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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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  • 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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  • 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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