We’re More Alike than We Think: Downplaying Generational Differences in the Workplace

You’ve no doubt heard it often: Millennials want to be groomed for advancement while members of Generation X are wanna-be entrepreneurs. And Boomers? They’re definitely not shy about challenging authority.

Pretty much accepted as true among most is that the generations are very different, so much so that entire books are written about how they can get along when working together.

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But are they really? We believe the generations coming together in today’s workplace are more alike than they are different. Hear us out below.

  1. Someone may be a Boomer but not remember the Beatles’ heyday.

What we mean by this is that each generation is about 20 years in length: Boomers, for example, are those born between 1946 and 1964 while Generation X generally is believed to be those born between 1965 and 1980. So a Boomer born in 1957 is going to have a very different cultural experience than her older counterpart born in 1947. The younger boomer may very well have a life experience more in common with a Generation X-er born in 1965 than an older Boomer.

A 1957 Boomer with an older sister may well remember her sister’s excitement about the Beatles coming to America (1964) when the Boomer would have been 7. But a 1957 Boomer with only younger siblings may not have experienced their music possibly until the band already had broken up (1969, when the Boomer would have been 12 and in middle-school) because there was no one in the house going nuts over them when she was younger.

Our point? Our outlooks and experiences in life often come about due to our family circumstances rather than our age. Older siblings give us entre to things four-year-olds otherwise wouldn’t be aware of. Even stations such as Nickleodeon and  now Netflix have for years shown old television shows such as the The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Andy Griffith Show and others to generations far too young to have seen them when first aired; yet later generations, too, have them as cultural touchstones. And what Generation X-er and Millennial haven’t bonded over their mutual love of Sesame Street (which first aired in 1969 and continues strong today)?

What’s more members of a generation born at each “end” more than likely have more in common with someone born a few years before or later, even if that individual is in a different “generation.” After all, a 10-year-age difference among any member of any generation is a much harder gap to close than the gap between someone five years younger older.

In other words, you may be surprised how much in common you have with a co-worker of a different generation.

(Here’s a fun quiz for everyone: How Millennial Are You? by the Pew Research Center. You may be surprised by how close to a different generation you are. For example, Dan Struve, our CEO, is a Boomer. He took the quiz and he scored an 80, making him pretty much a Millennial than a Boomer when it comes to activities and outlook.)

  1. Technology is the great equalizer of generations.

In fact, could we all be becoming Millennials?

Millennials, conventional wisdom goes, are:

  • Connected to their digital devices 24/7.
  • Leave their employer quickly (they stay at a job two or three years, tops).
  • They need constant feedback. And it better be of the positive variety!
  • They require flexibility and choice.
  • They want their work to have meaning and be of use to others in some way.
  • They want opportunity for advancement.

Just like the post linked to above, we argue that all generations are like Millennials more than not when it comes to the above. Proof?

No one likes to be stereotyped; all of us all think we are the exception to any “rule” and wish to be treated as individuals.

When you need help finding great people to work in your company or department, call upon Helpmates. We can help you find the great people to help your company reach its goals.

5 Tips to Boost Your Interview Confidence

Few of us enjoy going on job interview, which is a shame in a way because interviews are a great way to learn more about ourselves, various companies, different ways of doing things, making new acquaintances – possibly new colleagues – and so on.

In fact, learning more about different companies and people (potential managers and even colleagues) perhaps is the best thing about going to a job interview: we’re rather like a sleuth, digging down and trying to find out how we might fit into a company’s business paradigm.

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What’s more, looking at yourself as something of an undercover agent also is a great way to help you boost your own confidence at the interview. After all, never forget that you are interviewing the hiring manager and company, too: just as your possible future manager is trying to see if you’ll be a good fit on her team, you need to find out if the company and opportunity is a good fit for you.

Four Additional Job Interview Confidence Boosters

  1. Research the company as much as possible before your interview: information is power.

The more you know about a company before you meet a recruiter or hiring manager, the more confident you’ll be. You’ll know how your particular skills and background will help the firm move forward and you’ll be able to speak to the hiring manager’s needs right away:

“I saw on your website that you are opening a new location soon. Will you be performing billing services at the new office? If so, I believe my experience with a former employer when I was the only medical biller in the department, helping to train new people in my office as they came on, would be a great help.”

  1. Remember the VALUE you bring.

Noting the fictional medical biller’s statement above, do you see what she just did there? She took note of the company’s plans and she talked about how her experience and expertise will help the hiring manager: she can help train new people in a new office and get the office up to speed quickly. Who wouldn’t want to hire her!? She’s a problem-solver! 

Knowing how you can help a business overcome challenges and/or reach its goals not only helps you feel confident when you interview (you’re certain of your skills and talents), it also makes you the type of candidate hiring managers hire.

