5 Outdated Recruiter Habits (and What to Focus on Instead)

December 16th, 2016

The employer/job seeker relationship today is vastly different than 15, 10 or even five years ago. Today’s candidates expect more from employers after they hit “send” on their resumes. Those organizations whose recruiters understand and embrace the new recruiting reality are winning the battles for top talent. Those who are standing by their outdated recruiter habits are struggling. recruiter habits

Are you winning great talent or struggling to find them due to outdated recruiter habits?

It’s time to look honestly at your recruiter habits to determine whether they are helping or hindering your recruiting efforts. Here are five outdated recruiter habits that make the biggest negative impact:

  1. Form, template or mass messages. Today’s job seekers are more savvy and discerning than ever. They want to be “wooed” by employers. At a minimum, they want to be treated like an individual instead of a number. With the number of tools and technologies available to reach candidates quickly and easily, it can be tempting to continue “following a script” in your communications.

    This is one of the fastest ways to burn bridges and turn candidates OFF of your organization.

    It’s fine to start off with a general message you use for a certain role or specialty, but take the time to customize it for specific candidates (just as you expect them to customize their resumes for your job openings!). Review their LinkedIn profiles and look for commonalities or information you can include that shows you are truly sending a one-on-one message. You’ll stand out to candidates for the right reason.

  2. Sticking to an interview script. Ten or twenty years ago, many recruiters and interviewers would print out a sheet of questions and diligently work their way down the list during each interview. Providing a neat and tidy recap of the conversation, it was often the “go to” resource during job interviews.

    Both employers and candidates today are much more savvy than 20 or even 10 years ago. Candidates expect to have conversations instead of rigid interviews – and the strongest candidates are ones who navigate those conversations with ease. Successful employers understand that top talent can address expectations and requirements during an interview without having to fit into a “mold.”

    If you’re still sticking to a script, you’re not only behind the times, you’re potentially hurting your organization. Asking every candidate the same questions almost completely ensures you’re hiring “the same person” for every role. For innovative, growing companies, this mistake could literally kill their businesses.

    Using an interview script also sends a message to candidates that your organization is outdated. Today’s top talent is looking for the cream of the crop among employers. They want employers who are innovative, looking ahead and who are invested in the right technology and tools to help them do their jobs effectively. If your recruiters aren’t using the best tools to do their jobs, why would candidates expect the best tools to do theirs?

  3. Taking their time to make a hiring decision. Strong hiring decisions are critical to the short- and long-term success of your organization. But, if your hiring process takes a long time, requires multiple visits and interviews and generally is, well, bloated, your organization needs to catch up.

    Top talent today is often contacted by recruiters within days of posting their resumes. Many don’t post their resumes at all! Finding and reaching passive candidates is essential to landing top talent for your organization. When talent is already employed and not actively seeking a job, do you really think they are going to welcome a weeks-long hiring process? Or multiple visits and interviews?

    We recently shared tips for speeding up your hiring process. Implement this advice to speed up your hiring process and move past one of the most outdated recruiter habits.

  4. Posting the same generic job descriptions. We’ve been discussing job descriptions here on the Helpmates blog quite a bit lately, and with good reason. Strong job descriptions can help you land better talent that is enthusiastic for your jobs. They can also save you time and money.

    Yet some recruiters are still using the same, generic job descriptions their organization has posted for years. If your organization is often hiring for the same positions, it’s acceptable to post the same description.

    Cutting and pasting a job description from five or two years ago is not acceptable and is one of the most outdated recruiter habits.

    Your organization is constantly changing. Chances are your roles are evolving too. Your job descriptions should be evolving with them. Instead of using your descriptions as a checklist of requirements, use them to inform candidates about the role and your company. Your job descriptions should be selling your company!

    Check out these quick tips for job descriptions that deliver – toss out your old descriptions and start using this critical tool to attract top talent.

  5. Disregarding overqualified candidates. Today’s professionals may have two or even three different careers by the time they hit 40. That’s a lot of skills and experience! But along with those skills and experience can come the stereotype that overqualified candidates are a poor choice.

