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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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  • 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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  • Software Developer Outsources all of His Work to Chinese Consultant

    January 16, 2013
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    Telecommuting into work might sound like a dream to you. No rush to get out the door before the sun comes up, no early morning traffic and most importantly: no pants required. The only down side is the potential for distraction that exists in the comfort of one’s home. Yep, pretty much the only downside of working from home is that you still have to get yourself to work when nobody is watching you. Or that’s the theory at least. The exception to this rule came, today, in the form of a software developer for Verizon outsourcing his daily tasks to a consultant in Shenyang, China. What did this lazy, enterprising individual do with his free time? Diddly squat. According to the BBC, the software developer surfed the internet for almost the entire time that he was supposed to be working. In addition to lying to Verizon, the culprit was also outsourcing his work at other companies to the same overworked Chinese Developers, paying 50,000 a year to pull in a several hundred thousand dollar salary. To read more about this hard to believe story, follow this link to the BBC source article.

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  • How to Spot Bad Habits in Employees Early

    January 11, 2013
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    Do you believe in love at first sight? How about first impressions? As a manager, do you think that you can tell who is going to work out in your office and who won’t within a few minutes of meeting them? How about after the first week? While some obvious warning signs may include constant profanity or an aggressive disposition; some can appear benign at first and then blossom into a chronic problem. Today’s source article from CEO.com discusses the early warning signs of work habits that lead to the employee in question getting very little done at all. For instance, an employee that is late or absent within the first week is likely to be late again, and again. In fact, 35% of employees who were late in their first week violated attendance standards in the future. This doesn’t mean you should fire someone for being late on their first time, but do keep an eye on them. To find out about the other 4 early warning signs of a bad employee, click the link below.

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  • The Pitfalls of too Much Social Networking

    January 11, 2013
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    Utilizing social networks to increase the speed of collaboration between internal employees and external consultants or experts is rapidly becoming the norm for offices everywhere. Email and instant messaging are key, especially if one of your key collaborators has never set foot in the office, or even the country. While this rapid idea sharing is certainly helping businesses expand, too much interaction online can be unproductive and sometimes downright inappropriate. For instance, if you are in upper management, it’s ok to delegate the updating of your Facebook page to someone else for external readers, but write your own social media for internal affairs. Your employees read your emails, memos and everything else you write, so they will be able to tell when your ghost writer is speaking on your behalf.

    Probably the biggest no-no for social media is the discussion of personal matters. Trying to discuss somebody’s sub-standard work ethic on a Facebook thread just isn’t an effective way of getting your point across. Even in today’s digital age, a face-to-face conversation is still the tried and true way of sorting out private issues. To read about all of the 7 Business Tasks to keep in the real world, click the link below.

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  • Facebook can be a Hiring Manager’s Gold Mine

    January 10, 2013
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    Facebook and other social media have become an integral part of most people’s personal lives and professional toolboxes. Facebook offers companies a platform for direct marketing and recruiting. Basically, if your business isn’t represented in the social media sphere then you’re missing out on a golden opportunity not only for expanding brand awareness, but for recruiting the most qualified potential employees to grow your company. But simply creating a page is not enough on its own fulfill the recruiting potential that social media offers. Here at Accolo, we pride ourselves on our social-media savvy. Click here to check out our webinar on social network recruiting.

    Whether you want to use Facebook for recruitment or for marketing purposes, it’s important to keep your page regularly updated with timely and relevant content. You can’t let your page atrophy out there in cyberspace. Be sure to invest the necessary time into creating a web presence and interacting with your fans, customers and potential future employees. This is “social” media, after all. To get some more tips about using Facebook the right way, click the link below:

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  • AIG May Seek to Sue the Fed for “Unfair” Interest Rates

    January 9, 2013
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    The former Chief executive of AIG (Maurice “Hank” Greenberg) is seeking to sue the Federal Government for the apparently criminal interest rates placed upon the 2008 bailout loan. Displaying either short term memory loss or a spectacular lack of decorum, the current leaders of the banking giant have made statements of their potential interest in joining in on the lawsuit. Lawmakers (especially on the Senate Banking Commission) are in an uproar about the company’s cheeky legal maneuver. No doubt this as a blatant case of biting the hand that feeds. Sure 14% is a pretty steep interest rate but, to be frank, this seems like a rude way to respond to a very large rescue. AIG didn’t have to take the Fed’s money, but their refusal would have meant bankruptcy. To get the whole scoop on this unfolding political drama, click the link below for the full Reuters article.

