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How Does Partnering with a Staffing Agency Help Your Business

August 10th, 2016

If you are looking to be more productive at the office or wishing you had a partner you can trust to help you find talented employees, you will want to learn how staffing agencies can fulfill both of these goals.

Some people view staffing agencies as a temporary fix but in reality, they can (and should) be a long-term partner to help you grow and strengthen your business. Creating a relationship with an employment agency can be one of the most beneficial things you do for your business. Take a look at how partnering with an agency can help you save time throughout the whole process of acquiring new employees.

Staffing agencies are valuable partners

They can easily find active and passive job seekers. Scouring for promising potential employees to join your team is a time-consuming process and somewhat of a rollercoaster ride. This is a primary task that a staffing agency can do for you, and it’s something that they’re experienced with. They know where to look and key qualities to consider when looking at potential hires. Think of all the time you can devote to other tasks to help your business if you have other professionals send you quality leads!

Next, they will focus on hiring while you focus on the core business. Great! You found a wonderful new team member through your staffing agency partner. Now it’s time to go through the necessary but long paperwork and hiring process. If you have a partnership with a staffing agency, they can do this for you, too! You can get back to work on your core business responsibilities and they can take care of the essential paperwork throughout the hiring process. Again, that’s more time you have to make your business more successful.

They’re there when you need them. Every company has different hiring needs or schedules. Whatever your hiring schedule is, when you create a long-term partnership with a staffing agency, they will be able to send you quality candidates when you need them. You could receive a big order and need an influx of employees on a short-term basis. During the holiday season, you may need to increase your staff for a six-week period. Developing a relationship with a staffing agency will help make filling those needs easier.

Begin a long-term partnership

A long-term relationship with a staffing or employment agency builds trust, creates efficiency, and it’s as if they are an off-site arm to your business, working towards your company’s success, just like you! If you want to learn more about how a staffing agency can help your business, contact Concorde Personnel or visit our website today to learn more about a top staffing agency in White Plains.

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5 Tips to Nail Your Next Phone Interview

July 27th, 2016

The hiring process has gotten longer over the years. It’s rare to have just one interview anymore. Instead, companies are taking advantage of technology by having preliminary, although just as important, interviews over the phone or using a video call service.

In this post we’ll talk about ways to feel confident in your phone interview, allowing you to make a lasting impression – without even meeting your interviewers face-to-face.

1. Be Prepared.

You might be able to hold the interview in the comfort of your own home, but that does not mean that you should split any focus. Be just as prepared for this interview as you would be for an in-person interview. The people on the other end will be able to tell if you came prepared or slacked off before you got on the call. Have a notebook ready with talking points or for taking notes, and have your resume out to reference. Good preparation is the start of a great phone interview!

2. Find a Quiet Location.

Nothing is worse in a phone interview than having a lot of noise in the background distracting from your conversation. Phones are sensitive to noise, a public space will probably give away your location to your interviewers on the other end.  They should not hear friends or family members having a good time, nor should they hear a coffee drink being artfully prepared.

3. Dress the Part.

Of course, this is optional. You could do a phone interview in your pajamas if you’ve nailed all the other points. However, many job candidates find that dressing to impress actually helps them feel put together and in a professional mindset for the interview.

4. Walk Around and Project Your Voice.

Having a phone interview gives you the option to walk around and talk with your hands in a judgment-free zone. Go for it! You need to be able to communicate your enthusiasm and expertise over the phone, so if you keep yourself lively, people will be able to hear your passion on the other end.

5. Smile!

Next time you’re on the phone, listen for the difference in your voice inflection when you smile versus other times. It changes, and people want to hire happy people. Plus, smiling, even to yourself, keeps you engaged in the phone interview and helps communicate the enthusiasm and drive you have for the job position.

For more helpful insight on finding a job and navigating the job market, contact Concorde Personnel. As a leader in staffing in Westchester, we have a number of great career opportunities that match your skill set!

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When Can You Trust LinkedIn Recommendations?

July 13th, 2016

August 2nd

LinkedIn has grown in its usage and popularity steadily over the last decade.  While many social platforms focus on images and brevity, LinkedIn stands out as a substantial and fruitful medium for both job seekers and those looking to hire outstanding talent.

As you peruse LinkedIn for promising candidates, it’s important to evaluate their recommendations. This is one important way that professional connections can verify their skills through co-workers or past and present supervisors. Consider the following factors when evaluating a candidate’s recommendations.

Evaluate the Connection

First and foremost, check to see if the connection is a past or current colleague. A recommendation from a boss or colleague in a superior position is more impressive than colleagues from a similar level in the company or organization.

Here’s an example of a recommendation made by a client of a connection:

“Michelle is one of those rare finds that brings all her talents and expertise to the table each and every time Group 2 retains her services. Her strong work ethic, ability to dive in and ramp up quickly and knowledge of overall industry protocols is quite impressive. If you’re seeking a young and qualified (beyond her years) marketing partner, I highly recommend having her join your team.”

Fluff or Factual?

Next, you want to read the recommendation and consider whether there are hard facts or examples of their work. Most quality recommendations will include either examples or statistics to support the connection, not just wordy fluff.

Take a look at this “fluffy” example:

“Susan is such an excellent worker! She brings her best to every project and produces great results!”

While this recommendation makes Susan sound like a positive person, it doesn’t tell us much about anything. This shouldn’t count against Susan, but hopefully she has other, more in-depth recommendations to help you understand a bit more about her strengths in the office.

Too Much of a Good Thing

In the case of recommendations, you’d rather trust a few substantial entries, rather than too many. The “quality over quantity” rule definitely applies here. In addition, too many recommendations are a red flag for insincere entries.