    What a mistake!

    Candidates whose skills exceed the requirements of the position are often leaders who can help mentor younger employees. They bring enthusiasm and skills that can add dimension and productivity to the role that you never imagined. Although a strong resume can help top talent stand apart, candidates are often much more than you see on paper. Discounting candidates simply because they appear overqualified could mean losing out on significant opportunity for your organization – both immediately and down the road.

Here at Helpmates, our team is at the forefront of the latest recruiting trends, tools and technologies. We’ve built strong relationships with an extensive network of talent across Southern California, and we can find the best talent for your organization and needs. Contact your nearest Helpmates office today to learn more.

How to Rule the Office Holiday Party This Year

December 15th, 2016

It’s that time of year again – holiday party season is upon us. After a long year of hard work, the holiday party offers a great opportunity to unwind and celebrate a year of success with your colleagues.

Our list of do’s and don’ts can help you avoid unnecessary career blunders and even boost your career at this year’s event: holiday party tips

  • Do have fun! Holiday parties are thrown to have a good time and reflect on your hard work over the past year. You absolutely should eat, drink (don’t overdo it!) and have a great time.
  • Do remember that it’s a work event. While you should have a nice time, remember that the holiday party is still a professional, work-sponsored event. Your dress and behavior should be work appropriate, and you should conduct yourself as if your boss is watching your every move (because he/she probably is!).
  • Don’t skip the party. Unless you have another obligation that’s impossible to reschedule, you should at least make an appearance at your work holiday party. Skipping the party could send the wrong message to your boss and imply that you aren’t invested in the company. Stay at least a half hour or so, and be sure to say a few “hellos” to key individuals before you go.
  • Don’t be “all business.” While you should conduct yourself professionally at all times, don’t be that person who sits around talking about your to-do list or work projects at the holiday party! You don’t want to be known as the “Debbie Downer” of your office – remember, you’re there to celebrate!
  • Do think about your career. While you shouldn’t spend your time focusing on business talk, it absolutely makes sense to mingle and introduce yourself to the “major players” in your organization. It’s a great opportunity to begin new relationships or strengthen prior ones. Just keep it to either a short introduction (letting them take the lead and ask questions) or a “how have you been” to people you don’t see very often.
  • Do check the invitation. While some employers invite spouses or significant others, many employees also keep the guest list to employees only. Verifying the situation at your holiday party ahead of time can prevent some awkwardness or hard feelings down the road.
  • Do say ‘thanks.’ Coordinating a holiday party is a lot of work, so be sure to take a moment to thank the person(s) from your team who were responsible for planning and coordinating the event.
  • Don’t be the last one to leave. No one wants to be first (someone ultimately has to be!), but you don’t want to be the last person to leave the work holiday party. Organizers don’t want people lingering when they’re trying to close it down. Aim to leave about 20-30 minutes before the official end time to leave plenty of opportunity to say your goodbyes.

Looking for a new job this holiday season? Helpmates works with top employers across Southern California. Search our available jobs or contact your nearest Helpmates office to learn more.

3 Ways to Reduce Your Recruiting Costs

December 13th, 2016

 As successful, growing businesses, the pressure to reduce costs and maximize profits is very real. While there are certainly many opportunities to reduce costs within an organization, the recruiting function is often one that receives scrutiny from leadership. recruiting costs

Here’s the good news: You can reduce your recruiting costs and still attract top talent!

You don’t have to sacrifice quality to reduce your recruiting costs, but you do have to focus on making the right changes. Here are three steps smart organizations are taking to improve their recruiting efforts and ultimately, to reduce recruiting costs.

  1. Write better job descriptions. Job descriptions that are poorly written, unclear or lack critical details can result in hundreds — if not thousands — of unqualified or inappropriate resumes landing on your desk. Sifting through those resumes can take many hours of manpower, and can result in passing by a potential superstar too quickly.

    Avoid getting bogged down with administrative costs due to poor job descriptions. We previously highlighting some essentials for writing job descriptions that deliver – start with this advice and you’ll be on the right path.

