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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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  • 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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  • Network for Your Net Worth!

    May 20, 2013
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    Networking is important no matter who you are. Creating and maintaining a strong network is just as important to job seekers as it is to small business owners. Even large business owners would not be able to maintain their place in the market without a network, let alone get to their position in the first place. In an article from Business Insider, masters of networking Dr. Ivan Minster and Matthew Rothenberg go over the essential steps of creating a network with real bonds that go beyond a pure business relationship. Some of the greatest advice that I saw in this piece was on the quality of the relationships that you should be aiming for in your network. Basically, you want to start with a connection of common interests and mutual understanding that will be strong enough to transition gracefully into a business relationship. Even if your ties with a contact aren’t super tight, following a little advice from the pros can make all the difference. In the interview, Rothenberg says”people hate to say ‘no.’ If you put them in a situation where they can say ‘yes,’ they’ll be happy to do so.” By demonstrating that you’re valuable with small favors and transactions, you pave the way for an enduring connection that will, with some more social finesse, lead to other connections in the future. To read the full article, click the link below.

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  • Crafting a Strong Employer Brand

    May 17, 2013
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    Building a unique and defined employer brand is more than just a tool for marketing; it can be an opportunity to take a good hard look at your company’s culture and objectives. By investing the time and effort necessary into creating a strong employer brand, you are helping to attract and retain employees who are aligned with your company’s mission. While managing public perception can seem to be impossible for smaller businesses, the tools to craft an employer brand are already at your fingertips. According to an article from ERE.net, your company’s website and social media presence are 2 of the top 3 channels for employer brand promotion. For smaller businesses, this makes your task much simpler than it is for larger companies with dozens of channels to keep consistent. Your employer brand must represent the truth. Projecting your company’s culture or mission as something it’s not will only lead to a higher potential for mismatched candidates. To read about how you can create a powerful employer brand, click the link below.

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  • Engagement in Generation Y Employees

    May 16, 2013
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    Dealing with low employee engagement can be tricky. Fostering motivation is even trickier. How do you know whether an employee is coasting because they feel discouraged by a lack of clear-set goals (something you can fix), or because they are just comfortable with getting by with the minimum? Understanding common causes of disengagement in the workforce is an invaluable asset when getting unengaged workers to shape up. This Infographic from When I Work outlines the work preferences of the soon-to-be-largest employee age demographic: Generation Y. It’s the boss’s job to cultivate the most productive and pleasant working environment possible, but this responsibility only goes so far. At a certain point, no amount of coaching will reach someone who is fundamentally at odds with the structure or the culture of your company. Generation Y is different from others in the past, mainly because they view most jobs as transitory, 91% saying they expected to keep a job for less than 3 years. I could list off more statistics, but you should just check out the infographic linked above instead!

  • Job Seeker Preferences Rule Job Board Success

    May 15, 2013
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    General job boards have seen better days. Sites that still boast name recognition are slipping behind as more specialized job boards and professional social networks like LinkedIn lead the way. Take Monster for instance. Though it is still a household name, the company’s stock has dipped to below five dollars per share. Jakub Zavrel, founder of a recruiting software development company, says that general job boards are…well…too general. The proliferation of more specialized and niche job boards is in response, he says, to the fact that job seekers don’t have the time or the patience to sift through search results for hours. Job seekers want prospects as quickly as possible, and boards dedicated to specific industries or regions are just the ticket. Job aggregators are also becoming much more popular for their “one stop shop” approach to job listings. As I said, job seekers prefer not to waste time checking on multiple sites when agregators can do the work for them. To read about how social networks are affecting traditional job boards, click the link below.

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  • Job Seekers Buried by Bad Credit

    May 14, 2013
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    When making a new hire, it’s important to figure out what kind of person you’re bringing on board, both inside and outside the office. The inside part is easy, accessible through their resume and their presence during the interview. What can be harder for employers to gauge is what kind of person the candidate is in their home life. Some of the only investigative tools at the disposal of employers are criminal background checks and credit checks. The use of credit reports by hiring managers was featured in a New York Times article that found a correlation between bad credit and not being able to find a job. According to a survey in the Times article, 47 percent of employers use credit checks when making hiring decisions, and 12 percent use a credit check before every hire. The article’s main focus is on those job seekers adversely affected by their bad credit and the vicious cycle that debt has entangled them. Many employers, especially those in retail, will reject qualified candidates because of their credit score. The big news for employers and job seekers alike is the support that opponents of this practice are getting from lawmakers: Nine states have already implemented measures to curb credit checks by potential employers. To read the full article, click the link below.

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  • Prospects Still Uncertain for College Grads

    May 13, 2013
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    For those of you with kids about to graduate college, or you recent graduates who have metamorphosed into job seekers, you’ll be interested to know that job prospects in 2013 are looking to be as scarce as last year. Unfortunately for people who thought learning to express complex ideas with words and drawings was going to be a viable career path, it seems like the market is still favoring those versed in numbers and diagrams. According to a Addeco survey conducted by Braun Research Inc., 58% of hiring managers are not planning on hiring any college graduates for entry level positions. Still more hiring managers, 66%, believed that fresh college graduates were unprepared for the workforce. This is not to say that all grads will have a tough time finding work. A CareerBuilder survey reports that graduates with Business or STEM degrees (Science, Technology, Engineering and Medicine) are much more likely to find a job, with business majors in demand for 31 percent of employers. To read the Addeco survey and find out what college grads can do to improve their chances of scoring an interview, click the link below.

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  • How Big Data Predicts Job Performance

    May 10, 2013
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    In 2013, data is king. The usefulness of analytics in hiring models has been vetted and is here to stay. But with this expansion of the role of Big Data in hiring comes a necessary focusing or narrowing in on what is useful and what has become antiquated. Further, it is necessary when implementing the data analysis process to be smart about what your sources are. Free, unstructured data from casual social media, such as Facebook, may not be as reliable a predictor of job success as other, more formal sources such as LinkedIn or virtual accreditation sites like Klout. An article by Dr. Charles Handler discusses the ways in which data is influencing both the hiring process and the attention and accuracy of job performance figures. One of the findings that Dr. Handler discusses is that people that give a high volume of referrals tend to have higher success levels than those who receive a high number of referrals. To read all of Dr. Handler’s findings, click the link below.

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