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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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  • Hiring Best Practices: Employee Referrals

    April 2, 2014
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    A good company is like a family. Now, I don’t mean that you should look at your employees like kids or yourself as married to any of your colleagues. Family is there for each other when the chips are down and stick together through the good times and the bad. While you can’t reasonably expect somebody that you hire to remain part of the team for the rest of their natural lives, a workplace that feels like a bit like home can help to prolong the time that your employees choose to remain with your company. Besides fostering all of these familial feelings through your management, beefing up your employee referral program can help to create this sort of environment naturally by making hires that are already connected to members of your existing staff. Referral hires are also statistically more likely to be qualified for the job and have a higher retention rate to boot! Read More…

  • Hiring Best Practices: Intelligent Sourcing

    March 31, 2014
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    Does success in hiring seem random to you? Does it ever feel like the process that you’re using to source and hire candidates delivers great results in one round of hiring and terrible results in another, seemingly with no rhyme or reason? If you’re on the verge of a lucky horse shoe shopping spree on eBay to help with your next hire, the most useful thing that you can do is re-examine your hiring process with a few of Accolo’s hiring best practices in mind. Over years of making hires, it’s pretty common to develop some bad habits, or at least a few blind spots. By making an effort to get back to basics, hiring a great candidate becomes the end result of a measurable, ordered process instead of just a matter of blind luck.

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  • What Are “Hiring Best Practices”?

    March 30, 2014
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    If people acted the way that they did in job interviews all the time, then the world would be a better place. Everybody would be well dressed, on time and on their best behavior. The problem is, that’s not the way things work. The reason it’s called “best” behavior is because it stands out from the rest of a person’s actions and demeanor. When you’re interviewing candidates for a position, it can be easy to subconsciously make your decision about who’s getting the job simply based on who was the most charming or who you “liked the best.” This can lead to some nasty shocks later down the line when Mr. or Ms. perfect turns out to have some serious flaws, either personal or professional. That’s why we need hiring best practices, general standards for our interviewing that can help account for some of this human error. This week on the Accolo blog is all about these best practices and how they can help to improve the quality of hire that you make.  Read More…

  • Bridging the Gap Between Tech and Everyone Else

    March 27, 2014
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    What are the relationships like between the departments at your company? Chances are that you aren’t all peas in a pod, but is there at least some familiarity there? Some camaraderie based on the fact that you’re all working toward the success of your company? Or, more likely, is there as little exchange between your tech team and the people who’s technology they support as there is between the polar bears and the orangutans at the zoo? Just because you work in different parts of the building doesn’t mean that there can’t at least be a little familiarity between your technical and IT staff and the employees that they support. Read More…

  • How to Hire Great Programmers

    March 26, 2014
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    If you’re trying to be competitive in the technology industry, one of the most important things that you can do to benefit your business is hire the best programming talent possible. Employees are the lifeblood of your business and programmers are the the ones that turn an idea like “I want to make an app to monitor my blood pressure” and turn it into a reality. While you might be competing with some of the most recognizable brands on the planet (Google, Apple, etc.) for top tech talent, there are ways to stand out as a great employer. By focusing on the development of your employer brand and getting a little creative, you can start to attract top talent to your company. Oh yeah, and by the way, Google and Apple also have some of the highest turnover rates in the industry. I guess insane perks and oodles of cash aren’t the only things that employees care about!

    In order to attract top programming talent, you need to differentiate your company from your competitors. This means that the first thing that you should do is re-evaluate your job marketing. Instead of your job description reading like a robot’s shopping list (technical requirements in bullets with little to no descriptive language), you want potential candidates to learn about all that your company has to offer them. The technologies they’ll be working with, the tight knit team they’ll be joining, the flexible work environment that you offer. You want to make your company sound unique and your job sound like an opportunity that you’d be foolish to turn down.