  2. Build a strong referral program. One of the best places to find great talent is by talking to the great talent you already know – your employees! Establishing and promoting a strong employee referral program can significantly reduce the time and cost investment needed to recruit for some key positions.

    Successful referral programs don’t necessarily require massive payouts. Start with a few hundred dollars for new hires after they complete their first 90 days of service. As a bonus, establishing an employee referral program can help you assess your company culture. Consistent, strong referrals are often indicative of a strong culture. Poor referrals (or none at all) can signify the opposite.

  3. Partner with a staffing firm. The quickest and easiest way to immediately reduce your recruiting costs is to partner with a staffing firm. From writing and posting job descriptions to reviewing resumes and conducting interviews, the right recruiting partner can dramatically reduce your recruiting costs.

    In addition to “literal” costs, partnering with a staffing firm frees your staff to focus on more mission-critical tasks. You’re more likely to make better, stronger hires (resulting in higher retention rates), your team is likely to be happier and your hiring process can be significantly decreased, resulting in the attraction and hiring of better candidates.

Helpmates has been partnering with top organizations across Southern California for more than 40 years. We are at the forefront of the recruiting industry and we can help you reduce your recruiting costs while gaining access to an exceptional network of top talent. Contact your nearest Helpmates office to learn more about our staffing solutions and how we can help you reduce recruiting costs.

Are These Momentum Killers Affecting Your Job Search?

December 9th, 2016

You’ve put hours into crafting the perfect resume, and have tailored it to each application and position. Your cover letter shows personality, enthusiasm and helps highlight the key reasons an employer should choose you over the competition. You’ve even aced your job interviews.

Now it’s time to sit back and wait for the offers to roll in, right?job search advice

Not quite.

You could have the perfect resume, the most eloquent cover letter and you could have finished the world’s best job interview, but still end up without a job offer. When you’ve put in the time and effort to build real momentum in your job search, waiting for the phone to ring — and not getting the call — can be frustrating.

But there’s good news – you can prevent a loss of momentum during your job search by avoiding these common four (4) mistakes:

Mistake #1 Following up incessantly. If an employer says you can expect to hear about their decision within seven days and 10 days later your phone (or email) is still silent, it can be frustrating. Your frustration is understandable! But outside of a quick follow up email or voicemail checking in, you should avoid any type of recruiter “pestering” with follow ups.

While many employers hope to have decisions in a timely manner, sometimes every day business (or other matters) simply get in the way. Maybe the right team members were unable to connect and discuss the candidates, maybe an urgent business matter required “all hands on deck” and pulled decision makers away from discussing your position.

Regardless of the “why,” your actions are what matter here. One follow up within a few days of when you were told to expect follow up is acceptable. Anything beyond that (including calls, emails or social media messages) will have a negative effect on your chances (and could eradicate any goodwill or momentum you had going for you after your interview).

Mistake #2 Going on a few interviews, then doing nothing. Without a doubt, you should be proud of a strong job interview. Review what went well, what could have gone better and identify what you can bring to the table for the next interview.

Yes, the next one.

A strong interview isn’t a sign that you should stop your job search efforts. There are many factors that can influence whether or not you land the job. Many of them are out of your control. So while you can and should reflect on successful interviews and interactions with employers, don’t take your foot off the gas pedal! You should spend time each day (or however much time you can) to search for jobs, prepare resumes and continue applying to jobs that are a match for your skills and career goals. (HINT: The Talent Relationship Managers at Helpmates can help you with this part of the process – we’ll search for opportunities that match your skills and goals and will help you prepare for those interviews!).

Mistake #3 Getting a little too presumptuous. Interviews go well. Job offers may be expected. But you should never assume anything. As mentioned previously, there are many factors that can influence whether or not you get the job.

You may have made a strong impression, but a great interview doesn’t guarantee you the job. So while you may be excited about the prospect of joining your new potential employer, now isn’t the time to “act the part.” Acting as if you’ve already got the job can be a major turn off to employers. Talking about the job as if you’ve already landed it on social media is one way to kill your momentum. Adding recruiters or other employees on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter can also be a major turn off (even if you especially hit it off during the interview process, hold off on adding employees on personal social media sites — LinkedIn is okay — until after you’ve been offered and have accepted the position).

