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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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  • 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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  • A Hopeful Workplace is a Productive Workplace

    March 11, 2013
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    When you’ve worked with chronic negative types — the ones who open the flood gates on you about their problems or have the temperament of Medusa before their third cup of coffee — then you know how nice it is to work with people who are, well, positive. In his new book Making Hope Happen, Shane Lopez explores how employees who keep their eyes on the prize outperform their miserable counterparts across the board. Beyond the fact that hopeful and positive employees are more pleasant to work with, Lopez has identified several ways in which hopefulness correlates to increased productivity. According to him, workers who reportedly had a hopeful outlook actually came in to work more days of the year and were more likely to be actively engaged with the work day. The article doesn’t really go in to what exactly makes a person “hopeful”, but this quality is easier to see than describe. Ambition + Vision + Positivity = Hope. Not only will hiring with these qualities in mind help create a friendlier workplace, but a more productive one as well. To check out Lopez’s work, click the link below.

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  • Stalling Employers Cause Cycle of Sluggishness

    March 8, 2013
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    More is lost through indecision than error. Employers around the country are wasting both their time and the time of the applicants that approach them with extensive rounds of interviews, psychological evaluations and other such excessive testing measures. In The New York Times, a job seeker related his frustrations with the amount of hurdles set in his path by potential employers. This man underwent 6 rounds of interviews for a position that was eventually dissolved for lack of a suitable candidate. This unfortunate trend keeps unemployed consumers from spending, which in turn leads to an economy in which employers fear to make a bad investment in something very unpredictable: a stranger. With the economy still hacking up the last remnants of the financial flu, employers are happy to sit tight rather than settle for someone to their standards. The problem is that these standards can sometimes (often times) be highly unrealistic. Unless employers start to meet job seekers half way, this is going to be a long recovery. To read the NY Times article, click the link below.

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  • ADP Job Report for February

    March 7, 2013
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    A full 2 days before the Bureau of Labor Statistics is set to release data for the month of February, ADP has released their own report on jobs exclusively in the private sector. While some criticize the company’s findings, they are generally on the money and are always on the right side of where a trend is headed. So enough with the preamble. In February, the private sector added 198,000 Non-Farm Payroll jobs total. The services sector continues to make up the majority of hires being made in this recovery with 164,000 total jobs added last month. What is encouraging for the economy is that small businesses accounted for the largest number of hires (77,000). In fact, 47,000 of these hires were made in businesses with fewer than twenty total employees. Medium-sized businesses (50-499 employees) added 65,000 jobs and Large businesses(500+ employees) added 57,000 jobs. What all this hiring also adds up to is a drop in unemployment to 7.8% nationally. To read the ADP report, click the link below.

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  • Banish Evaluating Candidates Based on their Resume

    March 6, 2013
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    Evaluating candidate quality based on a resume alone can eliminate a large percentage of professionals with extremely relevant experience. When evaluating candidates it’s important to look at their “five S’s, standing for Scope, Scale, Sophistication, Systems, and Staff,” according to Lou Alder, the author of today’s source article and a top 10 best seller. By adjusting your recruitment method to evaluate these 5-S’s, you’ll have a much higher probability of determining candidate success.

    To read the full article, click the button below.

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  • Corporate Profits out of Employee’s Pockets

    March 5, 2013
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    With the economic recovery creeping along at below a full percentage point for the year of 2012, corporations, especially large multinationals, are enjoying some of the largest profit margins seen in over 50 years. A large part of this capital growth is due to the increased productivity that companies are seeing across the board from their employees. Unfortunately for their employees, these companies aren’t feeling the need to dip into their profits to give out raises or hire more staff to lessen the work load. According to today’s source article from The New York Times, even less can be expected for the little guy in the coming months. Over 85 billion in budget cuts are taking place in the US government and over 700,000 government jobs projected to be lost. The cuts will have a minimal effect on the multinationals I’ve been talking about, at most 1 percent of revenue, but for job seekers everywhere these cuts keep the job market in the same stagnant, frustrating position. To read the full article from the New York Times, follow the link below.

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  • How to Get an Innovator on Staff

    March 4, 2013
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    Hiring for innovation isn’t like hiring for C++ knowledge or a pleasant voice for the front desk. It’s a more elusive quality, harder to quantify and thus harder to identify. To make real progress with your product or the way your company does business, you want somebody who not only has the vision but also the experience to help you take that next step forward. Tracking down and hiring someone who does this kind of thing for a living can be as complicated as the task of innovation itself. These professionals usually come at a steep price, and it will generally be you and your company that will have to do the footwork if you’re serious about attracting an innovator. Today’s source article from ERE.net breaks down the process of getting an innovator on your staff: hook, line and sinker. The key is bold, decisive action. Everything from the way you contact these professionals to the people in the room during the interview (if you can get that far) will have to be tailor-fit to the specific candidate. If you’re trying to land an innovator, be prepared to free up some time, money and resources to let them know how serious you are about making progress. To get the full breakdown on the process of hiring a successful innovator, click the link below.

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  • Where are the Hidden Costs in a New Hire?

    March 1, 2013
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    When making a new hire, it’s always important to examine not only the benefits that an extra mind and pair of hands will bring, but also the costs: the bottom line. Many assume that this bottom line will merely consist of whatever salary the new employee is paid, but in reality, the cost of a new hire is almost always higher than this baseline. According to today’s source article from CNN Money, the total cost of adding another employee to the payroll is usually 18%-26% higher than cost of their salary. Mostly, this money goes into benefits such as medical and dental coverage. The other costs that bosses have to consider are a whole rainbow of taxes from Medicare to State Unemployment Insurance on top of Payroll Taxes and 401(k) contributions. What’s more, employees may need up to a half a year of their salary in training before they can begin producing at a company. The bottom line about the bottom line is that it isn’t where a lot of people expect it to be. To read more about how much a new hire will actually cost you, click the link below.

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  • Spotting Problem Employees Before Problems Emerge

    February 27, 2013
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    When making a hire, the interview is one of the most useful tools at your disposal for determining which candidates will be a good addition to your team. What complicates things is the nature of interviews being somewhat like a performance in that the candidate has prepared for this first encounter and is undoubtedly on their best behavior. This makes spotting cultural fits a bit more tricky than comparing candidates for credentials alone. Sure, they may seem well-dressed, responsible and sane, but as the adage goes: Don’t judge a book by its cover.

    According to today’s source article from CEO.com, there are some definitive early warning signs for problem employees that you can spot through specific questions that will reveal their true colors. Some of the best advice that I saw in this article had to do more so with the mindset of the boss than the inadequacy of the candidate. If you’re really hurting for some new employees to lighten the workload, don’t throw everything you’ve got at the first schmo to walk through the door. Always aim above the adequate because, as I’ve said before, a blatantly bad employee is easy to spot but a mediocre employee may be a drain on your staff for years without you fully knowing it. To read the full article from CEO.com and find out the signs of 5 bad candidates, click the link below.

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