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Common Interview Questions You Will Face and How to Answer Them

August 28th, 2014

A face-to-face interview is typically the final step in the recruitment process, and it can make or break your chances of getting the job. There is no way to know for sure what you will be asked, but it’s still important to prepare in advance. These are examples of some common interview questions and the answers that the hiring manager will want to hear.

Experience

“Tell me about your past working experience?”

Employers want to know not just where you have worked in the past, but also the specifics of what you did, how that relates to the current position you are applying for, and why you left the position.

When you are asked this question, be sure to highlight the responsibilities from your past that most relate to the position you are applying for. If you have been fired from a past job, make that information  known honestly, but stress that you have moved beyond the mistakes of your past.

Accomplishment

“What has been your biggest working accomplishment”

Companies don’t just want to hire people that will show up everyday and do the minimum that is required of them. They are looking for recruits that will rise over and above to get things done.

Show off the moments in which you did more than was asked of you, did things faster than was asked of you, overcame unexpected obstacles, and helped your coworkers, subordinates, and superiors to be more exceptional than anyone was counting on.

Weakness

“Describe your biggest weakness as an employee”

It’s never easy to highlight the things that you are not good at, but employers want to be aware of any potential red flags, and to know about the less dynamic aspects of your abilities.

When you are asked this question, avoid giving a patently false and flattering response. Saying that “I work too hard” will only invite the ire of the hiring manager. Instead, honestly identify the things that you struggle with, but try to frame them as a positive trait, and something that consistently motivates you to be better at what you do.

Value

“If hired, how will you contribute more to this company than any other candidate”

More than anything, companies want to know why you are the absolute best fit for a vacancy, and how you will contribute more than all the other candidates they are considering.

Think about the skills and past experiences that most apply to the position in question, and find ways to describe them that will apply to the current needs of the company. This is the point when you need to frame your past as an asset for the future.

Ask yourself these common interview questions in advance, and you will have more polished and decisive answers to deliver during the high-stress interview situation. For more tips about impressing today’s hiring managers, partner with the team at The Concorde Group.

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Proper Employee Benefits for the Position You Are Filling

August 15th, 2014

Offering an appropriate employee benefits package is a necessity if you want to recruit the best of today’s talent and keep them in your organization over the long term. And it is important to realize that benefits packages can and should include more than just medical coverage. Use these tips to better configure the benefits you are prepared to offer.

Health Insurance

Employers have two options when selecting a health insurance provider – traditional and managed. Traditional health insurance plans typically come with higher premiums but offer a wider selection of doctors and hospitals. Managed plans, by contrast, have lower premiums, but also fewer choices. Keeping your employees happy obliges you to find a plan that offers the widest array of benefits at the lowest cost to your employees, but that is often cost prohibitive for the business. You will have to scrutinize your finances to determine how much you are able to pay, and what level of health insurance benefits you can realistically offer. You can keep your costs down by adding a “wellness component” to your benefits package that encourages fitness and preventative medicine.

Retirement

Even with rising levels of career mobility, appealing recruits will be looking for retirement benefits. Most companies these days choose of to offer a 401K rather than a traditional pension. You can make these plans more appealing by offering matching contributions to the employee’s 401K. It is common for businesses to make a 3% contribution when an employee contributes 6% of his paycheck to his retirement plan, so consider offering a higher matching contribution. Again, it’s important that you scrutinize your finances before settling on an specific number. It’s not worth it to compromise the financial stability of your company just for the sake of recruitment.

Specialty Benefits

Specialty benefits include things like disability insurance, life insurance, and dental and vision coverage. This is one of the areas where you can really differentiate your benefits package from the package being offered by competing companies. Even if employees never or rarely take advantage of these benefits, it is a sign that the employer is making strides to cover them against any possible contingency, which is important for morale and loyalty. Most experts agree that disability insurance should cover at least 60% of an employee’s salary and that life insurance should pay out at least $20,000. You can increase these numbers to help your recruiting efforts, just make sure you educate potential employees about the details. There is a lot of information flying around during the recruitment process, and it is easy to overlook the details of a specialty benefits package.

Learn more about employee benefits and effectively recruiting the very best talent out there by working with the experts at the Concorde Group.

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5 Ways To Improve Your Resume To Make it Great

July 30th, 2014

Put yourself in the shoes of a hiring manager. You announce a job opening and all of a sudden your office is flooded with hundreds of resumes. It’s your job to read through each one, but they are all so bland, similar, and underwhelming that they start to run together. By the end, you can’t say for sure if the right candidate is anywhere in the pile.

