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Are You Burned Out? Do You Know What It Feels Like?

November 30th, 2015

We hear the term “burned out” all the time, and it’s often the culprit that gets blamed when a person decides to suddenly walk away from a job. But how do you tell the difference between being burned out and simply having a bad day or week? Differentiating one from the other is tricky but essential for your personal and professional success. With that in mind, we’ve listed some common signs of burn out.

Sleeping Habits

  • You hit the snooze button over and over every morning before going to work.
  • You get home from work feeling exhausted and having no motivation to do the things that you like.
  • You have trouble sleeping or find yourself sleeping at unusual times.
  • You constantly feel like you are overwhelmed and at risk of collapse.

Work Problems

  • You feel especially liberated by the thought of a weekend away from work.
  • You dread the thought of Monday morning and feel depression and anxiety on Sundays.
  • You are hesitant to talk about work with friends and family and describe everything with one-word answers.
  • You avoid spending time with coworkers outside of work.
  • You often fantasize about quitting and plan the imaginary moment out in lurid detail.
  • You can’t remember the last time you felt proud of one of your work accomplishments or satisfied by your professional life.
  • You feel stuck in place and lost in a loop of endless repetition.

Personal Behavior and Reactions

  • You have become more cynical than normal, and your cynicism begins to express itself at inappropriate times.
  • You often lose your temper and begin to lash out at coworkers, friends, family, and strangers.
  • You spend too much of your time complaining about your job to the people close to you.
  • You want to move on from your job but you feel completely unmotivated to look for something new.
  • You notice that your coworkers seem to be walking on eggshells when you are around.
  • You often get asked by coworkers and friends if you are doing ok.
  • You are annoyed when people ask you what you do for a living.
  • You begin to treat coworkers, clients, and customers with disregard and open hostility.

Exhibiting a few of these symptoms is probably not a sign of burnout. But if this list seems particularly familiar then it should raise some red flags. The good news is that moving out of your current job and into something better is likely faster and easier than your expect. Work with The Concorde Group, a leading staffing agency in Westchester County, to get to a place you would rather be.

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Will Competitive Salaries Lead to Better Job Candidates?

November 18th, 2015

As a hiring manager your ultimate goal is to attract the best and the brightest. Unfortunately, competition for top talent is fierce, and the best available professionals essentially have their pick of employer. If you have struggled to attract these elite workers the problem may be simple – you’re not offering high enough salaries. Money is a powerful motivator, and investment in talent is one that pays dividends down the road. Learn what kind of impact competitive salaries can have on your recruiting efforts and decide for yourself if it might be time to loosen the purse strings.

Eliminate the Negotiation Process

In a perfect world, a top candidate would accept your very first offer and get to work immediately. But when you offer them less salary than they expect, it’s only natural for them to hesitate, look for other offers, and eventually initiate a bidding war. This is good for the candidate but bad for you because heated salary negotiations can push compensation levels higher than you ever intended to offer. By offering a fair and generous salary at the start, you show the candidate that you value their expertise and are eager to bring them on board. Once that respect is established the candidate is a lot less likely to go looking elsewhere.

Establish Yourself as a Top Employer

When you’re trying to attract top talent, you need to sell your company to them as much as they need to sell their credentials to you. Companies that are able to offer competitive salaries project an image of success and confidence. By contrast, companies that low ball candidates appear middling, back of the pack, and manipulative. No one wants to go to work for a company that seems to be struggling to stay afloat.

Gain a Bargaining Chip over the Competition

In the conversation around recruiting today, people like to talk about alternative perks, the work/life balance, and opportunities for personal and professional growth. All of these are nice to have in a job, but the simple fact is that compensation remains the single most important reason for going to work. Your competition may be trying to steal your candidates away by offering abstract benefits, but you can easily re-establish yourself as the top contender simply by offering more money. When asked to choose between a higher salary and flexible scheduling, most smart professionals will opt for the salary.

Competitive salaries are an important part of your recruiting efforts, but they shouldn’t be the only part. Learn about other effective, low-cost ways to attract talent into your orbit by contacting The Concorde Group, the premier boutique staffing agency in Westchester County.