  1. As hard as it may be, don’t wonder to yourself about how you’re doing.

Instead, simply aim to connect with the interviewer. This point echoes the first one: you’re on a mission to learn as much as you can about the needs of the interviewer (you’re an investigator), so don’t focus so much on yourself and instead try to listen to, engage with – on an equal level – and connect with the  hiring manager.

In other words, don’t think about your performance aim to put the other person at ease. Taking the focus off yourself can do wonders for alleviating your anxiety.

  1. Picture the moment you hear “I’d like to bring you on board.”

You know your strengths. You know how your skills benefit the employer. You know you’re a great fit. Remember that. Ruminate on it before the interview and then relax. You’ve got this!

Need some help landing job interviews in Orange or Los Angeles counties? Helpmates is here for you. Take a look at our current job opportunities and if you feel one or more is right for you, either apply online or visit the branch that posted the job. We look forward hearing from you!

 

Helpmates Staffing Services Wins Two of Inavero’s 2017 Best of Staffing® Diamond Awards

Once again, our Southern California provider of finance, healthcare, human resources, distribution & manufacturing, and office staffing services has been named to the “Best of Staffing” list.  For the 8th straight year! We are beyond thrilled! And honored!!

Helpmates Staffing Services has earned two of Inavero’s highest awards: the Best of Staffing® Talent Diamond Awards and  Best of Staffing® Client Diamond Award after winning the best “Best of Staffing” award in each category at least five years in a row.

Only 2 percent of all staffing firms in the U.S. and Canada win the Best of Staffing award and only 23 percent of the Best of Staffing Award winners also earn a Diamond distinction. (We won two!)

More than 1.2 million people across the country provided feedback on many of the nation’s staffing firms. Award winners are determined by the percentage of satisfaction scores of 9 or 10 (out of a possible 10) given to them by their placed job candidates and clients.

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Helpmates won in four areas (in every one that was possible):

  • Client Satisfaction Award (8th year in a row)
  • Talent Satisfaction Award (6th year in a row)
  • The Best of Staffing Client Diamond Award
  • The Best of Staffing Talent Diamond Award

We are extremely grateful that our clients and associates chose to recognize us with this difficult-to-reach distinction in the highly competitive staffing industry. We plan to continue to serve you with the highest of service now and far into the future.

We couldn’t be prouder of the hard work our internal team members do on behalf of our clients and associates. They are incredibly committed to helping Los Angeles and Orange County companies find the best talent possible for their staffing needs as well as matching talented and hard-working people with terrific job and career opportunities.

Most of all, thank you to all of our clients and associates: we are extremely grateful for your continued partnership/hard work and belief in us. It’s our honor to work with you!

4 Reasons You’re Not Getting the Job

You’ve applied for many positions. You’ve networked your way into other job opportunities. You’ve even landed some interviews.

But as for second interviews? Let alone job offers? Nothing. Zilch. The sound of crickets fills your e-mail inbox (if sounds could fill your inbox).

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What’s Going On?

You’re getting interviews and that’s a good sign because hiring managers and recruiters don’t contact you for a meeting (even if it’s “just” a phone interview) unless they feel you have most of the skills, background and education they seek. (In fact, the average job opening receives 118 applicants, with only about 20 percent of them receiving interviews.)

So that’s good. But no call backs? That’s bad and chances are it is you (and not them).

And while you don’t want to hear it’s your fault you’re not getting second interviews and/or job offers, it’s actually good news: it means it’s something you’re doing – or not doing – and you can fix that.

4 Things You’re Doing (or Not) That Are Costing You

The mistakes you’re making generally boil down to four things. Take a look below.

  1. You don’t understand the real reason companies hire people.

Businesses hire employees because they need problems solved. They need someone to fix the problem of answering the phone. They need someone to take care of the marketing issue. They need someone to fix the no sales conundrum. They need someone to run the computer, balance the checkbook, make the widget, and so on.

But most of us tend to think “Hey, I’m a nice person and I can do the things you need. So hire me!” And then we wonder why we didn’t get the job.

And the reason we didn’t get the job is because another candidate understood why companies hire employees and made sure the hiring manager knew that she could fix that hiring manager’s problems.

Employees cost money – up to 80 percent of a company’s gross revenues. That’s a big chunk of change. So to be hired, you need to bring more to the company than what it costs to keep you there. You may say, “Well, I’m not in sales, so I don’t bring in anything.” But you do: if you save a company money, that’s making money (shorten a process; retain more customers, keep the computers running so the company doesn’t have to get new ones, etc.).

So you need to know and articulate what value you bring to a company: how what you know and what you do and how you do it will save/make the company money.

