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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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  • Email Headaches and Micro-Management

    June 7, 2013
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    Managers have a lot more of an effect on the productivity of their employees than they sometimes realize. A manager’s policies on methods of communication—specifically email and instant messaging—can sometimes hinder the productivity of their employees. For instance, if a manager expects their employees to respond immediately to every new internal email or memo that gets sent out, their attention is divided in a major way. According to an article from Texas Enterprise, multitasking to such a degree actually leads to less work being done and more errors being made. The article also discusses the effect that micro-management has on employees. Studies have shown that the amount of control that an employee feels that they have is heavily tied into how satisfied they feel at their job, which is one of the largest productivity incentives out there. If a manager’s employees are constantly waiting to be corrected, they will stop being proactive and start being resentful. To read the article on managerial quirks, click the link below.

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  • Qualities for Employees in the Matrix

    June 5, 2013
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    The influence of globalization on business has subverted the classic ladder-style hierarchy that once reigned as the organizational standard. Employees may report to people on a daily basis who they will never meet in person or be switched constantly from one team to another within their company, having a new boss every week. In this new power structure, a “Matrix” as writer and CEO Kevin Hall calls it, employees that excelled under more traditional models are facing difficulties in the flux and flow of Matrix companies. Recruiters need to be aware of the structure of their clients’ operations and not feed them candidates who will be lost in a system that requires more perspective and drive than your typical position. According to Kevin Hall, some of the most important qualities for an employee in a Matrix style firm to possess are flexibility and the ability to see how their work fits into the grand scheme of things. To read more about what makes a good Matrix employee, click the link below.

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  • Walmart’s Employer Brand Nightmare

    June 4, 2013
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    Over the past year there has been a lot of focus on employer branding, both in recruiting and more broadly in the business world. You can scrutinize your methods for searching, hiring and onboarding, and still come up puzzled as to how to improve your image. To make things a little more clear on what makes a good employer brand, we can focus on an example of a company that has a notoriously bad employer brand: Walmart. The staunchly anti-union company is currently facing their first sustained strike, which comes in the wake of a recent toxic waste dumping scandal in California. Let’s call Walmart a worst-case example: for bad press, and for worse employer branding. Being a little rough around the edges is one thing, but Walmart has developed an actual reputation for negativity: everything from intimidation to consistently withholding wages. In order to generate a positive public perception, understand what kind of standards apply in your industry and hold yourself to them. By treating your employees with the respect they deserve you’re helping yourself be attractive to talent. To read an article about the latest Walmart employee strike, click the link below.

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  • Cutting Corners Isn’t Worth the Time You Save in Recruiting

    May 31, 2013
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    When things get hectic at work, the first tasks to be overlooked are usually what you’d consider minor. Waiting until tomorrow to do the dishes, ignoring spam, putting off a few cold calls. No big deal, right? Well, classifying neglected tasks as “minor” is a slippery slope. For recruiters, it is imperative for you to follow through with the candidates that you are responsible for, even after they’ve been eliminated from the running. By failing to notify a candidate that they’ve been deselected, the time that you save is nothing compared to the possible detriment you incur on your employment brand. According to Jen Lliff, skipping this crucial step leads to ill will against your brand from the candidate who’s been left in the dark — along with everyone that they care to tell about their experience. In the age of social media, word travels fast and negative words travel even faster. Not only that, but by leaving candidates in the lurch, you guarantee that they will have nothing to do with your firm in the future. Even if they don’t make it to the final round of interviews, at least send deselected candidates an email. You can’t afford not to.

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  • Seeing the Errors in Your Job Postings

    May 30, 2013
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    When writing job postings, there is a lot of pressure to describe the job in a way that “sells” candidates on the position. Unfortunately, this usually entails a lot of general, wishy-washy nonsense about the fun aspects of the company culture or even things as irrelevant to the day-to-day experience of the job as the annual employee kayaking retreat. Today’s job seeker has to work very hard, and if your description doesn’t engage them, then you will not attract top talent. When Manny Medina of ERE.net conducted a survey of software developers about what could potentially poach them from their current position, the most attractive job aspect for these professionals was “interesting work”. Clearly, this points to more specifics, rather than less. You cannot skip the day-to-day when advertising a position. People care about the primary tasks that they’ll be required to complete much more than about abstract benefits and vague promises of fulfillment. To read Manny’s full breakdown of how to write an engaging job description, check out the link below.

