seasonal conditions to consider before you make your next hire. Read More…

  • Handling Problem Behavior in the Workplace

    January 29, 2014
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    Have you ever met somebody that was more trouble than they were worth? Maybe it was an adventurous childhood friend that was always trying to convince you to go along with their mischievous plans (and always ended up getting the both of you caught). Maybe it was a person that you dated who made you jump through hoops from sun up to sundown (unless you’re in the circus, where this would be a very supportive relationship). Whatever particular difficulty they project onto the people around them, the common thread is that their problems always seem to spill out onto others. Now, these don’t necessarily have to be neuroses or even personal problems. In a working context in particular, the problems that difficult people spread to their co-workers are usually problems that they have with the company, the way things are run or some particular manager. While it’s easy to terminate somebody who’s more trouble than they’re worth, things get a little more complicated when an employees skills and benefit to the company outweigh (or at least balance out) their personal difficulties.  Read More…

  • Getting a Hold on Your Metrics

    January 28, 2014
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    Getting a hold of your metrics means a lot more than just refining the way in which you measure and collect information on the state of your company’s hiring function. In order to truly get the most out of your hard work, blood, sweat and spread sheets, your metrics have to do more than just collect dust. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of accurate measurement, but recording metrics for metrics sake just isn’t the point of the whole exercise. The point of this data is improvement, and the potential that good metrics have for growing your hiring function is immense. The only problem is that, much of the time, the same HR people who put in the time to collect and catalog  the right metrics can’t quite tell the story that the data is pointing at. Even if the numbers are all laid out in front of you and your executives, the bottom line and organizational impact of recent HR decisions and your hiring function as a whole can still be lost in translation. Read More…

  • How Your Voice Can Ruin Your Phone Interview

    January 27, 2014
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    When you’re in the Human Resources line of work, you see a lot of applicants come and go. From seeing them on paper in the form of their resumes to hearing their voices in phone screenings to seeing them in person during the physical interview: an endless parade of qualifications and years with Company X and on and on. After a while, it gets a lot easier to see who fits the bill for the job in question and who should really not have applied in the first place. Unfortunately, this decisiveness can sometimes get in the way of giving every job seeker an equal shot at the position. As it turns out, the way that a candidate sounds on the phone (the tone of their voice, their speech patterns, etc.) can have a huge effect on their chances, and not just in a bad way! Read More…

  • What Millennials Want Out of Their Next Employer

    January 24, 2014
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    If you’re trying to be a competitive hiring force with the largest emerging job seeker demographic (the Millennials), then you’ll need to understand what they’re looking for in their next (or first) employer. Unlike previous generations to flood the working world, much of what motivates the Millennials to choose one job over the other has little to do with who pays more. Millennials, more than anything else, want to identify with the place where they work. They want to be able to see themselves doing rewarding, interesting and having an impact on things with a potential employer. Talk about high expectations! Read More…

  • Don’t Get Carried Away in Your Interview

    January 23, 2014
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    There are a lot of things that you need to go right in order to land a job. First, you have to look good on paper. This means that your particular blend of skills, accomplishments and references happen to jump out at somebody in the 15 seconds that they devote to scanning your resume. In the event that you still stand out when compared to the dozens of other hopeful resumes, you’ll move on to the high stakes stuff: the interview.

    Now, there are about a million things outside of your control when it comes to dealing with people. The person that’s interviewing you could be going through an unexpected divorce or you might just happen to have an uncanny resemblance to somebody that stood them up in college. They could just plain old not like you when it comes down to it. With all this potential chaos standing in the way of you getting that job, it’s up to you to make sure that you execute everything within your control in the most professional way possible. On interview day, you must be well dressed, organized and…oh yeah, don’t say anything stupid!

    Now, when I say “stupid,” I don’t mean that obvious stuff like: “You aren’t as fat as my last boss!” or “I’ve never really thought about bagels before, like, why aren’t they donuts?” I mean that stuff that feels totally appropriate to say in the moment, but, in reality, probably ruined your chances at getting that job.  Read More…