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Employment Industry News
Oct 21, 2014

Should you Hire an Overqualified Candidate?

Your candidate selection process is almost complete, and you’ve narrowed your final contenders down to a short list of three. Two of these candidates hold all of the credentials required for the job…and nothing more. You requested a bachelor’s degree, and both hold degrees from respected institutions. You requested four specific software proficiencies, and both hold all four. You need three years of experience, and both have been in the field for exactly three years.

But your remaining candidate has a very different story to tell. Instead of a bachelor’s degree, she holds a masters and a professional certification. Instead of basic software proficiency, she holds true expertise with the software platforms you depend on. Instead of three years of experience, she has seven. And unlike the other candidates, she’s spent two of those years in a management role. So she’s your obvious choice, right?

Maybe. Before you hire this candidate, ask a few questions to make sure these common problems won’t stand in your way (and in her way) if she’s hired.

1. Make sure your candidate is affordable.

Overqualified candidates can break your hiring budget, and even if you pay more than you can afford, you still may not be providing the compensation they need and deserve. If you manage to talk your great candidate down to an affordable salary, you haven’t necessarily scored a win; if she can’t adjust to this low figure over the long term, she’ll have to leave, which means you’ll have to start your expensive hiring process over from scratch. Just ask her for a salary range before you commit, and encourage her to be honest.

2. Make sure your candidate’s plans align with your own.

Overqualified candidates may become restless if they aren’t given room to grow and an opportunity to exercise their skills and talents. And if they become restless, they’ll leave. Again, encourage her to explain her one, three, and five year career plans in honest detail.

3. Make sure your candidate can accept the status quo.

Your candidate may not be used to taking instructions and direction from someone younger, less qualified, or less experienced than she is. And she may identify opportunities for improvement and solutions to organizational problems that you just aren’t ready to implement. Can she accept this? Find out how she feels about taking a back seat or a lower rung on the ladder than she may be used to.

For more on how to look past the “best” candidate in order to find the best match, contact the staffing and hiring experts at Accent.

Jul 29, 2014

How to Find Top Candidates on Linkedin

If you haven’t started working social media and online profiles into your staffing strategy, now is a great time to start. Social media is here to stay, and if you aren’t taking advantage of publically available information that’s strictly voluntary on the candidate’s part, you’re missing out on an opportunity to make smarter, better-informed choices about who you choose to bring onboard.

Facebook and Twitter provide information that candidates may or may not choose to share with you, and for the most part, these sites offer details that reflect the candidate’s personal life, not her professional accomplishments and goals. But Linkedin is different. And right now, this is the most popular, widely used, and reliable source of candidate information available beyond the standard resume and cover letter combination. Here are a few tips that can help you use this site to identify the best candidates in your applicant pool.

1. Look for articulate thought leaders with a strong sense of professionalism.

First, review each candidate’s basic profile information. A given candidate may not choose to share a wealth of background information in this venue, but take a close look at whatever’s there. Is it well written? Is it clear? Is it honest?

2. Look for supplemental clues.

Check the candidate’s testimonials. What do others have to say about her value as an employee? Read these with the context in mind of course—some testimonials are written by low level supervisors who worked closely beside her, and others may be written by high profile company leaders who haven’t interacted with her very much, but take the source into account and read them all.

3. Compare the number of recommendations to the length of the contacts list.

If a candidate has fifty recommendations, that’s great…until you notice that she has five hundred total contacts. By the same token, a candidate with twenty contacts and twenty recommendations is comparatively drawing a stronger reaction from her network.

4. Search for evidence of groups, comments, posts, and reposts.

Does the candidate make insightful and supportive comments on the posts of others within her industry? Does she post and repost intelligent articles with her own insights added? Does she engage with others in her sectors of the marketplace? When you reach this step, take the information you find with a grain of salt; keep in mind that true thought leaders who are genuinely engaged with their professions don’t spend all their time on social media. Watch out for candidates who don’t seem to leave the site except to sleep. But within reasonable limits, take each comment to heart and use it to inform your overall impression.

For more on how to get the most out every staffing resource at your disposal, including social media and online profiles, reach out to the hiring and management experts at Accent.

