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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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  • 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…

  • Bee’s Knees: A Small Business Success Story

    May 14, 2014
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    Going into business for yourself is no picnic. In the beginning, it’s entirely possible that the only people that you have to help are the unfortunate friends and family members that you’ve roped into working for you. Then there’s the logistics to consider. How do you take your product out of the design/prototype phase and into mass production? How do you produce your product in a way that’s profitable? How do you ultimately get that product onto the shelves? These are all things that entrepreneur Tammany Atkinson had to figure out for herself in her journey to create her nationally successful line of baby clothing: “Bee’s Knees.” Read More…

  • What Makes a Small Business?

    May 14, 2014
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    When you think of a small business, what comes to mind? Do you envision the classic “mom-n-pop” shop on the main street of your town, complete with delightfully elderly owners and bright eyed young clerks? Do you picture a trio of  programmers sitting around in a loft on beanbag chairs trying to brainstorm the next big thing on the mobile apps marketplace? How about a bustling factory that manufactures specialty manufacturing equipment for other companies around the world? A lone individual processing other people’s payroll from their home office?  Believe it or not, each hypothetical scenario that I’ve described could technically be called a small business. Understanding definitions is important, especially for subjects that have as much rhetoric surrounding them as “small business” does. Today’s blog is going to cover exactly what counts as a small business and how much of an impact these businesses are having on job creation and economic stimulation.  Read More…

  • How Small Business Stacks Up Against Big Business

    May 13, 2014
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    How small are small businesses? While this might sound like an open and shut sort of question (small businesses are small, everyone knows that), the reality is that small businesses have a rather large effect on our country’s economy and workforce. For instance, did you know that small businesses employ over half of America’s workforce? That’s right, if you work in this country, odds are that you’re working for somebody who’s putting their entrepreneurial vision to the test with each passing year. Though the success or failure of a particular small business doesn’t translate into the success or failure of the economy (unlike the banking collapse of 2008), the collective impact of small businesses in this country is anything but small.  Read More…