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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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  • Small Businesses Targeted For Cyber Theft

    March 25, 2013
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    With the ever-increasing frequency and severity of cyber attacks in the US, government officials have warned all small and medium sized businesses to be wary of these virtual onslaughts. Recently there have been several high profile cyber intrusions into the secure innards of several high profile companies (such as Apple, Microsoft and the Federal Reserve), a phenomenon that is apparently only going to grow in frequency. In a house sub-committee meeting on Thursday, it was revealed that over 20% of cyber attacks are perpetrated against companies with fewer than 250 employees. Hackers targeting this size of business do exponentially more damage than against larger companies. According to an article from Bloomberg, 60% of small businesses that are hit by a cyber attack go out of business with in a year. Small and medium-sized businesses can be a tempting target for hackers as they do not have the same level of IT resources available to larger firms. To read about the developing cyber crime controversy, click the link below.

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  • Bridging the Talent Gap

    March 22, 2013
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    In today’s job Market, there exists a growing discrepancy between the ideas that most employers have about what makes a “satisfactory candidate” and the actual people that are showing up to be interviewed. This has created a doldrum of sorts, with employers holding out for unrealistically qualified candidates. To make matters somewhat stickier, the demand for engineering and technology positions, some of the most notoriously tough jobs to fill, is growing at a rate higher than students graduating from college with degrees in these areas. According to Code.org, by 2020 there will be over a million more jobs available for professionals in science, math and engineering than there will be qualified people to fill them. While all of that might sound a little daunting, a lot of the disconnect between candidates and companies is actually caused by easily correctable issues. In an article from ERE.net, it’s suggested that the hiring gap is actually made up of a perfect storm of outdated qualification requirements and unfortunate demographic circumstances. To read about the small gaps that add up the overall “talent shortage” and the 6 ways to close these gaps, click the link below.

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  • How Bias Can Impair Hiring Decisions

    March 21, 2013
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    We all have favorites. Whether it’s a flavor of ice cream or the cut of a T-shirt, we all have that instant, visceral reaction when we find something or someone that suits us: the answer. While knowing what works for you and what you like are excellent qualities for a hiring manager or recruiter to possess, these feelings of instant affinity for certain candidates can sometimes lead to ignoring facts that might have gotten the people you liked less dropped from the running too soon. According to an article from ERE.net, such purposeful ignorance of credentials, like a poor review from a reference, is called “Confirmation Bias” and should be avoided at all costs. Latching on to a particular candidate because their interview wasn’t as painfully awkward as with the others can lead to poor hiring decisions. One tactic to avoid such potentially disadvantageous favoritism is to run reference checks on all of the top candidates before you call them in to interview. This will give you a more objective picture of their work history and will allow you to make a better hiring decision. To read the full ERE.net article, click the link below.

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  • Positivity Tips the Scales in Team Performance

    March 20, 2013
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    When you’re trying to get someone to do something, it’s important to know the best way to go about telling this person how to do it. People aren’t machines, yet are somewhat similar in the way they have definite limits, especially in the amount of direction that they’re willing to take. Unfortunately, unlike a machine, there’s no easy way to see if the amount of constructive or deserved criticism that you give to somebody is overloading their mechanism, so to speak. A new study out of the Harvard Business Review suggests that the best way to keep your team at its best is through being predominantly positive while saving constructive or negative feedback for hard line issues. This study examined 60 close knit teams and found that the teams that were most successful monetarily gave about 5 positive comments to each other for every 1 negative comment. This was in contrast to average and poorly performing teams, having a 1.9 and .36 ratio of Positive to negative comments respectively. While it’s true that some employees need a lot more direction than others, focusing on the positive can actually help to improve their performance. To read the Harvard Business Review article, click the link below.

