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News & Events

Highlights: BLS August Employment Situation

BY: Clique Studios | September 7, 2018


 

The Bureau of Labor & Statistics reports an unemployment rate of 3.9 percent in August, which is unchanged from the prior month.

Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 201,000 in August, 2018.  The industries to receive the most job gains were professional & business services (+53,000), healthcare (+33,000), wholesale trade (+22,000), and transportation & warehousing (+20,000).

The unemployment rate of adult women (3.3%) and adult men (3.5%) remained unchanged from the prior month.

Unemployment among long-term unemployed (those who have been unemployed for 27+ months) accounted for 21.5% of the unemployed, though the total number has declined by 403,000 over the past year.

Average hourly earnings rose by $0.10 to $27.16.  The average workweek remained unchanged at 34.5 hours.

Click here for full report.


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Three Classic Reads for the Modern Executive

BY: Clique Studios | August 9, 2018


Most high-level professionals find themselves engulfed in managing people, business and not investing much time into themselves. Learning should continue into the c-suite roles for growth personally and professionally. Here are three great books to begin the journey to being a better leader.

1.) Emotional Intelligence 2.0 – By: Travis Bradberry & Jean Greaves

Numbers seem to be the highlight of Finance and Accounting professionals, rightly so, but that doesn’t mean people skills don’t have an equal spot in the office. Knowing how to hone in on emotional intelligence and apply it to your business could be vital to whether there is a successful outcome or not. This book tells you the ins and outs of how to obtain the emotional intelligence so many professionals are missing.

2.) 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – By: Stephen R. Covey

Though this book is over 10 years old, the lessons in the text seem to teach timeless lessons. Covey teaches readers how to tackle both personal and professional issues, because he realizes sometimes they intertwine. Whether you feel off track or looking are for more guidance this book is the one for you.

3.) Good to Great: Why some companies Make the Leap and Other Don’t – By: Jim Collins

This book answers the questions from Built to Last about how the greats become the greats. Not every company is born great, but there are ways to climb up the ladder from good to great, much like the title says. Not only does this book build you up, but it shows you how to sustain what you build along the way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Best Chicago Business Meeting Spots

BY: Clique Studios | August 9, 2018


Sometimes a meeting or interview calls for time out of the office. Often times to get to know a client or candidate people want a friendlier environment to gauge more than just the skillset. There are great spots around the city of Chicago to meet all expectations and accommodate needs at any time of day. Here are a few spots in or around the loop that are easily navigable.

Morning:

Goddess and the Baker is a great alternative to a Starbucks; though Goddess and the Baker tends to be busy too, they are more spacious. There are multiple locations in Chicago that offer fresh, quick meals and pastries along with caffeinated beverages to begin the day. Each location is lined with seating and tables big enough for work materials if needed. This is a more casual environment.

Wildberry pancakes is a great place to meet for a full breakfast and allows a bigger group to meet if necessary. Wildberry is located both in Streeterville and the loop; reservations are encouraged at each location as they are popular within the neighborhoods. Wildberry opens at 6:30 a.m. and closes at 2:30 p.m. making it the perfect spot for the morning.

Noon/Night:

Beatrix has three locations in the city, each serving fresh food with a great environment and seating options for pairs and groups alike. This is a great option for people who are vegan, vegetarian or prefer fresh, natural ingredients. Open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., there is no restriction on when you can enjoy this restaurant during or after business hours.

The Dearborn is a great place for traditional American food, which is never a bad option if you’re unsure what the other party likes. This restaurant is located in the loop and opens at 11 a.m., just in time for lunch. The location is also equipped with a full bar for those interested.

Sweetwater, located on the magnificent mile, is an easy location to meet at and chose from a variation of items on their menu. They have a sizable outdoor area and vast drink menu for later in the day. This is a perfect place to go for appetizers or a full meal, with ample time and space to get business done in a lively environment.

 


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15 Questions to Ask in Your Next Interview

BY: Clique Studios | July 27, 2018


 

When individuals prepare for an interview, they review the job description, do preliminary research on the company, rehearse their answers to tough interview questions, and strike a few power poses to pump themselves up.

