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How to Gain Valuable Information in the Job Interview

January 19th, 2017

Gain InfoAs a job seeker, your most important task is to gain as much information as possible while selling yourself to the hiring manager. This can be a delicate balancing act between gaining and giving information. But there are a few things you should ask or look out for that can give you valuable insight into the company culture and what it would be like to work there. Here are four questions that will be critical to gaining the most important information from an interview.

1. Is this a new position or is it a replacement?

Knowing why a position is open is a key to finding out how you should sell yourself. If this is a new position, it means they are growing or adding important new roles to their company. This is your opportunity to make your mark in something they’ve never experienced before. On the other hand, if they are replacing an employee, it is helpful to know if this was a problem situation that resulted in a firing or another cause to create the open position.

2. How long do employees typically stay with the company?

You want to know how long a typical employee stays with the organization because if there is high turnover and constant rehiring, there may be a reason for that. It will be important for you to understand whether or not this is something that will work with your career.

3. Do people go out for lunch or happy hour?

Knowing how social a company is will help inform you about the overall corporate culture. Do people go out for lunch? Do they go on their own or as a group? Do people bring lunch in and eat at their desks? Some companies even encourage a weekly happy hour to help their staff socialize and build better bonds. Look at how they handle social interaction and whether or not they fit your values.

4. What are the company growth and client breakdown?

Lastly, you want to know the data that supports the company’s success. How has the company grown in the last year, the last 5 years, and since it was founded? What is their target client and how is that broken down. How many clients do they add each year? What clients have been lost in the past and why?

Are you ready to interview for your next new career move? Contact CornerStone Staffing today to work with the top staffing agency in Dallas!

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Boomerang Candidates – Is It Right for Your Team?

January 12th, 2017

Boomerang CandidatesWe all know what a boomerang is: An Aboriginal Australian hunting weapon that is thrown and comes back to the thrower. The word, over time, has come to mean anything that gets thrown out and comes back, and that is true for employees. A boomerang candidate is a former employee who left your organization for another position and is now interested in returning to your company. But should you consider this candidate for your open job? Here are some things to consider.

What skills did they learn elsewhere?

When they left your company, what happened next? What kind of company did they work for and what experiences can they now bring back to your table? Was this growth something your company was unable to provide? Take a hard look at their skills. Even though they have worked for your company in the past doesn’t mean they are a good long-term fit.

What does your candidate pool look like?

What other candidates are you considering for this job? Where did you source them? What do they bring to the table that your boomerang candidate cannot? A fresh perspective may be just as valuable as reinstating someone who needs a little training. It is a good idea to weigh these pros and cons before making a decision.

Did they leave on good terms?

The most important thing to consider is why they left in the first place? Was it a life change that was unavoidable, like a relocation or new circumstance? Did they simply want to take an opportunity to learn something new that your company couldn’t offer at the time? Or, and most importantly, was there a specific reason they were not a good fit for your organization? Has anything changed that demonstrates improvement in that area?

How does your team feel about them?

Finally, you need to talk to others in the company who remember or worked directly with your boomerang candidate. Do they feel as though this person left on good terms? Do they feel confident that this placement would work out for them? Do they have fond memories and like your former employee as a person? If not, why? What would need to change to make it a better long term fit?

Are you looking for the right candidate to fill your open positions? Contact CornerStone Staffing today to learn about how our awesome team of recruiters can help!

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Want to Try Something New in 2017? Consider Temp-to-Hire

January 5th, 2017

try-something-newEvery year. It’s the same idea. The New Year is the perfect time to try something new and different. We make resolutions, set goals, and plan events that can help us grow. So why not try something new in 2017 and consider a temporary to hire position? What is temp-to-hire? You will work with a staffing agency who can help you find a position suitable to your background, experience, and interest. Then, you will work for the agency at their client site for an established period of time. At the end of that time, the client is able to hire you on to their company directly. It’s a great way to learn more about a job and a business before making a full-time commitment. What else do you need to know about temp-to-hire? Let’s take a closer look.

Try before you buy

Businesses take big risks deciding who to hire for their open positions. But working with an agency gives them an opportunity to try out an employee before committing to a full-time hire. But the benefits go both ways. You also get to try out a company before you accept a full-time position to learn if the corporate culture, the other employees, and the job itself are worth committing to.