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Three Tips to Improve Your Ability to Hold a Conversation with Anyone

October 29th, 2015

There are few skills absolutely essential for success in business no matter what role you work in. Right at the top of that list is communication skills. Being able to communicate effectively helps you sidestep common problems, identify hidden opportunities, and increase your value to your company. Conversely, having poor communication skills can put your career on hold, even if you have talents elsewhere. With that fact in mind, we have identified three tips that can help anyone hold a better conversation no matter who they are talking to.

Watch Your Body Language

You communicate with a lot more than just your voice. If you are having a conversation with someone but you are constantly fidgeting while your eyes are darting around the room, your audience won’t feel like you are invested and engaged. When you are speaking to someone, be sure to make eye contact, to use expressive gestures (but not too many), and to give the other person your undivided attention. When you are speaking, talk slowly rather than rushing to the end of your sentences. Basically, be the person you wish you were talking to.

Look for Detail

One of the hardest things about having a conversation is that small talk is boring by definition. You have to get through it to connect with a stranger, but you can only spend so much time talking about the weather. For that reason make sure to keep your eyes out for details that reveal something about your audience. You might notice a wedding ring, a pin for a college or sports team, a candid photo on a desk, or a movie reference on an office wall. Make the effort to get to know the other person as a real person.

Study Your Vocabulary

The reason that a lot of people are poor communicators is that they simply use the wrong words to say what they want. They use 10 words when two will do, or try to express big, complex ideas in clipped, confusing sentences. That habit can be a conversation killer, and it can get you into hot water in a business environment. In most cases there is one perfect word that will be descriptive but brief, expressive but appropriate, and surprising but understandable. Study your own word choices, and you will likely unearth some room for improvement.

Communication skills really can be learned, developed, and improved. If you’re not great in conversation now, there is no reason you can’t be later. Start developing those skills, and when you’re ready to leverage them to enhance your career, contact the Concorde Group.

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Passive Candidates Might Be Your Best Option

October 14th, 2015

Let’s start with a definition – A passive candidate is simply someone who is not actively looking for a job. They may be employed elsewhere, semi-retired or simply not actively looking for work. But that doesn’t mean they can’t be lured back into the job market or away from their current employer. And in certain circumstances this might be exactly the kind of talent you want to be recruiting. Here’s why:

Access the Top Talent

You may be struggling to find qualified talent and trying to patch over holes in your workforce with little success. Rather than carrying out an endless recruiting effort, why not go straight after the candidates you know have the skills you need and the character you want? Sure, you might have to put a little more into the recruiting effort, but you also made a major upgrade to your workforce in a lot shorter period of time.

Gain a Recruiting Advantage

Since passive candidates are not actively looking for work, they are not actively being pursued by recruiters. That puts you at a significant advantage when you find a truly impressive professional you want to work with. You can get their undivided attention and make an offer without worrying about getting in to a bidding war. Compare that with the feeding frenzy that often results when top talent makes the decision to go back on the job hunt.

Get an Accurate Picture

When you go through an open recruiting process, everyone you meet with comes to you carefully prepared and varnished. You get to see their best side, but not necessarily their complete or even honest side. That makes it hard to make hiring decisions with absolute certainty. Passive candidates are just the opposite. They don’t have to tell you exactly what you want to hear or hide their warts because they already have a job to fall back on. When you find someone that can fill a role at your company, you can invite them in with total confidence.

So how do you recruit for these passive candidates? There are a lot of ways, but in almost every case it involves a lot of leg work and a lot of wining and dining. Or you can choose to work with a specialized staffing agency that already has bridges to these candidates built. If you prefer to work with a staffing agency that can help recruit passive job candidates, contact the Concorde Group today!

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Create a Complete and Effective Reference List

September 30th, 2015

Hiring managers get paid to be suspicious. Every candidate they vet claims to have extensive experience and impressive credentials. It is the hiring manager’s job to figure out how many of those claims are true. That’s why assembling a list of references is such an asset to job seekers. These references can provide independent, objective conformation of a candidate’s credentials – the kind of information that hiring managers consider closely. Use the following tips to help you put together a complete and effective reference list.

