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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 Trends and Statistics for January

    February 14, 2013
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    With it being Valentines Day and all, I thought that today’s post could be on the sumptuous subject of January’s employment statistics. If employment stats are the fastest way to a woman’s heart, January’s job statistics would be like taking a blind date to Hansel and Grettle: Witch Hunters 3D. Unemployment rose to 12.3 million or 7.9 percent, with the largest losses taking place in Government and Transportation/Warehousing. 57,000 jobs were added in January, the majority of which were in Retail and Construction followed closely behind by educational, professional and medical services. In Business services, the hottest hiring companies were in Computer System Design and Management/Technical Consulting. With the USPS in a weakened state, these statistics support the unfortunate downward slide of our post office. Some good news is that the number of discouraged workers, people who have given up hope and the search for employment, dropped by 225,000 to 804,000. To read the official Bureau of Labor Statistics report, click the link below. Read the Full Article

  • The Next Step in Precision Recruitment Marketing

    February 13, 2013
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    Marketing and recruiting are about as inseparable as wheels and a car, both functions working together to propel the vehicle forward to its destination. If we’re to keep with the car metaphor, the destination in question is a hire — or a whole bunch of hires. At the moment, the marketing function of most recruiters operates either on a broadcast model (mass promotions and email) or a one on one specialized model using data or personal information to try and take a more carefully aimed shot at getting the right person in the right position. According to today’s article from ERE.net, the future of recruitment marketing lies in a sort of hybrid between the personal approach and the mass media strategy. Instead of one:many or one:one marketing for recruiters, Tracey Parsons believes that the next step will be called one:me marketing. By utilizing the ever-growing wealth of information on candidates in the cloud, Parsons believes that recruiters will not only be able to send the right message to the right person, but also at the right time. Big data and predictive behavioral technology based on this data might just be the key to both picking up exemplary job seekers and detecting when a star player at another company is looking for better options. To read more about the possibilities of one:me marketing for recruiters, click the link below.

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  • Increasing Numbers of Employees Who Search for “Better” Positions While Employed

    February 12, 2013
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    Job security is something that comes more and more rarely in today’s economy. Workers fear being laid off or else come to look at every position as strictly temporary. Perhaps in response to this volatility, along with salary complaints and interpersonal problems, more and more workers are actively looking for more lucrative positions while already gainfully employed. In a slide show article on the subject from Salary.com, a survey of 1,300 people found that 77% of them were planning on searching for a more ideal job in 2013. It is important here to note that while 69% of the surveyed employees said that they were unhappy at their current position, 17% of those on the hunt for a better job described themselves as happy with their current employer. The survey shows low pay to be the largest factor in the job hunter’s rationale in their continued searching, followed by things related to office culture such as a bad boss or good old-fashioned feeling unappreciated. What’s clear is that the expectations that employees have for their employers are changing. To read about which age group is most likely to keep searching for new options and get the scoop on this hiring trend, click the link below.

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  • How “OK” Performers Can Kill Your Start Up

    February 11, 2013
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    When fighting to get your start up off the ground, you need a team that is just as driven in the pursuit of the venture’s success as the original entrepreneur is. You need a squad of heavy hitters who can consistently put out good work under make-or-break conditions. As much as it might ruffle your old roommate’s feathers, not replacing him with a better performer can really shoot you in the foot. In today’s source article, Jon Soberg explains why jettisoning both the dead weight and the so-so employees at a start up is critical to making it in the long term. He calls these “so-so” performers “B Players”  meaning that they do their job satisfactorily, but are lacking in initiative or the ability to make independent decisions that help the company. In a start up, you want to minimize the time it takes to manage people and maximize the time that workers do their job. If there are B Players at the head of any aspect of your emerging company, seriously consider the potential for lost opportunities that they may have on your business. To read the full article, click the link below.

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  • Is There a Talent Shortage or a Hiring Deficit?

    February 7, 2013
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    One of the many peculiar paradoxes involved in the way that humans function is that, generally, a person presented with fewer options is more able to choose one and be satisfied than a person with a whole range of possibilities for selection. Red tie or blue? Enchilada or taco? A brusque secretary with 10 years of experience or one with a sunny disposition and only 3 years on the job? In a recent opinion piece from ere.net, this classic chooser’s dilemma is examined in the hiring world, specifically the so called “talent vacuum” that employers across the country are lamenting. According to the source article, as much as 49% of employers in the US complained about being unable to find properly qualified candidates for open positions in their company. With millions of professionals remaining unemployed in the US, a 49% dissatisfaction rate may have more to do with hiring practices than candidate ineptitude. If a staffing department can review 25,000 applicants for a standard engineering position and not make a hire (true story), it is clearly a case of indecision brought on by the abundance of applicants. To read the full article and get some more insight into this phenomenon, click the link below.

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  • Job Seeking in 2013: Survival of the Quickest

    February 6, 2013
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    For job seekers who have been on the hunt for some time, the start of a new year is a great time for a re-appraisal of your strategy for getting back into the working world and enjoying the security that comes with it. The uneven distribution of labor in the United States and large job seeker population creates situations in which every job opening is flooded with applicants. These days, it’s all about practicality: the skills that you can showcase to prove that you are a valuable asset to your prospective employer. Today’s source article from Mashable.com discusses the 5 ways for job seekers to get an edge in the 2013 job circus. One of the most important take-home messages in this article is about specializing, or “Going Niche” as the article calls it. This means honing your skill set for a field or maybe even a few specialized jobs within these specialized fields, so that you can go out and try to find your place at a company that you admire. To read the full article, follow the link below.

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  • Government Jobs in Trouble as Massive Cuts Loom Closer

    February 5, 2013
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    For those who follow the continuous inter-party squabbling that we somehow still call political discourse, the Fiscal Cliff is a term that you’ve heard a lot about. This was a sort of fail-safe for agreement in the Senate, an economic pitfall that would force the bipartisan politics of the past to float away like cherry blossoms and we’d all get along happily ever after. While potential calamity can definitely bring out good qualities in people, it has not spurred our representatives on to any great acts of compromise. In fact, the way in which we avoided the fiscal cliff may have an unintended effect on up to a million government employees. This new threat to government job security is called the “sequester” and it entails a $55 billion reduction to defense spending and $27 billion reduction in non-defense governmental spending. What ever your politics, jumping a few points in unemployment after the sluggish recovery of the last few years seems a whole lot like two steps forward, one step back. Yes, it’s true there is no magic solution to the deficit, but this massive cut in spending may end up causing more harm than good. Today’s source article is from the New York Times outlines the situation and offers some useful figures:

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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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