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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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  • Higher Engagement Starts With Hiring

    May 29, 2014
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    This week, we’ve been talking a lot about how employers can improve the engagement of their staff. So far, we’ve been looking at this problem in it’s later stages, when employees have already begun to withdraw from their jobs and become discontent with your company. While it’s important to coach employees who have reached this unfortunate, disengaged state, it’s just as important to try and hire as many employees as possible who won’t require this sort of intervention. But, as you probably know, it’s not easy to predict how well someone will do in a job a year from now, based on a 30 minute interview. I’m sure that every disengaged employee that you have ever had to motivate or fire started out just as bright eyed and bushy tailed as your most driven, enthusiastic employees. Though hiring for higher engagement can be a challenge, there are several signs that can tell you if a candidate is the real deal. Read More…

  • How Referrals Enhance Employee Engagement

    May 29, 2014
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    When you’re trying to make a hire, you’re not only looking for somebody to complete the skill requirements of the position but also somebody who will be able to work well with your existing staff. As you’ve probably experienced, just because a candidate has an excellent educational/professional background and an advanced skill set doesn’t mean that they’ll be a valuable addition to your team. Besides being highly qualified, this candidate could also have the exact wrong sort of personality or attitude to mesh well with your existing team. If, however you can find candidates that fit in with your team like they’ve always been there, you’re not only making a good hire, you’re creating a harmonious work environment for your employees. With the vast majority of the employees in the United States reporting that they’re either “disengaged” or “actively disengaged” from their jobs, there has never been a better time to start creating a tight knit work environment for your employees. As you’ve probably guessed from the title of this blog, the best way to make hires that will work well with your staff is through leveraging your employee referral program. Read More…

  • How to Stop “Going Through The Motions”

    May 28, 2014
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    How satisfied are your employees with their jobs? Do most of your employees display signs of good morale or are you surrounded by people who are just going through the motions?

    As unpleasant as it is to think about, there’s a chance that a large percentage of your staff is no longer engaging with their jobs or the work that they do. According to Gallup’s 2013 State of the American Workplace Report, 52% of workers in the US are “disengaged” from their jobs and 18% are “actively disengaged.” Now, the difference between these two levels of disengagement is the difference between somebody who tries to put on a happy face and get on with their life and somebody who lets everybody else know just how miserable they are. Disengagement begets more disengagement. As those actively disengaged workers continue to cast doubt on every move that management makes, it’s doing damage to the morale of your engaged and disengaged employees alike. In order to make sure that you get the most out of your employees and that they get the most out of their jobs, the first thing to do is find out what’s making them so dissatisfied. Read More…

  • Employee Engagement Starts With Good Managers

    May 27, 2014
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    What do your employees want out of their jobs? If you think the answer to this question is “a paycheck,” then you’re sorely mistaken. Today’s workforce wants a lot more than money out of their jobs, they want a place to call their second home and an employer whose mission and purpose align with their own. Perhaps it’s these very desires that have led to such a high percentage of the professionals in the United States to become disengaged from their work. According to Gallup’s State of the American Workplace Report, a startling 70% of workers report being “disengaged” or “actively disengaged” from their work. As an employer, you want to make sure that the investment that you’ve made in your staff pays off, but it hardly ever as easy as saying “I pay you, so do your work and enjoy it.” In order to get the most out of your employees, you need to keep them connected to the broader happenings at your company and foster a friendly, welcoming work environment. This week on the Accolo blog is all about employee engagement, why it’s important and what you can do to create more of it at your company.   Read More…

  • The Differences Between the Sexes at Work

    May 22, 2014
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    When looked at through a historical lens, gender equality in the United States has never been better than it is today. That being said, there is still a ways to go before we can even begin to claim that the genders are on an even playing field in the professional world. On average, women who work full-time earn just 77 cents for every dollar that their male counterparts earn. When looked at over a lifetime, this pay inequity adds up to years of retirement or years of higher education for their children that women will have more trouble paying for than men. Besides pay differences, the ways in which many companies have set up their employee policies are fundamentally biased toward women, especially those women interested in starting a family. In order to get everybody on the same level, it’s important to be aware of the masculine norms that exist in the workplace and do what you can to combat those norms. Read More…