If you are looking for a job, your resume is how you introduce yourself. Unfortunately, most resumes make a bad first impression. You might be the perfect person for the job, but if your resume doesn’t scream that out, there is no way for a hiring manager to pick you out of the crowd. Make sure you don’t get overlooked by including these to improve your resume every time you send out.

Be Concise

This tip is more important than any other, and it’s really more about what you shouldn’t include. The average resume only gets scanned for 30 seconds. If you can’t present the most impressive and relevant details about yourself in that amount of time, you are wasting an opportunity. Revise your resume over and over until it includes only the most essential details, and make sure that it is formatted in a way that is easy to scan and digest.

Career Objective

Why are you applying for this job? What is the number one thing that makes you qualified? What do you have to contribute specifically? A career objective summarizes all of this into a single sentence that you include at the top of your resume. Be creative, honest, and personal, and you can grab a hiring manager’s attention from the very start.

Skills and Capabilities

Too many job seekers make education and job experience the focus of their resume rather than skills and capabilities. Hiring managers don’t care what you’ve done in the past, they care what you can do in the future. Listing your experience points the focus backward. Listing your skills and capabilities points it forward.

Provable Accomplishments

All hiring managers are looking for recruits that can see a project through to the end and rise above expectations. Include any notable professional success on your resume, and be sure that they are tied to clear and verifiable metrics.

Reference Section

All resumes should have a section for references, but instead of writing out names and phone numbers, simply write “references available upon request.” Hiring managers want to know they can contact personal and professional references, but including the contact information on your resume is an unnecessary waste of space.

Even if you follow all these tips, crafting a great resume isn’t easy. It takes a lot of time, thought, revision, and frustration. But simply making the effort immediately sets you apart from a majority of other job seekers. Work with the team at The Concorde Group, and find more valuable job-seeking resources.

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5 Benefits of Hiring Temporary Employees

July 16th, 2014

In the ever-evolving business world of the 21st century, traditional notions about staffing, recruitment, and employment are quickly becoming irrelevant. In addition to full and part-time workers, a growing number of companies is turning to temporary and contract workers to give their workforce the dynamism it requires.

Temporary employment is nothing new, but it is being used in ways that it never has before. Prestigious companies in a wide variety of industries are eager to add these professionals to their ranks, and their forward-thinking attitudes are paying off. These are some of the greatest benefits of hiring temporary employees:

Vet Potential Hires

If you need to fill a full or part-time position, consider hiring a temporary employee and carefully monitoring their performance. You make a much smaller commitment, but you still have the opportunity to analyze their fit for the job. No matter how carefully you vet a potential hire, no indicator is more revealing than his on-the-job performance.

Fill Gaps in Your Workforce

With an increasing number of highly-skilled workers becoming open to temporary employment, it’s easier than ever to fill a short-term gap in your workforce. That keeps your day to day operations running smoothly, and gives you the freedom to offer you permanent employees maternity and paternity leave, sick leave, or other extended absences.

Enhance Your Intellectual Capital

Lets say you get a new contract that requires you to work with a technology, process, or set of regulations that you are unfamiliar with. Specialized temporary employees can bring their expertise into your office for as long as you need it, and then move on when the contract or project is complete. That is much more cost-effective than permanently expanding your workforce.

Keep Your Costs in Check

We just mentioned cost effectiveness, and the simple fact is that temporary employees cost you a lot less in the long run than any other kind of employee. You only have to pay them for as long as they contribute value to your company, and you don’t have to offer them the same perks as more permanent employees.

Unburden You HR Department

The time and money you spend recruiting even a single employee is significant. Temporary employees, by contrast, are typically recruited by a third party and supplied to you based on criteria that you establish. You don’t have to dedicate resources to the recruitment process, but you still end up with exactly the employee you were looking for.

Temporary employees are more than just temps. They are a highly educated, impressively experienced, and unwaveringly professional part of today’s employment pool that can bring a lot of value to any company. To get expert help recruiting the very best of today’s temporary employees, work with the team at The Concorde Group.

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How to Turn a Temp Job into a Perm One in 5 Steps

January 27th, 2014

As the employment world becomes increasingly competitive, employers are doing everything in their power to hire the top talent available for their open positions. This means that employers are making interview sessions more difficult, the questions more in-depth, and even using tests to determine how strong a candidate will be once brought on as an employee. So, as a job seeker, how do you turn your temporary job into a permanent one? We have the answers for you in this post.

