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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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Red Flags to Watch for on a Resume

June 29th, 2015

Evaluating a resume is something of an art form. You have to look past the candidate’s skills and experience and really analyze the information they have chosen to present you with. Hone your skills even further by learning about subtle red flags to watch out for.

  • Too Much Employment – If a candidate has demonstrated a pattern of jumping from job to job every year or two, it suggests they are discontent in their career and unlikely to show your company any meaningful loyalty.
  • A Lie – Sometimes a lie can be spotted simply by looking for contradictory information on a resume. If one is present, it raises serious questions about that candidate’s character and the true nature of their credentials.
  • Meaningless Skills – In 2015, every professional is proficient in Microsoft Office. If you read a resume that lists this as one of the candidate’s skills, it means they are trying to pad out their qualifications and probably can’t make the big impact you want.
  • Focus on Strategy – Strategy is an overused buzzword that appears a shocking number of times on some resumes. You are interested in accomplishments, not approaches.
  • Claims of Expertise – True experts don’t go out looking for jobs; they get recruited by the top global companies. This word indicates that the candidate’s proficiency has probably been greatly exaggerated.
  • Outdated Email Addresses – Today’s business requires nimble adaptability. Candidates still using outdated email platforms probably can’t adapt as quickly as you would like.
  • Inputs Over Outputs – When a resume lists a candidate’s job responsibilities and project participation and fails to mention the outcomes of those, it should make you question what kind of value they can really bring to your company.
  • An Objective Statement – These statement’s can only state the obvious – I want a job at your company – or the irrelevant – I want something besides a job at your company. The presence of one is evidence of a poorly crafted resume.
  • An Extended History – Jobs or internships the candidate had a decade ago are probably irrelevant to the position they’re seeking now. Resumes that look too far into the past suggest the candidate is struggling to align their qualifications with your requirements.

Think back – how many resumes have you seen with these red flags on them? Did you invite those candidates for interviews, and did you end up hiring any of them? Possibly yes, but more likely no. Now that you know how to spot these warning signs early, you can streamline your recruiting process and connect with only the best possible candidates. Further improve your staffing strategies by contacting The Concorde Group.

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5 Tips to Develop Yourself Professionally

June 15th, 2015

Want to know the single best way to get better jobs at better companies with higher compensation? Make professional development an ongoing priority. The skills you learn in school and on the job are not enough to keep pace with the rate of change in today’s business world. If you want to stay ahead of the curve and always be an asset, you have to be proactive and dedicate some of your own time to the cause. Here are five tips to help you get more out of your professional development efforts:

Look for Resources

There are tons of available resources to help you develop professionally. Start by finding out if your current employer offers tuition reimbursement, incentives for picking up certifications, or flexible scheduling while you are pursuing schooling. Then expand your search to identify the courses, programs, seminars, conferences, and professional networks that can aid your professional growth.

Join a Professional Organization

One of the primary missions of many professional organizations is to help their members expand their skill sets. These organizations regularly offer opportunities for members to interact, collaborate, and exchange training. Joining one or more of these organizations provides you with a lot of valuable assets and can give your professional development efforts more form and function than they would have otherwise.

Accept New Challenges

You can do a lot to develop yourself professionally by simply accepting new types of assignments at work. Let your boss know about your intentions and he will be much more likely to accommodate you. Not only does this help you pick up new skills and insights, it also helps improve your standing at your current job and highlights your professional ambitions.

Create a Plan

Since professional development is ongoing, it helps to be systematic about it so that you stay on course. Create a plan for yourself that lists your professional goals in a year, three years, five years, 10 years and so on. Then assign yourself benchmarks, and plan out the steps you will take at each interval to make sure you are on track to reach the next one. Make sure you regularly review this plan, track your progress, and avoid making compromises.

Take on a Mentor

Professional mentors take many forms. It could be someone who had an identical job to yours, a related job, or simply someone who had a successful career. In any form, they can give you guidance and advice based on their own experience. They can also offer you a valuable outsider perspective on your own career, and hold you accountable when mistakes or setbacks occur.

