Don’t Miss the Best Job Candidates: How casting a wider net can help you win the war for talent.

Transferable Skills


As recruiting becomes more and more challenging, employers are getting creative about where and how to find leading job candidates.  One easy change is to consider candidates who may have come from other industries or professions but possess transferable skills that will enable them to be successful in your position. This three-step process will help you expand your pool of candidates to shorten recruiting times and find even better employees.

  1. Identify the core skills you need. Take an inventory of the skills your employee will need to be successful in the position. Then evaluate each skill to determine whether it is a general skill like creativity, communication or project management that may be shared by people with many professional backgrounds, or whether it is a skill that really is unique to your industry or department.
  1. Determine what can be trained or learned on the job. Once you have grouped the skills into broad transferable and specific skills, look to the specific skills to determine which if any can be trained or learned on the job. Every job comes with a certain level of on-the-job training to come up to speed on your methods of performing tasks, so you may find that even specific skills will not be used right away and could be acquired as part of your onboarding process.
  1. Look to parallel or complementary industries and job functions. For those skills that really are specific and that you need from day one, look at candidates from parallel industries or job functions. Somebody who understands sales could perform marketing functions and somebody who has handled recurring billing for a utilities company many be able to handle it for a software as a service web start up.

With this foundation in place it will help you evaluate and target candidates you wouldn’t otherwise have considered.

Hit a Home Run During An Interview By Gathering Company Information


The best way to prepare for a job interview is to do your research. It’s not enough to simply read over the “About Us” page of their website, try to determine their company culture, major projects, and anything else that will give you an edge. If you are able to talk about the company, including specifics, you will have a leg-up on the competition. Here are three important things to remember when it comes to showing you know about a company during a job interview:

Asking Questions Is A Great Way To Show You’ve Researched The Company

During your interview, you are going to have the opportunity to ask your interviewer questions. These questions are an excellent way to show that you’ve done your research and are actively thinking about how you will fit into the organization and what you can contribute. While you will have a chance to ask questions towards the end of the interview, try to weave them throughout the interview to not only get information about the job, but also to show that you have done your research. For example:

“I read on your website that you are looking to expand into the Southwest Region in the next couple of years. I’m from the Orlando area and have recent experience dealing with tax laws in Florida. Is Florida on your roadmap?”

Talk About How You Will Thrive With Them

Companies are looking to hire candidates who will thrive in their new position. One of the best ways to prove this is to use researched information to show how you would fit and excel. Instead of just saying that you would be a great match with the company culture, give examples of how you would thrive by citing examples from their website, social media pages, and company blog postings. By weaving in this information, you can show that you have done your research, and that you will be a perfect addition to their team. For example:

“I saw on your Facebook page that you have weekly potlucks. Not only do I love to cook, but at International Widgets I volunteered to put together potlucks for birthdays and special events.”

Be Ready With Facts And Figures

Having in-depth information on a company will show that you are better prepared than the average candidate. Being able to rattle off information regarding current projects, recent achievements, or relevant historical information will look impressive in the eyes of the hiring manager. Do specific research on the department you are looking to join. For example, if you are applying for a marketing job, know the number of followers they have on Facebook or LinkedIn, and style of their blog posts.

Janice Bryant Howroyd to be inducted into National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame


BIG NEWS: AppleOne CEO & Act•1 Group Founder Janice Bryant Howroyd is set to be inducted into the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame in a ceremony on September 25, 2015 in Atlanta, GA. A North Carolina A&T State University graduate, Bryant Howroyd owns the largest minority woman-owned employment agency in the United States, The Act•1 Group, and received the inaugural BET Honors Entrepreneur Award in 2008. You can get more information on this honor at Congrats @JBryantHowroyd

3 Reasons Why More Smart Employers are Hiring Less Experienced Talent

diamond in the rough2

In view of the growing talent deficit, more employers are beginning to relax their job requirements to avoid productivity gaps. What many are discovering is that hiring so-called “underqualified talent” is an underrated strategy that can pay both immediate and long-term dividends:

Quickly Fill Productivity Gaps

Hiring less experienced staff means productivity deficits are filled sooner – and lost output is minimized. More than half (54%) percent of employers are struggling to find people with the right skills to fill posts. In many cases, it takes around 90 days for advertised positions to get filled. Rather than sacrifice months of productivity due to lack of qualified talent, consider someone with the fundamental skills and career potential to fill the productivity gap.


Diamonds in the Rough Often Cost Less

The lower cost of hiring less experienced workers can offset the reduced productivity or additional training that is required. In many cases, new hire success is not determined by qualifications, but on the new hire’s attitude: enthusiasm for learning, willingness to be a team player, motivation and even openness to (constructive!) criticism.  In many cases, employers who hire diamonds in the rough are happy to discover they have trained and invested in actual gems.