#1 Dress to Impress

We know that many temporary employees will do the bare minimum, which includes just meeting the dress code, in order to get by at some companies. If you want to turn your temporary job into a permanent one, make sure you dress to impress all the time. Even if it is casual Friday, come to work in business attire to show that you belong there and want to be there.

#2 Make Friends with Your Coworkers

Even if you know the job is temporary, make friends with the other employees in you department. Whether they are temporary or permanent employees, you can build a very important network. You could also be developing key relationships with people who might become your permanent coworkers if you are hired to be a full-time worker. Offer to help with their projects every so often. This will let them know how serious you are about the company and they might fight for you to be hired full-time. They could also provide you with referrals for other jobs in the future.

#3 Work Like the Job is Permanent

Perform your work like you are a full-time employee, not like you know the job is going to end after a six or eight week period. The harder you work at the position from day one, the more likely it is that you could be hired full-time. Always make it to work on-time, maybe even a little early, and stay late so you can finish all of your projects with care.

#4 Learn about the Company

Another excellent tip is to learn as much as possible about the company as you can. This includes the history of the company, the clients, the earning reports and the culture. The more you learn about the company, the better you look to the higher-ups. They will know that you are invested in the organization and that you are concerned with the success of not only yourself, but also the company as a whole.

#5 Step Up and Take Initiative

So, you finished that assignment early and have nothing else to do. Do not leave the office or wander around talking to coworkers. Instead, shoot your boss an email or walk to the office and ask for another project. This will definitely boost the company’s opinion of you as a hard worker.

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Staff Accountant Salaries in New York – What Should You Be Offering?

January 20th, 2014

Having the best staff accountant on board can make the difference between a successful company that’s on top of financials and a company that falls into trouble due to poorly managed finances. Therefore, it’s ultimately in your best interest to hire an accountant who has the high level skills and reputation in the industry to do the best job for your organization. To attract a great staff accountant to your New York business, you will need to offer a competitive salary and benefit package. But, how do you know what the going rate is for staff accountants in New York?

Current Salaries and Benefits for Staff Accountants in New York

Luckily, there are some excellent sources of both salary and benefit information you can fall back on to when offering a staff accountant job at your company. Use these as a guide as you put together a fair salary and benefit package for your New York staff accountant position.

In New York, there is a Department of Labor division that offers up-to-date information on many jobs, including current salary rates. Check out the Labor Statistics page for current information and resources for businesses. You may also go to the main US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics – Occupational Outlook Handbook to discover current wages for staff accountants around the USA. These figures reflect the wages earned by accountants in New York and other areas, with the median range for the nation so you can offer something that will attract the best to your doors.

US News Careers also has created a database of information on a wide range of career types around the US, including staff accountants and financial professionals. You can locate salary information for multiple regions, including New York. According to this resource, “The highest paid in the accountant profession work in the metropolitan areas of New York City, Newark, N.J., and Nassau, N.Y.”. The salary rates for highly proficient accounting professionals in these regions are currently $86,670 to $89,720 USD per year, according to US News Careers information.

Other Sources of Salary and Benefit Information for Accountants

In terms of understanding what you should offer to staff accountants outside of mere salary, the New York Society of CPAs published the results of a survey that indicated accounting recruitment efforts should focus on retention and development programs. Small businesses and accounting firms may not be able to offer as high of a starting salary as larger firms, but they can put into place programs like mentoring and ongoing educational support to attract the best accounting candidates. Other benefits to consider offering to staff accounting pros can include flexible scheduling, wellness programs, and the ability to work remotely during peak seasons.

Hiring Temporary Staff Accountants in New York 

One way to take care of the matter of staff accountant salaries and benefits in New York is to work with a staffing agency in NY that regularly places these professionals into rewarding assignments. Concorde Personnel in Westchester NY has quality accounting candidates ready to go to work for you, and the salary and benefits negotiations happen before they come to work at your business. This simplifies the process of finding top accountants and making sure they are happy with what you can offer them.

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5 Tips for an Improved Temporary Employment Cover Letter

December 23rd, 2013

Looking for a new job, whether full-time or temporary, is a time-consuming task. Putting together resumes and cover letters requires your full attention to detail. You have to make sure that there are no mistakes on either document, plus that all of the information is factual. When it comes to applying for a temporary job in NY or CT, you should tailor your cover letter accordingly. Do not submit the same cover letter you would send out for a full-time position.

