Employment Industry News
Oct 6, 2014

29% of Employers Adding Staff in Q4

The following article was featured on on October 2, 2014. 

More employers plan to add full-time permanent workers in the fourth quarter compared to the same period last year, according to CareerBuilder’s fourth-quarter 2014 US job forecast released today. The survey found 29 percent of employers plan to add full-time, permanent headcount in the fourth quarter, up from the 25 percent who planned to hire in the fourth quarter of 2013.

The survey also found hiring rose when looking back at the third quarter. Thirty-four percent of employers added full-time, permanent headcount in the third quarter; that’s up from 28 percent from the third quarter of last year. Only 10 percent decreased headcount in the quarter, an improvement from 11 percent in the third quarter of last year.

In addition, the survey found 26 percent of employers planned to hire seasonal employees in the fourth quarter with 42 percent planning to transition some seasonal staff into full-time, permanent employees.

Among retailers, 43 percent plan to hire seasonal employees in the fourth quarter.

“After experiencing incremental improvements over the past few years,” said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder. “The jobs outlook for Q4 is now more in line with pre-recession forecasts as employers cast a greater vote of confidence in both permanent and seasonal hiring. What’s also encouraging is that recruitment plans for small businesses with more than 50 employees are keeping pace with larger organizations. We’ll continue to see a spotlight on jobs and wages in the upcoming elections and beyond as we strive for an even stronger employment environment in 2015.”

Popular seasonal positions companies will be recruiting for in the fourth quarter include:

  • Customer service: 40 percent
  • Administrative/clerical: 15 percent
  • Shipping/delivery: 13 percent
  • Accounting/finance: 12 percent
  • Inventory management: 12 percent

The survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive on behalf of CareerBuilder among 2,203 hiring managers and human resource professionals. The survey was conducted between Aug. 11 and Sept. 5, 2014.

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Mar 13, 2014

Help Your Employees Take Ownership

Most employees treat their jobs the way renters treat their apartments. They move in with great excitement on the first day, but in a little while, they start thinking of the apartment as a place to live…and nothing more. They don’t invest anything in the environment around them. They know they’ll be gone in a short time, and when they leave, they never look back.

If your employers are renters, the signs will be all around you. You’ll struggle with high turnover and low engagement, and your employees will do the bare minimum until the day they leave in search of something better.

But if your employees are owners, not renters, they’ll leave the place better than they found it. They’ll throw their hearts into their projects and want their names attached to everything they do. They’ll take credit as well as blame, and they’ll struggle to make each day and year more productive and meaningful than the last. So how can you encourage an attitude of ownership among your teams? Here are a few considerations.

1. Let them know your expectations from the beginning. Don’t expect them to just step into an ownership role on their own. Tell them clearly that you’ll be holding them accountable for everything they do here. Let them know that their attitude matters to you, and that you’re prepared to reward them for every extra step they take.

2. Set a good example. Take both credit and blame for your own victories and mistakes, and let them know what this attitude looks like on the surface.

3. Provide support. Nothing frustrates employees more than wanting to go the extra mile, but not having the materials and resources they need to do so. Keep an open door policy, and if your teams ask for help, guidance, information, or intervention, step up.

4. Show trust. Let your employees know that you believe in their strengths and abilities. If you hover over them and refuse to take off the training wheels, they’ll never gain the confidence they need to fly solo. If they crash and burn, help them pick up the pieces and learn from the experience.

5. Show respect. If you want your employees to respect you, your company, and your own effort, then show them the same respect, and do so first. Pay them fairly, thank them, and get to know them on an individual level.

If you’re looking for an experienced staffing agency in the AZ area, contact the experts at Accent Hiring Group.

Mar 4, 2014

Sample Talent Assessment Test Questions

While most standard staffing strategies involve resume reviews followed by straightforward interviews, a growing number of companies are looking for ways to mitigate hiring risk by adding a few more layers to an otherwise simple approach. Until the process becomes too long and/or too expensive to continue adding value, each data point collected on each potential candidate can help managers make a smarter staffing decision. With that in mind, HR departments are often adding simple aptitude and behavioral tests to the selection process. Could your company benefit from assessments like these?

