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!

Face It: Your Employees Have a Side Hustle. Support Them in It

With 44 million Americans working a side hustle in addition to their regular, full-time job, we feel it’s time that employers embraced that fact and supported their employees in their entrepreneurial endeavors.

Many of us can’t make ends meet on our main job: half of all U.S. workers make less than $15 an hour and even if two people making minimum wage on full-time jobs (the federal minimum wage is $7.25, although several states pay more) pool their resources, that’s just $30,160 a year, making it tough for the couple to make ends meet, let alone raise a family.

So these side gigs help a family with finances: the CNN Money story linked to above said 36 percent of those with a side hustle make $500 a month or more.

Many workers report taking on a part-time job with another employer, but many others hustle as Uber or Lyft drivers, sell items on eBay or Amazon, design websites for businesses, and so on.

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Unsurprisingly, a PWC survey this year found that 53 percent of all employees were stressed about their finances and that stress actually causes the workers to spend three or more hours each week thinking about their sad state of affairs, which lowers their productivity.

In addition, what would happen to these employees if a spouse were laid off, a child or parent became sick, or the employee herself was injured and therefore unable to work?

But what if employers helped their workers be prepared for financial tough times? What if they encouraged their entrepreneurial bent?

After all, if finances are such a huge stress on employees – and that stress is lowering their productivity – why not support their spare-time, off-the-clock efforts?

Businesses, of course, would need to come up with guidelines regarding the side gig (not working on the enterprise while at work, no starting a business in direct competition with the employer, no using the employers’ equipment in the side hustle, etc.).

But instead of saying “no” most often, why shouldn’t businesses provide resources for their workers to learn how to launch a business, invest wisely and so on? Businesses also could provide classes or seminars on how to create a budget, how to put money aside for emergencies and for retirement, and so on.

Doing so could help lower workers’ stress and therefore help them be more productive, a big benefit to the employer. In addition, who knows? A worker who embraces and learns about entrepreneurship for his own enterprise may come up with some fresh ideas for his employers’ business!

Want to find some hustling workers for your Los Angeles or Orange County business? Let Helpmates find them for you! Contact the office nearest you today.

If These Folks Changed Careers Mid-Stream, You Can, Too

Let’s say you’re over 30. Or 40. Even 50 or 60. And you’ve come to the realization that the career you’ve chosen isn’t the right career for you. Or you’ve decided “I only live once, and it’s time to follow my dream.”

But you feel old. You’ve been in this career for 10 or more years – perhaps even three decades – and you fear it’s too late, that the proverbial ship has sailed.

Or you may be very successful in your current career and you Just. Don’t. Want. To. Start. At. The. Bottom.

All are legitimate concerns: it won’t be easy to change careers. If older than 45 (or even – gulp! — 35), people probably will look at you as “too old.” If switching to a career that’s completely different from your current one, you more than likely will have to start at a level – and salary – below what you’re working at now.

But don’t let that stop you: at least explore the idea of a career change. After all, if the people showcased below can change careers mid-stream, you can, too.

From Senior HR Professional to Professor – in His 50s

Phillipe Gaud worked in HR for 25 years, eventually reaching senior level roles in “high profile companies.” He left that career, he says, even though there was no “real reason to abandon a career that was developing very well. No real reason, that its, except one, crucial one: I wanted something different.”

Orange County careers

He realized at the time that he could be making a huge mistake, but he now works as an affiliate professor at HEC Paris. It appears he took a huge risk, turning his first career’s knowledge into a teaching career. Doing so – making a career out of teaching all of your accumulated expertise – can make the career change easier.

Left a $500K Salary to Follow a Passion

That’s right: Susie Moore left a very lucrative position to become a life coach. She didn’t do it cold turkey, however: she started feeling restless as she approached 30 and so went for training as a life coach and started her coaching enterprise as a side hustle. Now that she’s coaching full time, she also helps other people start side hustles, even if they never want to transition the 2nd income stream into a full-time one.

Moore mentions she has helped an accountant build a side business as a Christian life coach and someone else who works as a social media director start a matchmaking service.

