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How Onboarding Will Lead to More Retained Talent

June 15th, 2016

You have dedicated a lot of time, effort, and money to recruit essential talent. That’s why you need to put just as much effort into retaining that talent. One of the best ways to do that is to take the onboarding process seriously. Develop a plan in advance, dedicate the time and resources necessary, and be willing to adapt your strategy to the new hire. This approach helps to eliminate early exits and could add years to the employee’s tenure. Use the following advice to retain your top talent.

Introduce New Hires to Culture and Co-Workers

It’s easy to feel lost in the first days and weeks at a new job. New hires are suddenly surrounded by unfamiliar co-workers and asked to work in offices that abide by dozens of subtle and unspoken rules, traditions, and processes. Onboarding helps to eliminate the feeling of being the odd man out by addressing the issue head on. The new person in the office is introduced both formally and informally to people from every department and every spot on the corporate ladder. They are educated about formal office policies, as well as the less-explicit guidelines that impact where you park, how you eat lunch, when you socialize with co-workers, and how you ask for vacation/sick leave. All of this helps the new hire to feel welcome in the office and comfortable in their new role.

Outline Responsibilities and Expectations

Even the lengthiest job description does a poor job of describing the day-to-day reality of working a job. In the same way that a new hire can feel lost and confused in a new office, they can be uncertain about exactly what, when, where and how they are supposed to perform a new job. A thorough onboarding is a way of showing that person exactly what you expect them to do and how you expect them to do it. It also introduces them to resources and processes they can draw on to work more effectively. This helps to eliminate the kinds of mistakes, frustrations, and points of friction that can cause a professional to wonder if they’re working for the wrong company.

Address Questions and Concerns

The onboarding process is really about providing the right information in the right setting. But no matter how thoroughly you plan it out, there are sure to be details that get overlooked. Pairing a new hire up with an office partner and emphasizing that superiors are always available to answer questions no matter how small or silly is just another way to clear up confusion. This approach also helps the new hire to feel supported, respected, and valued in their new role. They will be much more likely to continue working for an employer that seems glad to have them on the team.

The onboarding process is much easier for all involved if you first make the right hire. Find talent that is eager to integrate into your office and impact your bottom line by working with the Westchester NY staffing experts at The Concorde Group.

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How Is HR Evolving?

May 13th, 2016

June 1

HR has never been a static industry, but the scope and pace of recent evolutions is arguably more significant than ever before. Thanks to challenges and opportunities that are unique to the 21st century, companies of all sizes and across industries are having to rethink how they find, attract, recruit, and retain talent. Here is a quick overview of some of these new HR practices.

Moving into Social Spaces

In the past, it was enough to write up a brief, boring job description and wait for candidates to come flocking. In order to connect with today’s talent, companies are increasingly using social media to advertise vacancies, source candidates, refine the vetting process, and create an employer brand.

HR in the C-Suite

Most companies, particularly those in STEM industries, suffer from a talent shortage and a skills gap. These companies also understand the deep, long-term value that top talent can bring to an organization. In order to introduce efficient, effective, optimized staffing strategies, HR is increasingly being treated as part of the core management function. Some companies has even created a Chief of Human Resources position.

Introducing New Technologies

Automation has changed the way that companies approach HR. Everything from recruiting to onboarding and even ongoing training is now easier, faster, and more cost effective thanks to a wave of new applications. This trend will only accelerate, especially as the capabilities of big data improve and enable a form of empirical recruiting that has never been possible before.

Emphasis on Culture

It’s no longer enough to offer a generous compensation package. Employees increasingly want to work for companies that reflect their own goals, interests, and values. This is especially true for millennial talent that now makes up the bulk of the workforce. In response, HR professionals are now responsible for defining, establishing, and maintaining company culture, and leveraging that culture as a recruiting resource.

Willingness to Change

The first HR department was established at The National Cash Register Company in 1901. And for much of the next century, the focus and strategies of HR stayed the same. That is changing quickly as companies realize that the old ways of doing things become less effective every day. Right now there is a wave of innovation transforming HR departments worldwide. And for the first time in a long time, those departments are eager to embrace the change.

Partner with a Leader in Staffing in Westchester

A final point to consider is that HR is not nearly as insular or self contained as it used to be. In order to improve outcomes, HR departments are outsourcing some core functions and taking on strategic partners, namely specialized staffing firms. These firms have the focus and resources necessary to accelerate the hiring process and produce higher-quality hires. If you envision a partnership like this as part of the future of your HR department, contact The Concorde Group.