Jul 8, 2014

Video Interviews are On the Rise

In an earlier era, most candidate selection formats involved a two-to-three round interview process. During the first round, candidates with appealing resumes or strong referrals would be subjected to an initial screening, usually by phone. This screening stage has traditionally been pragmatic, direct and short, lasting about ten minutes and involving closed-ended questions like: “Your salary range falls below what we can offer. Are you flexible on this?” and “Your contact information says you live two states away…Will you be willing and able to move without assistance?” and “You seem overqualified for this role…are you willing to accept a downward or lateral move?”

Since screening interviews cover concrete basics rather than in-depth assessments of trustworthiness, cultural fit, and subtle aspects of personality and character, they’ve undergone a smooth transition from phone to online formats as more and more candidates gain access to webcams and video-chatting technology.

But until recently, the second and third rounds of the interview process have remained in the three dimensional world. Managers haven’t been able to gain a vital sense of connection through a screen, and most companies have stubbornly held onto the belief that there’s no substitution for a face-to-face meeting with a candidate, especially if this candidate will be trusted with high levels of responsibility.

Finally, long after initial video screenings have become commonplace, this attitude is starting to change. And the primary reason for the shift is simple: Money.

The Growing Popularity of Video Interviews

When it comes to cost, there’s no comparison. In-person interviews can take an enormous financial toll on both employers and employees, especially when they involve lost work days, airline travel, hotel fees, and the opportunity cost of pulling multiple managers away from their desks in order to meet with a candidate in another physical or geographical area.

According to the long-standing argument, these costs paid off by providing managers with volumes of meaningful information embedded in a candidate’s handshake, posture, and physical presentation. Subtle non-verbal cues were thought to be inaccessible through a screen. But growing volumes of HR research and hiring data undermine this assumption. As it happens, the rate of successful and unsuccessful hiring decisions remains largely the same regardless of the interview format.

55% of interview information is conveyed through a candidate’s face, 38% is conveyed through the voice, and 7% though a candidate’s words. But none of these three channels are measurably compromised by the introduction of the video screen. Body language cues are decoded the same way and success rates are nearly identical in both interview settings.

Hiring managers will be wise to keep this in mind while staffing positions in the future. For more information on this management trend—and others—contact the staffing experts at Accent Hiring Group.

May 20, 2014

How to Approach Passive vs Active Job Seekers

“Active” job seekers are the ones that make their way to you after you post your open position. These candidates skim job boards, lean on their networks, and submit resumes on their own. Passive candidates, by contrast, are usually happily employed and don’t identify as job seekers until you (or your recruiter team) come knocking.

So which type of candidate should you consider for your open position? By nature, the members of both groups can offer serious advantages to your organization. Active candidates are hungrier and more willing to accept your terms and conditions, while passive candidates obviously have some degree of proven skills, since they’ve managed to convince their current employers to hire them. But there’s another side to the same coin; passive candidates can be rigid, unmotivated, and unyielding during salary negotiations. And active candidates can easily cross the line from eager to desperate, which suggests they’re struggling to find employers willing to take a chance on them.

No matter which category you decide to pursue, you’ll have to factor these traits into your sourcing strategy and your final offer. Here are a few tips that can help you gain the edge with each group.

Passive Candidate Hiring Strategies

1. Keep in mind that you hold fewer cards with this group. Don’t be too aggressive, don’t nitpick, and expect pushback if your salary offer is too low. These candidates have very little to lose, so if you can’t or won’t meet their terms, expect them to disappear.

2. Pitch your company. What makes your office a great place to work? What benefit does your organization provide for society and the greater good? Use these as leverage.

3. Be persistent. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, and if you keep squeaking, your candidate will have a harder time walking away.

Active Candidate Hiring Strategies

1. Create a targeted, market tested, data driven post. Lock onto your target audience and position this ad with the same effort you put into positioning your product or service. Attract a huge applicant pool full of highly qualified candidates and you’ll begin your negotiations on stronger footing.

2. Once you’ve gathered a large pool, start cracking down. Make your selection process as efficient as possible. Don’t be afraid to ask tough interview questions.

3. Know what you want when you see it. The longer you hem and haw, the more likely you are to let great candidates be lured away by better offers. Eventually only the desperate will remain. Limit your interviews to three rounds or fewer.

