Workplace Improvements in 2013

Workplace_HelpmatesBettering your business

For most people, work is the single biggest chunk of their day. It claims most of the daylight hours and often bleeds into the evening as well; even away from the office, it’s usually still on the brain. Taking simple steps to improve the workplace can have long-term benefits for both the longevity of a company and the health of its employees.

Flexibility

Not every job can offer the option to work remotely, but those that do are in high demand. Having the flexibility of location or hours—or both—creates a more fluid boundary between work and life; that freedom not only makes for happier employees, but also breeds a more content atmosphere at the office.

In many ways, allowing employees to work from home or another location can be unnerving. It may not be right for everyone, but even allowing something as small as one day per month spent working from home can demonstrate that you care about your worker’s lives beyond the time they spend in a cubicle or at their desk.

Social Technology

Given that so much of our lives are spent at work, it’s vital to make that time as meaningful and pleasant as possible. Social networks have a reputation as time-wasters, but an internal platform such as Yammer or Google Business allows employees to connect more easily to one another, as coworkers on a project.

By making it easier to communicate, you will improve the overall workflow of the company in the long term. Productivity can even improve since simple messages and questions can be communicated so quickly and easily. Further, with a more accessible social environment, the workplace gains a sense of camaraderie, which is vital to success when you’re spending so much time together.

Health

Traditionally, businesses didn’t involve themselves in their employees’ lives outside of the 9-to-5 workday. Today’s workplace has a broader scope—with staff members so invested in their jobs, modern companies are recognizing the value of returning that investment. Even seemingly tiny actions, such as filling vending machines with healthy snack options, shows that you care about more than your bottom line.

To go beyond the basics, consider offering a discounted gym membership, or providing flu shots. In contributing to your employees’ health, you will gain more fit and energized workers, and will likely see a decrease in the amount of sick days taken. From both a professional and personal standpoint, it’s a smart thing to do.

The human face of business

Making small improvements to the workplace has big returns. When you value your employees as people, they value you as an employer, and they appreciate the company for considering them as more than just cogs in a machine. Little steps will go a long way, so implement them early this year for a more productive and more content 2013.

Helpmates Staffing has worked with Southern California companies and its candidates for more than 40 years, providing highly qualified talent with leadership capabilities for companies like yours. Contact Helpmates today to learn more about what we can do for your management team and company culture.

Updating Your LinkedIn For Your Job Search

Four steps to set you apart:social networking

In an era where hiring is becoming more and more web-based, LinkedIn is one of the best tools for getting noticed and pursued. It’s a powerful resource, but only when used to the best of its potential. Especially with the new design, there are four key steps to standing out while linking in.

1: Keywords

LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to add a snappy headline just beneath your name, which will entice potential employers to read further and make your profile more memorable. Your headline is searchable, so you can maximize its reach by packing it with keywords that describe both you and your ideal. If you want to be found when someone searches for “online marketer in Fresno,” then put those words in your headline.

While this is simple in theory, it can quickly become cumbersome in practice. You don’t want to weigh down your headline with keywords just for the sake of search results; though someone might find you, you won’t look very attractive. And don’t be too wordy in general. Keep it short, snappy, and to the point—the point being your experience, capabilities, and career goals.

2: Summary

When your profile comes up in a search, the next step a potential employer will take is to read your summary. This section of your page is where you have the chance to really engage someone: give serious thought to a concise, engaging chunk of text that highlights your experience and achievements. In a sense, this is your cover letter for any job, and the rest of your profile is your resume.

As with any cover letter or professional “About Me” writing, make sure it stays succinct and on topic. Summarize what you’ve accomplished, instead of expounding upon it at length—there will be time for that in follow-up conversations and interviews. Your goal here is to hold the employer’s interest by portraying yourself as a qualified, capable candidate.

3: Skills

The Skills & Expertise section of a LinkedIn profile, with the new endorsements option, is a huge asset to your professional persona. You can choose from an extensive menu of skills to create a personalized list of where you excel. Feel free to add an abundance, but don’t overpromise: you don’t want an employer asking detailed questions about a skill you only “sort of have.”