Starting a side business or even working part-time in your chosen next career is a wise move: you won’t have to worry about finances as you build the business and/or you lessen the risk of moving to the second career and then finding you don’t enjoy it!

Fulfilling the dream of Fighting Fires, at Age 56!

Firefighters tend to be in the 20s and 30s: after all, it takes a lot of physical strength and stamina to work a fire line. Firefighters still in the game in their 40s and 50s tend to become  captains and, well, they lead those who fight fires; they may not actively battle them as much as they used to.

Plus, if you’re a woman, it’s all that harder to become a firefighter, even when young!

But Robin Nesdale went through the grueling training to become a volunteer firefighter at age 56.

Now you may be thinking, “Well, that’s not a really a career change. After all, she works as a volunteer; she doesn’t get paid.”

So while it may not be a true career change, take note: if you can’t make your dream into a career, it’s never too late to turn it into a great hobby. Dreams don’t need paychecks attached in order to be fulfilling

If you’re thinking it’s time for a change in jobs or careers, Helpmates can help! Take a look at some of our current openings and contact us if one or more appeals to you.

 

How to Become the BMOC in Candidates’ Eyes

Remember the Big Man on Campus (BMOC), the guy every girl wanted to date and every guy wanted to be? He was cool. Calm. Collected. (He often was the football team’s quarterback.) He was hot. Happening. Hip.

Girls would apologize to him if he stood them up on a date accepting whatever he gave as an excuse, saying it was wrong of them to be upset.

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Boys would secretly thrill if he gave them even a throw away compliment on their athletic prowess, “Hey, good job, you caught it!”

Everyone just wanted to experience the grace of being noticed by him, even if it was only for a moment. Everyone wanted to be in his orbit as if somehow they could gather up whatever crumbs of awesomeness would fall from him if they were just nearby.

When it Comes to Keeping Candidates’ Interest, You Want to be the BMOC, Too

You want job prospects to feel their lives will be so much BETTER if they become your employee. You want them to become giddy with excitement if you just look in their direction (“We’d like to hold a preliminary phone interview with you”).

You want them to wait patiently for you as you make a hiring decision: they won’t go anywhere and will wait for your text or email (today’s equivalent of “waiting by phone”) before they a) consider someone else’s offer and/or b) start looking for another opportunity.

So how do you become this type of company, one where everyone wants to work and will wait patiently for whatever hiring decision you give them, will even renege on another offer already accepted because you finally got around to saying yes?

Read below.

  1. You may be a BMOC, but you never ACT like a BMOC.

Big Men on Campus traditionally are arrogant. When they finally do get a comeuppance (and they always eventually do), not a few people are glad. Schadenfreude is rampant when the BMOC goes down!

Your company, however, is not arrogant. It doesn’t treat job prospects poorly and instead makes candidates feel important, respected and wanted.

  1. Your company is growing/expanding and you provide highly competitive wages/salaries, benefits and perks.

The BMOC often is a handsome physical specimen. Glowing with good health and vitality. The equivalent for you is a healthy bottom line. You’re growing, or at least keeping ahead of the pack when it comes to technology and your facilities’ physical condition.

You also offer great wages (higher than competitors’), fantastic benefits (a good amount of PTO, you match employees’ retirement account deposits, education stipends/repayments, etc.), and perks such as free lunches on Fridays, bring-your-dog-to-work policies, pick-up/drop-off car maintenance services, and so on.

  1. You keep all commitments and exceed candidates’ expectations during the hiring process.

The sincere and caring BMOC does what he says when he says he will. He wants to make sure his date is having a great time and thinks of her needs before his. That’s you.

You reply to all applicants within 24 or 48 hours and you graciously thank them for applying. Once you interview candidates, you call or e-mail them regularly to let them know where you are in the hiring process. If a decision is delayed, you let candidates know as soon as possible.

Choose one candidate over the others and you let those not chosen know of your decision immediately. With a phone call.

