Keeping Your New Hire for as Long as You Need Him

With up to a quarter of your new hires leaving your employ within just half a year, the longer you can keep them the better for your bottom line.

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How can you do so? Read below.

  1. Make sure you’re ready for him.

We’re sure it’s happened to you at some point in your own career: you start your first day in your new job and only to discover there’s no desk/office for you, your computer or phone hasn’t been delivered yet and your manager may be late – or even not in the office that day.

Talk about a company making a very bad first-day impression!

Instead, make sure your new hire has the equipment he needs, his new boss is there, and onboarding paperwork is ready to be filled out and HR is expecting him. (In fact, it may be best if you send the onboarding paperwork to the new hire’s home so that he can fill as much of it out as possible before day one.)

  1. Clearly delineate expectations.

Either in the days before your new hire starts or at some point in the first week, sit down with your new employee and let him know what’s expected of him. How can he meet and exceed your expectations? Write guidelines/parameters down and give them to him. If you have milestones he needs to meet, make sure they are included in the guidelines with their deadlines/due dates.

  1. Help him fit in with colleagues and company culture.

If you’re too busy to do so yourself, assign someone in your department to show your new hire the lay of your department’s “land.” Make sure your new employee has an official organization chart but understand that his colleague probably will tell him who the true movers and shakers are and who slacks off. Who is the unnamed “boss” of sub-departments and who the department’s maverick is. And so on.

Ask all of his new co-workers to introduce themselves (even if you’ve already gone around with him in tow to do so).

If possible, see if the company owner or vice-president in charge of your department can stop by to have a private “welcome to the family” chat with your newbie.

Finally, within the first month of his start date, take your new hire out for a one-on-one lunch and ask him how he’s feeling in his new position, what questions he may have and if there’s anything you can do or get for him that will make his job easier.

  1. Provide clear guidelines and expectations and then go away.

You hired him to do a job, now let him do it. Most successful, hard-working professionals do best when given parameters and then left alone to get things done. In other words, don’t micromanage! Be available for questions, give feedback and guidance when requested but don’t hover. Correct or straighten the new hire’s course only if he veers too far off it. Check in now and then (monthly at first, then bi-monthly or even quarterly, depending on the position) to see how things are going.

When you need a new employee for a temporary, temp-to-hire or direct-hire opportunity for your Southern California company, come to Helpmates Staffing. Whether you want someone to come in for the holiday rush or you need someone to grow with your firm, we can source, vet and place some of the region’s top talent. Contact the Helpmates office nearest you.

Want to Make Sure You’re Happy at Work? Choose the Right Job AND Company

Since most of us spend more than a third of our waking hours Monday through Friday at work (one arguably could make the case that it’s more than a third after adding on commuting time and the business of getting ready for work in the morning), all of us more  than likely want an enjoyable one-third day. Maybe even a great one-third day. Certainly not a miserable third.

Many of us, therefore, may think we need to find the perfect career or certainly perfect job in order to be happy.

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But even perfect jobs/careers have their bad sides. We know of one physical therapist, for example, who loves treating her patients. The other four hours of her day typing up notes and treatment plans? Not so much: she truly hates the paperwork part, so much so that she’s seriously thinking of changing careers.

So the first thing we need to realize is that we’re not going to be happy for all eight-plus hours on all five days per week.

But we can work to make work pleasant most of the time. Here’s how:

Plan for it.

What we mean is this: you’re not going to stumble into happy circumstances on the job. Instead, you need to know what kind of working environment you enjoy along with the work you like to do. You also may want to consider the personalities of your coworkers.

Another real life example: we know of one woman who took a job in a cube farm that was dark most of the time because her colleagues who worked near the wall of windows on the southeast side couldn’t see their computer screens most of the day because the sun shined right onto them.

She also noticed during the two interview she had with the hiring manager that her future colleagues seemed to keep pretty much to themselves most  of the day. The room was dark and exceptionally quiet.