Learn new things

You don’t only have to accept a position that was the same as your last job or the job before that. Working with a recruiter, you can determine how your skills can benefit any number of organizations. You can look at your transferable skills to see what other positions can be a fit for your interests and experience. Once you start that job, you will have a chance to learn how they run their organization, volunteer to take on new tasks and ask if you can learn new things along the way. The more adaptable you are, the more valuable you are as an employee.

Have flexibility in your career.

A temp-to-hire job is different than short term temporary assignments and accepting a full-time, permanent position with a company you’ve never worked with before. It gives you the power to control the direction in which you steer your career. You will be able to determine if the job is right for you and if it is not, talk to your recruiter to move on to another position.

Are you looking for a temp-to-hire position in 2017? Contact the recruiters at CornerStone Staffing and find your next job by working with a top staffing agency in Texas.

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Use LinkedIn to Get Real Info During Hiring

December 29th, 2016

linkedin-blogCurrent standards indicate that most serious job seekers should have a basic LinkedIn profile. But what does that mean for employers? When you’re looking for a new candidate for your open position, and you turn to LinkedIn, what are you really looking for? You can use LinkedIn to get real information that can help inform your hiring decision. Here is what to look for and how to use the information when you’re setting up interviews and making offers.

Look for sincere recommendations.

The recommendation section of a LinkedIn profile shouldn’t replace good, old-fashioned references, but they can be helpful. It is easy to tell the difference between a sincere recommendation and one that just goes through the motions. Look for details, mentions of specific scenarios, and how closely the individuals worked together. Then see how many sincere recommendations a person has.

Review mutual connections.

LinkedIn is built on first, second, and third-tier connections. For every person you add to your network, you also add an exponential network. Review the individuals that you have in common with your candidate. Can you reach out to anyone to discuss the individual candidly? What can you learn from these connections about your candidate that can help inform your choice?

See how active they are.

It can also say something about a job applicant when you see how active they are. Not only that they are active, but how they interact with their networks and groups. Do they provide information that is positive and helpful? Do they only use the site to promote themselves or do they share other useful information? Are they positioning themselves as an expert or a thought leader?

Read their blog posts.

Speaking of thought leaders, does this candidate use the LinkedIn blogging platform to share important information about their experience? LinkedIn blogs make it easy for professionals to demonstrate their expertise in their field. Even if they don’t post often, check for the quality of blog posts they’ve made in the past. Are these posts items that can help your company grow or share how knowledgeable your candidate is?

Do you need any additional help in bringing the top talent to your company? Contact the team at CornerStone Staffing today to work with a top staffing agency in Texas.

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Why You Need to Become More Positive in 2017

December 22nd, 2016

in-2017Turning over the calendar to the next year can be a welcome change for a lot of people. It’s a natural opportunity to start fresh and set new goals. But that doesn’t mean you can coast through 2017 without major changes. If you’re thinking about career advancement or just making your year more successful overall, there is something you might not be considering. Positivity comes in many forms, and it can make or break your career experience. Here are some of the reasons you should be more positive in 2017.

Negative attitudes are not good to work with.

No one likes to work with someone who has a negative attitude all the time. The challenge sometimes is noticing this behavior in ourselves. If you find yourself thinking negatively more often than not, the people around you will observe it as well. Try to improve your outlook this coming year to project a more positive personality to those around you.

Positive people get more promotions.

If you want concrete reasons why then consider individuals with positive attitudes get promoted more frequently than their negative counterparts. Management teams look for people who offer a positive spin on the company, product, or service. These employees will be considered quickly for movement up the ladder.

Remove toxic people from your life.

Negativity is contagious. Even if you don’t consciously think of yourself in negative terms, spending time with others who are negative can affect the way you interact with everyone around you. Avoiding negative people can help you maintain a positive attitude at work and in your whole life.

Appreciate kindness and helpfulness.

One great way to put positivity into practice is to express your gratitude for others. When someone is kind or helpful, thank them openly and honestly. Use this positive energy to pay it forward and do kind things for others. Just like negativity, positivity also breeds more positivity, and spreading it around will be welcomed.

Are you looking for more ways to improve your career goals for 2017? Contact CornerStone Staffing today to work with a leading staffing agency in Dallas and learn how we can help you today!