  1. Keep showing them “you’re the one.”

The true BMOC isn’t afraid to talk about his accomplishments. He doesn’t brag; he just states the facts, as warranted: “I got the football scholarship again, but I wouldn’t have done it without the help of my teammates!”) So as you’re making your way through the hiring process, let your top choices know why you’re truly awesome.

Share your company’s blogs, news stories, etc. with your candidates. Send a short post on how one employee was finally able to get her bachelor’s degree through your educational reimbursement program. Mention how one-quarter of your employees volunteered with Habitat for Humanity over the weekend. No need to brag, simply show candidates the true good work you do.

The way to becoming seen as the place to work is by a) being awesome but also b) creating a sincere relationship with your candidates around shared values. Doing so will have them be eager to work for you and willing to wait it out if the hiring process takes longer than either of you would like.

You’re extremely busy. Your hiring managers are extremely busy. Let Helpmates help you keep your hiring process moving along quickly. Contact the branch nearest your company today.

If You Want a Raise, Be Prepared

So you’ve been working hard, really hard at your job. People have noticed and commented. Your boss has noticed and commented positively.

Then performance reviews roll around. Your boss speaks highly of your work and gives you a very positive review. And you wait, expectantly: you know that mention of a raise, perhaps even a promotion is coming. Sure as know that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, a raise is coming. You. Just. Know. It.

And then? Bupkis. The boss never mentions a raise. The word promotion never leaves her lips.

You, naturally, are stumped. What happened?

You didn’t ASK for a raise is what happened!

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Of course, some bosses automatically reward hard work with raises, but not always. Your boss has many other things on her mind: she needs to make sure the big project gets done on time. She needs to keep her own boss happy. She has plenty of fires to put out, people to manage and worries of which you have no idea. There’s a lot your boss needs to manage and know.

But one thing she doesn’t know is that you want a raise and she doesn’t know it because you haven’t told her!

Asking for a raise is the first step to getting one. The most important step. But it’s not the only step: you need to prove to your boss that you deserve one!

Before the Ask, the Preparation

You can’t simply approach your boss and say “Boss, I’ve been working hard; I’d like a raise.” If you want a raise, you do need to work hard, but then you need to show how that hard work has benefited your boss, your department and/or company in some tangible way.

And that is where the preparation comes in. Follow these four steps as you prepare.

  1. The process starts weeks and months before you ask.

As you perform your job, send your boss quarterly, monthly or even weekly updates. Tell her what you’ve accomplished in measurable terms (you brought in $X in new sales, you posted X blog posts, you handled X number of customer complaints, you’re halfway through a project and are two weeks ahead, etc.)

If you do something extraordinary (landed an account three times your usual size, for example), include that, as well.

Sending these reports does two things: it keeps your supervisor apprised of your accomplishments and it acts as a way for you to remember your accomplishments months later. After all, it’s easy to forget you completed a project three weeks ahead of schedule six months later.

  1. Don’t feel you can ask for a raise only at your annual performance review.

If you believe you’ve truly gone far above what’s required of you and if you know – and can show – how that work as helped your boss, department or company accomplish its own goals, there’s no need to wait to ask for a raise. When extraordinary work has been accomplished, it’s appropriate to ask for a reward soon after.

  1. Think about how your boss likes to be approached about important things and act accordingly.

Does your boss prefer directness? If so, you may want to set an appointment and let her know upfront you want to discuss a raise. If your manager prefers a more subtle approach to important topics, bring the raise up in a weekly or monthly check-in meeting. In other words, study when your supervisor is most amenable to considering requests and approach her in the way that has the best chance of success for her.

At the least, if you feel she’s troubled, in a bad mood, stressed, etc. at the time of your meeting, see if you can reschedule.

  1. Prepare your case.

Before meeting with your manager, look through your updates and collect proper “evidence.” Show the facts: that you brought in the big client, finished the project early, saved the company money in some way, received an “atta boy” letter from the CEO for your great work, and so on.

