How to Use EI When Interviewing

As a recruiter or hiring manager, interviewing job candidates is a critical part of your job. If you’re a hiring manager interviewing potential employees for work in your department, your department’s success – as well as your own – relies on you choosing the right individuals for your team. (Not that there’s any pressure, of course!)

If you’ve been interviewing/hiring for any amount of time, you’ve no doubt come across candidates who interview really well. They say all the right things. They come across as terrific team players who can work well on their own. They’re happy to pitch in and do tasks and projects that aren’t quite in their job description. They enjoy having lunch with colleagues but aren’t into gossip and drama.

And then you hire them and, well, they’re not quite who they made themselves out to be.

There’s a way to interview that helps you get a much better understanding of what a candidate is really like and how the candidate truly will interact/fit in with your team. It entails using your emotional intelligence (EI) when interviewing.

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Take a look below for tips and strategies on how to use your EI for best results when interviewing candidates.

  • Don’t move into the question/answer type of interview until you’ve done a bit of small talk. More than you might think necessary.

Many interviewers jump right into skills and “how would you do” type questions much too quickly. Instead, take your time to ask the candidate a bit about himself. Then segue into topics such as why he decided to apply for the position, what does he know about your organization, what are some of his career goals, even where he is now in his job-search.

Doing so helps you build trust and respect with the candidate. He sees that you’re interested in him beyond his job skills and these more personal interest types of questions can help him feel more at ease with you, allowing him to share more of his real reasons for applying, his future goals and aspirations and even some things he may not normally reveal in an interview (such as how he thinks his former boss was a piece of work).

  • Pay attention to a candidate’s body language.

Watch how the candidate reacts to your questions and his body language as he answers them. For example, if you asked a candidate how he dealt with a difficult boss and he says the two of them were able to work out their differences, does his body language indicate he still harbors negative feelings toward his boss; does he still seem unhappy with the individual?

  • Watch out for short answers that “sound” good.

“I am calm under pressure.” “I work well with everyone.” These are too vague and could be canned and/or rehearsed. Watch body language (as mentioned above) as you dig deeper. Ask for specific instances of when the candidate was calm in a pressure cooker and ask specifically what he means by “everyone.”

  • A big red flag is when a candidate criticizes co-workers and/or supervisors.

It’s especially troublesome if the candidate says the colleague/boss was a witch or know-it-all (and even more troubling if he uses much stronger language to describe the person).  A negative experience with a boss/colleague isn’t inherently a bad thing, but watch for how the candidate describes the individual, if he takes responsibility for his part in the negative experience and if he mentions what he’s learned as a result of the experience.

Do you have too many openings to fill and not enough time to interview or screen candidates? Helpmates can help! We can perform screening interviews for you following the criteria you set and then send the top candidates on to you for final interviews. We can also help you design EI questions that will help interviewers ascertain whether a candidate is a good fit for your organization.

Contact the Helpmates branch location nearest you to learn more.

Why EVERY Employee Needs Recognition

Do your employees feel recognized? As in seen by you? Thanked for their work on your behalf? Praised every now and then when warranted?

Probably not: a recent survey found that 74 percent of workers in North America plan to switch jobs this yearOrange County recruiters and 44 percent of them said their desire to leave was because of a lack of recognition and engagement at their current employer (that would be you).

So unless you want a good portion of your employees to leave for your competitors, here are three reasons why EVERY employee needs recognition.

  1. Humans need appreciation.

Notice we didn’t say “crave” or “like” or “want.” Nope. People need to be recognized for their good work because it confirms that our work – which in a way is our very being – is valued by others. Appreciating me means you value me and I absolutely need to feel valued.

If your employees feel you value their work, it benefits you: their productivity as well as satisfaction rises. This also leads them to want to maintain as well as improve on their good work. It’s a positive feedback loop that benefits everyone.

  1. If you’ve ever worked in a place that criticizes mostly and rarely praises, you know what crappy it was to toil.

Chances are all of us have worked for employers or supervisors at least once in our work lives that failed to praise and recognize. How did that make your feel? We bet you did only that which needed to be done, and the bare minimum of that, to boot. (You also probably kept your eye on the job boards regularly.)