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  • Engineering Woes: The Supposedly Market-Proof Profession Facing Uncertainty

    January 8, 2013
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    We’ve all heard of “safe jobs”. Most of them tend to be advanced-level craft or skill professions such as doctors, lawyers or engineers. The reason that these jobs are supposedly safe is that there is a clear set of requirements that, if completed, will lead to at least financial stability and at best a very lucrative career. With the job market being the way that it is, the hefty investment of a college tuition no longer offers this security. Many that graduate with degrees in engineering find themselves without the training for tasks that most businesses are hiring for. The job market for engineers isn’t as impacted as in other industries, but it is displaying more volatility than ever before. Even the guy who successfully landed the Mars Rover is out of a job. Times are clearly uncertain and there definitely is such a thing as job security, but it is rapidly becoming a scarcer state of being for Americans. From the very start of the search to 10 years in, it’s uncertain. To get some graphs and a more expanded analysis of this job trend click the link below. Read the Full Article

  • Verbal Oversight: Things Bosses Shouldn’t let Slip

    January 4, 2013
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    One of the most important qualities that someone who’s in charge of other people should possess is the ability to hear themselves talk. Strength as a leader doesn’t lie in preoccupation with the things that you say, but in the ability to speak to employees with tact and in a way that makes them feel respected. Things that you should avoid saying as a boss are phrases that make you sound phony or out of touch. You certainly shouldn’t expect a story of a lavish vacation to inspire harder work — it’s more likely to inspire resentment. In other words, your job as a facilitator, manager or CEO is to promote an environment of unity and teamwork, not just to use words like “unity” and “teamwork”. Remember to be conscious of saying things that could make your employees feel used or alienated. To find out the terms to avoid in the workplace, click the link below to read the full article from CEO.com.

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  • It’s All Over: Apocalyptic Pudding Commercial Analysis

    December 20, 2012
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    For a nice, light, end-of-the-world edition of Accolo’s blog, we have an article on brand topicality, specifically the increase of apocalypse-related advertising and branding that has emerged in the shadow of the supposedly catastrophic date: December 21, 2012. An article from Bloomberg questions the reasoning behind such dubious marketing associations with the extinction of the human race, not just for its reliance on death and destruction, but for the short-lived nature of such a marketing tactic. The main focus of the Bloomberg article was a particularly cheeky advertisement put out by Jello. In this ad, a Jello executive is seen climbing up an ancient Mayan Pyramid in order to offer up a pile of the delicious puddin’ snack cups to the Gods. The ad itself is pretty tame, but, as I said, there’s this whole thing with the death and doom to consider. The way I see it, the only way for this ad to be in bad taste would be if the prophecy actually came true and everyone died. In that case, nobody would be around to get offended, so it’s moot. To see the video and read the full article, click the link below.

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  • Attaboy Attagirl: The Do’s and Don’ts of Praising Employees

    December 19, 2012
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    Undoubtedly, most of the people reading this in some sort of managerial position (be it sitting or standing) have had a boss that didn’t do the bossiest job. They may not have been a Bill Lumberg or Ebeneezer Scrooge, but a boss doesn’t need to be a caricature in order to make their employees feel unappreciated. Well, as you probably experienced, some people just aren’t people people. It could be things like not holding the elevator or forgetting a birthday, but a lack of concern for employees is always most visible in a one-on-one talk. False or insincere congratulations pretty much take the cake in terms of see-through poor managerial decorum and are apparent to both recipient and giver of such meaningless praise. When congratulating or acknowledging an employee for their good work, the most important thing is to keep in mind is engagement and specific praise so that your employee can fully appreciate your appreciation of their work. Today’s article goes into some greater detail about the do’s and don’ts of employee praise and constructive criticism. If you want to skip it, the take-away message is to keep in mind the type of person you’re trying to reward for their good work. Don’t praise people in public who’d rather you didn’t, and don’t keep it secret when they’d want the whole room to hear it.

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