Then, do your homework: do some research to find out what raise percentages usually are given out at your company, in your region, in your industry. You want to ask for a reasonable raise, but as mentioned below, if you accomplished the extraordinary, feel free to ask for a larger-than-normal raise. Just be doubly prepared to give solid reasons why your accomplishment warrants it.

You’ll probably be nervous asking for more money, and that’s OK. Just don’t let fear hold you back from asking for a raise when it’s deserved.

Not all raises take place with your current employer: switch to a new employer and you typically receive a 4 percent raise just by leaving one company for another.

If you think it’s time to move on from your Los Angeles or Orange County job, check out Helpmates’ current openings and, if one interests you, apply for it!

Why a Cover Letter MATTERS

Job openings always ask to see a resume and often ask for cover letters, but not always. So as a candidate you may think that a cover letter is an “option,” as in “not required.”

And it may well not be required, but it’s never not an option, not if you want to greatly increase your chances of getting an interview.

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A cover letter can be very powerful. It can help your application stand out in a sea of candidates with about the same skills, background and education requested in the job posting.  It can be “the determining factor” in whether or not you get called in for an interview.

The Many Benefits of a Cover Letter

  1. It helps you stand out.

As mentioned above, when having to choose who to interview among similar candidates, a well-crafted cover letter can end up being your golden ticket to the interview.

  1. It can showcase skills and background that don’t fit in a resume.

You are so much more than the work history on your resume. There are difficult projects you completed that need to be highlighted, challenges overcome in a job not easily delineated in a resume, skills possessed that aren’t required in a job description but which are helpful and should be described, and so on.

  1. You can target a cover letter easily for each position for which you apply.

Every account manager position is different from any other account manager opportunity and while your resume will speak highly of your abilities and accomplishments as an account manager in the past, your cover letter allows you to speak specifically as to how and why those skills will help this employer.

For example, the job posting mentions that the person selected for the account manager position will be expanding into a new product territory. You worked at your last employer for three years, but six months of your tenure there saw you expanding a product line’s sales by 150 percent in a new territory. An accomplishment such as that should be placed near the top of your cover letter to pique a hiring manager’s or recruiter’s interest! (And also mentioned on your resume.)

  1. A cover letter can explain gaps in your employment history.

Few of us have a job history with no breaks. If have a job history hole of more than six months, you can address the reason in the cover letter. This is especially important if the gap in work history is recent.

Examples: “After taking time off to complete my master’s degree in psychology in a year…” “After taking time off to raise my children until they reached elementary school age…” “After taking time off to help care for my father with Alzheimer’s disease…”

Bottom line? Always include a cover letter for each application. Write a different cover letter for each position, highlighting the skills, background and accomplishments relevant to the position that showcase your value to the employer.

We’ve been helping Southern Californians find – and land – great jobs for 45 years, so we know a thing or two about making candidates attractive to employers. If you’re looking for new opportunities, check out our current job postings and then either apply (don’t forget the cover letter!) and/or contact the Helpmates office nearest you. Contact us to learn more about our recruiting services.

Simplifying Your Recruiting Process

In our opinion, good recruiting boils down to two things: great (clear) job descriptions and a strong and large community in which to network.

In other words, when a recruiter understands the needs of a job completely and has a lively network of professional relationships to help her find great-fit candidates, extending an offer should happen quickly.

orange county staffing

Really. It’s not complicated; all of us (recruiters, hiring managers, HR professionals, etc.) have just made it so.

A Simple Recruiting Process

We live in the real world with you and as much as we all would love recruiting to be as easy as described above, we know that’s not possible. Still, just because it’s not possible doesn’t mean it can be made easier, simpler.

Take a look below at what we believe is a roadmap to simplifying your recruitment efforts.

  1. It all starts with the job description.

If the job description is fuzzy, incomplete, etc., your search for a great candidate is already in danger. You can’t find what you need if you’re not clear what that need is.  And “I’ll know it when I see it” is a recipe for convoluted, drawn-out process, possibly resulting in hiring someone who really isn’t a good fit.

Instead, a clear, comprehensive job description helps keep recruiters and hiring managers focused, and when one has clarity and focus, recruiting magic happens!