Praising/recognizing your workers is essential when it comes to creating an exceptional workplace. Your employees want to be valued for their contributions and if they are not, morale sinks. And faster than you may think.

  1. Praise your team as a whole, of course, but don’t forget to praise workers individually.

It’s important to praise your team for work well done, as a team. But even if you know for a fact that some people worked and accomplished more than others, it’s still important to praise everyone individually for the good work.

Find something, no matter how small, to praise a worker for. You don’t need to do so publically. A handwritten thank you note mentioning the instance you noticed the worker do something special should be enough.

Noticing people individually shows you see them. Humans are social creatures and we all like to be part of an appreciated group, but it’s important for our individual psyches that others notice us. As in notice me. Just me.

Ignore individual employees and they could become disillusioned and may end up fueling a negative work environment, one that contributes to low morale, lower productivity and high turnover.

Turnover and attrition occurs even in the best companies. If you need great people for direct-hire, temporary and temp-to-hire opportunities at your LA- or Orange County-area business, contact us here at Helpmates. Contact our location nearest you.

Be a More “Visible” Recruiter, Attract More Candidates

Many job seekers don’t know how to find – let alone contact – recruiters, especially if they’re interested in looking for a new position while still working for their current employer. (Hello, lovely passive candidate!).

In today’s hard-to-find-great-candidates environment, it’s far, far, FAR better to be visible. Easy to find and talk to. And this goes for online as well as in real life.

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Let’s discuss how recruiters and human resources pros can make themselves more visible to potential candidates and reap the ensuing rewards.

  • If you recruit locally, get out of the office!

What are you doing sitting at your desk!? Yes, we know you have many requisitions coming in, but if you’re going to get them out, get out! Go to chamber events. Talk at college campuses. Join your PTA. Join United Way and volunteer. Sure, we know you probably belong to SHRM, but how often do HR pros send you great candidates?

Instead, get out of the office and talk up what you do. Mention some current openings. Ask any and all people you meet if they might know of someone for a position.

  • Put your contact info on job postings.

That’s right: your name, email and phone number. Expect emails and phone numbers – and resumes. Welcome emails and phone calls. Answer the phone when it rings; reply to email questions from potential candidates.

  • Publish a post on a topic of interest to your target candidates and publish it on LinkedIn Pulse.

Pulse posts can be a great way to showcase you expertise as a recruiter to potential candidates. Once it’s published to your profile, share it. Join relevant LinkedIn groups and share a link there. If someone comments on it, make sure to reply. Place a link to it on your personal Twitter and Facebook channels.

End the post with a specific call to action (known as a CTA to marketers). If you’ve written a post that discusses how to find a job in your industry, consider saying something like “To learn more about opportunities in this field, email me at….” And so on.

If you’re a hiring manager or recruiter at an Orange County or Los Angeles-area business and need help finding great talent, contact the recruiters at Helpmates. We specialize in finding workers for temporary, temp-to-hire and direct-hire opportunities in administrative work, healthcare, financial services, warehouse/distribution, and – yes! – human resources! Contact the office nearest you and craft a recruiting strategy to help you.

Growing Young Talent into Great Leaders

You spent a lot of effort and funds to hire your younger team members, some of whom are actually phenomenal people and terrific at what they do for your company.

And, yet….you lose them. Forty-two percent of young people (who are mostly millennials today, but Generation Z is coming!) tend to stay at a job just one to three years.

It cost you several thousand dollars to hire the person and, because the worker left, you’ll now have to incur those costs again. But what if you could keep those young, talented people on your payroll? The benefits would be substantial:

  • You wouldn’t have the cost of replacing them.
  • You wouldn’t need to train their replacements.
  • You’d have the benefit of the knowledge they’ve accumulated in their time with you (compared to new hires, who wouldn’t have that accumulated knowledge).
  • And so on.

