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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 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…

  • This Week is National Small Business Week

    May 11, 2014
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    The United States is one of the most entrepreneur friendly countries in the world. I mean, they don’t call it the “American Dream” for nothing. All that you need to be a business success in this country is a good idea, some investment or interest (which can also lead to investment) in that idea and then put in more hours to your business than you though humanly possible. Since 1963, the President has issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week, which recognized the achievements and entrepreneurial spirit of small business leaders from around the country. Every year, the US Small Business Administration holds conferences throughout the week, featuring high profile speakers and small business success stories alike. In honor of Small Business Week, this week on the Accolo blog will be all about how small businesses, which account for about half of the jobs in this country, are moving our economy and innovating in their industries.  Read More…

  • How to Attract and Keep the Right Employees

    May 8, 2014
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    Half of the fight in the war for talent is attracting great candidates to your company. The second half is getting them to stay once you’ve found the right person for the job. In today’s hyper-connected age, it’s entirely possible that the top performers at your company are approached on a weekly or even a daily basis by recruiters and competitors that want to steal them away for their own ends. Conditions have never been tougher in the talent market and your company’s staffing efforts should be focused on both attracting the right sort of candidates for your company and making sure that they stick around for as long as possible.  Read More…

  • How Bias Can Hurt Your Hiring

    May 7, 2014
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    Our preferences determine a lot in our lives. They determine what line of work we’re in, what sort of music we listen to, even the sort of people that we choose to surround ourselves with. In a way, it’s our preferences that determine who we are. When it comes to hiring, however, our preferences are a kind of double edged sword. If you have strong ideas about what qualities make for a good candidate, they can be very helpful in sorting through a large applicant pool without wasting time on indecision. The flip side of this decisiveness is a bit less helpful. When you rely more on what you “think” makes a great hire than the evidence that you can gather through a more objective interview, then you might end up making a worse hire.  Read More…

  • The Right Way to Write Job Descriptions

    May 6, 2014
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    Job descriptions are important. Not only are they the primary method of attracting talent to apply for your open positions, but job descriptions are also important for establishing the finer points of an employee’s duties once they’ve become a part of your team. Depending on what company you work for, it could be the people in HR that are in charge of every aspect of the job descriptions that get pushed out to job boards, from the wording to the skill requirements to the responsibilities that the job entails. While this structure of ownership may work, it’s important to remember that the people in HR aren’t in the departments that they’re hiring for. Often times, because of this distance from the day-to-day of a particular department, this job description can be out of date or out of touch with the real demands of the position. In order to make sure that the job descriptions of the workers at your company match up with the work that they’re doing, it might be in your organization’s best interest to turn over ownership of these job descriptions to the employees that hold those jobs. Read More…

  • Bridging the Hiring Manager-HR Gap

    May 6, 2014
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    The point from which you work on a process or project makes a huge difference in the way that you experience that process or project. If you’re working on the factory floor, filling jars with peanut butter for 14 hours per day, you’re interacting with your employer’s product much differently than, say, someone in the marketing department or sales. Even though you’re working toward the success of the same product as the people in marketing, chances are that you (that guy or gal on the factory floor) have a wildly different history with and relationship to that product. While someone in marketing might get sick of writing dozens of drafts for a peanut butter jingle, they probably won’t get sick of the sights and smells of industrial peanut butter production. When you apply the same principal to hiring, it’s plain to see that the people at the ground floor of any business’s talent acquisition are the hiring managers. They’re the ones who actually spend face time with candidates, as opposed to people in HR, who, like the marketer in our peanut butter example, deal with the bigger picture.  This being the case, it’s no wonder that hiring managers experience the hiring process much differently than the people who oversee that hiring in Human Resources.  Read More…

  • How to Choose From Your Hiring Candidates

    May 5, 2014
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    When it comes to picking the best fit candidate for your open job, selecting this candidate from the final handful of applicants can be tough. When you get down to the last few candidates for the job, often times, it can be impossible to differentiate them by credentials alone. This is the point at which you need to start looking for success factors for the position other than the raw skills that candidates possess. Which of the candidates stood out to you as the most knowledgeable about your company? Which candidate stood out to you as having great interpersonal and communication skills. When you want to hire the best person possible for the job, you need to remember that there’s a whole lot more to a good employee than what college they went to or which degree they happen to have.  Read More…

  • The Things You Should Keep From HR

    May 2, 2014
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    When you work for a large company, Human Resources can be your best friend in certain situations and your worst nightmare in others. If you have an egotistical manager who’s making everyone under them hate their job, you can’t really do anything other than go above them in the organization, which usually starts with HR. In other situations, HR can be forced to work against an employee in order to avoid losses for the company. Though HR might exist to help deal with employee grievances, their ultimate purpose is to make sure that those grievances don’t end up costing an arm and a leg for the bosses. While you shouldn’t hesitate to bring your workplace concerns to HR, there are certain things that you should never, ever reveal to a HR representative. Read More…

  • How to Write Policy

    April 30, 2014
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    When it comes managing, there’s a fine line to walk when it comes to policy creation. On the one hand, you need rules and procedures for handling various legal and behavioral issues that come up in the workplace. On the other hand, you don’t want to have so many rules and regulations that your hands tied by red tape in a situation that could be resolved with a simple conversation. Workplace policies are supposed to ensure that everyone is on a level playing field, that everyone knows the appropriate way to behave and that nobody is being discriminated against. If a common behavioral or compliance problem is limited to a select few bad apples, the appropriate response is to deal with those exceptions to the rule, not create a rule for the exception. Read More…

  • Beating Bad Boss Tendencies

    April 29, 2014
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    Bad bosses are everywhere. You might overhear them in your local coffee shop, screaming at the new guy about the difference between an Americano and an Espresso in the back of the store. You might see them at your job, jabbing their fingers at a hapless employee’s computer screen and instructing them on the finer points of PowerPoint. You might have worked for a few in your career that only stopped to notice your existence when they needed to take credit for something. You might even be a bad boss yourself and have none the wiser! Just because you refrain from throwing staplers at people and give credit where it’s due doesn’t mean that you’ve peaked where management is concerned. There’s always room for improvement, in my opinion, and a lot of the mistakes that managers make aren’t as obvious as using abusive language or practicing blatant favoritism. Read More…