#1 – Tailor the Cover Letter to the Specified Job

Our first tip is to create the temp cover letter to match the specific job for which you are applying. This will show the recruiter or hiring manager that you have taken the time to craft the letter and are being personal. The cover letter needs to mention the job title at the beginning and should have any work experience removed that does not match the needs of the position that is being advertised.

#2 – Describe Your Temporary Work

The middle of the cover letter for a temporary position should include descriptions of the temporary work you have performed in the past. This information needs to include the location of the previous positions, the type of the work, the salary you earned, the industry in which you worked, the name of the company and any other pertinent information you deem necessary to the application.

#3 – Short, Sweet, and to the Point

It has been mentioned in the past that cover letters need to be short, no longer than one page, but we really mean it here. With a temporary job, you will not have to explain as much about your prior work experience compared to applying for a full-time position. This type of cover letter can be kept to anywhere from two to three paragraphs long instead of the normal three to five paragraphs. The letter still needs to be professional, courteous, and free of spelling and grammar errors to catch the attention of the hiring manager.

#4 – Close the Letter with an Accomplishment

If you have been working with a staffing agency while looking for temporary work you can close your cover letter with an accomplishment. The accomplishment can define anything you have succeeded at during your history of temporary employment. For example, you can let the hiring managers know that you are the most requested temp employee at the agency.

#5 – Double-Check for Proper Flow

Once you have finished writing the letter, check to make sure that it flows from start to finish. The opening and concluding paragraphs need to flow with the body paragraph so all of the information being presented is related and targets the requirements posted in the company’s job advertisement.

If you are looking for recruiters in Fairfield County CT, contact us today.

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3 Ways to Improve Temp Employee Efficiency

December 10th, 2013

Have you been considering ways to improve the efficiency levels of your temporary workforce? Whether you have been using temp employees for some time or you are just starting to use this method of augmenting your current staff — the bottom line is that the more efficiently temps can work the more revenues your business can generate.

Using temporary workers is already an efficient process, that is, if you have a program to manage and maximize this option. To help your business get on track and experience the benefits of hiring temporary workers, here are three ways to improve temp employee efficiency.

#1 – Hire from a temporary agency that knows your industry well.

Before you pick up the phone and randomly call the first temporary agency in your phone book, stop and consider that the types of temp workers you may receive will be based on the agency you work with. The right staffing partner will be an agency that is well-versed with your industry and the customers you serve.

The staffing agency you choose should have a solid reputation for placing the best candidates into temp assignments in long-lasting relationships with companies like yours. The recruiters should be knowledgeable and inquisitive about your business goals. Learn as much as you can about the success rates and agency credentials of any staffing company you decide to work with as this can determine the quality and suitability of each temp you employ.

#2 – Use a temp onboarding program to reduce the learning curve.

Once you have found the right staffing agency that meets your organizational guidelines, then you will want to develop an official onboarding program to orient and train new temps. Your staffing agency can provide some general guidelines for onboarding temps, but you can also modify your current new hire orientation program so that it makes sense to temps. Remember, the sooner you can bring your temps up to speed on their tasks, the sooner your company will benefit from their work.

A temp onboarding program may include an orientation day, followed by matching each new temporary employee with a seasoned employee on site. Introduce the temp to your employee policies, your procedures, and your goals from the first day. Give them the tools to do their jobs well. Provide incentives to help them improve performance and efficiency. Measure their success with regular weekly synch ups with supervisors, and correct any issues before they get out of hand.

#3 – Regularly evaluate the performance of your temps on the job.

The amount of efficiency you can expect from temps depends on the ability to educate and instruct temporary employees about their effectiveness at work. Therefore, you will need a system to measure this and make improvements. If you have provided your temps with all the tools and resources they need to be successful, offered them mentoring from seasoned employees, and communicated clearly the goals you have for them; the next step is monitoring them.

Start by working with your temporary staffing agency to give you guidelines for monitoring temp employee work. Include weekly meetings with the supervisory team to correct and improve any road bumps along the way. Give temps meaningful incentives for completing work efficiently and to company standards. Provide them with rewarding work experiences and tasks that will lead to overall work satisfaction. Show temps respect and make them an integral part of your team. Provide feedback and performance reports to help temps work to their best capacity. If you are looking for temp agencies in Greenwich CT, contact us today.