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Is Your Cover Letter Ready for a Job Search in 2016?

April 27th, 2016

June 3

Your resume and cover letter are equally important but completely opposite kinds of documents. Your resume is basically an outline of your skills and experiences. It gives hiring managers an easy way to scan your credentials. Your cover letter is where you make the case for why you’re fit for the job and better than any other candidate. It frames your credentials in the most relevant and enticing way possible. That’s why it’s so important to craft and revise the document carefully. Watch out for these common mistakes:

  • Bad Writing. Your cover letter must be impeccable. Typos, grammar mistakes, and awkward phrasing all make you look unprofessional. If you don’t consider yourself a strong writer, have a friend or family member help you edit.
  • Too Long. The goal is to make the biggest impression in the least amount of time. You cover letter should not be longer than one page, and should ideally be only three paragraphs. Make sure every sentence communicates something important.
  • Too General. It’s never a good idea to rely on a stock cover letter. Start each one from scratch, and be sure that the language and details you include relate directly to the company and available job. Show them your the best fit for this
  • Being Humble. Your cover letter is not a place to qualify your credentials, downplay your accomplishments, or be brutally honest about your strengths and weaknessses. In the short window of time you have, make yourself look as good as possible, just make sure you don’t lie.
  • Being Arrogant. The opposite is just as big a problem. If you were a totally perfect, one-of-a-kind professional, you would either have a job or have recruiters beating down your door. Don’t make it sound like you deserve a job without being fully vetted.
  • Over Explaining. You may be tempted to describe why you quit or were laid off from your past job. In most cases, this information is irrelevant and will only hurt your case. Focus on the positives and focus on the future.
  • Bad Formatting. Something that looks great on a printed piece of paper may not look great in an email, inside a form, or posted on a social network. Make sure that you format your cover letter so that it makes an equal impact across platforms.
  • Stopping Short. Most cover letters end with a pledge to follow up with the employer. End yours the right way, and then actually follow up. This helps demonstrate your interest in the position and keeps your name fresh in the hiring manager’s mind.

A great cover letter is important, but remember that it’s only one piece of the puzzle. You also need to have a polished resume, and turn in a great interview performance. Find resources to help you through every step in the process by working with The Concorde Group, a top staffing agency in Westchester.

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Are the Job Candidate’s Answers to Behavioral Interviews Questions Real?

April 13th, 2016

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As a job interviewer, your main priority is to determine whether the candidate in front of you is qualified for the job you have available. Unfortunately, that’s impossible to judge if you’re not getting accurate, honest information from the candidate. And separating truth from fiction can be extremely tricky.

A simple solution is to rely on a different kind of interview question, namely behavioral questions. Essentially, these questions ask candidates to relay anecdotes describing their credentials, character, and past performance. Since a good response requires so many specific details, many of which you can verify, it’s a lot harder for candidates to lie, exaggerate, or obscure information. Follow these tips for getting the most out of this line of questioning.

Be Open Ended

The narrower your questions are, the easier it will be for candidates to fabricate information. Make sure that your questions are very general and tie into the kinds of experiences and situations that all professionals face. Examples include “Tell me about a time when you took on a leadership role” or “Describe a situation when you had to overcome adversity.” With broad prompts like these, it becomes a lot easier to tell when information is being created off the cuff.

Explore the Nature of the Problem

You’re trying to determine if the candidate has faced the kinds of pressures and problems they’re likely to encounter in their new role at your company. When posing behavioral interview questions, ask candidates to describe these problems in depth. If they are able to provide specifics, it indicates that this was a real professional obstacle, and one they’ll feel confident tackling in the future.

Focus on Resolutions and Results

It’s far too easy for candidates to be vague and “wishy washy” when describing solutions to the problems mentioned above. Don’t let candidates get by with simply asserting that they were successful. Ask them to provide actual metrics and detailed examples. Later, you can follow up on these facts when you check the candidate’s references.

Pay Attention to the Long Term

The true efficacy of a solution is often not apparent until months or years have passed. After learning about the solutions put in place, find out how they affected the candidate, team, or company over the long-term. There is a lot of important information contained in the response, and a lot of potential red flags to look out for.