Mistake #4 You change your salary expectations. Confidence can help you impress during job interviews and leave a lasting, positive impression. Overconfidence, on the other hand, can immediately land your resume on the “discard” pile.

For some job openings, recruiters choose to interview or follow up with candidates based on a range of criteria. Sometimes that criteria includes salary expectations. In a state of excitement and overconfidence following a strong job interview, it can be tempting to assume you’re at the top of the employer’s list and as a result, should demand a higher salary.

If you’ve already discussed salary expectations (either the employer has stated the possible salary range and you have agreed, or you have shared your own salary expectations), do not accept a job offer under the condition of a salary that falls outside of that range. Not only could this lose you the job, it could tarnish your reputation. After all, the employer has invested a great deal of time into sourcing, vetting and interviewing you, only to be thrown for a loop at the final hour. Be respectful of expectations and what has transpired during the interview process.

If you’re really hoping for a higher salary, start your job off strong, ask questions, set goals for yourself and discuss them with your manager. Then, track your successes and quantify your performance. At your first employee performance review, you’ll be prepared to justify and negotiate a raise.

Avoiding key mistakes is essential to a successful job search. The Helpmates team can help you stay on track and land great jobs that align with your goals. We work with top employers in Los Angeles, Irvine and across Southern California. Search our available jobs or contact your nearest Helpmates office to learn more.

4 Times Employee Engagement Should Be a Focus

November 3rd, 2016

Research from Gallup shows that only 34.1% of employees are engaged. That means that nearly 2/3 of your employees are disengaged (which correlates with research from Jobvite that shows 66% of employees are open to new employment).

In other words, if you’re not focusing your attention on employee engagement, you could soon find your top performers jumping ship. Employee Engagement

But while your organization should consistently demonstrate its commitment to employee engagement through the design and implementation of a strategic plan, there are also certain times where employee engagement should be a focus.

Specifically, your organization should pay particular attention to employee engagement when:

1. Several employees have left in a short span of time. Turnover is inevitable in every business, but when several employees leave in a short span of time, it can subconsciously signal to the rest of your employees that things aren’t well (even if the employees leave for different reasons). Being proactive in these circumstances is critical. Exit interviews for departing employees can help you identify (and change) any employee engagement issues before they result in increased turnover. But more importantly, detailed steps for communication and reinforcement of your company culture should be implemented whenever an employee leaves to help ensure your remaining employees stay on board.

2. You’re expanding your team. There are many different reasons your company could expand its workforce. Perhaps you’re gearing up for seasonal changes. Maybe you’re out of startup mode and into growth mode. Growth is (typically) good news for an organization, but it can also cause unease in your current team. Without clear communication, your employees could guess at (or gossip about) reasons for the addition of new positions and employees. Fear of losing jobs or changing expectations could cause some employees to panic and look elsewhere for new opportunities. Communication here is essential, but in addition to communicating business plans and goals, taking initiative to engage your employees in the process (and make them a part of the process, involving them in new job descriptions, input on candidates, etc) can help them feel secure and engaged with your business in the short- and long-term.

3. You’re going through organizational changes. Acquisitions and mergers require the tying of many loose ends — your employees shouldn’t be one of them. Major organizational changes are, understandably, incredibly stressful for employees. As mentioned previously, ongoing, direct communication is essential in these circumstances. Activities and programs to keep employees engaged and confident in the direction of the company can help support open communication by providing a sense of stability and purpose for your employees, even when the direction of the company is somewhat in flux.

4. Work is slow/stressful. Are you seeing a trend here? Any time there is stress in your office, a focus on employee engagement is essential. Depending on your specific industry, the availability of work can fluctuate from season to season or month to month. Partnering with a staffing firm like Helpmates can help you staff up or down appropriately to handle fluctuations in work. But while your staffing partner can help you whether the workforce challenges associated with industry fluctuations, your HR team should focus on keeping employees engaged and confident in your organization.