Verbal reasoning

Present your candidate with a passage of text drawn from an essay, news article, or page from the company handbook. Give the candidate a few minutes to read and process the information, and then present her with a series of questions like the following.

1. In your own words, how would you describe the central purpose of this message?
2. True or false: (Draw a core message from the text and reword it to assess reading comprehension).
3. Choose from the options below. Why do you believe the writer made the following choice: (Insert the decision in question)?

Numerical reasoning

Present the candidate with a graph or numerical chart. Then offer a series of questions that test his ability to read the graph correctly and draw logical conclusions from the numbers presented there. For example:

1. During year three, how many sales were made?
2. Add up the total sales made during years three, five and seven.
3. Based on the graph, what external factor has had the largest impact on rising sales numbers?
4. Based on your answer to the previous question, how would you propose to increase sales in future years?


Ask your candidate to describe a scenario in the past when she faced a specific type of workplace challenge. This challenge may involve interpersonal conflict, performance failure, communication issues, leadership difficulties, deadline pressure, or negative behavior from an angry or disappointed client. Ask the candidate how she faced this problem and the steps she took to solve it. What were the results, and what did she learn from the experience?


Present your candidate with a series of responsibilities and challenges. Ask him to rate each challenge using a scale of 1 to 5. A one means the challenge at hand decreases his motivation to work. A five means the challenge increases his motivation to work. A three means the challenge has no impact on his levels of motivation. Example challenges can include:

1. Training a new staff member
2. Being asked to complete a task outside of my job description
3. Intense deadline pressure
4. Working alone
5. Working as a member of a team

Assessment questions are by no means limited to the topics above. Tests like these can also be used to assess situational judgment, logical reasoning, social skills, and a wide range of other skill sets and talent areas. If you are looking for staffing in AZ, contact our team today.

Feb 24, 2014

Are Your Salary Offers Undermining Your Hiring Success?

You’re reviewing your hiring strategy and looking for any possible way to tighten up loose ends and elevate your game. Your posts are tailored to attract only the most talented candidates, your interviews are well scripted and meaningful, and your team of recruiters is top-notch. But your hiring approach isn’t yet perfect, and your turnover numbers are still a bit higher than you’d like.

Have you considered revising your approach to salary offers? If you haven’t examined this part of the process, now may be a good time to start. Keep these considerations in mind as you move forward.

Weigh the Dangers of a Low Salary Offer

Offers that are too low undermine company success on two separate fronts. First, they narrow the pool in an adverse way, discouraging talented candidates and attracting those who are too desperate to have other options. Second, the hiring process is expensive. And as salaries drop lower, the proportional cost of re-staffing a position within a year approaches the position’s annual salary. For some jobs at or close to minimum wage, every rehire costs as much as a year’s compensation. Get it right the first time and you’ll avoid this expense.

Weigh the Dangers of an Offer That’s too High

If your payroll budget can take it, there’s no such thing as a salary offer that’s too high…right? Wrong. While a high offer can attract quality candidates, keep in mind that annual increases are usually calculated as a percentage of current rates. Project what this rate will look like in three, five, and ten years, and if you still decide to make your high offer, make sure you’ll be getting your money’s worth from the candidate you choose.

In the meantime, recognize that the smartest, most adaptable, and hardest working candidates are not the ones who work for money alone. Smart candidates like money (who doesn’t?), but if you bait your hook and go fishing for those who have nothing but money on their minds, you’ll build a workplace with a toxic and unproductive culture. Don’t select for addictive personalities, weak critical thinking skills, minimal outside interests, and poor people skills, which are what you tend to get when you attract candidates who are driven only by dollar signs.

A Just-Right Offer isn’t Rocket Science

The right offer isn’t something you have to invent out of thin air. It’s just a number, and it’s easy to find this number with a bit of research. Check the marketplace for average salaries in this field, this enterprise, at this level, in this geographic area. And then aim as close to the center of this bulls-eye as you can. For help and specific guidance, reach out to the staffing experts at Accent Hiring Group.