These are all great ways to ensure that you make a great impression throughout the majority of the interview.  But what about the moment when you interviewer asks, “Do you have any questions for me?”  If you haven’t prepared what you will say in this moment, then the only alternatives are to wing it or simply say “no.”  In either case, we highly advise you avoid both of those options and prepare questions beforehand.

This is a valuable time to not only show that you’re engaged and prepared, but also to see if the company is a good fit for you.

Before you walk into an interview, you should have these questions listed when it’s time for you to turn from interviewee to interviewer:

  1. What’s the next step in the interview/hiring process?
  2. What can you tell me about the job apart from what was in the description?
  3. What would I be expected to accomplish in my first month/year on the job?
  4. Could you tell me a little bit about the person I would report to directly?
  5. Do you expect the responsibilities for this role to change in the near future?
  6. What is the work culture like here?
  7. How does the position fit in relation to the rest of the organization?
  8. Is there a career path that someone in this position would be expected to follow?
  9. How does the company take an idea from inception to completion?
  10. How do you measure performance and success in this role?
  11. Are there any special projects that I would work on soon?
  12. Is there anything else I could tell you about myself that would help you with your decision?
  13. What are the current focus areas for the company as a whole?
  14. What are the pain points you have to deal with day-to-day that the person in this role should remedy?
  15. Do you see the role expanding in the future?

 

After asking these essential questions, you should be able to walk out of the interview with more insight into whether or not this is an advantageous opportunity.


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Ageism in the Workplace

BY: Clique Studios | July 26, 2018



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5 Ways to Stand Out to Recruiters on LinkedIn

BY: Clique Studios | July 18, 2018


The Recruiting world is constantly changing along with technology, which means the way candidates market themselves has to change too. LinkedIn is one of the most powerful tools on the internet to find a job and find a candidate. In order to have a stand-out profile, one must follow a few basic guidelines.

1.) Professional Photo

A profile with a professional picture is more likely to be clicked on than those that still have an empty icon. This picture helps recruiters get an image of who they are recruiting for the position. Recruiters are more prone to clicking on a friendly face to do business with than someone they are unable to gauge.  Having a picture will also boost connectivity rates, which enhances the overall profile.

2.) Completed Summary

The headline on a profile is equivalent to the summary on one’s resume, but far more important. When someone visits a LinkedIn page the second thing they see aside from the picture and employment headline is the summary that should be tailored to the applicants’ best skill set and career goals. This will not only make you a top candidate, but give a recruiter a glimpse into what you have before the initial call.

3.) Use of Job Search Button

Knowing someone is searching for a job makes recruiters jobs easier and candidates possible to find without having to do endless searches. This can be easily done by visiting the account settings and then going to the privacy tab where it will have a button to allow recruiters know you’re open to opportunities.

4.) Updated Profile

This seems obvious, but far too many people forget to update their profile once they reach a new position after a search. To make sure that one reaches an ample amount of the right people they have to keep their profile current. If a Recruiter sees a large gap in a profile it might raise some red flags; keep your profile up-to-date and honest.

5.) Completed Skills Section

The most updated employment history with decent descriptions is not always enough to catch someone’s eye. In Accounting and Finance key words and skills like SOX, Internal Audit, ERP upgrade/ implementation, SEC external reporting, Technical Accounting, etc. are the qualifications recruiters could be looking for, but will not see easily if they aren’t listed.


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How Cloud Based Technology Can Enhance Your Office

BY: Clique Studios | July 11, 2018


The big buzz about cloud computing began when Apple introduced the icloud in 2011. Cloud computing simply means that data is stored over the internet, opposed to the computer’s hard drive. Businesses that store data over the internet see improvements to accessibility, consistency and cost efficiency.

Almost all of the large companies have released a cloud version of their software, which is an immediate incentive to make the switch if your office hasn’t already. Cloud technology allows companies to transition into the modern work trend of remote work while keeping the same efficiency as in the office. This remote work does not require employees to lug around company computers or other company tech; cloud data can be easily accessed even on mobile technologies.

