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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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  • Employment Report For January: More of the Same

    February 1, 2013
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    January’s jobless report comes to us today via the New York Times. Alright, drum roll please…and I’m being handed the envelope now…here it is! In the United States, employers added 157,000 jobs and the unemployment rate remained constant at 7.9 percent. There was also a discovery that there were 335,000 more jobs added in 2012 than previously thought. Industries that have been hiring heavily in the last few months include: construction, retail, health care and wholesale trade. While we the economy is making steady positive progress, it has been an excruciatingly long recovery after the bursting of the housing/banking/everything bubble. According to the Times, “Economists are forecasting job growth of around 170,000 a month for the rest of 2013, comparable to what employers have been adding over the last year.” While stability is heartening after a dire situation, a lack of upward velocity where the economy is concerned can have an unfortunate effect on any chance of faster economic growth. Simply, a watched pot never boils. To get the full report on January’s Employment Report, click on the link below.

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  • Tech Professional Shortage in Chicago

    January 31, 2013
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    IT and other tech professionals have some of the most valuable and sought-after skills for employers in the US. This demand follows a general trend of applicable skills or specialized trades gaining value to employers as well as, according to many of these employers, growing in scarcity in the hires that they make. One place where the demand for tech professionals with practical experience is exceptionally high is Chicago. According to Wanted Analytics, there are over 10,000 job listings for positions such as (in order from most to least common): Java Developer, Project Manager, .NET Developer, Senior Java Developer, etc. Basic economics time: low supply = high demand. Higher than the national average of difficulty per hire. Wanted Analytics uses a scale of hiring difficulty up to 99 (the most difficult) and ranks the national average at 79 and Chicago at 83, or in more concrete terms a 39 day posting period for Tech positions in Chicago. For recruiters, this means a bit more of a head ache in the windy city, but fear not, today’s source article has some suggestions for candidate sources in nearby cities. For job seeking tech professionals: get your butt to Chicago! To read more statistics about and solutions to Chicago’s Tech drought, click the link below.

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  • The Expansion of Global Leadership

    January 30, 2013
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    As markets across the developing world start to grow stronger, ever more companies are seeking to expand in these emerging hot spots for global business. The boards of many Multinational Corporations (like Nestle) are now starting to look a lot more multinational with executive board members from all over the world. Indeed, in business schools across the US and abroad, those in training for leadership positions are being drilled in “global leadership” as a the best model for success. These students are being encouraged, or in some cases required, to spend years of their education in foreign countries in order to get a feel for the foreign. This is globalization today, fully realized and still spreading as markets in the developing world merge with global trade. While it will always probably be viable to do business and hire domestically, the head honchos of the world are looking outward, anywhere and everywhere. Today’s source article in the Economist discusses (somewhat critically) this emerging figure of “the global leader” and the state of international business in general.

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  • Interview Questions for Marketing Positions

    January 29, 2013
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    When interviewing a candidate for part of your marketing team, it can be very beneficial to evaluate this person on more than just their employment history. You want to get a feel for them, what their practical, on-the-job presence will be like. According to HubSpot’s CMO, in today’s featured article, you’ll want to take this practical evaluation one step further and actually test the interviewee’s ability to think on their feet. The article went on to divulge some carefully-honed interview questions that are designed to test different areas of expertise in candidates for inbound marketing positions. One of the questions he suggested involved presenting the interviewee with an Excel spreadsheet containing thousands of listings for companies (including basic information) and asking them to produce a lead score. After this, follow up by pushing them for specifics. How will they analyze the data, specifically? What metrics do they think are important and why? I highly encourage anyone who is interviewing applicants for a position in marketing to check this article out for some great interview questions.

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  • Creative Resume: Amazon Product Page

    January 28, 2013
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    Getting noticed can be hard for job seekers, especially when it comes to differentiating yourself from the competition when you’re all competing with the same tools. A candidate with the right references, resume, or even a lucky tie can potentially be lost amid hundreds of similarly qualified candidates. How then to go about getting noticed? Setting yourself apart from the crowd is easy, it just has to be done with tact and just a pinch of cheekiness, the most important thing being to have some point to your deviation from the norm. The notoriously strict conventions of the resume produce a homogeneous applicant pool on paper, flat like the medium. One of the easiest ways to attract attention is with an unorthodox resume. Just check out this creative resume in which the job seeker made himself an Amazon product page to showcase his work skills. It’s funny, clever, and still has the basic information for employers. To see this outside-of-the-box resume, click the link below.