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  • Administrative and Support Jobs Going Strong

    March 18, 2013
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    One of the healthiest sectors of the economy in this recovery has been the professional and business services industry. Last month, there were 73,000 jobs added under this umbrella, especially jobs that classified as administrative or support positions. The rate at which positions like Customer Service Rep and Sales Agent are being filled has been one of the largest contributing factors to the drop in the national unemployment rate. According to Wanted Analytics, there were 411,000 job ads posted in February in these industries, an 8% increase from 2012. The fact that these industries have a typically high turnover rate also bodes well, as stability in the Administrative Support industries continues. Wanted Analytics also broke down the most popular job listings for the month of February. The top 3 most in-demand positions were security guards, sales representatives and registered nurses. There’s no such thing as a “security science” prerequisite to wear the vest, so these guard positions have been relatively easy to fill. To find out what kind of talent gave recruiters the most trouble, click the link below.

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  • Unconditional Sick Leave for Workers in Portland

    March 15, 2013
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    The sick day has traditionally been somewhat of a gray area. In some lines of work, sick days can be traded for time off as readily as vacation days with no questions asked. In others, the request for a sick day can be followed by extensive grilling and even refusal on the grounds that they’re “not sick enough”. The option for employers to deny workers sick days, however, may soon be coming to an end. Yesterday, Portland, Oregon became the fourth city to make sick leave mandatory for private businesses with 6 or more employees. Instead of the traditional sick day plan in which a certain number of days are allotted each year, employees will earn 1 hour’s sick leave for every 30 that they put in. The measure will protect workers from being fired for calling in sick. While there can be nothing more obvious and gear-grinding than a convenient case of the flu, employers in Portland, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington DC will have to sit tight with their objections. To read an article on the subject from the LA Times, click the link below.

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  • Visual Media Boosts Job Description Engagement

    March 14, 2013
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    The job description has been a mainstay for finding employees since the first classified ads appeared in newspapers. Back then, these words behind the sports page were gobbled up by job seekers hungry for a chance to get into the working world. In today’s media-saturated environment, a block of plain text can be forgettable as what you ate for breakfast last Tuesday. I realize that all these words that I’m putting down amount to just that , so, in the spirit of today’s article, here’s a picture that you’ll remember for the rest of the day. According to an article from ERE.net, the problem with conventional job descriptions is not only aesthetic but biological in nature. Humans engage with words with their short term memory while images go straight through to long term. Simply put: we’re hardwired for images. While traditional job descriptions should by no means be abandoned, there is definitely room for improvement. To read about the future of incorporating visual media into job descriptions, follow the link below.

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  • Get Lucky with Accolo

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  • How Online Reviews Can Make or Break Businesses

    March 13, 2013
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    The reputations of businesses, online and otherwise, are becoming increasingly important in determining which companies blow up and which are left in the dust. Reputation can determine who will (or won’t) apply to work at your business. The rate at which reviews and ratings are generated can be improbably fast, a virtual momentum that translates very definitively into the bottom line. This sort of snowballing effect can be a double edged sword, however, with potential floods of negative reviews drowning businesses in a river of…double edged swords? The point is that this stuff’s important. A recent study from Harvard’s School of Business focused on this phenomenon examined the effect that Yelp reviews had on businesses in Seattle, particularly restaurants. After a whole bunch of data adjustment and number crunching it was found that losing or gaining a star on the site translated to a 5-9 percent effect on revenue. While most of the businesses examined by the study were restaurants, the overall effect between online perception of a business and how that business performs is undeniable. To read about 5 ways you can improve your company’s online reputation — and attract the best possible job applicants — click the link below.

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  • Telecommuting: Here to Stay or Out the Door?

    March 11, 2013
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    In the recent telecommuting debate that has taken over the internet in almost every business magazine or publication, the consensus seems to show a backlash against slipping standards of innovation. Many of the companies that have reversed their work-from-home policies say they have done so in order to improve collaboration and teamwork between employees. According to an article from ERE.net, companies that are in the midst of a turnaround or recovery (like Best Buy and Yahoo) want “all hands on deck” in this make-or-break moment of economic uncertainty. Undoubtedly, telecommuting will not vanish completely from the workforce, but it may become a perk of specific industries rather than a widespread alternative to putting in time at the office. In today’s corporate climate, innovation is rapidly becoming the priority over productivity. And while collaboration online works in theory, there will never be a substitute for an actual person-to-person brainstorming session. Those who were previously permitted to work in their PJ’s might find the switch disagreeable, but such are the times we live in. To read an article on telecommunication from ERE.net, click the link below.

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