Consistency is vital to growth in every business relationship. Cloud tech offers the ability to upgrade, downgrade or keep stagnate on the data level that works for a particular company. If a computer’s data limit was full, what would the solution be? Buy a new computer or an external hard drive? Those solutions have their pros and cons, but also could impact the way the entire work process takes place. With cloud tech, there is often a simple fee to store more data within the same program offices have familiarized themselves with. This improves consistency in the office and ability to focus on the task, opposed to the technology used.

Every company has different budgets, but cloud sharing is cheaper than working with a server, which includes cost of the software and sometimes hardware to go along with it. The cost of server based technology can cost you more than the return you see on it in the short term. This is why having one technology that is easily applicable and adjustable is more beneficial to companies that plan to see growth and change.

Often times people worry about security, but in the past seven years cloud technology has come very far. In peoples’ personal lives they’re using cloud technology with some of their most precious things like cell phone data, personal pictures, emails and documents. As many companies are adapting to this new technology, the switch to cloud technology is imperative before it’s too late to efficiently transfer data from server to cloud.

 

 

 

 


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How Interim Hiring Improves Company Productivity

BY: Clique Studios | July 10, 2018


Every company finds themselves with a new position or vacancy to fill, but while they search for the ideal employee the workload continues to pile up on an empty desk. Filling that vacancy can sometimes be easier to outsource to staffing and consulting firms who have qualified interim resources ready to call.

According to Glassdoor, corporate job posts often attract an average of 250 resumes. Out of the 250 jobseekers, only four to six candidates get interviewed for the job.  That means hiring managers can easily spend hours scanning through hundreds of resume’s in their search for a perfect match.

According to 2017 Recruiter Sentiment Study MRI Network, the average applicant goes through three interviews which could have a variation of time between each meeting.  Assuming there is a week in between each interview, one can expect to spend approximately one month to screen applicants.  That is over 160 hours of time that the accumulating work is being allocated to other departments and employees creating a deficit in their personal work load.

In the accounting and finance world there is no time to spend not working on a client’s need or the project at hand. According to State of the American Workplace Report Gallup 2017, only 12% of employees agree that their company does a good job of onboarding new employees. This means that there is room for improvement even after the hiring process, which takes more than a month on average.

With the time spent reviewing resumes, scheduling and conducting rounds of interviews, negotiating terms of employment, drafting an offer letter and onboarding a permanent employee, focus can very easily shift from the day-to-day operations of a business to this newfound part-time job of hiring.

Having access to interim resources while searching for the perfect candidate could prove to be indispensable for a company’s productivity.  Onboarding the interim employee is not a concern since consulting firms have already fully vetted the best candidates for the role. An interim hire is a great option for any empty seat that adds potential stress to the whole office.

The time and money put into finding and onboarding a full-time employee can be cut simply by getting rid of the hole in the companies’ productivity. Calling in a staffing and consulting firm could also end up helping you find a quick fill and lead to a fantastic full-time employee.


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5 Resume Tips for Executives

BY: Clique Studios | July 2, 2018


 

In the midst of putting together a resume, many Finance and Accounting Executives often find that the seemingly simple task of highlighting their experience quickly turns into a far more difficult exercise than expected.

Without knowing exactly what a recruiter or CEO may be looking for when evaluating your resume, there may be times when questions of doubt begin to impede on the resume-writing process.

“Is this too long? Too brief?”

“Does this look too cluttered? Too sparse?”

“Should I explain the gap in my career history?

“Is my summary/objective specific enough?”

“Is my grammar correct?”

If you find that you are second guessing yourself throughout the process, follow these quick tips to ensure that your experience is properly conveyed in an efficient, easy-to-read manner.

 

Length

Since every individual’s breadth of experience differs across the board, there is no concrete “rule” that dictates what the length of a resume should be.  The resume of an executive with 20 years of experience will almost certainly have more substance than that of an executive with 10 years of experience.

That being said, it is a good idea to keep your resume between 2-3 pages.  Recruiters and hiring managers are typically scanning the first page for keywords that will encourage them to read further.  If you have pertinent information hidden deep into the third page, there is a chance that it may not be seen on an initial scan.  Having more than three pages only decreases the odds of your relevant experience getting noticed.