Feb 18, 2014

5 Interview Questions to ask Your Candidate

HR research and hiring trends are providing a growing list of support for a simplified interview process. When it comes to questions, less is more and quality counts for more than quantity. If you have to choose between five hard-hitting questions and twenty questions with easily scripted answers that provide no value (and that interviewers probably won’t remember anyway), it’s always a better idea to choose the first. Here are five questions that can help you cover significant ground in a short amount of time.

1. Have you done this kind of work before?

Explain the position to the candidate as well as you can before asking this question. Briefly discuss the company’s business model and let the candidate know how this role fits into the larger picture. Then let her answer this question and provide detail in her own words.

2. Why do you feel this job is right for you and vice versa?

Asking the candidate why she wants this specific job will help you assess the level of research she’s conducted on both the position and the company. Of course, more research will indicate a higher level of interest and possibly a higher level of aptitude and readiness.

3. This job will demand (fill in the blank). How do you feel about this challenge? And how do you intend to approach this issue on a daily basis?

Fill in the blank with the most difficult, unpleasant, boring, awkward, dangerous, or otherwise unpopular aspect of this role. Look for signs that indicate the candidate is not only willing, but enthusiastic about things that most people would consider drawbacks or obstacles.

4. This job may also require high levels of (social challenge). Can you give me a sense of your readiness by describing a related challenge you’ve faced in the past? What were the circumstances and how did you tackle the problem?

This job may require leadership, diplomacy, horizontal management, self-direction, solitude, blind obedience, extensive public speaking, working with very large teams, working with tightly knit two-person partnerships, etc, etc. Before you commit to this candidate, find out if her approach to social situations will make her a good match for this job and this workplace culture.

5. Tell me about your long term career plans, and be as honest as you can. Where would you ideally like to be in five years?

Use this question to find an alignment between what she’s looking for and what this company can provide in terms of exposure, experience, and advancement opportunities.

For more questions that can help you gain volumes of information about a candidate’s working style, personality, and preparation, reach out to the staffing and employment experts at Accent Hiring Group. If you are looking for a top temporary staffing agency in AZ, contact our team today.

Feb 13, 2014

4 Steps to Creating a Positive Candidate Experience

Why should you work hard to impress your candidates, even when you’ll be interviewing ten people for one open position? Why bother going the extra mile to demonstrate respect for people you’ll ultimately reject and possibly never seen again in your life? After all, as the employer, you’re the one with something to offer… So these candidates should be jumping through hoops to impress YOU, and it doesn’t really matter how you treat them in return. Right?

Wrong. Every single contact between your company and a potential candidate can have an outsized impact on your reputation. Even if you won’t be hiring every one of these ten people, it’s a good idea to treat each of them like valuable clients. In fact, these candidates may have even more influence over how your company is perceived than a client would. As a result of tighter communication networks and digital media, candidates are more connected to the industry than you may realize, and a single negative word about your company can cause countless talented job seekers to change their minds and look elsewhere.

And the damage doesn’t end with lost access to talent. Your company’s business model, its general ethic, and even the quality of your product can develop a tarnished reputation if you treat your candidates poorly. So don’t do this. Keep these three tips in mind.

1.      Respond to resume submissions. Even if you receive hundreds of submissions for each open position, establish an auto-response that thanks candidates for their interest and lets them know their materials have been received.

2.      Speed demonstrates respect. There’s no need to rush recklessly through the hiring and selection process, but move fast. Show consideration for your candidate’s time. Set clear timelines, keep them, and when you say they’ll be hearing from you within a week, reach out within a week.

3.      Punctuality also demonstrates respect. Try not to leave candidates waiting in the reception area for more than five minutes. If you leave them there for more than an hour, expect the most talented and valuable hires to disappear.

4.      Clean up you interview process. Interviews should be tight, efficient, polished affairs. Use every tool at your disposal—from your non-verbal body language to the cleanliness of the interview area, to the script itself—to create a warm and competent impression. Never bait, demean, cross-examine, insult, ignore, or belittle candidates during interviews. This includes subtle signs of disrespect like second guessing the information on their resumes and asking them the return for ten rounds of interviews. Again, expect the strongest candidates to disappear after round three.