If you don’t feel like you’ve gotten the complete story, keep asking questions. And if you doubt some of the candidate’s claims, be sure to check references, run a background check, and hunt for inconsistencies on their application documents. A little careful sleuthing can help you avoid the consequences of making a bad hire. Learn about other ways to connect with the best talent on the market by contacting The Concorde Group, a leading staffing agency in Westchester.

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Are You Sure You Want to Refer a Friend?

March 30th, 2016

May 26

Referring a friend for a job seems like a win-win situation. You help someone you know and like find work while also helping an employer fill a vacancy on their staff. Plus, you could be eligible for a referral bonus or reap professional rewards down the road. Be warned, however, that there could be consequences for you if the person you refer doesn’t perform as well as promised. Always ask yourself the following questions before making a recommendation:

“What is Your Link to the Employer?”

If you happened to come across a random job listing and you think a friend might be well suited, don’t hesitate to let them know about it. You have little-to-no relationship with this employer, meaning that your friend’s performance won’t reflect on you. It’s up to the hiring manager himself to determine if this person is a good fit. If, however, you are closely linked to the employer or currently employed by them, you need to give the referral a lot more thought. Your professional reputation could take a hit if the person you refer doesn’t live up to expectations.

“How Close are You to Your Friend?”

There are different degrees of friends. Some people are merely acquaintances, while others are your oldest, best, and closest connections. For obvious reasons, you will be willing to do more and stake more on the latter than the former. Keep in mind that by referring a friend you also become a part of the recruitment process. You will likely be fielding questions from both your friend and the hiring manager throughout. It may be worth spending that time to help a close connection, but not worth it to help a distant relative or someone you barely know.

“Do You Honestly Know Your Friend’s Work Habits?”

As a general rule of thumb, don’t presume to know or understand a person’s work habits until you have worked with them directly. Everyone claims to be a smart, capable, hard worker, and no one is willing to admit that they are lazy, irresponsible, or unmotivated. If you haven’t actually seen your friend in action, you can’t accurately vouch for their credentials and character. It’s not inappropriate to ask your friend for a copy of their resume and to do some online research before agreeing to make the referral. Remember that you also have something to lose if this doesn’t work out.

It’s never a good idea to rush into decisions that impact you professional life. Find more advice, guidance, and resources to help you throughout your career journey by contacting our team of great recruiters at The Concorde Group. Partner with a leading staffing agency in White Plains today!

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Why Your Current Employees Are a Great Source for Your Future Employees

March 15th, 2016

When you need to fill a role at your company, you have two options: Look internally for someone to promote, or look externally for someone to hire. Both of these approaches have advantages, but significant disadvantages as well. Consider that there is a third way – looking internally to help you find someone externally. Your current employees are one of the best resources you have for recruiting. Here’s why you should make them a part of the process:

  • Expedite the Hiring Process. Impressively, as high as two-thirds of the candidates that come from referrals end up getting hired. If you can’t afford to run a protracted recruiting process and need to bring someone into your ranks fast, relying on referrals cuts down the time to hire significantly.
  • Connect with a Higher-Quality Candidate. There is a lot of uncertainty in hiring a complete stranger. You have to take a leap of faith that their credentials are real, their character and work ethic are up to par, and that they’re a good fit for your culture. When you make a hire based on a referral, you have actual confirmation that these things are the case.
  • Cut the Cost of Recruiting. The cost of recruiting can be significant and unpredictable, sometimes prohibitively so. Basing your decision on a referral cuts this cost, allowing you to make a necessary hire without putting a strain on your budget.
  • Motivate Your Employees. It’s awfully satisfying to be able to get a friend or acquaintance a job. When that referral also earns the person a bonus, they feel a much stronger link to your company.
  • Find Specialized Skills. The biggest problem facing many employers these days is finding talent that has a very narrow sets of skills. Doing that type of recruiting takes a large input on the employer’s part, and frequently produces spotty results. Basing a hiring decision on a referral gives you unique access to highly specialized talent.
  • Speed Up the Onboarding Process. Since the person you end up hiring has been confirmed to be a good fit for your company, your culture, and your position, they’re likely to start making an impact on day one. That spares you the time and expense it would take to train someone without any connection to the way you do things.

It should be pretty clear by now that referrals work. If you can’t find the referral you need, however, the good news is that there are other staffing strategies that work, too. Dip into a pool of high-quality talent by contacting the recruiters at The Concorde Group. As a full-service staffing firm in White Plains, we have a number of options to help all companies in the region.

