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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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  • 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…

  • 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…