While your organization is focusing on employee engagement, your staffing partner is focusing on providing you with new, exceptional talent to help you reach your goals. Here at Helpmates, we have an extensive network of candidates across Southern California who are ready to join your team and make an impact. Contact us today to learn how we can help your organization reach its goals.

Image courteous of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

5 Career Tips to Increase Your Value at Work

October 26th, 2016

Thinking about your career goals for the rest of 2016 and beyond? A helpful perspective to take as you work to impress your employer and climb the corporate ladder is continuously improve and increase your value in the workplace.career tips

Standing out to your boss for the right reasons can put you ahead of the pack when it comes to raises, promotions and recognition. But knowing just how to stand out for those reasons can be a challenge. Here are six career tips to help you increase your value at work and make a positive impact on your career:

1. Ask thoughtful questions. Knowing where your organization would like to improve or how to make your clients or customers happier can help you chart a course for improvement to impress your boss. The best way to get these details is simply by asking! In meetings and one on ones, ask insightful questions of leadership to understand the larger problems facing your organization and challenges or issues facing your customers. This is a great way to demonstrate to leadership that you are invested in the long-term success of your organization >> something many employers consider when granting promotions.

2. Think about how to make things better. Now that you’re armed with critical business information, it’s time to get to work. Take your unique perspective within your current role and use the information you’ve gained to think of ways to either solve the challenges noted above or improve upon things as they currently stand.

3. Avoid complaints (focus on solutions). To build on the second point, building a positive reputation and brainstorming ideas to help your organization are key. But conversely, complaining can help you stand out for the wrong reasons. If you are aware of new challenges or problems within your organization, share them constructively with leadership; however (and this is a big “however”), follow up your observation with a potential solution. At a minimum, share any insight you have into why the issue may be occurring and offer something to help solve the problem. Rather than succumbing to workplace gossip and complaints, you’ll be seen as a problem solver. 

4. Ask for more responsibility. Few things more directly showcase your ambition and increase your value at work than asking for more work! Now, it’s important to note that you’re not necessarily asking for a promotion. Instead, you’re asking for increased responsibility, which will of course demonstrate your ambition and increase your literal value at work. But, it will also help you learn more about your company and can also “test” out new roles with increased responsibility, in essence, testing out possible promotions down the line.

5. Help your coworkers. Be the person who is constantly offering to join committees or help out on a project. You’ll gain valuable experience, but you’ll also demonstrate that you’re a team player and are invested in your organization’s success >> not just your own.

Showing employers how much value you bring can elevate your career, but you have to find the right job before you become invested. The Talent Relationship Specialists here at Helpmates are experts at matching your background and goals with career opportunities at top employers across Southern California. Search our open jobs or contact your nearest Helpmates office to take the first step.

Image courtesy of nenetus at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Creating a Candidate Experience That Gets Results

October 20th, 2016

Research from CareerArc shows that nearly 60% of candidates have had a poor candidate experience, and 72% of them shared that experience online or with someone directly. candidate experience

Whether it’s on Glassdoor, Facebook or another social media site, or in one-on-one  conversations with family, friends and colleagues, talent is talking about your organization and its candidate experience. Do you know what they’re saying?

Attracting top talent starts with candidate experience

It can be difficult to undo the damage of written or spoken criticism from candidates. The best solution here is prevention >> Creating a positive candidate experience can help build a strong reputation for your company and ultimately can help bring exceptional candidates into your talent pipeline.

Follow these seven steps to improve your candidate experience and start getting better results from your recruitment efforts:

1. Create a plan ahead of time. It’s one thing to say you want to improve your candidate experience. It’s another thing entirely to put a plan in action. Schedule a meeting with key personnel within your organization to identify and map out critical steps.

2. Involve your current employees. While you’re creating that plan, don’t be afraid to gather feedback from your current employees or if you’re currently recruiting for a position or positions, ask candidates for their input along the way. This feedback can help you gain important perspective on your process and where it’s missing the boat. Be sure to let employees know their candid feedback here helps everyone – some employees may fear punishment if they deliver constructive or critical feedback on your process.