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What do young people want? What could entice them to say with you for more than three years? Raises and the chance for advancement!

It’s a no-brainer really: take your best young talent and groom them to become your company’s future leaders. Home grown CEOs, if you will.

But how do you actually do this? Read below.

Offer special training opportunities.

In fact, it may be a good idea to provide leadership/management training courses/webinars/seminars/programs for those employees who show potential (and interest). After all, what 27-year-old knows how to exude an aura of “I’m in charge” with the proper tone to address subordinates (who may be older than he/she), showcase appropriate body language and know the right way to react/punish when a team member exhibits unacceptable behavior?

Offer the chance to role play.

Make sure you your leaders-in-training have a chance to try out these new behaviors in a critical, but supportive, arena (as in critiques, not criticism).

Understand that many young people have a lot of self-confidence, but it’s the type that hasn’t been “tried by fire.” That is, your top young employees may have a strong can-do attitude, but the fact remains that they don’t have the skills needed to manage or lead.

Start providing increased responsibilities.

Allow your budding leaders the chance to exercise their new management skills in real life. Do so gradually and make sure they have someone in management (a mentor) to whom they report. Watch how they handle their additional responsibilities. Provide them greater obligations as they show the ability to handle them.

Depending on the new challenge, don’t shirk giving the person a promotion and/or an increase in salary.

Give feedback, and not just from other managers.

The trainee’s mentor/manager should review and give the person feedback, but so should others, particularly those who also have worked with you for about the same amount of time but who weren’t chosen for leadership training.  Encourage open and truthful feedback without fear of reprisal.

Looking for more great talent for your Orange County or Los Angeles-area company? Then contact Helpmates! We can help you find new grads, middle-managers and members of the C-suite for temporary, temp-to-hire and direct-hire opportunities. Contact the Helpmates branch nearest you.

Does One Word Lead to True Employee Engagement?

How many of your employees like working for you? Probably not as many as you may think, and definitely far fewer than you would want: Gallup reports that worldwide, a full 67 percent of workers are “not engaged,” with 18 percent actually “are actively disengaged.”

And these numbers are nothing new; employees have Not. Liked. Working. At. Their. Employer. For. Years!

And we don’t have to spell out why this is a bad thing for your company’s bottom line: you already know so.

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Many reasons exist for this disengagement. Your employees may feel:

  • Their boss is mean.
  • The workplace is hostile/threatening.
  • They toil in hazardous or unpleasant conditions.

In addition, they may feel all of these things and also feel too afraid to speak up.

And what do all of the above have in common? What is the one missing thing that ties them all together?

Kindness.

Think about it: when it comes to engaging employees aren’t we really talking about respect, motivation, workplace relationships, teamwork, shared goals, genuine connections?

And how does one create these connections, motivate others, build strong relationships, share goals? By being nice. Follow the golden rule and treat others as you would want to be treated.

Yes, you can cajole, force, make employees do that which needs to be done. But you can also help them eagerly perform their jobs well by making it an absolute top-down, company-wide culture of respect, kindness and support of employees.

Understand, also, that this won’t be easy. Being understanding and compassionate when others around you are disagreeable or even mean (and there will be at least one instance each day when someone at your company will be mean or at least “not nice” to a colleague or subordinate in some way), is difficult. No workplace is perfect, just as no human within it is perfect.

But because a workplace is the sum of its parts, with its employees being the greatest “part’ of its whole, a simple, concerted effort by everyone to respect, build trust and show care for one another will go a long way to creating a workplace in which employees:

  • Feel appreciated.
  • Trust management.
  • Get excited about company goals and mission.
  • Enjoy coming to work/absenteeism declines.
  • Take responsibility for their failures and accomplishments.
  • Work efficiently, meeting deadlines.

Don’t believe us? It’s true: kindness in the workplace works!

When looking for terrific – and kind – individuals for your Orange County company’s temporary, temp-to-hire and direct-hire opportunities, look to Helpmates  to help you find them.  Contact the Helpmates branch nearest you today.

Is THIS Why the Candidate Said No to Your Job Offer?