This rule also ties back to the first point. If a person has multiple recommendations for one position, it is most promising for the recommendations to come from colleagues or clients at different levels of the company.

If you’re looking to hire more talent for your company, you should definitely scour LinkedIn. Recommendations can be a trusted source of valuable information if you look for the right signs!

Work with a Top Staffing Agency in Westchester

For help on finding great talent and other employment needs, visit Concorde Personnel today. We’ll be happy to find the best talent to join your team today!

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You Have a Gap in Your Resume – Why It’s OK!

June 30th, 2016

August 4th

Traditional job search wisdom says that a gap in your resume is a deal breaker for hiring managers. The gap is viewed as a period when you were either unemployable or too disengaged to look for work in a meaningful way. The reality of that gap period, of course, is often much different, but resumes are not great storytellers. Luckily, you can overcome this obstacle to employment and possibly even use it to your advantage. Take advantage of these strategies to bridge your resume gap.

Switch to a Skills-Based Resume

Most resumes are organized as a chronological timeline of your employment history. In this configuration, gaps are glaring. Instead, switch to a skills-based resume that emphasizes what you can do rather than when and where you have done it. Focus on the hard and soft skills that you possess that are most relevant to the position you’re trying to secure, and mention how those skills have produced positive results for past employers. When a hiring manager sees your resume they will be more focused on your future than your past.

Create a Positive Spin

A gap in your employment doesn’t have to be a bad thing if you used the time productively. Maybe you dedicated yourself to picking up new skills or to volunteering with a worthy cause in a meaningful way. In that context, your gap was more about personal and professional development than laziness. Even if you took the time off to do things irrelevant to your career, you can stress that now that you’ve fulfilled your lifelong dream of traveling through Asia or writing a screenplay, you’re ready to throw yourself back into the world of work. A potential employer will be more willing to accept a gap in your past than a gap looming in your future.

Be Open and Honest

A gap in your employment is likely to come up during the job interview. When answering, be honest about why the gap happened and what you did with your time. A dishonest answer will raise red flags at best, and expose you as a liar at worst. In anticipation of this question, prepare your answer in advance so that you don’t get flustered in your interview. As much as possible, try to frame your gap as a positive, or at least as unavoidable. Finally, deliver your response with confidence. If you don’t view your gap as a negative trait, your interviewer might not also.

We’ve shown you one way to frame yourself as a candidate who is not unqualified. But you need to make an equal or greater effort to frame yourself as a candidate who is uniquely qualified. Learn how to do that by working with The Concorde Group, a leading staffing agency in Westchester.

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How Onboarding Will Lead to More Retained Talent

June 15th, 2016

August 31st

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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Advice on Attracting and Retaining Generation Y Employees

June 7th, 2016

August 8th

Businesses today are beginning to understand just how important it is to attract Generation Y employees. These are the employees of the future. Companies that have an aging employee pool may be missing out on staff who are qualified to make the most of the latest technology. Many are struggling with coming up with ideas that will to appeal to the buying public – the Gen Y crowd.

Attracting Generation Y Workers

What makes the Generation Y so different, and hard to attract as career candidates? First off, Generation Y is a little different than the generations past. They are uniquely tied to technology in an intricate and live their lives out loud for the world to see on Facebook, Twitter, and the likes. If you want to get their attention and attract them to the jobs available, you have to introduce your company to them where they spend all their time.

Where, you ask, might that be? On the Internet, of course. Positions announced online are much more likely to be noticed by Gen Y than other generations  and more likely to get a response as well. Online and social network announcements of openings let them know that your company is technologically savvy, forward-thinking, and committed to the future rather than dwelling in the past. It makes a good impression with this up and coming group of talent and with them, first impressions are very important.

In addition to announcing the positions you have available online, you must make it a point to develop and maintain a significant web presence. Create a company blog, consider dedicating one or more members of your staff to social media and/or social networking. Start a Facebook account, and maintain a Twitter feed in order to start things off right when it comes to tech-savvy job seekers. These things, when done well, will create a web presence that attracts the top-tier candidates among the Gen Y pool of potential employees and that should be your ultimate goal.

Retaining Gen Y Employees

Once you’ve attracted Gen Y candidates enough to get their resumes and hire them, the next goal for you to work toward is keeping them. There are several things you can do, but one of the most important is by keeping them engaged in what’s going on in your business. Offer contests or competitions among the employees to keep them on task and on target. More importantly, it keeps them engaged in the work they’re doing. Offer incentives for reaching production goals rather than bonuses for simply being employed. Make the incentives attainable, but ambitious so they don’t become bored or frustrated with the process.

Give all employees, especially your Gen Y folks, a stake and a voice in the future of the company. Don’t patronize them. This will get under their skin in a really big way. Let them know that they are valuable members of the team and take what they have to offer to heart rather than giving it the slightest hint of “ear” service. Help them find the path to advancement, learn new skills, and cross over into other compatible tasks and assignments whenever possible. This is definitely a multi-tasking generation if ever there was one.

Most importantly of all, Generation Y workers grew up with parents who worked 80 or more hours per week and sacrificed a lot for a retirement that’s proving to be far less comfortable than anticipated. They place a high value on time away from the office. They want personal lives rather than to be tied to work 24/7. Give them the time off they want and need in order to recharge, in addition to the other things mentioned above and they are sure to be long-term and loyal employees for your company.

For help in recruiting and retaining Generation Y employees, or those with specialized skills in all generational groups, be sure to work with the experts at Concorde Personnel.

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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

Stock Traders Conducting Interview

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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