3. Be specific in your job descriptions. Once you have a process in place that helps you find the best talent while providing a great experience for candidates, it’s time to review your job descriptions. Research from The Talent Board shows that job descriptions are the most important job-related content candidates look for when they are applying. Specifically, they want a clear description of the job duties and responsibilities, plus an overview of the essentials: salary, benefits, company values/culture and any perks (eg. working remotely, flexible schedule, education allowance). Your job descriptions should include all of this information within a quick, easy-to-read package.

4. Communicate throughout the process. In the previously referenced research from CareerArc, 60% of candidates said that better communication throughout and after the applicant process would make the most positive impact on their candidate experience. Yet, 65% say they never or rarely receive notice about their applications. This should be a part of your planning in Step 1, but it’s especially important to follow through. Let candidates know when they can expect to hear from you (even starting with the job description mentioned above). Then, be sure to call or email them at the right stages and times.

5. Consolidate multiple interviews into one visit. Speed of your hiring process can make a major impact on candidate experience. As we mentioned earlier this year in our blog, unnecessary steps can bloat your hiring process and lead to unhappy candidates. This is especially true with multiple interviews. Coming into your office two, three, even four times for interviews can be excessive and cause candidates to become frustrated (consider this: getting dressed up, printing out resume copies and travel time to and from your office can cause major stress). Align your schedules so that all critical personnel are able to meet with candidates on the same day. Your candidates will appreciate the effort and your hiring process will likely move much more quickly.

6. Follow up with EVERY candidate. To build on the point made in Step #4, communication throughout the process is essential >> But, that includes communication with EVERY candidate, not just those who are moving forward in your hiring process. Today’s “wrong fit” could be tomorrow’s super star (or could know him or her). Putting in the extra effort to follow up with every candidate in your pipeline can help ease disappointment at not getting the job and encourage a positive impression of your organization.

Creating a more positive candidate experience takes some time up front, but the results can make a major impact on your business. But before you can impress candidates with a great experience, you need the right candidates in your pipeline. Here at Helpmates, we have an extensive network of top talent across Southern California. Contact your nearest Helpmates office to learn more about how our talent solutions can help your business achieve its goals.

Going the Extra Mile: 5 Things You Can Do at Home to Boost Your Career 

October 14th, 2016

Although we may leave jobs after our shift is over, our ability to boost our careers and get to the next level continues once we get home. Spending your time going the extra mile can help you whether you’re looking to get ahead at your current job or find a new, better career opportunity.stencil-facebook-post

Are you going the extra mile to take your career to the next level? 

It doesn’t take a herculean effort to go the extra mile. Here are five things you can do at home right now to boost your career:

  1. Refresh your resume. You should update your resume at least once or twice a year. Set a reminder in your cell phone calendar if you need to – this one can make a big difference on your long-term career success. If you’re able to update it more often, even better – your most recent accomplishments will be top of mind. Get specific in your accomplishments, include numbers and details about your successes to ensure you make the best possible impression on employers. Email your updated resume to one of our Helpmates Talent Relationships Specialists for targeted feedback and input to help you ensure your resume is at its most impactful.
  2. Update your LinkedIn profile. If you haven’t touched your LinkedIn profile in the past six months, it’s time for an update. Now you may have just updated your resume, but your LinkedIn profile should NOT simply regurgitate your resume. Instead, take those key accomplishments and updates and include them, but weave them into your personal story. Taking a personal approach to your LinkedIn profile will help you stand out from the pack. And while you’re at it, ask a friend or relative to take a new headshot for your social media profiles. If your headshot is outdated, cropped from a casual picture — or if you don’t have a headshot — a simple but professional picture can help strengthen your personal brand.
  3. Get out there. Networking is an essential component of successful careers. Even if you’re not actively looking for a new job, attending networking events can open up doors at new organizations and at the very least, can help you boost your speaking and presentation skills. You’ll also get more comfortable talking about your strengths and differentiators >> a skill that will come in handy the next time you’re looking for a job! Not sure what networking events are scheduled nearby? Meetup.com is an excellent resource to find networking events in most cities. Your local chamber of commerce is also a great place to call. You can always call one of the Helpmates Talent Relationship Specialists for networking event recommendations as well.
  4. Curate your social media presence. LinkedIn is just one piece of the social recruiting puzzle. Recruiters are visiting ALL your social media profiles >> are they telling the story you want them to tell? We recently posted our top 10 social media tips for job seekers, which offers a great place for you to start. Be sure to focus initially on updating your privacy settings and completing your profiles. Also, scan your past posts and any posts you’ve been “tagged” in to remove anything that could be considered unprofessional or that could make a negative impression on recruiters.
  5. Build a new skill. The internet today is buzzing with free resources to help you boost your career skills. Want a job creating websites or apps?  Codecademy offers free HTML lessons. Always wanted to be a designer? Adobe offers free Photoshop classes. Udemy is another resource that offers free career classes – not all courses here are free, but you can often find many free courses (and others that are $20 or less) to boost your skills.