Less Turnover, More Loyalty

No matter what level of experience, many employees consider their feelings for their employer a huge factor when planning their future move. A fledgling employee that you take under your wing and train to realize their potential could, down the road, be not only a superstar, but also your biggest champion. With retention and engagement being a big challenge for employers, having people who sing you praises to both current and existing employees can be priceless.

While there are positions that definitely require specific skills and levels of experience, it could be to your advantage to review your open positions to see where you can hire for potential and attitude. As an employer you hold the cards, and opening doors to less experienced but bright, motivated and high-potential talent might be a powerful ace to have up your sleeve.

The Art of the Stealth Job Hunt

The Art of the Stealth Job Hunt_08202015

Searching for work while currently employed adds a little extra juggling, but don’t let that stop you from making the change your career needs. By mastering the art of stealth job hunting you can keep working while pursuing new opportunities where you will be happy and even more successful.

Use your own devices for your job search

Looking for work can be stressful; especially if you think your current employer may find out and replace you before you find a new job. To reduce the chance of that, make sure you aren’t using company email or internet connections that could be monitored. Compartmentalize the job hunt by setting up a personal email address for job search related activities, don’t use company phones to speak with recruiters, and don’t print out your resume at work.

Manage Your Time

We’re often asked whether it’s better to schedule interviews before or after work. The answer is that it depends. Before work, you may be fresher, but interviews can run longer than you expect, and you don’t want to be looking at your watch the whole time. After work, you may have less energy, and you increase the chance of being late to the interview, but once you get into the interview, you can give it your full attention and won’t have to worry about a ticking clock.

When scheduling the interview be honest and upfront about your work schedule and ask how long their interviews typically run so you can plan accordingly. For instance:

I am very excited about this opportunity. I am still working though, and I always give my employer 100% of my focus during work hours. My normal work day is between 7 and 4, and it will take 20 minutes for me to travel between your location and my work site. Do you have a sense of how long your typical first interviews run? Is it possible to schedule something after 4:30 so we don’t have to worry about the clock?

You may also want to consider using one of your vacation/personal days so you are free to focus on the interview without needing to worry about ticking clocks. This can be especially effective if you can schedule a block of interviews.

Keep your plans to yourself

A job search calls for effective networking, but be cautious about reaching out to people who used to work for your current employer. If that’s the only way into a target company, it could be worth the risk, but be aware that those people likely still have ties to other current employees and it could get back to your boss. To maintain confidentiality, put most of your focus on connecting with people you used to work with at other companies or family, friends, and current social groups who are not connected to your current employer. You can also use an agency like AppleOne that can conduct a confidential search on your behalf or just keep an eye out for positions that may interest you.

Be very conscious about how to communicate on social media – be careful about what you post, tweet, share, like, update, etc. Re-evaluate/update your social media account privacy settings and manage your broadcast settings. Throughout your hunt, branding yourself is a top priority – you will want to make sure your LinkedIn profile is 100% complete – but you want to be sure every update is not broadcast to all of your connections. On LinkedIn change your broadcast settings so all of your connections don’t see every update.

Answering Questions About A Previous Manager During An Interview


When you are in a job interview, keeping things positive and professional is important. This is especially true when you are talking about past employers. Even if you had a terrible experience at a previous employer, a job interview is not the time to delve into it. Here are three important things to remember when you are asked about a former manager during a job interview:

Use the Answer to Show Off A Recommendation From Your Former Manager

Answering a question about a former manager is a great time for you to insert a recommendation from them. For best effect, put the recommendation in a context where it is your former manager in relaying it. For example:

“My last manager was Shelly Preston. She was the VP of Sales at Consolidated Widgets. She and I worked very well together. She always said that my follow-through was better than anybody she had ever met, and so I became her go to person for many projects. I always appreciated having that opportunity to take on new tasks and responsibilities, and I grew a great deal under her mentorship.”

Use Your Answer to Draw Parallels with the Company You Are Interviewing For

If you have been able to determine your potential new supervisor’s leadership style, and if that is a style that would work well for you, you can use this question as an opportunity to draw parallels to show why you will thrive with them. For example:

“I know you mentioned that you like to take an active role in projects and will provide a lot of good direction. My supervisor Ken Smith, the Director of Facilities, was very similar, and we worked well together. I find that is a management style that really allows me to thrive, so I’m excited about this opportunity.”

Never, Ever, Speak Badly of a Former Manager

Not a fan of your former boss? While you generally want to be truthful during your interview, you also don’t want to get negative. Talking ill of a former manager is bad on two fronts: first, it can raise doubts in terms of how you get along with other people, especially those in positions higher than you. It doesn’t matter if your former manager was fully in the wrong, it is going to sound like you were unable to work professionally with someone, which is going to reflect badly on you. Second, they are going to imagine you saying the same thing about them in a future interview. If you don’t have anything great to say, a simple “We worked together well on a professional basis and I accomplished (blank)” is a good enough answer.