For specific guidance that can help you attract the best candidates in either category, reach out to the staffing experts at Accent Hiring Group. If you are looking for recruiters in Scottsdale, contact us today.

Mar 25, 2014

A Twenty-Minute Morning Routine for Successful Managers

If you’re managing a team or running an organization of your own, then you already know that the way you spend an hour of your time impacts the efficiency of your entire staff. Your hour generates dividends by making their hours and their projects easier, better, and more successful. So make the most of the time you spend at work, and start at the beginning. Mornings set the mood and the tone for the day ahead, so make the most of yours by taking these simple steps when you get out of bed.

1. Eat. Then exercise.

These are the two best things you can do for yourself—and your team—every day. And they’re easy! Down a breakfast of whole grains, lean proteins, fruit, or all three. Most of us don’t like to pile on the calories first thing in the morning, and that’s fine. But put at least a few bites in your mouth and your brain and body will know that it’s time to get up.

Then put yourself motion for ten to fifteen minutes. You don’t have to complete a full workout or exhaust yourself, but move your arms and legs and drive your heart rate up to about 112 beats per minute. This may be just about enough to break a sweat. This kind of energy expenditure will activate circulation to your brain and muscles, and it will help you create new neural pathways and protect your existing ones. Quick exercise can stabilize blood sugar, lower blood pressure, boost mood, organize thoughts, and calm anxieties.

2. Talk.

When you get into work, engage with people. A quick hello and a moment of conversation with your partner or assistant can help you turn your focus outward, which can get set your perspective and get your day off to an appropriate start. You don’t need a long gab fest—just clear out your pipes, think about someone else, and start a workplace-wide chain reaction of positive energy. Then you can buckle down at your desk.

3. Plan.

No matter what your plans look like, you’ll inevitably end up going wherever the day takes you. Interruptions, crises, surprise meetings, and serendipity will shape the day no matter what you do, but review the hours ahead and prepare anyway. This will make it harder for tasks and side issues to slip through the cracks and off your radar.

Touch base with your employees, receive your morning reports, skim through your inbox, and do whatever you need to do to organize the tasks that lie ahead. But start with these four steps and you’ll be ready for just about anything. For more simple management tips with big impact, reach out to the staffing experts at Accent Hiring Group. If you are a manager in the Scottsdale area looking for recruiters in Arizona, contact our team today.

Dec 6, 2013

3 Ways Your Social Presence Attracts Candidates

When talented, high-achieving candidates rely on social media to look for work, how do they use these tools? What sites do they visit more than others? And most important, how can you take advantage of social media resources to place yourself in front of these candidates and encourage them to apply for your open positions? Here are the three best ways to attract the most competitive job seekers on the marketplace.

Start a Carpet Bombing Campaign

The first and last work in social media recruiting is “presence”. Be everywhere your audience spends their time. This may require a little effort and time on your part (which may mean hiring a digital marketing firm or full-time employee specifically to handle this responsibility), but candidates won’t know you exist until they see your name. And in order for that to happen, you’ll need to become active on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin. And you’ll need a blog with fresh, high-quality, and frequently updated content.  You’ll need to monitor these feeds and generate new posts at least a few times a week.

Track Your Traffic

Once your name is available to socially active candidates, you’ll want to stay on top of your site visits and track which messages have the highest impact. While you’re keeping records and tweaking your efforts in order to stay ahead, keep records on the rest of the hiring process as well. For example, when great candidates apply, ask them how they found out about the position, and ask them about the details that convinced them to reach out.

Research Your Target Audience

Don’t fall into a pattern of adverse selection. In other words, there’s a difference between attracting hundreds of candidates and attracting the right candidates. Make sure you aren’t driving away or discouraging great matches by, for example, painting an inaccurate picture of your workplace culture. If you want messy, free-spirited collaborators, or you’d rather attract rigid, rule-abiding loners, be honest with yourself, and be honest with your audience. Then go after the candidates you need while allowing others to self-select and remove themselves from the running. Do this by targeting the blogs and websites your best contenders visit the most, and by tailoring your updates, tweets and re-posts to attract the positive attention you need.

If you are interested in attracting more candidates, partner with the top recruiting agency in Scottsdale.