 

Layout

Keeping in mind that resumes tend to be scanned upon an initial reading, it is important to make sure that your resume is easy to navigate.  To achieve this, make sure your resume includes the following:

Margins

To ensure that your text isn’t scrolling from edge to edge, incorporate a margin to improve readability.  We suggest a margin of .33 inches at the top and bottom of the page and .55 inches on the left and right.

Simple subheads

Allow the reader of your resume to easily jump from section to section by providing clear and brief subheads.

Balance of text and white space

Keep your resume free of clutter, trying to pack too much information onto the page will drastically hinder the readability of the document.  Make sure to provide appropriate spacing between lines and new sections.

Readable typeface and font size

Try not to go overboard with “fancy” typefaces. Keep it generic with an Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman typeface to maintain a professional look.  Font size should not exceed 12pt or be less than 8pt.

 

Gaps in employment

If you had a significant gap in employment due to unforeseen circumstances, it is a good idea to provide a one or two sentence explanation of the gap.  This explanation will clear up any assumptions that the reader may have and eliminate any less-than-positive conclusions they may jump to.

If your gap was not significant (less than 3 months) an explanation is not necessary as this is a common occurrence.

 

Summary/Objective Section

When recruiters and hiring managers scan a resume, they spend the most time in the upper 1/3 section of the first page to find keywords.  By providing a summary section, you will be able to keep your achievements and experience highlighted at the top of the page while ensuring that they will be read.

When drafting your summary section, be sure to be specific and include both quantitative metrics of achievements as well as skill sets in particular software or processes.

 

Grammar

After looking at the same resume for a significant period of time, it can become easy to be blind to otherwise glaring grammatical errors.  If the reader of your resume spots these errors before you do, there is a higher likelihood that your resume will fall to the bottom of the pile.

Try using a tool like Grammarly to ensure that any errors on your resume are addressed before you send it out.  Take it a step further by bringing in another set of eyes for one final review.


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Three Times to Consider Interim Solutions

BY: Clique Studios | June 29, 2018


Staffing firms expect the unexpected, which is a cliché that seems nearly impossible. Preparing solutions to problems that don’t exist yet is what they specialize in so you businesses don’t have to. Here are three times you could save time and money hiring a consultant for interim solutions.

1.) Family Medical Leave

Families grow and evolve as often as the office does, which means accounting for changes in the office and for your employees at home, as well. Under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, employers are required by law to give employees who have worked 12 months and at least 1,250 hours within their organization 12 weeks of unpaid time off. This time off includes child birth, adoption, care for a close relative in poor health or personal poor health. The latest data from 2012 shows that around 13% of all employees reported taking FMLA leave.

Using FMLA time requires a 30 days notice, which gives employers a brief window of time to plan how they will fill their employee’s vacant spot. Many people don’t want to put a job posting out for an interim hire or waste the time of the HR department to fill a temporary position. Hiring an interim resource would assist in keeping productivity level through a transitioning process.

2.) Injury / Disability

Unfortunate emergencies erupt and leave both employees and employers in a panic to get the job done.  Things that are unexpected like car accidents, broken bones, and extended ailment impact a business. Though events like this may take less than a month to recover from, departments are still left with a hole in productivity when employees are pulled from their focus to fill in the gaps.

It’s hard to tell how long some emergency situations will take, making the task of finding a temporary replacement while juggling the absent employee’s work load a difficult responsibility. Allowing a firm to come in and assist you in the time you find yourself in a crunch is the most responsible thing to do.

 3.) Abrupt departure

Just because someone has a fantastic job doesn’t mean they’re not looking for the next great opportunity. If someone is provided a new job offer on a limited timeline, they are likely to take it and think little about the repercussions for you. This has been an issue on the rise for the past few years. Workers are leaving in “the heat of emotion,” according to The Wall Street Journal .

Before you go on the journey finding a full time employee as great as your last (or even better), you need to fill the vacancy immediately. Hiring a staffing firm to find an interim hire can leave you room to find someone full time or even extend the interim employees position.


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