With the new LinkedIn design, you have the option to endorse your connections’ skill set and receive endorsements from them. The more endorsements a certain skill receives, the higher it moves on your profile—and therefore, the more confident a potential employer will be that you know what you claim to know. It’s an effective way to get third-party recommendations, which speak volumes more than what you say about yourself.

4: Expansion

Once you’ve written an enticing headline and concise summary, and added your skills and expertise, your profile is nearly solid. To flesh it up and make yourself stand out, fill in details beyond the basic information. Anything that makes you unique or gives you an edge over potential competition might be the ticket to your new career, so this is the place to be comprehensive and detailed.

Certifications and courses beyond your academic or professional degrees are quickly becoming a must-have item for new hires, so highlight any additional training you’ve accomplished. If you speak a foreign language, call attention to that as well, as it’s a hot commodity in the global workplace. Honors and awards you’ve received and big projects you’ve contributed to all have their place on your profile as well.

A profile that shines:

With your LinkedIn profile newly polished and ready to go, you can be confident in the digital face that you show to potential employers. A winning profile is searchable, succinct, and gets results.

Helpmates has been ranked among the top 1% of staffing companies nationwide by our candidates and employees.  Contact our team of Certified Staffing Professionals today to learn how we can support your job search strategy.

Job Search 2013: What we’ve learned, and what’s to come

Three key points to take away from 2012

The job market is vastly different than it was just a few short years ago, as social media sites gain clout and cell phone technology surpasses any predictions. Three distinct trends have emerged from 2012, all vital to the modern job seeker.

Photos

On every site where you have an Internet presence, it needs to be accompanied by a professional photo. It’s best to have a series of photos taken, so you can use different snapshots for your social profiles, author bios, and blog posts. A photo gives you credibility: even if the person viewing it has no connection to you, they are more likely to click on the profile or believe the article when there is a face to associate with the name. While you may be hesitant about splashing yourself across the web, recognize that this has taken the place of an interview as the initial visual contact between you and a potential employer. If there’s nothing there, you lose a valuable chance to connect face-to-face, even if it’s only one-sided.

Recommendations

As the Internet shrinks the world, connections become increasingly important. This is reflected in the hiring process: instead of the traditional process of calling references, employers are casting a wider net of a potential hire’s companions. Through the “recommend” feature on LinkedIn and similar options on other social networking sites, coworkers and friends can vouch for you—and potential employers take notice. No longer is it enough to list three contacts and their phone numbers; with hundreds of friends and interactions visible to companies, all data involving you factors into a hiring decision. This can seem daunting at first—but when you leverage it right, you can boost your standing through other people’s words, which is automatically considered more reliable than self-promotion.

Branding

When you add professional pictures to online interactions, you’re well on your way to achieving the final, most comprehensive step toward an effective self-presentation. Building your identity into a virtual brand ensures you have the recognizability and legitimacy to be a viable candidate for a position. Stay active on social networks, write guest posts for blogs in your field, keep an up-to-date YouTube channel—a few years ago, these would have been considered leisurely activities, but as the line between work and life blurs, they now factor into your professional persona. By spreading your name through your field, and integrating it with your picture and profiles, you’ll market yourself better than an application or resume ever could. You’ll build an identity, one that employers will see and value.

What to expect in 2013

The job market is becoming even more specialized, and potential hires will have to stay on their game if they want to be top contenders for desirable positions. Certifications and niche degrees will become more important, as is any specialization within your area of expertise. Those doing the hiring are beginning to rely more on analyzable data to target their ideal candidate; by the end of 2013, there is sure to be a new list of requirements to land your dream position.

We’re here to help

Helpmates Staffing can help you hone your job search and place you in the career you’ve always wanted. We’ve worked with top employers throughout Southern California for more than 40 years, and we have access to unique career opportunities that aren’t available anywhere else. Contact Helpmates for Southern California Jobs that fit your skill set!

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