Sep 17, 2013

Tips for Reviewing Candidate Social Profiles

If you aren’t factoring social media profiles into your final hiring decisions, that’s fine. Social media reviews aren’t a necessary aspect of due diligence; you aren’t obligated to examine them and candidates certainly aren’t obligated to share them openly or even maintain them at all. But in spite of its limitations, a Facebook review can take less than ten minutes to complete, and it offers an extremely low cost, low-risk way of getting to know your candidate before you enter into a lasting commitment.  If you have ten minutes and zero dollars to spare on a search, which you probably do, why not take advantage of this opportunity and give yourself a little extra data on which to base your decision? As you do so, keep these tips in mind.

1. Use the profile review to gather broad impressions and scan for red flags. Keep these two goals at the forefront of your thoughts as you skim through a candidate’s publically available pictures and posts. Will you recognize red flags when you see them? Will they include negative remarks about former employers? Reckless sharing of company secrets and proprietary information? Explicit language? Photos of the candidate clowning around with her friends in ways that might embarrass the company? Know what you’re looking for before you start your search.

2. Get a sense of the candidate’s interpersonal style. Does she seem like an introvert or an extrovert? Does she have a specific hobby that seems to occupy most of her personal time? You can use this kind of information to start your relationship off on the right foot, and you can use hobbies, travel, or pets as conversational fodder during the interview.

3. Never ask for profile passwords, of course. This is unethical, off-putting, and just plain foolish. Whatever extra information you hope to gain with this move won’t measure up against the harm you’ll be doing to your company’s reputation. And besides, most self-respecting candidates will simply say no. If you’d like, you can ask candidates to “friend” you or accept you as a follower. Otherwise, review publically available information only.

4. Don’t take the information you find too seriously, and if the results of your search call an otherwise promising candidacy into question, ask the applicant to confirm your suspicions before you reject him outright. Did you really see what you think you saw in that photo? Was that questionable status update serious or ironic? Before you make an expensive, silly hiring mistake based on the information you find on a Facebook page, pause and verify.

For more information on how to use all the data at your disposal to make savvy hiring decisions, reach out to the AZ staffing pros at the Accent Hiring Group.

Sep 5, 2012

10 Ways You Should be Using QuickBooks

QuickBooks can be an incredible tool for almost any small business. At least, that’s the case if you’re getting all you can from the QuickBooks software. There are tons of ways you should be using QuickBooks to help keep things in order and on a direct path to growth in your business. Here are ten you’ll definitely want to keep in mind.

1)   Help you recognize financial strengths and weaknesses within your own organization.

2)   Track earnings and expenses by classes or categories that you establish.

3)   Create budgets and benchmarks for your business, including temporary staffing budgets.

4)   Handle banking and bill paying online. This method of taking care of finances is not only instant but also paperless. In many businesses this is a powerful combination that saves time and money in the long run.

5)   Accept credit card payments and credits quickly and painlessly with QuickBooks Merchant Account Services.

6)   Fast. You can accept instant payments online with QuickBooks so you’re able to get your money much faster than waiting on checks to come in the mail and then clear the bank.

7)   Affordable. It doesn’t get much better than this when it comes to computer software designed to help businesses keep their financial houses in order. QuickBooks is one of the most affordable systems of its kind on the market today and the most widely accepted.

8)   Customizable. This is a big deal for small business owners that can’t really afford a customized accounting system created just for them. However, with the customization tools available with QuickBooks you will find customized packages designed for health care pros, retail organizations, and tradesmen or contractors.

9)   Instantly generate reports regarding the state of your business based on the current financial outlook and spending. The ability to find out, with the click of a mouse, how healthy and financially strong your business happens to be, is one of the most powerful ways you should be using QuickBooks for your business.

10)  Automates the bookkeeping process so that time is freed up within the organization to devote to other aspects of running the business.  The less time you spend keeping records and crunching numbers, the more time you have available to devote to the more profitable aspects of running your business.

QuickBooks isn’t the answer to all the problems businesses face today, but it can help free up precious time so that business owners can solve the specific problems their businesses face. Quickbooks can also benefit your bottom line by helping you track and manage payments for staffing services, using their online reports and payment system. You can also generate tax forms at the end of the year, which makes it easier to manage these end-of-year human resource tasks.