A voice inside her told her she would be miserable but she took the job knowing she would enjoy the actual work and believing its great benefits – quitting at 2 p.m. every day in the summer, five weeks of paid vacation a year – would make up for the quiet, dark room.

She was miserable and ended up leaving the job within six months (before summer and before she qualified for even one week of vacation).

So ask yourself some questions:

  • Do you like working alone or as part of the team most of the time?
  • Do you need windows?
  • Do you need an office where you can close the door and concentrate?
  • How do you feel about colleagues in an open office playing their radio/streaming music quietly? Televisions on the wall?
  • Ask your boss how she prefers to manage people. Autonomy-with-guidance-as-needed or is she someone who checks on progress every day? Does her management style jibe with how you prefer to be managed?
  • And so on.

These questions may sound trivial, but if you were to talk to either of the women mentioned above, you’d understand that the trivial – the details – are critical to being happy at work. Even the work you love to do can become a burden when the where, how and some of the what makes you miserable.

If you’ve found yourself stuck in a position that you thought would be a great fit work but you found soon enough comes with aspects that make you despondent, consider taking on a temp-to-hire position through Helpmates Staffing. These are temporary assignments that allow you to take work in a position for about three months before signing on more permanently (if both you and your on-site manager agree). These types of temporary positions are a terrific way to “test drive” a company’s and department’s culture to see if you enjoy not only the work, but also your colleagues and work environment.

Take a look at some of our current job opportunities. (Use Advanced Search and click on Temp-to-Hire under Employment Type.)

Don’t Ignore These When Looking at Job Candidates

When trying to choose among different applicants for an opportunity at your company, there are some things you can overlook in a candidate:

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  • Nervousness at the interview.
  • One or two gaps in job history, depending on how long the individual has been in the workforce.
  • Missing one or two “critical” skills.
  • No college degree. (Seriously, if Google and Ernst & Young can say a degree isn’t necessary, couldn’t you consider it, as well?)
  • Dressing a little inappropriately (as in wearing khakis instead of slacks or a blouse that’s a touch too revealing).

But there are at least four things a hiring manager or recruiter should never ignore. We list them below.

  1. Past performance.

Nothing says how well a candidate will do in your position than how well he did in previous positions. If you find that the person you’re interviewing likes to do only the minimum to get a job done, doesn’t do well in teams, barely made sales quotas, prefers to do things by the book, and so on, she will do the same with you.

Yes, perhaps quotas were too high at her past position, but what about the one before that, and the one before that? And, yes, people can change when highly motivated. But if the person has been in the workforce for at least five years and has exhibited certain traits time and again, chances are she’s not going to change much, if at all, when she’s your employee.

How to find these characteristics? When checking references, ask specific questions as to the candidate’s self-motivation, results, attitude, etc.

  1. She wants the position!

Most candidates will say they want the position, but look for signs that this candidate truly does. Does she become somewhat excited talking about what she can do for you as your employee? Or does she seem to be underwhelmed by your opportunity? Does she talk about doing tasks in the past (see above) that indicate she’s willing to pitch in wherever needed, whether they were in her job description or not? Enthusiasm and appreciation for your opportunity is easy to spot, as is a sense that the candidate feels she is overqualified for the position and it’s therefore somewhat “beneath” her. Observe closely.

  1. Interpersonal skills.

Introverts can be great team players while extroverts can be obnoxious boors (“I’m not going to go along with you because you are wrong!”) Generally, unless a candidate is going to work absolutely alone (or even telecommute), you need to look at her interpersonal skills. She doesn’t have to make “best friends” with colleagues, but can she make professionally friendly and cooperative connections with her teammates?

What’s more, you want to hire people who can embrace your company’s values and mission as well as culture. Do her personal goals mesh with those of your company?