Yours is a nice company filled with nice people who work hard and aim to do their best in their jobs. Your receptionists are pleasant. Your HR department is filled with people-persons. You feel your managers are professional and have great communication skills.

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Then why do so many job candidates feel they’ve been treated so shoddily?

Yes, that’s right: too many companies make the application, interviewing and job offer process tough for applicants:

  • They don’t let rejected candidates know they didn’t get the job.
  • They make candidates jump through hoops to even apply. (WHY – in this age of identity theft – are employers still insisting on online applications that applicants provide social security numbers!?)
  • They call applicants at their current job insisting on having a phone interview right then.
  • They won’t accommodate candidates who can only interview in person after hours.
  • They put them through impersonal preliminary interviews.
  • They insist on tough panel interviews.
  • An experienced candidate contacts a hiring manager directly but the manager insists the candidate contact HR first
  • Candidates with several years of experience must still take basic-level skills testing.
  • And so on.

It’s tough to find great people. But too many companies still treat candidates as if it were 2008, the peak of the Great Recession, when great people were plentiful and businesses could pick and choose among the best job candidates.

Instead, it’s 2018 and the tables have turned: candidates get to choose among the best job opportunities!

This is important when it comes to hiring top talent because 79 percent of those surveyed said they would be “unlikely” to accept a job offer if they felt they were treated poorly during the recruiting process.

And it gets worse: 27 percent of respondents said they might talk about their poor experience on their social media channels!

What’s the right way to treat candidates?  With considerable courtesy and attention. Look at it this way: it’s something of a courtship today between employers and candidates, with companies doing the wooing and candidates saying yes or no to making a commitment.

So court your candidates! How do you do so?

  • Be accommodating to their schedules: interview them after hours, if necessary.
  • Make it easy for them to apply. Allow them, for example, to simply send a resume and cover letter as application. Ask for references only once you’re thinking of hiring and individual. Leave the nitty-gritty paperwork (and asking for their SSN) when they start the job, not before.
  • Send emails – or even videos — about the company culture, dress code, directions, etc. to those people you invite for an interview. This helps them get to know you before meeting and helps them know how to dress, where to park, etc.
  • Hiring managers: welcome phone calls from candidates who have the chutzpah to pick up the phone. Most applicants won’t; doing so shows assertiveness, courage and not a small amount of self-confidence, all terrific traits to have in employees.
  • Make a decision quickly and let interviewees know when you expect to make it. In fact, explain your next steps in the recruiting process clearly. If there’s a delay, let all interviewees know of it.
  • If you interview a candidate but decide not to hire her, she deserves the courtesy of a phone call from the hiring manager letting her know so. After all, she took several hours out of one of more of her days to visit your offices. It’s simple common courtesy.
  • Let all non-interview applicants know when the job is filled. An e-mail message or snail-mailed letter is sufficient.

When you need help attracting, interviewing and, yes, even courting top candidates in Southern California, let Helpmates help you source, interview, vet, and place them. Contact the office nearest you to learn how we can help you make job candidates feel like the VIPs they are in today’s tough talent-search market.

Is This Why No One’s Sharing Your Job Postings on Social Media?

Your company has what you believe is a pretty nifty job-referral program for employees: if they refer someone who ends up working for you for at least six months, the referring worker gets a few hundred dollars.

So you ask your employees to let their friends and friends of friends know about career/job opportunities with you. You also ask that employees share your job postings on their personal social media channels.

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You sit back and wait for the referrals to rush on in. But what do you hear? The sound of nada (if nada made a sound).

What gives? You ask employees to share your job openings, you reward them handsomely if a referral works out, they can easily hit “share” on a job posting, but candidates don’t respond?

Why?

It could well be because the employees who refer great people are really, really picky regarding who they will refer to your (and their) company: they only make a referral if they truly feel it’s a good match for both the company and the potential employee.

And so that downsizes their pool of referable friends/acquaintances considerably!