  • Be Brief and Relevant – Rather than listing contacts for every place you’ve worked, limit your list of reference to three or four entries and pick the ones that are most applicable to the job you’re applying for. The best policy is to condense everything to one page.
  • Stick to Bosses – You may have had a close and cordial relationship with former co-workers, but their opinions won’t carry much weight with hiring managers. As you are assembling references, limit it to supervisors and bosses.
  • Don’t Eliminate Friends and Family – Typically, you will not want to put friends and family on your reference list. But if you have a professional connection to them, listing them as a reference is perfectly valid. If, for example, you worked at a family business or had a close friend as a boss, these would be valid references.
  • Stay Recent – It will raise red flags with hiring mangers if your reference list doesn’t include any contacts from jobs you’ve held in the recent past. As much as possible, try to populate your list with the most recent entries possible.
  • Notify Your Choices – You should always notify a reference that you have included them and alert them that they may be contacted. You should then explain the position you are seeking and request that the reference highlight certain aspects of your hard and soft skills. You don’t have to dictate their answers – and they should never be dishonest – but don’t hesitate to give them some guidance to follow.
  • Rotate and Refresh – If you are applying for a lot of jobs, you won’t want to include the same references over and over. They could find themselves fielding daily calls and quickly grow resentful. Try and rotate your entries to avoid this fatigue, and be sure to constantly update your list when new references become applicable. This is a document that should be constantly evolving throughout your career.

Assembling a list of references is an essential part of the application process. But your resume, cover letter, and portfolio need to be just as polished. Learn how to put your best face forward by working with the team at The Concorde Group who can help you find Stamford jobs and more!

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Should You Start Using Video Interviews?

September 15th, 2015

Thanks to advances in technology, the feasibility of holding video interviews has improved greatly in recent years. And with recruiting being such a time- and labor-intensive process, utilizing video interviews can add a helpful tool to the process. So, should you start using video interviews? Ask yourself the following questions.

Have You Struggled to Attract Top Talent?

Every company is desperate to recruit top talent, meaning that these impressive performers are often being actively courted by multiple companies at once. One way to differentiate your company from the competition is by making the hiring process faster and more efficient, and using video interviews is one way to do that. You can introduce your company and your job offer to the candidate without putting a strain on the candidate’s time or schedule. That’s a thoughtful touch they will appreciate.

Do You Spend Too Much on Travel Costs?

The cost of flying a candidate into town and putting them up in a hotel is significant. And if your company is not shouldering this cost, the candidate is – meaning they will be less inclined to pursue your open positions. Using video interviews is an easy and effective way to eliminate this cost entirely. You get the same benefits of having a face-to-face interview, even when you are located on opposite coasts.

Would You Like to Recruit Internationally?

Some of the today’s top talent is coming from abroad, and recruiting internationally can connect your company with a huge new pool of truly exciting talent. Unfortunately, the fiscal and logistical challenges of trying to interview international talent makes it a prohibitive process for both the candidate and the employer. Video interviewing gives you a fast, cheap and flexible way of connecting with this talent, without trying to coordinate international travel.

Has Traditional Recruiting Become Ineffective?

Just because something is established doesn’t mean it’s effective. This is especially true in the case of interviewing candidates. For decades we have conducted the process in the exact same way – but it continues to produce uncertain, sometimes disastrous results. Video interviewing allows you to combine the features of a face-to-face interview with intriguing multimedia enhancements. Both parties have the ability to send files back and forth, deliver rich presentations, reference information online, and more. In practice, this represents a significant upgrade over the way we currently conduct interviews.

Are you ready to start holding video interviews? If so, you first need to begin assembling a candidate pool. Find resources to help you connect with better candidates faster for White Plains jobs and more by partnering with The Concorde Group.

