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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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  • Getting a Hold on Your Metrics

    January 28, 2014
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    Getting a hold of your metrics means a lot more than just refining the way in which you measure and collect information on the state of your company’s hiring function. In order to truly get the most out of your hard work, blood, sweat and spread sheets, your metrics have to do more than just collect dust. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of accurate measurement, but recording metrics for metrics sake just isn’t the point of the whole exercise. The point is improvement, and the potential that good metrics have for growing your hiring function is immense. The only problem is that, much of the time, the same HR people who put in the time to collect and catalog  the right metrics can’t quite tell the story that the data is pointing at. Even if the numbers are all laid out in front of you and your executives, the bottom line and organizational impact of recent HR decisions and your hiring function as a whole can still be lost in translation. Read More…

  • How Your Voice Can Ruin Your Phone Interview

    January 27, 2014
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    When you’re in the Human Resources line of work, you see a lot of applicants come and go. From seeing them on paper in the form of their resumes to hearing their voices in phone screenings to seeing them in person during the physical interview: an endless parade of qualifications and years with Company X and on and on. After a while, it gets a lot easier to see who fits the bill for the job in question and who should really not have applied in the first place. Unfortunately, this decisiveness can sometimes get in the way of giving every job seeker an equal shot at the position. As it turns out, the way that a candidate sounds on the phone (the tone of their voice, their speech patterns, etc.) can have a huge effect on their chances, and not just in a bad way! Read More…

  • What Millennials Want Out of Their Next Employer

    January 24, 2014
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    If you’re trying to be a competitive hiring force with the largest emerging job seeker demographic (the Millennials), then you’ll need to understand what they’re looking for in their next (or first) employer. Unlike previous generations to flood the working world, much of what motivates the Millennials to choose one job over the other has little to do with who pays more. Millennials, more than anything else, want to identify with the place where they work. They want to be able to see themselves doing rewarding, interesting and having an impact on things with a potential employer. Talk about high expectations! Read More…

  • Don’t Get Carried Away in Your Interview

    January 23, 2014
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    There are a lot of things that you need to go right in order to land a job. First, you have to look good on paper. This means that your particular blend of skills, accomplishments and references happen to jump out at somebody in the 15 seconds that they devote to scanning your resume. In the event that you still stand out when compared to the dozens of other hopeful resumes, you’ll move on to the high stakes stuff: the interview.

    Now, there are about a million things outside of your control when it comes to dealing with people. The person that’s interviewing you could be going through an unexpected divorce or you might just happen to have an uncanny resemblance to somebody that stood them up in college. They could just plain old not like you when it comes down to it. With all this potential chaos standing in the way of you getting that job, it’s up to you to make sure that you execute everything within your control in the most professional way possible. On interview day, you must be well dressed, organized and…oh yeah, don’t say anything stupid!

    Now, when I say “stupid,” I don’t mean that obvious stuff like: “You aren’t as fat as my last boss!” or “I’ve never really thought about bagels before, like, why aren’t they donuts?” I mean that stuff that feels totally appropriate to say in the moment, but, in reality, probably ruined your chances at getting that job.  Read More…

  • Building Relationships With Passive Candidates

    January 22, 2014
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    Sourcing and recruiting passive candidates takes a lot more finesse than when trying to attract active candidates to your company. While there are a lot of wrinkles that complicate the process, the biggest obstacle that you face when you try to get a passive candidate interested in your company is the fact that they don’t know you, and you don’t know them. Okay, so they might “know you” from the multitude of emails that you’ve been leaving in their inbox and you might “know them” as one of the leading professionals in whatever field they happen to be leading in; but this doesn’t help you to establish a workable relationship. When you’re trying to get somebody so interested in your job that they leave their current employer, how do you expect to make any headway until you know what makes the passive candidate interested in the first place? Read More…

  • Happy MLK Day!

    January 21, 2014
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    Today, we celebrate the life of Martin Luther King Junior, one of the most influential Americans in our country’s history. Dr. King helped to lead the  millions involved in the civil rights movement of the 60′s and he helped capture the hope and spirit of the people that fought with him for equal rights. I am, of course, referring to that summer day in 1963 when King delivered his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington.

    Though you might have seen this footage before, it’s still pretty awe inspiring to see the multitudes of people surrounding Dr. king as he delivers the words for which he has become so well known. It’s important to reflect on this day, and other days too, on the struggle that it took for race relations to where they are today. Though prejudice has been expunged from the law books, it still exists in many other ways. Today, I urge you to be conscious of the history of the past century and the enormity of the struggle faced by all those who supported Dr. King back on that day in 1963.

  • Hiring in Sales? Look for These Qualities in Your Next A Player

    January 17, 2014
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    What makes a successful sales person? You might think that it’s somebody with an indomitable spirit, somebody who doesn’t take no for an answer and can cold call for hours without getting discouraged. Others think say that it’s persuasiveness that makes for a success at sales, the ability to turn “no” into “yes, please” after some tasteful schmoozing. Still others might believe that it’s all about strategy, about honing each separate pitch to a razor’s edge based on the specific circumstances of the client and the sale. Well, unfortunately for you, dear reader, that was sort of a trick question: all of these qualities together are equally important to a star sales person.  Read More…

  • 1 in 5 Full Time Employees Say They’re Switching Jobs This Year

    January 16, 2014
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    We make mistakes every day: setting our alarm for PM instead of AM, drinking decaf instead of the real stuff or thinking “It can’t be that bad,” before agreeing to a long term commitment. Be it romantic or professional, legally binding or simply understood: the very nature of entering into a partnership or employership with someone that you hardly know leaves a lot of room for error. Sure, you can get a good idea of what a potential employee has done, but what’s to stop them from doing a complete 180 in attitude and motivation a few months or years into it?  Read More…

  • Hiring For Long Term Success

    January 15, 2014
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    The value of getting the right people, in the right roles at your company goes much further than just getting the work done. No two people are completely interchangeable, though we operate as if this is true. Along with their skills and experience, each potential employee will bring with them their specific temperament, energy level and personality to the job. This means that, besides meeting the hard skill requirements for a job, the right candidate will also have the soft skills needed to thrive in the position in which you’re placing them. Before sitting down to write your job description, you need to figure out what little details will make or break a new hire. For instance: does this job require that they have excellent attention to detail? Will they need to be able to collaborate with their co-workers on a daily basis? Will they need to be self motivated or will they be working closely under a manager? Just as no two people are totally alike, the soft requirements for success as a sales person or a graphic designer at your company might be very different from that of your competitors.  Read More…

  • Finding the Value of Your Best and Worst Performers

    January 14, 2014
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    They say that you shouldn’t fix what ain’t broke, but whoever said that probably ain’t never heard of a double negative. Even if you don’t think that there’s anything to be done about the way that your business runs or the way your people work, it doesn’t mean that you can’t improve the state of things. While you might just accept that certain people are just better workers than others, it’s always valuable to know what’s going on with your various employees on a dollar for dollar level. As in: what they’re getting from you and what they give back in return. While we’re all beautiful, unique snow flakes and all of that good stuff: when you get down to it, employees are investments and you don’t want to be stuck with the ones that promise little to no ROI. You want to hire the people that make an large impact at your company, both for the team that they work with and for your bottom line.  Read More…