Professional development is step one. Capitalizing on it is step two. When are ready to make the most of the time and effort you’ve put in, contact The Concorde Group.

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Am I Ready for a Career Change?

May 28th, 2015

These days it’s common for people to bounce between companies, move to a new city for work, and even change career several times over the course of their working life. Unfortunately, it’s always difficult to know if now is the time to make a big change or to stay where you are. If you are feeling restless and thinking of doing something entirely different, ask yourself the following questions to determine if this is the right time for a bold move:

Is Work Taking a Toll on You Mentally and Physically?

No one expects work to be a walk in the park. But that doesn’t mean you should come home every day feeling exhausted, depressed, and even in pain. The cause could be something besides the office, however, you spend a huge amount of time working, and it has an inevitable effect on your health. If it’s starting to run you into the ground, it’s probably time to look for other opportunities.

Are Your Skills Out of Step with Your Personality?

We all go to work out of necessity, and most of us strive to be good at what we do. And it’s possible to become really good at something you don’t particularly like doing. Things might be fine now, but over time this internal struggle will start to affect your performance and your mood. Before that happens, think of moving on to something you genuinely like doing, even if you’re not very good at it initially.

Is Your Salary No Longer Enough?

The biggest obstacle to making a career change is giving up a steady source of income and embracing financial uncertainty. But if you have reached the point in your career where no amount of salary, benefits, or perks can make you happy with what you are doing, it’s time rethink your priorities, and your career.

Do You Feel Like Your True Talents Are Wasted?

They say that each of us has a gift, and by and large, it’s true. Unfortunately, most of us don’t get to apply those gifts to our working life. Over time, that can lead you to feel that you are wasting your time, spinning your wheels, and living entirely for the short term. If you have a true talent or passion and you feel like it’s being squandered in your current position, it’s probably time to move on.

Changing the course of your career is a lot easier if you have a partner to help point you in the direction you would rather be heading. Think long and hard about what you want to do next, and then contact The Concorde Group to learn about jobs in Fairfield County and more!

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Become a Better Leader: Avoid These Mistakes

May 15th, 2015

Being a great leader is not about being perfect. In fact, many would argue that you need to try and fail a few times, if not a few dozen times, to qualify yourself to lead. That being said, there is nothing wrong with learning from the mistakes of others before you make them yourself. With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of common mistakes that leaders make so you can hopefully avoid making them too.

  • Taking Everything on Your Own Shoulders – As a leader, it is your responsibility to delegate. That doesn’t mean you hand every responsibility off to someone else, but you need to trust that those around you are capable of getting things done.
  • Failing to Set Goals – For every decision you make, you have a desired outcome in mind. Make sure that your team knows exactly what you want and how you will judge their performance.
  • Relying on Quick Fixes – You are a leader because you are willing to put in the long hours and hard work it takes to accomplish something great. Always resist the urge to fall back on a solution that is too fast or too easy.
  • Communicating Ineffectively – Your team looks to you for direction. If you don’t make yourself clear and accessible, you can’t expect to get the outcomes you require.
  • Repeating Mistakes – Even after reading this post, you are going to make mistakes. Make sure you learn from them so they don’t happen in the future.
  • Refusing to Change – Change is inevitable. It’s your job to forecast it, prepare your team for it, and then react to it before it has a chance to affect you.
  • Cutting Yourself Off – Leaders are also members of teams. Remember to keep yourself accessible to employees at any time, for any reason. If you’re too busy, schedule a meeting for later.
  • Being Too Serious – Work is a serious thing, but that doesn’t mean it has to feel like a jail. Leaders often set the tone for the office, so make sure you inject some fun and humor into it when you can.
  • Withholding Praise – If someone on your team does something great, let them know about it, and think about offering some kind of reward. As the leader, keeping your team motivated is one of your biggest responsibilities.

Being a leader is not easy. But if you approach the position with some self-awareness and a keen sense of what your team needs and when, you can push them to be better than they could be without you. Find more resources to help you get the most out of your staff by partnering with the team at The Concorde Group.

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Should You Include a Temp Job on a Resume?