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How to Properly Deal with the Counteroffer

August 31st, 2015

Dealing with a counteroffer can be one of the most challenging parts of the recruiting process for a job seeker, which is something of a paradox. You’ve been looking for a job, and now more than one company wants to work with you. It should be cause for celebration, but often it just produces stress and anxiety. After all, you want to make sure you pick the right company, but it’s not always easy to choose. If you find yourself in this situation, use these strategies.

Determine What You Really Want

Ultimately, your objective is to find the right position for your long-term personal and professional goals. So what features would help you get to where you want to be in your career? Are you looking for more money, more advancement potential, more interesting work, or more flexible scheduling options? It’s unlikely that any one job can offer you all of these, so pick your priorities and examine each offer in those terms.

Don’t Start a Bidding War

It can be tempting to try and play both sides against each other to get more money, better benefits, or a more esteemed job title. In practice, however, this is always a bad idea. It takes a fair amount of cunning and strategizing, and if you overplay your hand, you might end up losing both offers. That being said, if you have multiple offers on the table, you should make that known to each of the hiring managers you’re working with.

Understand the Consequences

If you already have a job and another company is trying to lure you away with a counteroffer, there can be serious consequences if you accept a promotion or raise and agree to stay where you are. You may have gotten more, but now your employer will always question your loyalty and may begin to push you to the margins of the company, whether consciously or unconsciously. A seemingly rosy situation can quickly turn into a workplace nightmare.

Remain Professional and Gracious

Any time a counteroffer gets thrown out, there will end up being a winner and a loser in the end. Make sure you don’t gloat or disrespect the company you end up turning down. That kind of behavior is petty and unprofessional, and there is no reason for you to burn bridges. If they were eager to recruit you now they may be eager to recruit you in the future.

If your goal is to make the smartest possible choices for your career, rely on the recruiting experts at The Concorde Group.

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Be Ready to Accept Job Applications from Mobile Devices

August 12th, 2015

The differences separating computers from phones, tablets, and other types of mobile devices are murkier than ever these days. And many contemporary job seekers prefer using their mobile device to submit job applications. It’s worth your time and effort to make this possible, because you would hate to turn away a talented candidate simply because of the device they used to connect with your company. Use these tips to ensure you’re ready:

Standardize the Experience Between Desktop and Mobile Sites

Make sure your mobile site mimics your desktop site as closely as possible. That makes things easier for you from a design perspective, and helps eliminate a lot of common misunderstandings. Go a step further and make sure your mobile site is optimized for usability with easy navigation tools, clear menus, and a simple interface for submitting applications.

Streamline the Application Process

Users are becoming increasingly comfortable with using mobile devices as their primary portal to the Internet. That being said, the mobile Web is fundamentally different. Job seekers may be willing to work though a long and complex application process when they are sitting in front of a computer screen, but they will have a lot less patience when staring at a phone. Examine your application process carefully and eliminate any steps that are unnecessary, redundant, confusing, or overly complex. If you do this thoughtfully, you can simplify the process without compromising its quality.

Test Your Efforts Carefully and Consistently

As you work to improve your mobile site and application portal, test your efforts carefully. Have independent users run through the process, closely observe what works and what does not, and be willing to use these insights to revise your efforts. This should not be a one-time process either. Test your portal regularly, and realize that the mobile Web changes so frequently and so quickly that you will need to make updates regularly.

Is it really worth it to put so much emphasis on receiving job applications from mobile sites? Just consider the fact that 71 percent of job seekers aged 18-34 want to use a mobile device to apply for a job. And they already are. Mobile job searches were up 33 percent in 2013 and 50 percent in 2015. Go where the job seekers are, make it easy for them to reach out to you, and you can easily develop broader and deeper candidate pools that improve your recruiting efforts significantly. Learn more about connecting with the talent you need for Connecticut jobs by contacting The Concorde Group.

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Want to Find a Job? Increase Your Networking

July 30th, 2015

Ask any hiring manager to name the most dependable way to find new hires and they will tell you referrals and recommendations. No matter how polished your resume and cover letter, they can’t make as strong a statement as someone already in a company or industry giving your their endorsement. And to get those endorsements, you need to network more and network better. If you are new to the process or not getting the results you want, rely on these tips.