And regarding why those jobs that are shared don’t get a response? Indeed.com’s study of 10,000 job seekers, Privacy of Job Search, found that 24 percent of those looking for work are the least likely to share this fact online. What’s more, 50 percent of job seekers wouldn’t even tell a partner that they’ve applied for a new position. In fact, two-thirds of job hunters said they were concerned (very to somewhat) about their job search going public.

So when it comes to jobs that do get shared via social media? No one may apply because they are worried about being found out: if they express interest to a friend on social media for more information? Ooops! There goes their cover!

After all, according to the Indeed.com study, 52 percent of respondents reported that their biggest fear was having colleagues find out that they’re on the job hunt. This fear was far greater than the risk of not getting a new job (29 percent).

It’s a bit ironic: we tend to post great photos of our families, our activities and so on to all and sundry on social media. But when it comes to our search for work, mum’s the word.

If your Irvine-area company isn’t finding the right people for your openings via employee referrals, consider partnering with Helpmates: we’ve been helping companies in Southern California find great people for their temporary, temp-to-hire and direct-hire opportunities for more than 40 years and we’d love to help your company. Contact the Helpmates branch office nearest you.

 

Ideas for Revamping Your Employee Rewards Program

As the new year begins and new starts….start, it may be a good time to take a look at your current employee rewards program to make sure it’s one that helps your employees feel valued and engaged.

Take a look below for five ideas you may want to consider for revamping your rewards program.

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  1. How often do you reward employees?

If you reward hard work just once a year with bonuses, naming an employee of the year, prizes, etc., why not up the number of times you acknowledge a job well done? In fact, why not reward employees in some small way every time they go above and beyond or otherwise provide exceptional work and/or results.

  1. Give employees what they want, not what you think they want.

Take a survey: do your workers really enjoy the monthly Employee of the Month award? The Employee of the Year? Do they enjoy a Starbucks gift card when they hit a previously agreed-upon target?

Ask them and you may be surprised: perhaps more time off is a better prize than a plaque in the lobby. Points on their favorite airline also could be a winner. Even just a simple hand-written thank you note from the company’s president can be huge when an employee does something “small” but nevertheless outstanding while on the job.

  1. Are the rules for rewards programs/incentives fair?

Every employee in all departments in all locations should be eligible for your rewards program. If your workers start to believe that some positions or departments have an easier time of it in earning rewards they may become less engaged – even cynical – with your company’s plans, ethos and goals.

  1. Announce attaboys and -girls on social media.

And not just internal social media: praise and recognize employees on your public social channels. If the acknowledged worker is on a certain channel, make sure to tag the employee properly so that his or her social friends/followers will see the accolades.

  1. Managers need recognition, too.

Yes, your line supervisors are making sure to reward and acknowledge their subordinates, but are managers’ supervisors keeping an eye on their direct downline, making sure they are rewarded and acknowledged when they – or their department – do exceptional work?

Employee engagement and satisfaction is critical to your company’s ability to retain and attract top talent. Beefing up and/or tweaking your employee rewards program can be a “quick win” in your ongoing work to keep employees satisfied.

If your Irvine company needs top talent for your temporary, temp-to-hire and direct-hire career opportunities, contact the Helpmates office nearest you. We look forward to helping your company find and hire the best!

3 Things Your Staffing Firm Can’t Control

As much as your staffing firm works – and works exceptionally hard – to ensure that its temporary associates show up on time to your assignments and provide exceptional value for you while they perform the tasks and complete the projects you need done (placing many strong management/HR policies and screening processes/tests and procedures to do just that) there are three things your staffing partner simply can’t control:

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  1. Ensuring that a temporary associate absolutely shows up for an assignment.
  2. An associate’s personal life/financial situation and how it may affect his/her ability to put in a good day’s work.
  3. Emergencies in associates’ lives.

Before we discuss why a staffing firm ultimately can’t control these three things, here’s a bit of background about how Helpmates Staffing works a) to bring you the best candidates possible and b) makes certain as much as possible that they show up and perform well.