For more on how to court the most talented potential hires and bolster your company’s reputation in the process, reach out to the hiring and staffing experts at Accent. If you ask Siri, “Find staffing agencies near me,” you will find Accent Hiring in the Scottsdale AZ area.

Feb 6, 2014

Consider Testing before You Screen

If you’re a hiring manager in a customer-based industry and you’re staffing an especially service-oriented, outward-focused position, you need an employee who can handle a very specific set of challenges. Who are you more likely to hire: The candidate with a 3.5 GPA and not much else, or the candidate who clearly knows how to sell a product, win over a client, and lead a team past a difficult obstacle? And when you’re facing these two candidates, how can you tell the difference between one and the other?

Traditional staffing models begin with resumes. After managers review a stack of profiles outlining each candidate’s credentials and work history, they select a short list of names and call those candidates in for face to face interviews. But for service-oriented jobs, this model is rapidly changing. Forward thinking mangers are now testing candidates for basic skills before they even begin to review resumes. Those who pass the tests earn a chance at a profile review, and those who make it through the profile review move on to the interview stage of the process.

Testing Allows Candidates to Self-Select

If you run a retail business or call center, ask your candidates to complete a short, web-based  psychometric test before they submit their resumes, and see how this simple move impacts both the width and quality of your applicant pool. You’ll notice that candidates can use the test to self-select; if they don’t have the patience to complete the process or they notice that the questions are sifting for strengths they may lack, they’ll remove themselves from the pool voluntarily. Those who remain will be more likely to meet the requirements of the position, and there’s a strong chance they’ll have a better understanding of what this job entails and the kinds of qualities they’ll need in order to thrive in this role.

Tests Provide a Stronger Predictor of Performance

HR studies show that resume and CV embellishments are on the rise, which is no surprise in an increasingly competitive and unforgiving job marketplace. But an accurate test can shine a light on a candidate’s true skill sets instead of obscuring them. In other words, tests don’t lie, and depending on how they’re presented, they can showcase elements of a candidate’s character and knowledge base that he or she might otherwise choose to conceal.

If you are looking recruiting agencies in Scottsdale AZ, contact our experienced team today.

Jan 28, 2014

2014 Salary Trend Report

At the beginning of 2014, salary increases are expected to hold steady. Averaging an increase around 3.1 percent across all industries and geographic areas of the United States. While these increases fall significantly lower than annual averages of the previous decade, they are expected to slowly increase as the recession ends and the overall economy recovers. But at the moment, increases between 3.0 and 3.5 percent seem to be the norm.

In fact, more employees will receive pay raises slightly below this average than slightly above, but the average totals hold steady due to larger variations on the upper end of the scale. This is largely credited to an increase in raises issued on a performance basis. Employees deemed to be of higher value will be rewarded with higher increases, though increases overall will be modest.

Employers Face a Challenging Decision

Employers in 2014 will find themselves caught between two conflicting impulses, and the way they navigate this challenge will vary by industry, position level, and geographic need. On one side of the equation, an economic recovery will mean greater options for job seekers. While employers in recent years have gathered dozens –and sometimes hundreds—of applications for a single open position, an expanding job market will rebalance this trend. When talented employees have the freedom to look elsewhere for work, employer efforts at retention and engagement will need to increase.

At the same time, payroll budgets that contracted in 2008 and 2009 haven’t yet fully recovered, and many employers simply can’t afford salary increases that match pre-recession levels. Retention efforts and budget limitations place employers in a bind that they tend to resolve by laying increased emphasis on measurements of performance.

How Performance Metrics Will Influence Salary in 2014 and 2015

By carefully applying metrics and measurement strategies to differentiate high performers from mid and lower-end contributors, employers can gain the best of both options. They can retain their strongest human assets while avoiding high increases for lower-value employees. In 2014, most workplaces will see increased sophistication applied to reviews and performance tracking. This may include investments in performance tracking software, third party consulting contracts, and an increased number of formal reviews per year.

For more information on salary trends, performance metrics, and how your organization stacks up against the average in both areas, reach out to the AZ staffing and business management experts at Accent. If you are looking for employment in Scottsdale AZ, contact us today.

