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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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  • Challenges for Young Job Seekers

    June 25, 2014
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    Finding a good job can be tough. Heck, finding any job is tough for many Americans. Though the unemployment rate has been falling (slowly but surely) since its high at 10% in 2009, the job market remains fairly unforgiving for job seekers. According to the most recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in the United States is currently holding at 6.3%, down from 6.7% in March. While unemployment continues to trend downward, these figures don’t tell the whole story for job seekers, especially those in marginalized groups. For those people who have only recently graduated from college, the job market can be just as cold and unforgiving as it was at the height of the recession. For this demographic, remaining unemployed has more to do with the circumstances of the marketplace than a lack of effort on their parts.  Read More…

  • Challenges for Employers: The Talent Gap

    June 24, 2014
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    How long does it take for you to fill a vacancy? Does it take a few weeks? A few months?  Why?

    Some call it the Skill Shortage, some call it the Talent Gap. Whatever you want to call the tough hiring conditions effecting employers across the country, it’s clear to see that many companies are feeling the pain. With the cost of higher education on the rise, there numbers of newly minted professionals simply can’t keep up with the demand for hard skills from employers. On top of that, about half of the employers in this country don’t even think that new grads are even qualified for positions at their companies. If your company or department is at a stand still for lack of a particular skill, then you should make acquiring that skill (either through hiring or training) as soon as you can.  Read More…

  • Hiring Expectations VS Reality

    June 24, 2014
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    What you want isn’t always what you get.  In fact, it’s pretty rare to get exactly what you want out of any situation that’s more complicated than ordering dinner or taking care of your dry cleaning. The more complex the success criteria get, the harder it is to meet those criteria, plain and simple. As all of you already know, hiring the right person can be tough, especially when that person has to be “right” in several ways. As you’ve probably experienced, experience isn’t everything. A candidate who hits all of the high notes in the skills department might end up being an under-performer due to their poor attitude or just because they’re a bad fit for your company. This being the case, it’s no wonder that so many hiring managers have become so particular about who the “right” person for the job is and what sort of person they are. While evaluating candidates on several levels of criteria (skills, experience, attitude, personality), can help your hiring, becoming fixated on a quality that you want out of a new hire can be just as bad as going into the interview with no clue about what you want.  Read More…

  • Demand For Talent Increases as Unemployment Decreases

    June 20, 2014
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    The unemployment rate is just one of those things that’s depressing to track too minutely. Since the banking collapse of 2008, workers in the United States have been hit by mass layoffs, long term unemployment and a recession to boot. According to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of people who have become long-term unemployed (out of a job for 27 weeks or more) remained relatively unchanged in May, at 3.4 million. This marginalized group of job seekers accounts for 34.6% of the unemployed people in this country and, though this figure didn’t drop this month, the number of long-term unemployed people has been reduced significantly since last year. According to the same BLS report, “Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term unemployed has declined by 979,000.” Long stretches of unemployment are one of the biggest resume killers out there, so the fact that this group of disenfranchised job seekers has been so successful within the past year means that we’re truly in a job seeker’s talent market. This week’s theme on the Accolo blog is “The State of Hiring,” which means we’ll be going over some recent hiring trends in this country and discussing how you can use them to your advantage.  Read More…

  • A Different Look at Team Building

    June 19, 2014
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    We’ve talked a lot about team building this week, from how good it can be for company morale to how awkward it can be to force your employees to do something that they have no interest in. Getting outside of the office gives employees a chance to bond under different circumstances than they’re used to, but that doesn’t mean that this is the only way for employees to get to know each other better. Ultimately, it’s up to your employees to decide when and if they’re going to make friends at work, so, sometimes, it’s just better left to them. If many of the people on your team have only recently been hired, it may just be a matter of time before they bond and, as a consequence, become more efficient. Sometimes, all you need to do as a manager in order to promote camaraderie in your employees is let them get to know each other. Read More…

  • The Best Team Building Activity

    June 19, 2014
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    What have you done to show your employees that you care?  When it comes time to reap the rewards of your department’s hard work, do you share the rewards and kudos with your employees? Everyone likes to be rewarded for their hard work, and your employees are no different. Yes, you’re already paying them to work for you, but sometimes it’s necessary to go a bit above and beyond for the sake of their morale.