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Is Your Online Job Presence Ready for Your Job Search?

February 24th, 2016

As a job seeker, you need to put your very best face forward at all times. That means submitting carefully crafted and edited employment documents, acing your job interview, and acting professionally at all networking events. It also means you need to clean up your online presence.

The simple fact is that many of us have information that is “less than professional” floating around online. And while it may not be embarrassing, it’s not the kind of thing you want a potential employer to see as they evaluate your credentials and character. Here a few tips to help you clean up your online image:

Search for Your Name

It’s now standard practice for any employer to do a basic internet search of a candidate. Visit the major search engines and do the same – you might be surprised at what comes up. Information that you thought was lost in your past or buried deep in the list of search rankings might show up in the top few spots. Look at both sites and images.

Check Your Social Media

This is an area that trips up a lot of job seekers. You might not like the idea of an employer going onto your Facebook profile, but that doesn’t mean they won’t. If they are able to view photos of you getting wild on a vacation or acting in a way that calls your character into question, it’s going to reduce your standing as a candidate.  The first step is to remove any embarrassing photos and information. The second step is to set all but the most basic information to private viewing. Make sure you don’t overlook any old profiles that may have sat dormant for years.

Watch Out for Your Friends

You may not have posted anything embarrassing online, but that doesn’t mean your friends and family haven’t. Don’t make the shortsighted mistake of only cleaning up your own profile. Scrutinize your entire presence on social media, even if it takes some digging. Get rid of the content you have control over, and politely ask friends and family to remove anything you don’t have control over.

Turn Negatives into Positives

There is some information that it’s simply impossible to scrub off of the internet. If you find embarrassing information that’s permanently imbedded, the solution is to bury it. You can do this by establishing profiles on additional social media sites, starting a blog or personal website, and getting active on message boards and professional sites. Over time the embarrassing content will fall in the rankings and eventually become invisible to all but the most determined searchers.

Cleaning up your online presence is not something you should do, it’s something you MUST do. To learn about other job search essentials, connect with the team at The Concorde Group to work with a top staffing agency in Connecticut and Westchester.

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A Diverse, Welcoming Workplace Leads to More Success

February 10th, 2016

Diversity is more than just a buzzword. In all things, and especially in the character of your workforce, diversity is an asset that has a measurable impact on productivity, efficiency, and innovation. Just consider a Forbes survey of 321 companies with at least $500 million in revenue in which 85 percent of respondents agreed that diversity in the workforce is an essential consideration. So why does diversity lead directly to more success? Just consider these overarching benefits:

  • Rely on Multiple Skill Sets – A person’s skills extend beyond their schooling and career history. They also relate directly to the person’s background. Homogeneous workforces tend to have identical and overlapping skills, which is great in some situations but not in all of them. A diverse workforce, by contrast, is made up of professionals who each have something unique to offer. When you need to meet a new challenge, that multiplicity of skills proves to be an immediate asset.
  • Improve Your Recruitment Efforts – Today’s’ employees, especially those from younger generations, are motivated by more than just salary and benefits. They are eager to work for companies that share their beliefs/values and commit to a mission they want to be a part of. A diverse workforce can help retain vibrant talent – both minority and otherwise – and encourage that talent to stay with your organization for longer. Rather than adding an extra wrinkle to your recruitment process, diversifying could be the solution to many of your recruitment woes.
  • Build More Vibrant Teams – No one likes to feel like an outsider. But if your organization is only slightly diverse and has a large majority of a certain demographic of employee, it’s likely that someone feels left out. Making it a priority to build difference and variety into your workforce can lead ultimately to stronger, more cohesive teams. Everyone, regardless of demographic, feels like an important participant and learns to work more effectively with people unlike themselves.
  • Attract a Diverse Customer Base – Much like 21st century employees, 21st century consumers want to patronize businesses they believe in. If your company has a reputation as an all-white boys club, you’re likely losing a lot of minority business. Making a real investment in diversity and making that investment part of your public face can help to change the perception of your company and attract huge new swaths of business.

Understanding the benefits of diversity is easy. Actually diversifying your workforce is much harder. As you work to recruit a different kind of employee, rely on the resources of a staffing firm with a diverse pool of candidates already established. Contact The Concorde Group to find your next great hire from our recruiters in Westchester and throughout Connecticut.