Jan 23, 2014

Top Recruiting Trends for 2014

In order to stay competitive during the year ahead, recruiters will need to stay in touch with a rapidly shifting job marketplace, a challenge that will require close attention to the post-recession relationship between job seekers and the companies that hire them. 2014 will bring critical shifts to the staffing industry, and savvy recruiters will need to adjust in order to keep their clients ahead of the curve. Here are a few of the top challenges they’ll face in the coming year.

1. Competition for top talent will increase.

The most important change affecting the job market will be a simple one: a shift in the balance between hiring managers and job seekers. Opportunities for talented employees will increase, so managers will need to streamline the hiring process and make more competitive offers. If they don’t, they’ll miss their chance at the best resources.

2. Employer branding will matter more than ever.

As job seekers gain more negotiating leverage, employer will need to put more effort into the sourcing process, which will begin with reputation and workplace branding. If a company feels like a positive place to work, applicants will line up. If not, they’ll disappear.

3. Boomerang rehires will rise.

Companies will begin pursuing the talented candidates that were released when payroll budgets began to contract. Recruiters will find themselves reaching out to these employees, reviewing their track records since the separation, and bringing them back on board. The most valuable former employees will be the most coveted, but they may also be the hardest to win back.

4. Recruiters will need to monetize their impact in order to compete.

Recruiters facing a crowded market will need to show hard numbers in order to win new contracts and hold on to the ones they already have. If a recruiter adds real value to a staffing program, he or she will need to prove this with metrics that are clear and measurable.

5. Mobile sourcing will expand.

Tech savvy candidates are already relying on mobile access to find job posts, research companies, and submit applications. Mobile optimized employers will stand a better chance of reaching this audience.

6. Social media profiles will begin to replace resumes for passive hires.

To find talented passive candidates, recruiters will need to start looking past resume databases and referrals from their professional networks. Social media profiles will rise in value as a passive sourcing tool.

For more on the kinds of trends that will shape the 2014 staffing landscape in your own industry, reach out to the AZ staffing and recruiting experts at Accent Hiring Group. If you are looking for recruiting firms in Scottsdale, contact us today.

Jan 14, 2014

Hiring and Staffing Trends for 2014

The year ahead will usher in a wide range of exciting opportunities for hiring managers and HR pros, and every opportunity will also come with a unique set of challenges. Do your hiring teams have the knowledge and support they’ll need to stay one step ahead of the curve in 2014? As the recession ends, the recovery picks up, the global job market expands, and technology continues to evolve, your company will need to keep pace with the following trends and highlights.

1. Retention and engagement will matter more than ever.

For a few years during the peak of the recession, when payroll budgets dwindled and employees were laid off in waves, the hiring balance tipped in favor of employers. Dozens of applicants may have lined up for a single position, and managers had the luxury of long hiring deadlines and ten rounds of interviews. As job seekers face more options in almost every industry, the salad days are about to end. In the year ahead, organizations will need to work harder to keep employees happy and onboard.

2. Talents and skills will become increasingly global.

At the same time, the global talent pool will expand. New communication technology and shifting regulations will allow for more flexible global hiring strategies.

3. Holistic work environments will be critical to success.

The most talented employees will abandon their acceptance of standard 52 workweeks and show more interest in flexible scheduling and quality-of-life issues. If your workplace can provide this balance and help them navigate these challenges, they’ll respond with intense levels of commitment.

4. Pipeline building will replace training.

The standard pattern of sourcing, selecting, hiring, and training will alter slightly in 2014. In the interest of efficiency, retention, and productivity, employers will begin to place a greater emphasis on building teams from within. Expect to see an increase in long term staffing plans and pipeline creation. Smart employers will pay close attention to strategic promotions and in-house career development.

5. Employees will hold more cards, and crucial skills will be harder to find.

With employees holding more leverage, rare skills and hard-to-staff positions will require more savvy negotiation tactics. They may also require wider searches and reliance on vast social and professional networks. Recruiters and third party staffing services can provide these advantages. Contact the hiring pros at Accent for more information about the tools and resources you’ll need in order to stay competitive.

If you are looking for staffing firms in Scottsdale, contact us today.