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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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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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The Secret to Changing Your Career After 20 Years

May 31st, 2015

July 5th Candidates

Everyone knows about the anxiety of not having a job. What gets talked about much less is the anxiety of feeling trapped in a job. Professionals who have worked in one position, company or field for 20 years or more often feel like it’s impossible to make a career change after so long doing the same thing. As a result, they come to hate what they do. The good news is that a career change is possible at any stage – if you prepare in advance and handle the transition intelligently. Use these strategies to make a bold leap into something new.

Stay Current and Relevant

Employers are often unconsciously biased against older job seekers because they assume their skills and technological fluency are reaching an expiration date. Show potential employers that you can still make an impact by learning the technologies of today and tomorrow, picking up new trainings, certifications or degrees, and follow along closely with the issues and ideas that affect your industry.

Freshen Up Your Look

Several decades into your career, it’s easy to become complacent about your professional appearance. But if you look like an employee from another era, employers will be a lot less enthusiastic to offer you a job. You don’t have to make drastic changes, just make sure your professional image establishes you as someone modern and vibrant.

Take Advantage of Your Network

This is one area where you actually have a leg up on younger job seekers. Since you have likely built up an extensive professional network over the years, turn to those contacts when you’re ready to make a change. This is a great way to learn about unadvertised vacancies, and insider recommendations carry a lot of weight with hiring managers.

Optimize Your Application Documents

Your resume and cover letter don’t need to cover your whole career. Rather than listing jobs and responsibilities from the distant past, focus on the last 5-10 years. This gives recruiters the most relevant look at your present skills and potential value, and helps to draw attention away from the length of your career.

Use Your Age to Your Advantage

There are some companies that actively recruit older professionals. For example, someone like you with a lot of experience would make a great trainer/educator for a company with a young, inexperienced workforce. Find ways to turn your experience and industry expertise into an asset.

If you’re ready to start the next phase in your career, make the transition as smooth as possible by working with a professional staffing firm. They have extensive resources available to help you find and connect with companies eager to hire professionals just like you. Start accessing these resources by contacting The Concorde Group, a leader in staffing in Fairfield and Westchester.

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