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Is Your Accounting Team Appropriately Staffed for Busy Season

December 15th, 2016

accounting-teamWhile the holidays might be downtime for many offices, accounting firms are looking toward the first of the year to signal the start of accounting season. Between January and April, financial professionals are the hardest working people you’ll find. Tax time can be stressful for everyone from the clients to the accountants themselves, so how can you ensure that everything will run as smoothly as possible? Before tax season starts, evaluate what you can do to make things easier. Let’s take a closer look.

Don’t wait until it is too late.

Staffing your team in March may be too late to make a dent in the work that your firm will have this tax season. Instead, get started now. The holidays are a perfect time to reach out to find temporary seasonal workers who will be available after the first of the year. If not, you run the risk of not finding the employees with the qualifications you need to accomplish the tasks at hand.

Avoid overworking your team.

You may have a great core staff. They may be rock stars in accounting. But that doesn’t mean that you can have them work 24 hours a day and seven days a week without consequences. There will certainly be some overtime inherent with tax season, but working your staff to the breaking point won’t serve anyone. Instead, make sure that you have enough short-term help to get you through the season. They can be there for administrative support or take on more tasks depending on skill level.

Review the past to determine need.

In order to determine the skill level of short-term employees or the number of temporary workers your company will need for the season, review the workload you’ve had in recent years. How many clients did you have last year? What were your billable hours? How many new clients have you added this year who will need attention during tax season? Review all of this information and get input from your accounting staff to see what kind of temp help will be best for you starting in January.

Partner with an agency.

To accomplish all of this, your best solution is to work with an agency who specializes in accounting and administrative support. You can talk with them now to determine how they can help you best in the coming months. Talk to them about their inventory of available employees, the skill levels, and the rates you will need to pay. Share your data so you can both create a plan that will work well this tax season.

Are you looking to staff your accounting department before tax season starts? Contact CornerStone Staffing today to get started on working with a top financial staffing agency in Texas!

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Have an IT Job but Want a New One? 4 Tips to Navigate that Search

December 8th, 2016

new-jobThe IT industry is exploding and it is expected that many companies will be hiring technology professionals in 2017. If you’ve been restless, now is the time to start thinking about a transition. But, if you are already working in IT, you may want to consider some of the ways to successfully navigate a new job search so you don’t put your current role in jeopardy. Here are four things to think about before you start looking for your next IT job from the comfort of where you’re working now.

1. Take your time.

If you’re still working, you don’t need to rush your search. You’ve got plenty of time. You also don’t want to rush so much that you make a fatal mistake in your current job. Being by doing your homework and learning what companies or jobs you really want. Get out into the community to find out more about these opportunities. Contact companies you want to work with but who aren’t current advertising for open jobs and build a relationship.

2. Leverage your network.

Now is also the time to leverage your network. Make sure you’re building up your social media network, especially LinkedIn. Attend local industry events. Connect with individuals you’ve done business with before. You can stay confidential and ask them to be discrete, but you can start to ask around about opportunities that might be a good fit for you in the near future.

3. Talk to previous employers.

There is a reason everyone always advises you to avoid burning bridges. These previous employers may be a good place to discuss new opportunities. Since you left, you’ve gained new insight and new skills. Can you use these skills at their business? Is this work situation something that could become a good transition back into a company you enjoyed working for before in a different capacity?

4. Discuss options with your boss.

If you are feeling restless, it may also be a good idea to discuss your feelings with your current boss. If they value your contribution, they may be willing to work with you to determine a new position that could be a better fit for your skills and desire to contribute to the company in a different way. Even if they can’t give you a promotion, they may be able to give you additional responsibilities.

Are you looking for a new role in IT for 2017? Contact the team at CornerStone Staffing Agencies, now hiring for jobs in Dallas TX!

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Do You Really Need to Conduct an Annual Review?

November 23rd, 2016

job-reviewAs we slide through the end of the year, you’re probably considering the dreaded task of the annual review. This task is intended for managers and employees to discuss contributions and make a plan for the following year. But is an annual review even necessary? Are they actually causing more harm than good in some cases? Before you step into that meeting, consider these thoughts about year-end reviews and determine what really works for you and your business.

Are performance reviews a waste of time?

More and more large organizations are doing away with the annual review. While the process intended to hold employees more accountable, it doesn’t result in the kind of development modern businesses are looking for. Instead, it singles out employees and makes them more defensive, not less. It may be time for your organization to ditch the formal review process.

What is the value of your review process?

The most important thing to know is whether or not your annual reviews are bringing value to the workplace. Is it causing more anxiety for your management team or employees? Are they both walking away from the meeting with renewed motivation? Or are people simply going through the motions because it is required?