Introduce Value to Your Network

Too often people approach networking wondering “what can you do for me?” The better approach is to ask “what can I do for you?” Not only will this help you connect with a more valuable group of professionals, it allows you to show off some of the experience and expertise you want to demonstrate to employers.

Try to Make Quality Connections

Rather than reaching out to every relevant professional on LinkedIn or trying to meet every person at a professional conference, try to make meaningful connections with fewer people. It’s great to have a huge network, but if none of the members really know you, they won’t feel comfortable recommending you for a job. Focus your efforts on quality over quantity and you’ll get better results.

Make an Invitation

Lots of networking these days takes place online, but often this only leads to the kind of shallow networking we warned about in the previous point. Make it a priority to actually invite people to meet with you in person, over lunch, at their office, wherever you both feel comfortable. If you buy someone a meal, they are a lot more likely to remember you when they hear about a vacancy.

Stay on Top Of Your Connections

If you wait until you’re actively looking for a job to reach out to members of your network, don’t expect to get a very enthusiastic response. The better strategy is to regularly connect with valuable professionals in your network and keep them informed about the kinds of projects you’re working on or industry issues you’re following. If you’re already out of work, don’t make the focus of your network-building process simply finding a new job.

Connect Your Connections

Networking goes both ways. If you have made connections with exciting members of your field, make sure they’re connected to each other as well. That helps you provide the value we talked about in the first point, and helps all of you ultimately connect with more people.

This may sound unorthodox, but one of the best ways to grow and improve your network is to partner with a staffing agency. After all, these professional recruiters already have hundreds of connections with companies in your field and professionals just like you. Get the process started and begin reaping the rewards by contacting The Concorde Group. We place jobs in Connecticut and more!


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Handle Workplace Conflict among Staff Members

July 15th, 2015

As a manager, the human element of your workplace is one of the most difficult and important things to keep under control. People working in shared spaces or stressful situations, leads to inevitable conflicts – regardless of the employer or the team in place. But it is the manager’s duty to put an end to these conflicts before they start to compromise performance, lead to turnover, and affect recruiting. The next time tempers flare up, turn to the strategies we’ve outlined below.

Make the Limits of Acceptable Behavior Well Known

Often workplace conflicts arise simply because staff members don’t realize they are disrespecting each other. It’s up to you to prevent this confusion before it starts. Make sure that the delegation of authority is clear for all staff members, that people understand the obligations and boundaries of their job description, and that codes of conduct are clearly defined.

Stop Conflicts Before They Start

You spend as much time in the office as the rest of your staff members, and you can probably tell when conflicts are simmering. Take steps to resolve the conflict before it heats up to a boil and you make things easier for everyone. Keep your eyes and ears open during meetings and conversations with staff for any potential points of friction.

Respect All Parties

Even when one party is clearly the offending one in a conflict, don’t immediately place all the fault on their shoulders. That strategy tends to produce bitterness and rarely resolves the underlying causes of the conflict. Listen to all parties in full, and strive for a resolution that leaves everyone involved feeling served rather than punished.

Pick Your Battles Carefully

Conflicts are inevitable, but not all of them require your intervention. Rational minds usually prevail, and often conflicts resolve themselves on their own once staff members have time to cool off. If you step into a conflict that would otherwise naturally run its course you only risk making it worse.

Turn Conflicts into Opportunities

The goal of any conflict resolution process is for all parties involved to feel respected and acknowledged. As a manager, this can prove to be an asset for you. When handled correctly, a conflict can turn into a huge opportunity for team building, innovation, and learning. Whenever you initiate a conflict resolution, make it your goal for your team to come out of it stronger.

The best way to resolve conflicts is to prevent them in the first place. And to do that you need to have a great team on your side. Find candidates with the maturity and professionalism you’re looking for by working with the recruiting experts at The Concorde Group. We place employees in jobs in Westchester and more.

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