Sep 19, 2018

Need A Specific Skill? Why Your Job Description Should Say Exactly That

You’re in the process of tailoring your job post, and you’d really like to cast a wide net. The way you see it, the more resumes you receive, the better. The larger your pool of applicants, the more options you’ll have, and the more control you’ll exercise over the outcome…right?

Not exactly. In theory, a larger and wider applicant pool puts the cards in the employer’s hands. But in actual practice, you’ll be better off with a smaller pool of applicants, if those applicants hold skills that align with your needs. It may seem like you’ll limit your options if you load your post with narrow and specific requests, but you won’t; you’ll just save time and avoid hassle for yourself AND your candidates. Here’s how.

Just ask for what you need.

Be direct in your post. And yes, though it seems counterintuitive, be specific. Instead of asking for a “tech-savvy candidate” with “coding skills,” just list the skills necessary for success on the job. If you need JavaScript, ask for JavaScript. If you need XTML, just say so. If you need Advanced Photoshop, be clear, upfront, and narrow in your request. Yes, some candidate will self-select and exit the pool, but were prepared to hire these candidates despite their missing skills? If your answer is no, don’t waste their time (or your own).

What about skills that are hard to define?

If you need excellent writers, public speakers, client relationship management experts, or conflict resolvers, use terms that hew as closely as possible to the tasks your candidate will face on the job. For example, what kinds of conflicts will require resolution? What kinds of speaking engagements will the candidate step into? Without creating a job post that’s 10 pages long, try to give your candidate a sense of what her day will look like and how she’ll find success in this position.

Anticipate questions

Since a very specific request (“We need high-level budget management skills”) can lead to predictable counter questions (For example, “What does “high-level” mean?”), anticipate and address these questions in the post. The more accurate your responses and clarifications, the stronger your candidate pool will be. If you start with a strong pool, you’ll elevate your chances of ending the process with a truly winning candidate and an excellent long-term employee.

Work with a top staffing agency in Scottsdale

For more information on how to frame and draft your post in a way that attracts the best applicants and improves the outcome of your recruiting efforts, contact a top staffing agency in Scottsdale at the ACCENT Hiring Group.

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Sep 5, 2018

Can You Be Prepared for Everything a Candidate Could Ask For?

Your candidate selection process is winding down, and you’re on the verge of making an offer to your top applicant. As an experienced manager or HR pro, you know better than to expect an immediate, unqualified “yes” followed by tears of joy. An offer doesn’t seal the deal; sometimes it just opens the floor to negotiation.

Since you have an approved budget in hand, you know how far you’re able to go if the candidate asks for a higher salary. But what if she requests something else? What if her terms are unexpected and you aren’t sure how to say “no” or “maybe” without driving her away? Consider these tips.

What do candidates ask for?

Your candidate may surprise you by requesting

  • 1. a preapproved salary boost in a year or six months if certain goals are met.
  • 2. Commuter benefits
  • 3. Childcare benefits
  • 4. A flexible schedule or the opportunity to work remotely full or part-time.

Sometimes candidates request the option to bring a support animal with them to the office, and sometimes candidates simply like to have their pet dogs with them as they work. Some candidates need or prefer to bring children to the workplace periodically, and some request certain accommodations that extend beyond those required by the ADA. (Of course, you’ll need to do everything in your power to provide accommodations to disabled candidates). Any or all of these are likely, and it’s wise to keep in mind that before an agreement is signed, candidates are certainly within their rights to ask for anything they choose.

Don’t express dismay.

The quickest way to alienate a top candidate is to demonstrate judgment or hostility in response to a simple request. If a candidate asks to work from home on a preapproved schedule, listen and consider before reacting. Even a bemused smile can boost the lure of a competing offer. If the answer is no, say no respectfully.

Be ready to gather answers quickly.

You candidate may request a salary increase in one year based on specific performance metrics. If so, know beforehand who you’ll need to turn to with this request and how you might extract a yes from upper managers. Know in advance how you expect to evaluate performance for this specific role.

Expect candidates to ask for flexibility.

In 2018, most candidates place a high premium on time (in some cases, candidates value time as much as money.) So be ready to field requests for more annual PTO days, accommodating daily schedules, and the ability to work from home. Know exactly how far you and the company are willing to go to go on this point. Consider asking the candidate to submit all requests before you make your offer.

Work with a Top Recruiter in Scottsdale

Are you looking for the right candidates? Contact the team at the ACCENT Hiring Group today to get started!

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Aug 29, 2018

Culture Fit or Culture Adds – What’s Right for Your Team?

We all know that it’s a good idea to consider your company culture as you sift through a field of candidates in search of your new employee. Culture matters! The right pairing between the newbie and your existing workplace population can mean the difference between a successful hire and quick resignation. So, of course, you’ll need to think about culture as you hire, but which option should you pursue: a “fit”, or an “add”? Here are a few factors to consider.

A “culture add” is a fancy buzzword for a simple idea.

When you look for a culture add, you start by examining your workplace and looking for gaps, areas of weakness, or underrepresented demographics. If everyone on your team is an extrovert, look for introverts. If everyone on your team falls between a certain age range, you’ll need to shake that up a bit. If you have a room full of rigid technical types, you’ll need some creative energy to balance things out. And if you have an entire team with loads of personality type X, you’ll need a few with personality types Y, Z, and Q.

Isn’t it a bad idea to look for candidates based on race or gender?

Nope. All other qualifications being equal, you cause much more harm to your company by hiring a monochromatic, single-gender, single-age workforce than you do by actively seeking diversity. Diversity is the key to strength and prosperity. Diversity means better ideas, more perspectives, less opportunity for error, and more room for both personal and company growth. And don’t just allow diversity to happen as it will: Aggressively seek it out. Both your teams and your bottom line will thank you.