April 28th, 2015

In recent years, companies have increasingly relied on temporary or contract employees to fill holes in their workforce. Over those same years, a tough job market drove many professionals to take on temporary positions. That means there are a lot of job seekers with temporary experience in their past who are wondering if it belongs on their resume.

The short answer is yes. A temporary job is still a job, and you can pick up a lot of valuable skills and experiences spending just a few weeks or months with a company. And since so many companies have turned to temporary workers, they understand this as well as you do.

It’s important, however, to put this experience into context and frame it appropriately on your resume. You can leverage these positions to bolster your credentials but only if you are honest about the nature of the job. Use these tips to cover your bases:

Decide on a Grouping

You can either list all of your temporary positions together under one heading marked “Temporary Jobs,” or elect to discuss each one separately. If you have worked a lot of temporary jobs and mostly want to demonstrate that you have been keeping busy, collecting them together makes more sense. But if you have worked temporarily for a major company in your industry, or had a responsibility that is particularly worth highlighting, it’s perfectly appropriate to single this one job out.

Filter Your Experience

Hiring managers don’t want to waste time reading about experiences that are irrelevant to the position they are trying to fill. If your temporary experience was especially varied, avoid mentioning the positions that have nothing to do with the one you are seeking now. For instance, if you worked as a construction laborer for a few weeks it won’t help you get a job in an office.

Format Correctly

When listing temporary positions on your resume, write down the staffing agency you worked through, the company you worked for, your title, and the dates of employment. Then be sure to designate that this was a temporary position. If you didn’t get the job through a staffing agency, don’t hesitate to characterize yourself as a consultant or freelancer. This can help establish your industry authority.

Highlight Your Achievements

Even temporary workers make a contribution to the company. If there are any achievements you can point to, be sure to highlight them. Just make sure you are not stretching the truth or exaggerating your role. Whenever possible try to cite specific metrics, and be sure to focus on high points that are relevant to the position you’re seeking.

Every detail of your resume must be carefully considered and closely scrutinized. It’s not an easy process. Get the help you need to optimize your resume and your job search by working with The Concorde Group.

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Why Teach Current Employees New Skills?

April 16th, 2015

Employee training is a time and labor-intensive process that can have a number of attendant costs. For that reason, it’s tempting to put new hires through an initial training process but leave everyone else on your workforce to go about business as usual. After all, it they’re getting their work done, why do they need more training?

As pervasive as this attitude is, it’s almost always a shortsighted and incorrect one. The simple fact is that prioritizing ongoing, strategic training with your existing workforce has significant benefits that serve the aims of your business for years to come. Learn about a few, and decide if it’s time to rethink the way you handle training.

Increase Employee Loyalty and Morale

There is a common fear that if employers train their workforce in new skills, then employees will simply leverage those skills to find a better position elsewhere. However, this cynical attitude rarely reflects the realities of the workplace. In fact, employees that receive more training tend to be more loyal to their employers because they feel valued and respected by the companies they work for. This strategy creates a feeling of shared objectives that has a powerful effect on productivity, efficiency, and morale enterprise wide.

Introduce Flexibility into Your Workforce

Hiring managers across industries are struggling to close skills gaps within their ranks and find qualified candidates to fill in their vacancies. The obvious but often overlooked solution is to cross-train your employees. Not only does your workforce become more dynamic and innovative when your team members aren’t confined to discreet roles, but your projects don’t have to grind to a halt when someone leaves. Another employee with overlapping skills can pick up the slack until you find a qualified replacement. This strategy also makes it easier to promote from within, enabling you to refocus recruitment efforts on easy-to-fill entry-level positions.

Work with a Broader Pool of Talent

Recruiters typically look for a candidate who ticks every box on the job description. That ends up disqualifying a lot of talented applicants simply because they don’t posses every single one of the required skills at the time of application. Organizations that prioritize training and professional development are able to be more creatively selective because they know they can mold promising talent into the professionals they require. This expedites the recruitment process while enhancing the overall quality of the workforce.

Building dynamic teams is a complicated process, and ongoing training is only part of the strategy. Find resources to help you meet your other recruitment and retention challenges by working with The Concorde Group.

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