  1. Can the candidate do the job?

While it can be better to hire for attitude rather than skills, you do want to ensure that the candidate can handle most of the skills necessary to be competent in the position. This is why many Southern California firms ask us to find them candidates for temp-to-hire positions so that both our client and our candidate can decide if the individual is right for the opportunity – and the opportunity is right for the candidate. Temp-to-hire assignments mean you can observe the candidate first-hand to see if she has the necessary skills, aptitude and attitude to succeed in the position.  If not, you can ask us to find another individual you also can try out.

To learn more about our temp-to-hire services, contact the Helpmates office nearest you.

How to Decline a Job Offer (So That They Won’t Hate You)

Let’s say you’ve been offered a job but it’s lacking.   In something.  The pay isn’t enough. It’s too far to commute. (“91 freeway westbound in the morning? Are you KIDDING me!?”) Your ex-boyfriend just announced on InstaStories that he got a job there. Whatever the reason, you’ve decided that the job isn’t what you thought it would be and so you’ve decided to turn it down.

But in order to get a job offer, one usually must say right out loud while shaking a hiring manager’s hand goodbye: “Thank you for this interview(s). I think I’d be a great addition to your team and I hope you will offer me the job.” Or you said as much on the phone. Or probably in your thank you letter after your interviews.

So. Turning down the job after you baldly and repeatedly said you wanted it? This is embarrassing.

No, it’s not.

People decline job offers all the time. What’s more, job offers get rescinded all the time. So, minor embarrassment aside, it’s perfectly normal to say no thank you after an offer’s been extended.

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But. You never know: you may want to work at this company someday in the future. So be careful how you the job down: you want to do so with grace, professionally and in a way that makes the hiring manager think well of you.

Take a look below for how to do this.

  1. Don’t not show up on your first day.

Sure, you’re nervous about saying no. You also may be worried that you might be making a mistake by turning it down and so you postpone making a decision until the day you’re supposed to start. And so you don’t show up. And you don’t answer texts or calls or emails from your (could have been) new boss.

Instead, be a professional and as soon as you’re certain the job’s not for you, let the hiring manager know, preferably no later than a week before your start date. (Even better, turn it down before you even set a start date!)The absolute latest you can tell someone you’re not coming in: the day before your first day and even that is cutting it way too close.

Not showing up just shows extreme immaturity and massive inconsideration. Man- or woman-up and tell the hiring manager with days to spare.

  1. It’s best to call the hiring manager. Second best is an e-mail. Never text.

Yes, it could be a hard call to make. But the hiring manager deserves this courtesy. And you’re a professional: you definitely can do this.

Whether you call or email, follow these guidelines:

  • Thank the hiring manager for the offer. Tell her how much you appreciate her consideration of your skills and background.
  • Give a brief reason why you’re not accepting the offer/changed your mind. You don’t have to go into great detail: you’ve accepted a position at another company. After much thought, you’ve decided to stay put. You and your spouse discussed and the longer commute will just cut too much into critical family time, etc. You don’t even have to give a reason, you can just say “As wonderful as this opportunity is, unfortunately I am going to decline.” (If you say this in a phone conversation, understand the hiring manager probably ask for a reason. Have a good one handy. Again, you don’t have to go into details.)
  1. Offer a solution.

You’re not going to say “give me 20 percent more than you offered and I’m your gal!” Instead what we mean by a solution is to say you have several connections in your network who may be great for the position and you offer to talk to them about it and send their information to the hiring manager

You see, by turning the offer down, you’ve created a huge problem for your hiring manager: he has work to be done that no one’s going to do and he to go through the interview process all over again! By offering a solution you show that you understand you’ve created a problem and you want to help fix it.

This shows empathy and professionalism.

  1. Say you want to stay in touch.

The world of work is small one. Particularly within industries. There may come a time when you will want to work for this company. Or you may see the hiring manager at conferences, seminars and other professional events. If you aren’t yet connected on LinkedIn, say you will send a connection request soon (and then do so that day). Even a simple “Thank you for your time and offer and I hope we meet again,” will be enough.

Say yes to your next job offer by contacting Helpmates. We have many great job and career opportunities in Orange and Los Angeles counties. Good luck with your job search!

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