What if my teams genuinely prefer being around people like themselves?

It’s natural and comfortable to seek out faces that look just like our own, and we all have a tendency to find people more trustworthy, smart, and attractive if looking at them feels like looking in a mirror. But these assumptions are simply not accurate, no matter how naturally they come to us. Don’t build your company on a foundation of false assumptions and bad ideas. Sweep those away and replace them with reality.

Fit has a place, too.

Say your brand represents a celebration of nature and the outdoors. Your target audience (and many of your workers) are young, in shape, and outdoorsy. Of course, it’s a good idea to aggressively hire across a range of ages and physical abilities, but if you define “outdoorsy” as a state of mind and nothing more, put it in the candidate plus column. Shared faces don’t necessarily lead to harmony and success, but shared sympathies sometimes do.

Find a Top Recruiter in Scottsdale

Hire new candidates who fit the mold …. but only the parts of the mold that matter. For more hiring guidance, contact the top recruiters in Scottsdale and work with the ACCENT Hiring Group.

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Aug 22, 2018

An Employee Engagement Calendar to Improve Company Culture

You’ve probably heard plenty of casual advice on how to improve your company culture by making your workplace more fun. “Fun” is a simple concept that can yield big dividends in terms of retention, employee loyalty, team cohesion, and even internal competition and a general boost in innovation. And a little fun goes a long way; just one Saturday mini-golf outing or a few Friday happy hours can generate lasting memories and might give employees a meaningful chance to get to know one another. A few activities now and then can help them form friendships that transcend the bounds of the workplace.

But sometimes fun activities (no matter how easy!) still need to be formalized. Ideas are only ideas until someone decides to create a documented plan for execution. So why not create an Employee Engagement calendar?  Here are a few ways this simple move can provide big support to your workplace culture.

A monthly calendar

Start with just the month. Sometimes a plan for a fun activity simply doesn’t take root, for any number of reasons. Instead of attempting to force Saturday mini-golf once a month from now till eternity (your teams might not actually like it), just plan one event. Feel out the reaction. If everyone has a great time, you can try making this a regular affair. A monthly calendar can include one-time trial runs, employee birthdays, social events (like showers, welcome back parties, small employee recognition events, and holiday-themed get-togethers). It can also include items of personal news (new babies, graduations, promotions, or occasions calling for sympathy and support.)  Even if an event doesn’t warrant a full-out conference room party with a sheet cake, it might be something that employees care to share and fellow colleagues might like to know about.

Quarterly calendars can include big milestones

If your monthly event calendar seems to work, and employees seem to be tuning in and responding to your announcements and invitations, try going bigger. Plan ahead by a full quarter, and include a host of additional events, like retirement news and announcements of company-wide successes. You can even include employee feedback surveys and invitations to outside events (an employee might be exhibiting his art at a nearby gallery or taking her Schnauzer to Westminster).

Annual calendars

If you decide to create an annual calendar, you can include your companies biggest annual events, like the yearly appreciation picnic or a scheduled team-building retreat in the mountains. You can also include charity events, blood drives, health fairs, and anything else you choose. At this level, feel free to involve the CEO of the company and maybe even publish an annual update in her name.

Work with a top recruiter in Scottsdale

For more on how to find the best employees who are ready to be a part of your awesome company culture, contact the recruiters at the ACCENT Hiring Group.

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Aug 15, 2018

Challenging Top Performers to Keep Them – Yes, You Read That Correctly

“Challenging” isn’t usually considered a positive descriptor. When a person, situation, or environment are flagged as challenging, it usually means they’re a problem. They’re an obstacle to be navigated around or an issue that needs to be overcome.

When employees face challenges at work, for example, that usually means one of two things: 1.) they feel enough personal motivation and love for the company that they work to resolve the challenge, or 2.) they don’t. Challenges push engaged employees to excel, but they also push unengaged employees out the door.

So if you have a top performer on your team who seems disengaged, bored, or ready to look for work elsewhere, it may seem counterintuitive to deliberately place obstacles in the person’s path. But think twice. This may be just the thing that he or she needs to buckle down and face the job with fresh eyes. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind.

Challenges help us learn, and learning feels good

Your employee wants to learn new things; she doesn’t just want this because learning feels positive and meaningful. She also wants to build out her resume and achieve her career goals. Difficult projects, new skills, and exposure to new aspects of the industry can all be considered challenges…but facing them can build an employee’s sense of accomplishment and rekindle a fading sense of ambition. Giving a glazed-over employee a difficult project can spark a transformation.

Challenges make us feel alive

We don’t always love adventures while we’re having them. And there are some activities we enjoy having done, even if we really don’t enjoy doing them. There’s something magical about looking back on a harrowing ride after it’s over. And when you offer this feeling to a checked-out employee or disengaged team, there’s a strong chance they’ll want to get back on the ride and go through it again.

Challenges should be appropriate; choose them wisely

Push your employees toward challenges that make use of their rarest and most valuable skills, not toward busy work or manufactured hassles. Just because a task is awkward, miserable or tedious doesn’t mean it will make your employee feel engaged and connected. Before you overextend an employee or push them into the deep end, make sure you’re choosing the right employee, for the right task, for the right reasons.

Again, the wrong task and the wrong reasons may push a detached employee further out the door, so be careful. Before you move forward, sit down for a conversation about what your employee wants to accomplish or learn while they occupy this role.

Work With a Top Recruiter in Scottsdale

For more on how to find the right team members that are ready to be pushed and help grow your business, turn to the experts at and work with a leading recruiter in Scottsdale!

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