  1. Help applicants help you: make it easy to apply.

Don’t ask applicants to fill out a long application online (they can fill it out at length if the come in for an interview or after hired). Consider allowing them to simply send you their LinkedIn profile as a sort of preliminary application.

Finally, not every great employee looks great on paper or has access to a computer: don’t force people to apply online. If they prefer to bring their resume and cover letter – or to even fill out a paper application in your office – let them!

  1. Keep that interview process humming!

For the love of everything you find precious, don’t bog down the interview process! In this candidate-driven market, your applicants are busy people (busy interviewing at your competitors)! Require that they go through too many interviews before extending an offer and you’ll lose them. How many interviews is enough? One or two, tops: a preliminary screening chat and the interview with the hiring manager.

  1. Be available and communicate with your candidates.

If they have more questions after the interview, answer the phone and talk to them (or e-mail them a response to their query). Tell them upfront what your hiring timeline is and make every effort to meet your self-imposed decision deadline. (Make your decision no more than a few days after interviewing/checking references.) Let candidates know if you’re not interested in them as soon as you know so. Thank them for interviewing, sincerely wish them well and tell them a little bit as to what they were lacking: “We needed five years’ experience and the person we chose had eight.”

  1. Ask for help.

You hire employees to scale your business and get more done more quickly, so why not scale your recruiting process with the help of staffing professionals? Having a staffing firm do the preliminary leg work (source, vet, first interview, etc.) can save a considerable amount of time, allowing you to concentrate on your own work, spending time interviewing and hiring only after the top candidates have been identified.

Helpmates has been helping Los Angeles and Orange County employers find great talent for 45 years: we know where the good guys are! Contact us to learn more about our recruiting services.

To Fight Unemployment Claims – or Not

As an owner (or HR manager) of a small – or even large – Los Angeles or Orange County business, one of your main focuses probably is on keeping unemployment claims down. After all, you don’t want to have to pay an unemployment claim if it’s fraudulent:

  • The more unemployment claims you pay, the higher your unemployment tax rate. (Your rate depends on how many ex-employees collect unemployment after leaving your company.)
  • However, paying the claim –even if it’s “iffy” — could mean your company steers clear of a discrimination or wrongful discharge lawsuit, therefore saving time and money dealing with the suit. What’s more, paying unemployment also could raise your chances of winning a discrimination/wrongful discharge suit.

Los Angeles employer of record

So it’s a sticky wicket: pay every claim in order in order to possibly avoid a lawsuit but risk the chance you potentially increase your unemployment taxes considerably.

There are some very good reasons not to contest any claim. Here are two:

  • Let someone go – for whatever reason – and he likely is to be very angry. If you fired him, there was a good reason you didn’t want him around anymore. Do you really want to spend time – and lots of money – dealing with him again? Probably not.
  • What’s more, as Talent Management and HR (EREMedia.com) put it recently, “it’s your fault if someone is fired,” because there almost always are indications that a candidate will be trouble. So if you hired the individual anyway, you need to take some responsibility for it.

Does this just stick in your craw? After all, not contesting an unemployment claim when someone was fired for legitimate misconduct!? What planet are we living on!?

And we understand. Truly. Too many people file fraudulent unemployment claims as it is, so to not contest it feels as if we’re condoning such behavior!

When should you contest an unemployment claim?

When you fired an employee for legitimate misconduct and you have solid documentation. After all, no one filing an illegitimate claim is going to admit to doing so. So you need solid proof, which includes documentation and or witnesses (and remember to create the documentation before you fire the employee).

Let us take on the burden of unemployment insurance.

Helpmates can become your workers’ employer of record (EOR), thus becoming your now-employees’ legal employer. We therefore take on all related employer responsibilities, including unemployment insurance claims. We would handle – and pay for – all unemployment insurance claims. In other words, if we feel a claim is fraudulent, we make the decision whether to contest it and reap – for good or bad – all the consequences of the ruling.

For more information on our EOR services, contact the Helpmates office nearest you and ask to speak to the branch manager.

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