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  • Facebook Faces User-Generated PR Nightmare

    May 29, 2013
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    Monitoring your social media image is important. Little things, such as “liking” strange organizations or funny, distasteful pictures that your friend posted, create a link between you and the offending material. Indeed, it is the very nature of social media that we become associated with people and groups that we don’t know and will probably never know. It’s something to be keenly aware of when you’re looking for a job — your potential employer may be able to see that weird thing you liked…and may not know you did it “ironically”.

    Recently, Facebook has faced a great deal of criticism for tacitly facilitating users’ circulating of pictures of and slogans about violence against women. As a result of this content oversight, 15 major companies have dropped Facebook as an advertiser. While the website does screen posts for Anti-Semitic, Islamophobic and Homophobic slurs, there is no such protocol in place to get the distasteful anti-women content down. While there was little Facebook could do to distance themselves from the insensitivity of their users, you have the luxury of choosing who you are connected to within the network. Clearly, the professional world takes social media very seriously, and you should too.

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  • Easy Steps to Candidate Retention

    May 28, 2013
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    When you’ve zeroed in on a candidate, it can be easy to let your guard down. The person can be professional, engaged and seem hungry for the position, only to back out at the last minute. This isn’t because you’re a bad judge of character or even the situation, but a lot can change very quickly, especially for promising candidates. So how can you cut back on the number of candidate drop outs, flake outs and other mishaps? Well, according to an article from ERE.net, the main things are to know the candidate, where they’re going and where they’re coming from: inside and out. Don’t talk about the salary that they pull from their previous employer unless you know the specifics. The “how” and the “when” are just as important to the “how much” when it comes to sealing the deal on a promising candidate. Understand what the candidate is looking for: What they’re really looking for. Find out what their priorities are, and their preferences. Little details like commute time can sometimes sway a candidate more than money ever can. To read the 6 ways to hold on to your best candidates, click the link below.

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  • Cooking Up Positive Employment Branding

    May 23, 2013
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    For those of you who who don’t watch “Kitchen Nightmares” with Gordon Ramsay, (the hot blooded Brit who doesn’t take any ______,) it’s a reality show in which Chef Ramsey visits the most disastrous and decrepit restaurants in America and gives them a wake up call and an overhaul. While recruiting isn’t a lot like owning a restaurant, and not at all like reality TV, the common tie is the necessity for respect in the industry. Chef Ramsey says if you don’t respect your customers, then you should close your doors, or they will do it for you. While he also says a lot of things that I cannot print, this advice is applicable to all businesses, especially talent based businesses like recruiting. In an article from ERE.net, respect for one’s candidates is listed as one of the baseline criteria for the companies that win the Candidate Experience Award from the Talent Board. With the importance of employment branding on the rise, it is more important than ever to ensure that you keep your talent happy and in the loop, or else risk picking up a lousy reputation. Unfortunately, there is no reality show that will give your employment brand a make over (yet), so it’s all on you to make sure your talent has the most positive experience possible.

  • Why Cubicles Aren’t so Bad After All

    May 22, 2013
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    For those of you who work in an open-plan office, you know that the layout, unfettered by chest-high walls, is often given to its own set of problems. In theory, the open plan exists to facilitate the free flow of ideas through the office and keep workers more on task by putting them in sight of their peers. According to Quartz, however, the open office has just the opposite effect on employees. Workers in an open office get sick 62% more frequently than those with private work spaces. Not only that, but several studies suggest that, when workers are on the job, the open office lay out has the effect of distracting and even demotivating employees. Why is this? In another study referenced by the Quartz article, it was found that noisy co-workers and having to overhear telephone conversations was the biggest hangup for the majority of workers. To read more about the pitfalls of the open plan office, click the link below.

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  • Recruiters Spend 6 Seconds on Each Resume

    May 21, 2013
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    We all know that getting a job is tough, but simply knowing that the process will be “tough” does not quite prepare job seekers for the hurdles of the modern job hunt. First of all, there is the sheer volume of applicants that flood job postings from the first few minutes after the position is posted, that continue even after the job has been filled. According to BeHiring, almost every corporate job opening in the country receives an average of 250 resumes. This means that more than ever before, job seekers need to make sure that their resumes are completely free of errors, and are concise and customized to the specific position to which they are applying. Indeed, new evidence from TheLadders suggests that corporate recruiters only spend an average of six seconds evaluating each resume that makes it though key word filtering. Job seekers, you have six seconds to impress a stranger. You must keep your resume as sharp as a knife’s edge because if the recruiter cannot find the information that he wants within a few seconds, then your chance at the job just fell to the bottom of the pile. To read an excellent article giving a numerical explanation of the current hiring trends, click the link below.

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