  1. You didn’t understand what the company does and how your skills could help it.

This is a very easy fix: before ever applying to a company, do some research. Check the company’s website, Google it and read articles about it. Find out is mission, if it has one; its goals.

The absolute worst thing you can do is arrive at an interview and say something along the lines of: “What is it you guys do?”

  1. Not saying – and showing – that you want the job.

Before you say “Well, I’m there to interview; of course I want the job!” understand that actually asking for the job as you shake the interviewer’s hand is extremely powerful: “Tenisha, my five years in accounts payable will help you ramp up your A/P needs the day I arrive. I would love to work with you and I hope to hear from you soon.”

What’s more, if you sit in the interview slumped in your seat, grunting your answers, looking at your watch, not asking questions, and so on, you’ve just shown the hiring manager that you could care less about the job. Instead, be interested in learning about the company; ask questions as to its future; do that research we mentioned and talk about something you read about the company’s goals, and so on. In other words, show enthusiasm.

Remember, the person who wants the job the most– and shows it – tends to get the job.

  1. Not following up properly.

Sure, you no doubt know that you need to send a thank you note to your interviewer. But most people don’t, to their detriment. And of those who do, the thank you is….a “thank you for meeting with me.” And while that’s nice, remember what your job is as a candidate: show your value.

Your thank you (handwritten or sent in an e-mail) after an interview is another chance for you to showcase how hiring you benefits the company. It also can help you clarify a point, or make a suggestion. It also allows you to, once again, ask for the job!

Need some help in getting second interviews? How nice it will be to tweet #IGotTheJob! Let the talented recruiters here at Helpmates help you get the interview…and the job offer! Call or visit a Helpmates branch near you today.

Consider the Resume: Time to Say Goodbye?

As much as technology has changed the way we look for work and look for new employees, one thing has remained pretty much the same: the resume.

Sure, many automated tools allow us to create out resume, scan resumes, search to see if a resume contains the skills, education, etc. (keywords) that are needed for a candidate to be able to do the job if hired, post jobs online, apply online, and on and on and on.

And the one constant in this constant change? We still require that applicants create and send resumes!

Should the Resume Stay or Go?

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There’s been some talk over the past few years about “doing away” with the resume. Yet before we get into why this may be a good idea, let’s talk about the benefits resumes offer both the candidate and the employer.

Resumes:

  • Provide a snapchat of a candidate’s skills, education and accomplishments in a one- or two-page document. Easy to read and scan; not too hard to create.
  • Can be tailored for each job opening, highlighting a candidate’s specific skills, etc. that fit a particular job. (Benefit to job seeker.)
  • Are easily scannable into an employer’s database, allowing recruiters the chance to automatically sort through resumes, looking for the specific skills, education and background they feel a candidate should possess. (Employer benefit.)

The Argument for Saying Goodbye

Here is where resumes fall short – extremely short: they are inefficient, inaccurate and provide absolutely no true indication as to whether an applicant can actually do the job, if he will fit in with his colleagues and if he will enjoy the job, all extremely important things to know when looking for work or hiring.

Resumes also  act as a barrier to people who would be good fits and technically able to do the job because their very nature has them acting as filters and roadblocks: unless a resume has the exact skills, background and education “needed” for the job, both human and automated screeners tend to say “no.”

This, plainly, is nuts. After all, just about every hiring manager has at least once said “you’ve got the job” to someone who wasn’t a great “match on paper” who then turned out to be wonderful. And wonderfully happy and successful.

Resumes also are potent “lie machines”: they require that hiring managers and recruiters rely on what a candidate says on them. Some falsifications are relatively easy to spot with a little digging (education, certificates, job history), but how does a manager know if a person really is outgoing and a team player? The candidate truly may feel he is such, but different degrees of “plays well with others” definitely exist.

Possible Resume Alternatives

So if a job hunter or even a hiring manager and/or recruiter decides to “just say no” to a resume, what are some possible substitutes? Here are just a few (with two of them described below):

  • LinkedIn profiles: Recruiters/managers can take a look at different candidates, comparing the same elements. What’s more, because LinkedIn is a public platform, some believe they “encourage” information that’s more truthful than what could be on a resume. The bad side – for candidates – is a LinkedIn profile isn’t very flexible as to what can and can’t be included.
  • Personal websites: Obviously, these can be very candidate-focused (and candidate-subjective). It can be harder for a hiring manager to figure out what is real, what is exaggerated and what is just plain false. But websites could be exceptionally powerful – and even accurate – for candidates looking for creative work: writers, graphic artists, website designers, marketers, etc.

While we understand that the “get rid of the resume” fight will continue – and possibly grow stronger – we still accept and want them here at Helpmates. Just as we always welcome candidates who visit our offices in order to apply for work, we also ask that applicants include their resumes when applying for specific openings. Contact the office nearest you today.

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