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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

May 19

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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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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Why Teach Current Employees New Skills?

April 16th, 2015

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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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How to Stay Productive as a Telecommuter

March 12th, 2015

Many people who start telecommuting are attracted to the freedom this type of work allows. But they quickly discover that when you are working out of the office and away from the boss, the lure of procrastination is a lot stronger. Day in and day out, it’s tough to stay productive, to make efficient use of time, and to avoid distractions. If you’re struggling to get more work done as a telecommuter, try these time-honored strategies:

 

  • Make Space – Set up a home office. Whenever you are in that space, you will feel like you are in “work mode.” And, if possible, close the door between your office and the rest of your home. This subtle separation helps keep you at your desk longer.
  • Follow a Schedule – Committing to regular work hours can give your time form and purpose.
  • Prepare for Work – Each morning go through your ritual of bathing, getting dressed, and eating breakfast. After that, work starts.
  • Tidy Up – A tidy desk is a sign of a tidy mind. That’s just as true when you work from home.
  • Disable Distractions – When you really need to focus, unplug the TV, log out of your email, Facebook, and IM, and put your phone in another room. Surround yourself with work and work only.
  • Don’t Quit – When you are feeling brain dead, it’s easy to set telecommuting work aside and call it a day. Even if you feel uninspired, try to be working ahead every single day.
  • Create Lists of Threes – Every day, make a list of things that must be done, things that could be done, and things that you would like to be done. That way you always have something to be working on.
  • Take Breaks – You need to take breaks even when surrounded by the comforts of home. Spend at least 15-30 minutes away from your desk every few hours.
  • Commit to Quitting Time – If you define a time when you will absolutely stop working, you will be more motivated to stay productive in the time leading up to it.
  • Focus on Finances – When your attention begins to wander, remember that all the time you spend not working is time when you are not making money.
  • Equip Yourself – Upgrading to a nicer office chair or wearing noise-canceling headphones when you are concentrating can both help you get more done.

Staying productive when telecommuting is a constant challenge. But lots people prefer it to commuting to a cubicle every day. If you’re interested in pursuing telecommuting opportunities or other types of non-traditional employment, contact The Concorde Group for Fairfield County jobs as well as jobs in Westchester NY.

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