     

    When you take the time to organize a fun activity for your staff, you’re showing them just how much you care. It is important to note that if all you organize is some half-baked petting zoo in the parking lot or an outing that your employees have absolutely no interest in, it seems that you don’t care very much at all. Team building can be great way of encouraging your employees to stay engaged with their work. Just be sure that the “fun” activity that you’ve planned will go over well with your staff. The last thing you want is for your kind gesture to be a big waste of time for everyone involved.  Read More…

  • Team Building With Millennials

    June 17, 2014
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    Since this week’s theme on the Accolo blog is “Team Building”, I thought that one of the best things to cover would be Millennials and how team building with them is different than with any other age group. Though you might not have many or any millennial employees, chances are that you will before too long. By 2025 Millennials will make up the majority of the workforce, filling in the gaps in the labor market left by retiring Baby Boomers. Whether you like it or not, Generation Y is here and they are here to stay. As you may have heard, this generation has a notoriously short retention rate, averaging out at just about 2 years. This trend, however, is not the rule. By fostering a company culture that emphasizes mentorship and feedback for your millennial employees, you can create a place for them to hone their emerging professional skills. Though team building with your millennial employees is a bit different from the management side, the underlying principal is the same: the effectiveness of your team building will be based on how well you understand your team. Read More…

  • How to Hire for a Stronger Team

    June 16, 2014
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    Not everyone can work well together. Just because two people on the same team have decades of common experiences (their college majors, industry and employer) doesn’t mean that they’ll be a match made in heaven. When you’re charged with making the next addition to a team, finding a good fit for that team should be one of your top priorities. While many hiring managers might set out with this notion whistling cheerfully through their brain pan, few actually take the time to evaluate what a good fit for the team actually means.

    Is this team from a diverse collection of backgrounds or have almost all of them been recruited from the same school or competitor? Is this a social, tight-knit team that you’re hiring for or do they prefer to just keep their heads down and work? Is this team lacking a technological or niche market skill set that could make them more valuable to your company? These are the sort of questions that you should use to guide your investigation of the team that you’re about to hire for. After all, if you want to replace a part of anything, shouldn’t you always take a good look at what you’re working with before you get started?http://www.accolo.com/wp-includes/js/tinymce/plugins/wordpress/img/trans.gif Read More…

  • The Benefits of Team Building: Give Employees Something to Talk About

    June 15, 2014
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    Let’s face it, not everyone gets to have a cool job. If we were all lion tamers and movie directors, then who would be left to process the payroll or collate the contracts? Yep, it’s the people in these jobs that are the glue that holds most companies together. Though we all might want to work cool jobs, it definitely doesn’t stop us from working. Instead of chasing our dreams of submarine ownership or freelance ice sculpting, most of us are content to go and work for cool companies and save our submarine obsession for nights and weekends. If your company is full of folks that might not have the coolest job description on earth, you can bet that they’d love to change the subject. Through organizing team building activities for your employees, you can help them to both have a little fun and bond with their co-workers, making work feel more like home. Read More…

  • Overwhelmed at Work? You Need to Talk to…

    June 12, 2014
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    This week on the Accolo blog, we’ve been talking a lot about the importance of maintaining a good work/life balance for working successfully in the long term. Though it might make you feel superhuman to do superhuman amounts of work for your employer, this approach to work can’t last for too long. Everyone has their limits and, if you simply ignore your stress instead of decompressing, it’s highly likely that you’ll burn out from the blistering pace that you’ve set for yourself. Yes, it’s a lot easier to know when you’ve been successful at work than when you’ve been successful as a parent or when you’ve painted a successful picture, but that doesn’t mean these personal goals aren’t worth pursuing.

    As important as work is, it isn’t worth sacrificing your relationships with friends and family or giving up on your favorite hobby. In order to enjoy a life that’s as rewarding at home as it is in the office, you need to strike a balance between your career and your personal life.  Read More…