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3 Ways to Turn a Temp Position into a Permanent Job

November 25th, 2013

As the economy rebounds, many working professionals are finding permanent career opportunities via temporary assignments. Temping can be a great way to build a career path while keeping skills fresh in a regular assignment. Yet, as the weeks go on and the temp contract comes to an end, there are some steps you can take to secure permanent employment at the company if you choose. Use these 3 ways to successfully turn your temp position into a permanent job.

  1. Indicate as soon as possible your interest in permanent employment.

When you accept a temporary assignment, it’s assumed that you are happy to work for the length of time that the contract indicates. However, many temps automatically think that the temp job will turn into a perm one, which is not the case. If you are genuinely interested in becoming a permanent employee with the company you are assigned to, then you must speak up. Let the recruiter and the on-site HR manager know you would like to be considered for perm placement in your present assignment or in another related employment opportunity there.

  1. Be punctual, professional, and productive on the temp assignment.

As a temp, you have to work twice as hard to impress the management team at your assignment. Therefore, you will want to be sure to arrive to work early or on time every day. Dress very smartly and conduct yourself in a highly professional manner at all times to stand out from other temps. Complete all assigned tasks, provide quality work, and ask for projects when you have time to spare. Demonstrate your worth to the employer to be thought of as someone that has potential. The harder you work, the more likely you are to be recommended for a permanent job when one comes along.

  1. Find ways to blend in with the team and the corporate culture.

Temps often feel left out or ostracized in some ways by permanent employees while on assignment. Don’t fall into this way of thinking. Instead, look for every opportunity to blend in with the rest of the team by being a participant and getting along with others. Respect perm employees and they will return the favor. Learn what the corporate culture is all about and do your best to become part of it. Dress and act the part at all times. Be someone that others can rely on to get the job done well. Claim the job you want by understanding how your role as a temp contributes to the success of the company.

While these are just a handful of ways you can support your goal of becoming a permanent member of the team, your focus should always be on providing superior results and a good attitude about your work as a temp.

If you are looking for temporary jobs in Westchester NY, contact Concorde Personnel today.

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4 Ways to Onboard Temporary Talent

November 13th, 2013

After weeks or even months of searching for the best candidate for your organization, you’ve decided to choose a temporary employee from Concorde Personnel. This is not surprising because of the high quality of the talent we work with. One of the ways you can get the most out of this arrangement is to offer the temp a positive impression from their very first day on the job. In this case, an onboarding process can work wonders.

Why is Onboarding Temporary Talent Important?

Several studies have led to the conclusion that while each new hire has a unique experience, this can go much better for both sides when there is an actual onboarding process in place. While onboarding temps may be somewhat different than a direct hire orientation, there are benefits of using this same method of welcoming the new hire to your business. Workplace research indicates that:

  • More than half of all new employees who have gone through onboarding program are likely to stick around. (Workforce)
  • Employees who decide to leave an organization do so within the first 6 months on the job 90 percent of the time. (Aberdeen Group)
  • Almost 70 percent of all employees who benefitted from an onboarding process stayed employed for at least 3 years or more. (BTS)

4 Elements of a Good Temp Talent Onboarding Process

Your temp employees can experience a structured onboarding process that quickly brings them up to speed, helps them to become more productive, and assists in retaining them for the length of their contract. Here are the four elements that belong in your temp talent onboarding process.

Communication

When you are brining temps onboard, be sure to communicate with your current staff of their arrival, and stress the importance of treating temps with respect. Communicate well to your new temps by providing a welcome letter, introducing them to your team, and giving them a good overview of the corporate culture and policies. Assign a great work area for your temps so they can connect with others.

Tasks

Provide temps with a written description of each assignment, along with a list of critical tasks and goals. Give them specific deadlines for getting things done and all the resources they need at their disposal.  Let temps know that you are there to support their success and that there is an open-door policy for answering any questions they may have. Remind temps of their progress through daily or weekly project meetings.

Incentives

Your temps will perform better when you provide them with rewarding tasks and incentives for a job well done. Create an incentive program for your temps, with short and long term goals to attain. Since many temps do not have access to regular employee benefits, offer them some unique temporary employee perks such as flexible work schedules, discounts at local vendors, wellness support on the job, and bonuses for reaching goals.

Feedback

Perhaps no other element is as important in an onboarding process as frequent feedback and guidance for temporary employees. Oftentimes, temps worry that they are not working hard enough or because they are limited in time they cannot meet your expectations. Communicate to your temps how important their work is to the success of your company and give them honest feedback often.

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