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Small Business Web Design Tips That Appeal to Customers and Attract Job Seekers

February 8th, 2016

July 21st HR Managers

Designing a website for your company is more than just creating one that attracts the right customers. It also has to take into consideration the job seekers you are hoping will apply. Candidates should benefit from visiting the site to learn about your corporate culture and any career opportunities available as well. It is possible to create a website that serves the needs of all of these potential visitors, but doing so requires more than just putting up your average three-page website.

Attracting Customers with a Website 

Most businesses need to use their website as a tool for attracting customers – this could be your first and primary tool. If this is important, use these tips:

  • Stand out with your design. Ensure your site is different from everyone else’s.
  • Use images and lots of them. You do not want the website to load slowly, but you do want to use images to attract customers.
  • Make sure the site is easy to navigate. One of the biggest drawbacks of a website can be making it hard to find products or services.

If your website has personality and properly markets your brand, it will do well with customers. This makes it easy to meet your business goals.

A Website Focusing on Job Seekers

A business website can also appeal to those who are looking for a job. If you are hiring and are seeking employees to fit key roles, or just want to make sure you are accessible when the very best applicant is looking, design your site with job seeker benefits. Here are some tips.

  • Do not just say you are hiring. Most applicants will not apply unless there is potential in getting hired. If your site does nothing more than say you are hiring, it is not doing enough.
  • Provide information about the positions available. You should list information about the skills, experience and even the pay for the potential employee.
  • Ensure there is a way for candidates to apply to you. Provide a specific email address. Some companies allow applicants to apply for positions on the site by submitting resumes.
  • Use a hiring page to convey your needs, but also to encourage those with skills to apply. You will want to ensure the best apply, not just anyone. A hiring page can provide all of the information an applicant needs to answer the question, “Should I apply?”
  • Use your company blog to discuss working aspects of your job. This is the ideal place to discuss what it is like to work with your company. It is also a good way to get traffic to your hiring page if you are looking for candidates.

For applicants, finding a hiring page that lists positions and hiring requirements is like getting all of the information they need to know if they should apply. Hands down, this is one of the most effective ways to ensuring you get the best applicants.

Your business website needs to meet the goals and needs of any person visiting it. Just as you do not want to lose that value customer who stops by, you also don’t want to lose the top notch employee who is looking for a position. Make it work for all.

 

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4 Skills to Showcase to Stand Out to Hiring Managers

January 26th, 2016

Put yourself in the shoes of a hiring manager. You’ve listed a vacancy, and the resumes have begun to pour in. As you read through the stack, you notice that the majority of the candidates have degrees from solid colleges, skills that are relevant to the position, and experience working in the industry. Basically, everyone is equally qualified. When this dilemma presents itself (and it often does) hiring managers have to look past hard credentials and evaluate candidates based on character and personality – soft skills. There are the four soft skills that you will want to showcase in order to stand out from all the other candidates:

Manageability

You might be a top performer, but if you are hard to manage, you will only be a disruption to a team. Hiring managers want to know that the person they hire can take direction, respond to criticism and feedback, accept assigned roles, and defer to the decision of superiors. Candidates can demonstrate this skill by highlighting instances when they met goals and earned extra responsibilities.

Communication

You can have tons of great ideas, but if you can’t communicate them, they don’t do anyone any good. Conversely, if you can’t hear and digest the ideas of others, then you will cause a lot more problems than you solve. Hiring managers will hesitate to hire anyone who can’t communicate clearly in all formats and all settings. Candidates can demonstrate this skill by submitting a polished resume/cover letter and turning in a great interview performance.

Cooperation

You don’t get hired to work on your own; you get hired to work as part of a team. That is true regardless of the position or setting. If you can’t be a team player, you will hold everyone else around you back and put the biggest and most important plans in jeopardy. For obvious reasons, hiring managers don’t want to hire people who can’t work with those around them. Candidates can demonstrate this skill by highlighting team accomplishments and describing their individual contribution.

Resilience

You might do great when things are going smoothly, but if you fall apart in stressful situations you’re not much of an asset to a company. In business, the unexpected is inevitable and stress is unavoidable. Hiring managers only want to bring someone onboard who can perform during the good times and the bad. Candidates can highlight this skill by describing moments of adversity and how they overcame them.

Rather than explicitly stating that you have these skills, prove that you have them using anecdotes, metrics, and demonstrations. Those carry a lot more weight with hiring managers. Find more resources to help you catch attention by contacting the Concorde Group.

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