  • Best Practices for Employee Retention

    May 21, 2014
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    The relationship that employees have with their employer has changed dramatically over the past few decades. Where before, employers all of the power in the hiring process, today, with the “war for talent” still raging, high profile professionals find themselves being courted by several companies at once. And this is when they’re already employed! Today’s professionals have seen decades of layoffs, corporate mergers and takeovers and countless high profile financial scandals, making them jaded and highly wary of their employers. Today’s professional doesn’t expect to work for the same company until retirement. In fact, according to an article from Payscale, 87% of the 15,000 participants in a Staffbay.com survey said that they planned on leaving their current role within the next year. Yes, your employees certainly need a job, but you’ve got to remember that they’ve got options, especially your most talented employees. In order to make sure that you’re not wasting time and money on re-filling the same position every 8 months, increasing employee retention should be one of your top staffing priorities.  Read More…

  • Managing Millennial Aspirations

    May 20, 2014
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    One of the qualities that makes an amazing manager is the ability to understand the desires and motivating forces that drive their team. Without this valuable emotional intelligence, a manager can’t understand what motivates their reporting employees and, thus, can’t connect the work that employees are doing with the passions that drive those employees. While this won’t always end poorly (some people are just passionate about the work that they’re already doing), a manager who is unwilling or unable to engage with the underlying professional goals and needs of his team runs the risk of alienating his team from their work. I mean, how can you expect to motivate someone if you don’t know why they got into your industry or what they plan to be doing in 5 years time? By 2020, 46% of the workforce in the US will be comprised of Millennials, those people born between 1980 and 2000. There has never been a generation for which meaningful work was more important, making it crucial that you engage with your Millennial employees about the work that they’re doing and the work that they’d like to do in the future. Read More…

  • How does Working Remotely Work for Your Company?

    May 20, 2014
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    How often do you work from home? Is it once in a blue moon, when you’re too sick to get your buns out of bed and into the office? Is it every once in a while when you want to get down to work without the distractions of the workplace? Is it a few times per week when you need to drive your kids to their music lessons, soccer practice and that other thing that they do that you always forget? Whatever your reason is for working from home, the ability to do so has been one of the biggest changes to the working world of the past few decades. Depending on your job, it’s possible that you could do that work for anyone in the world, from anywhere in the world! Despite the growing popularity of working remotely among employees everywhere, there is still some resistance on the part of the bosses. Since this week on the Accolo blog is all about the ever-changing norms in today’s workplace, today’s post is all about the realities of remote workers in this country.  Read More…

  • Dressing for the Workplace

    May 18, 2014
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    What do you think of when you hear the term “professional?” Do you think of hundred dollar haircuts, thousand dollar suits and million dollar smiles? Though what you wear and how you wear it doesn’t affect how well you can do your job, unless you’re working as a model or an astronaut, it definitely will affect how well other people think you can do your job. As much as social standards on dress continue to gravitate toward an “anything goes” sort of scenario in the not so distant future, the business world will probably always remain a predominantly suit and tie setting. That’s not to say that the standards of business attire haven’t relaxed in the past few decades. Where 20 years ago you might get looks for wearing jeans to work, today nobody bats an eye unless they’re covered in rips or stains. Though you can probably get away with wearing more of your wardrobe to work that you used to, it’s important to make sure that your clothes are still giving off a professional impression. Read More…

  • The Trade-offs of Small Business

    May 15, 2014
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    When you’re trying to find a company that’s a great fit for you, there’s a lot to consider. For one thing, there’s the product or service that the company provides. Is it a different industry than you’re used to working in? Is it a product or service that you’re excited about or at least interested  in? When you’re trying to figure out the next step forward in your job search, the best way to proceed is to figure out what you want out of the job that you’re looking for. One of the biggest factors in the sort of work environment you’ll have and the work you’ll be doing for a company, is the size of that company. Do you prefer to work closely with a small team or by yourself within a large one? Do you want to see the impact of your work effect the bottom line of your company or would you rather see a promotion from your efforts? These are just some of the things that you should consider when deciding whether a small company or a large company is right for you.  Read More…