Is your review process often enough?

One challenge is that an annual review doesn’t actually solve any performance issues. Companies that do more information review processes throughout the year, either every quarter or 6 months, are finding that their employees are more motivated because they feel empowered by the feedback.

Is there harm in waiting to share feedback?

In fact, there is ample evidence to show that waiting for an annual review to provide feedback can negatively impact the performance of employees. Rather than giving them the tools to correct behaviors, they’ll feel as though there are being criticized by individuals with more power. It is better to provide specific examples of things that need to improve but do it along the way as the concern arises, not all at once.

Are you looking for new team members to add to your company? Contact CornerStone Staffing today to get started on working with a leading Texas staffing agency!

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Negotiate a Raise for 2017

November 17th, 2016

show-me-the-moneyOver the years as a job seeker you have probably learned how to write a killer resume or knock an interview out of the park. At the same time, you may not have paid much attention to salary negotiations. It’s an equally important skill that is often overlooked. This can prove true for even the initial negotiation when accepting a job, which may have been a one-sided conversation. Now that you’ve been established, it is time to move forward with the next phase of your long-term career goals. You deserve a raise in 2017, so here is how to ask for one.

1. Create a plan.

Before you approach your manager, you need to know exactly how to present your case. You also need to create a plan that can give you the tools you need to ask for more money. In order to earn more money, you must position yourself as a top performer for your team. If you haven’t been doing that yet, it is time to start working on the ways you can improve your performance.

2. Prepare to over-deliver.

In the original Star Trek series, the engineer Montgomery Scott used the tactic of underpromising and over delivering whenever Captain Kirk would need extra power in the Enterprise. While you may not want to get in the bad habit of underpromising, over-delivering will put you in an excellent position to be considered invaluable to the organization. Find ways you go above and beyond in your job functions.

3. Demonstrate value.

The next step is to demonstrate this value. Before you meet with your manager, put together a list of the things you’ve done to enhance the office environment and production for the company. What do you bring to the table? What have you added since you started with the company? Put all of this together in a package or presentation that will help you sell your cause.

4. Set a meeting.

The final step is to set a meeting. Whether you’re ready right now or need another six months to get the tools together, you shouldn’t approach your manager blindly. Let them know you want to talk with them about your performance and contribution. Set up a time so you both can be ready for the conversation. This will demonstrate to your supervisor that you’re serious and prepared.

Do you want to make more money in 2017? We can help you take the next step in your career. Contact CornerStone Staffing to get started on working with a leader in Texas staffing!

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Want to Retain Top IT Talent? Focus on These Areas

November 10th, 2016

retain-employeesEmployee retention is just as important as hiring the right IT talent from the start. To keep your star tech employees happy and engaged, it is imperative to focus on certain areas to create loyalty and enrichment. Without addressing these items, you may find yourself replacing unhappy or disgruntled IT employees far too often. Here are 5 areas you can focus on to retain your top talent in the IT department.

1. Provide flexible options.

Today’s top IT talent are looking for a flexible workplace. Not only do they want the ability to be flexible with their time, but also the freedom to explore solutions without being micromanaged. Provide a results based workplace that tracks the completion of projects without getting caught up in the hours they take to complete these tasks.

2. Increase open communications.

IT employees also want open lines of communications that go two ways. They want to be able to discuss concerns with their employer whenever necessary. But they also want to hear feedback. And don’t only approach your team with negative feedback. Be sure to provide positive reinforcement as well.

3. Focus on hiring and onboarding.

The first impression is probably the most important. If you can give them a quality experience in the hiring process and within the first days of training, you will increase overall satisfaction on the job. Provide an orientation that introduces them to the corporate culture. Match them with a mentor who can answer their questions along the way.

4. Provide access to the best technology.

An IT department without access to the latest technology tools will be quickly crippled in the solutions they can provide. If you don’t offer these tools to your employees, they will find a company who will. Give them all the tools they need to make informed decisions and provide top solutions for your department.

5. Offer options for career development.

IT employees, especially those in the millennial generation, are craving continued education and career development. An employer that doesn’t care about the future goals of an employee is not one that these professionals want to work with. Give them options to learn more and expand their horizons while on the job.

Do you want to hire top IT talent for your company? Contact CornerStone Staffing today and work with a leading IT recruiter in Dallas!

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