Aug 22, 2012

Audit Tips for Small Business

While no small business is immune from an occasional audit from the Internal Revenue Service, there are some ways to ready your business for a potential review of your financial records. Some experts have argued that the IRS is becoming more focused on the small business owner, due to the increase in the number of small businesses that have risen in the wake of the recession. However, the IRS does give some guidelines online about what an audit means and how to be prepared.

The best course of action as a small business owner is to make sure you are ready for a potential audit by conducting one each year of your own financial records. This can be done by hiring an objective third party auditor, or working closely with a business accountant to review all financial and payroll records, as well as IRS tax forms and reports.

Here are some audit tips for your small business:

  1. Maintain careful records of all financial transactions generated by your business with an accounting software product that provides reporting features. Run monthly reports and reconcile them against payments received and payments going out.
  2. Keep all bank records and account statements organized so you can review them at a moment’s notice and these numbers match with your accounting software reports. Correct any errors promptly.
  3. Handle payroll according to state and federal laws, including any contract workers you employ. Have proper tax forms on file for all who perform work for you.
  4. File your quarterly and annual business income taxes on time and keep your records together so you don’t miss a payment and have to pay year-end penalties.

If you operate a small business, now is the time to start a system for tracking all monies that come in and go out of your business, including for expenses and equipment purchases. By having all your records in order, an audit will not be as much of a headache.

Talk to the experts at Accent Hiring Group for more information.

Apr 22, 2012

6 Tips on Engaging Employees

In light of the “Great Recession,” many companies are experiencing new challenges that they haven’t often faced in the past. Employees – those who still have jobs – are working harder while receiving fewer rewards and incentives than in the past. While companies are struggling as well, it’s leading to some serious fatigue-factor among employees. Many of them are becoming disengaged, just going through the motions of getting the job done without really putting their hearts into the work. This puts the onus on the employers, who really can’t afford to lose productivity or skilled professionals, to find a way to re-engage these employees.

Here are six quick fixes you might want to consider, if this is happening in your workplace.

1)   Create work perks and offer them to employees who meet certain productivity requirements. Don’t make them outrageous; do make them ambitious. The great thing about this is that it doesn’t have to cost you additional money. It could be something like reserved parking places (when it’s 20 degrees below zero, allowing someone to park closer to the entrance is a huge perk), an extended lunch break for the next week, or even an additional day to dress casual in the upcoming workweek.

2)   Ask for their opinion on products, changes, or even policies within the company and listen to their answers without reproach or recrimination. That’s the only way, after all, that you’re going to get genuine opinions. If you really listen to them however, you might find that more than a few employees have great ideas that can serve your company and other employees well.

3)   Offer employees the opportunity for growth and advancement within the company. There are very few things that can motivate employees better than the opportunity to advance within the organization. People generally don’t like the idea of hopping around from one company to the next. They are creatures of habit and would like to place roots in a community and in a company. Offer them that and you’ll have employees that are consistently looking for ways to raise the bar on their own performance.

4)   Offer a pleasant balance of work and family life to your employees. People work in order to provide for their families. If your employees are chained to the desk 24/7, they will eventually lose sight of why they are working so hard. If you give them the opportunity to get home and spend time with their children, coach their kids’ baseball teams, and tuck them in at night, they will be loyal and much more engaged in their work and your company.

5)   Make it beneficial for them to become engaged and dedicated to their work. Offer over-time pay, bonuses, or even additional vacation or PTO days based on performance rather than tenure. Give people a reason to work harder and smarter. The best way to keep them engaged in the process is to offer them something that matters to them as a reward.

6)   Make it a contest between coworkers with real prizes for the person or “teams” that earn the most points. You can have one firm winner or a first, second, and third place finish. The great thing about this is that it allows workers to have a little bit of fun and really get in the competitive spirit. It’s even better if you can divide them up into teams, to help foster a real spirit of teamwork on the tasks as well.

The bottom line is that companies today must get creative if they want to keep their employees engaged when budgets are tight, profits are low, and morale has been beaten down. These six factors can bring huge changes to your company by boosting morale and getting your employees much more engaged in the work they’re doing.