  • One hour before an associate is scheduled to arrive at your company on his or her first day, we call the associate to make sure he or she is able to get to work. We also contact our associates the Friday before a Monday start to let them know we’re excited for them and know they will do a great job on their assignment. We also often touch base with a light industrial or clerical specialist before the assignment’s second day.
  • We know that some temporaries interview well but then perform poorly. That’s why we offer our 100 Percent Unconditional Guarantee: if our associate doesn’t meet your standards, you pay us nothing. If you participate in our Employee Quality Assurance Program, you pay only for the portion of our specialist’s work with which you’re satisfied.
  • Our screening process is tough. We interview in-depth and in-person. We offer felony and misdemeanor background checks and drug screenings (based on your request and/or requirements), as well as reference checks (always). We also take an extra step and check each employee at the Department of Homeland Security’s E-Verify system. We also offer Integrity Testing, which evaluates applicants objectively on their attitudes regarding alcohol and drug use, employee theft and violence in the workplace.

Bottom line? All three things your staffing firm can’t control boil down to this: temporary workers are human and humans make mistakes. Humans also – thankfully! – have free will and if they decide not to show up on a morning after accepting an assignment, little short lassoing them and then dragging them work, there’s no way to absolutely guarantee if temporary workers will show up if they really don’t want to.

As soon as we know that a temporary associate hasn’t shown up, we will start working to find a replacement ASAP. We almost always find a replacement within a few hours or – at the very latest – for the next day.

If you’d like more information on our policies and procedures that help us find and place the best candidates for your temporary opportunities, contact the Helpmates office nearest you.

Hiring Managers’ New Year’s Resolutions

The Big Day is behind us. Now on to the next chapter: New Year’s.

Most of us probably have some personal and career-oriented New Year’s Resolutions we’re considering: get fit, take a class/get some technical certification, eat better, go to more networking events.

If you’re a manager, chances also are great that you may see yourself hiring one or more people next year. That being the case, we offer you some New Year’s Resolutions pertaining to hiring. Take a look below.

2018 hiring resolutions

  1. Resolve to make a hiring decision quickly.

This year was a candidate’s market and 2018 is shaping up to be the same, at least in the near term. Dawdle on a hiring decision and don’t be surprised if you lose out on a great candidate.

  1. Promise to consider the “imperfect” candidate.

Face it: in todays’ war-for-talent climate, finding someone who matches everything your job description says she should and then hiring her at the price you can afford is going to at least somewhat difficult (and that’s an understatement).

So look beyond the perfect and consider other “perfectly good” attributes:

  • Cultural fit
  • Personality
  • Trainability (hire for personality and train for skills)n i
  • Work ethic

Many wonderful job candidates are out there if you only you would look at their “flaws” for the hidden potential within them.

  1. Pledge to embrace the reference check.

Too many people interview well and/or look great on paper. If you’ve never hired someone who appeared to be more-than-good-enough only find them a disaster once onboard, you’ve no doubt seen a supervisor or manager in your past do so. Many hiring mismatches could be solved by performing a thorough background check.

In fact, rather than look at the reference check as a formality, don’t even think of hinting at an offer of employment until you’ve spoken to several professional colleagues in the candidate’s past.

As you speak to references, ascertain if the candidate is as team-oriented as she says she is, truly can get along with anyone and can deal with an angry customer on the phone with grace and aplomb no matter how tired she is.

The main things to look for are to see how well the new hire will fit in with your current team.  Most people don’t turn into a “bad hire” because they don’t have the skills but because they just don’t fit in with your corporate culture.

  1. Vow to ask for help.

As a manager in a department or supervisor of a few people, you’ve a lot on your plate. Hiring someone to fill a departure or new personnel need can take up a lot of your time, time you’re not spending on the tasks for which you were hired.

That’s why working with Helpmates can be a smart move as you gear up for hiring in 2018: we can source, vet and even place terrific people in your temporary, temp-to-hire and direct-hire openings.

Resolve to help make 2018 the year hiring employees isn’t overwhelming and contact the Helpmates office nearest you.

Happy New Year!

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