    The next step in differentiating your company from the competition is focusing on your employer branding. In case you haven’t read one of our articles on employer branding, it’s basically the employee experience that your job marketing, reputation and online presence projects to potential candidates. One of the most effective ways to ensure that you’ve got a strong, appealing employee brand is to update the career page on your company’s website. If you don’t already, feature some of your most talented employees on this page as well as any accomplishments that they might have achieved in your industry. Talented programmers want to work with other talented programmers, plain and simple. If tech talent sees your company as a challenging career opportunity that other programmers are already taking advantage of, it’s only too natural that they’ll want a part of the action.

    Another way to attract top programming talent is to sponsor some sort of programming challenge or contest. This will strengthen your employer brand, making you seem enterprising and disruptive in the marketplace to tech talent. Now, the size of the prize will depend on your company’s resources, but this small investment can do a lot to increase your company’s profile in your industry and generate interest from job seekers and passive candidates alike.

  • Finding Software Architects

    March 25, 2014
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    A Software Architect is one of those management positions that’s about as difficult to define as it is to fill. While this position might resemble that of a lead software developer, the software architect is much more directly involved in the big picture of the program that’s ultimately being developed. They are the person that takes a statement like this: “We want to design an employee bench mark program that people in HR will love to use. It’s gotta be fast, sleek and, above all, user friendly,” and turn it into a product that ultimately meets these abstract specifications. They are the ones in charge of: planning the overall structure of the code that needs to get written, selecting the right technology to complete the software and evaluating the success of each stage of implementation.  Read More…

  • How to Evaluate Programmer Candidates (Without Knowing Programming)

    March 24, 2014
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    When you’re looking to hire great tech talent (programmers, developers, etc.) is to examine their skills. Yet, you may not know programming.  It is important to come to terms with your technical knowledge because you need to be able to evaluate that knowledge in a potential hire. Unlike other jobs where some training can be viable, you want to hire programmers that have the computing chops to hop into the project that your existing tech team is working on without skipping a beat. So don’t worry if you don’t know the first thing about programming. By consulting with some of the best and brightest minds of your existing technical staff you can still hire a great addition to their team.  Read More…

  • Great Technology Is Driven By Great Talent

    March 23, 2014
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    The cutting edge of technology is a funny thing. The more a product is portrayed as sexy and futuristic, the more it ends up looking dated after it is, inevitably, left in the dust by the next big breakthrough. Do you remember when the hottest cell phones on the market had actual buttons on them? Today’s hand held tablets and smart phones do infinitely more than even computers from 15 years ago. You can hardly even call them phones any more! But, like I was saying, the next best thing will always make the old model look like a pile of junk by comparison. I mean, why would you actually touch a screen if you could just wave your hands in front of it instead? Besides the obvious pro of not getting your greasy fingers all over the screen, gesture sensitive interfaces are just plain awesome! Companies specializing in this futuristic stuff are being snatched up left and right by the industry’s heavy hitters like Microsoft and HP, so you can bet that gesture sensitive computers and mobile devices aren’t too far in the future. It’s innovations like these that continue to move the cutting edge forward, and it’s these innovations that are made possible by the top talent in the tech industry. This week on the Accolo blog is all about the workers that continue to drive innovations like gesture sensitive interfaces.  Read More…

  • Spring Into Longer Employee Retention

    March 20, 2014
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    Even if you have the fastest candidate sourcing in the world, you still want to keep the people that you hire. Besides the cost of marketing your job,  the time you spent qualifying and interviewing the candidates, new hires have to be trained on the particularities of your business and often don’t start delivering their full potential until a few months in. That being the case, there’s nothing more frustrating than having to open up a job that you just filled last quarter and starting the whole dang thing over again. The good news is that increasing employee retention isn’t that hard, in theory at least. By making a few adjustments to your management style you can do a lot to foster a bond between your company and your new employees.  Read More…

  • Unifying Your Web Presence

    March 19, 2014
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    It’s important to get all that we can out of our expenses. This might sound pretty obvious, like how you obviously don’t throw all of your groceries off of your roof instead of eating them, but not every misuse of resources is as blatant as that. You might even think that you’re getting the most out of the things that you or your company have invested time and money into, but have actually hit an invisible wall somewhere along the line. In keeping with this weeks theme of springing into better hiring practices, today is all about making sure that your company’s online presence is doing the most that it can for your job seeking efforts.  Read More…