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  • Robotics Industry as a Future Job Creator

    January 24, 2013
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    For this week’s Fun Friday featured article on the Accolo blog, we have some New York Times coverage on a widely discussed topic in the employment world: automation. A typical argument against the expansion of robotics in the United States always involves the claim that more robots in the workforce (how weird does that sound?) would adversely affect people with manufacturing or even white collar jobs, and that technological advancement will make certain positions obsolete. According to Dr. Christense of the Georgia Institute of Technology, the robotics industry will actually be beneficial to both job seekers and industries the world over. The Times article talks to several small American Manufacturers who stand by their decisions to ramp up their use of robots, saying that it has allowed their companies to expand and compete with other companies internationally. Whether or not the robotics industry will create millions of new jobs worldwide over the next decade remains to be seen, but the testimony of these American robotics engineers and the manufacturers that use these machines certainly is heartening. To read the full article on how robotics will potentially be a job creator, click the link below.

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  • Accolo is Counterpoint to Bloomberg’s Criticism of Recruiters

    January 24, 2013
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    There has been a lot of discussion recently in the HR and Recruiting industries concerning a lack of qualified candidates on the job market. Recruiting and hiring in general needs to be as adaptive and as today’s economy is volatile. For job seekers, the process of signing with many of these recruiters (generally the ones that see a problem with today’s candidate pool) is tedious and overly bureaucratic. Such recruiting practices as forcing candidates to fill out a dozen personality tests or failing to keep candidates in the loop about their prospects can sweep brilliant candidates under the rug and leave only the scratchy, barnacle-type people clinging on at the end. Today’s source article is from Bloomberg Business Week and it criticizes those in recruiting that are not taking steps toward innovation in hiring. It’s not that the candidates aren’t qualified — it’s that recruiters aren’t finding them. At Accolo, our mission is to continue to innovate cutting edge cloud recruiting software and provide better candidates more quickly than ever before. To read the full article on what’s changing in recruiting, click the link below.

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  • New Tax Code Weighing Heavily on Silicon Valley

    January 23, 2013
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    Startups in Silicon Valley have enjoyed the potential for wild success since the time when computers were still only displaying green text, and even before the advent of pre-ripped jeans. You and your friends could take your idea and run with it: bring some sharp engineers on board, work 80 hours a week and potentially cash out in a big way. One of the things that made this business model so successful over the years is California’s deduction in capital gains tax for “Qualified Small Business” stock. How big of a deduction? About half off, down to 4.5 percent when startups finally hit pay dirt.

    This is no longer the case. The Federal Tax Bureau announced that this tax break for entrepreneurs will no longer apply. Not only that, but a retroactive taxation (with interest) will apply to all company sales since 2008 in the State of California. This new tax code could have a large impact on the start-up model, pushing budding companies (and the jobs they generate) out of California and into states with a lower Capital Gains Tax. To read an Op-Ed about this development in the tax code, click the link below.

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  • Improving Office Morale and Other Cultural Standards

    January 18, 2013
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    Atmosphere, ambiance, culture, vibes: there are many words for the overall feel of a place. There’s nothing more disconcerting than to discover that someone that you work with dreads coming in each morning and doing their job. As an employer, you want to make sure that your employees feel good in the place that they work. While the problem of work environment aversion has a lot to do with the unhappy employee, the fault sometimes does lie with practices that make employees feel alienated or like they don’t belong. One of the easiest ways to improve the environment of a glum office is to change the way in which daily tasks are parceled out. Instead of a laundry list of tasks, try a delivery that focuses on how these tasks fit into the big picture for the company and for the individual employees themselves.

    Of course, the classic way to boost morale is to incorporate some non-work related activities into your office’s schedule. Lunch out, games, contests, fantasy football: pretty much whatever will float the most boats. That being said, you can’t please everyone. Sometimes certain employees aren’t a good fit for an office culture that has been thriving for some time. Whatever your case, you should definitely check out this article from Xenium about the “4 Ways to Culturally Engage Your Employees”.

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  • Wal-Mart Intends to Hire 100,000 Veterans

    January 16, 2013
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    Wal-Mart announced their plan to help strengthen the U.S. economy by hiring 100,000 veterans as well as stocking its shelves with a higher percentage of goods manufactured in the United States. This act of good faith comes a few months after the store had seen walk outs and striking by its employees across the country. During the strikes, disgruntled employees said that they were not allowed to work full time or change their schedule, problems that critics of the store immediately brought up in response to Tuesday’s announcement. They also brought up an earlier “Made in America” campaign during which the retailer presented foreign manufactured goods as made in the USA. This being said, Wal-Mart does provide high wages in its store’s management positions, the highest salary of a store manager being over 250,000 dollars. It’s clear that the retail giant is trying to be less harsh toward their employees, which is definitely a good thing. If this gesture is enough to drop unemployment rate, we have yet to see. To read more follow the link below to a Reuters article.

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