Putting in some extra time at home can pay off in the long run of your career. And when you’re looking for your next great job opportunity, call Helpmates. We work with some of Southern California’s top employers in a range of industries. Search our available jobs or contact your nearest Helpmates office to learn more.

7 Questions to Help You Recruit For a Team Fit

October 12th, 2016

When you have notions of the ideal candidate for a job, it can be hard to sway your thoughts from finding the “perfect” person. Hiring managers can sometimes get stuck in a “I’ll know him/her when I see him/her” mentality during the recruiting process. Or worse, some recruiters focus on one specific skill set or qualification, eliminating potential superstars until someone with a precise background comes along. A lack of clearly defined needs can add costly time to the hiring process and can ultimately cost you access to top talent.september-blog-2

Recruiting for a team fit can boost your organization

Taking a “big picture” approach toward recruiting for your business can help you identify and attract top talent. Research shows that terminating an employee due to poor culture fit can cost up to 2.5 times that person’s base salary. That’s an added expense most organizations cannot afford. Add in productivity and morale losses due to increased turnover and the cost of aiming for the “perfect” candidate instead of one who fits into your team adds up quickly.

How to focus your hiring process on team fit

Shifting your mindset and approach during the hiring process to recruit for team fit doesn’t have to be a massive overhaul. Asking these 7 questions during your next interview can help >>

  1. What’s your perfect take on work/life balance? If your team thrives while burning the midnight oil to finish the big project, someone who enjoys leaving work at the same time every day might not be a fit.
  2. What does your ideal workplace look and feel like? Directly asking about the type of workplace preferred by candidates can present insight into whether they will be a good fit (and can help you determine whether some internal changes should be considered).
  3. What has been the greatest work day of your life? Why? If there isn’t a match between someone’s best work day ever and what your organization aims to deliver for its employees, there might not be a fit.
  4. When have you been in a position and didn’t know what to do? Learning new things happens in most jobs. Some organizations encourage a more open, “learn as you go” system than others. Asking an open ended question here gains extra insight into whether candidates could struggle without specific direction at every turn.
  5. What does “teamwork” mean to you? From weekly meetings to daily rundowns and multiple, coordinated projects, the definition of “teamwork” can shift widely from organization to organization. Aiming for nuts and bolts-type responses here instead of theory can really help you zero in on a candidate’s potential fit.
  6. When have you been forced to adapt to change in the workplace? What happened? Some candidates prefer to have extreme consistency from day to day. If your business is gearing up for a big acquisition, is experiencing immense growth or is going through any significant organizational changes, the answer to this question could serve as a red flag.
  7. When has an employer NOT been a great fit for you? Why not? By their nature, candidates don’t prefer to speak negatively during an interview. But constructive input and thorough responses to this question can provide an excellent standard to use for comparison.

Recruiting for a strong team fit can sometimes feel like searching for a needle in a haystack, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Here at Helpmates, we have an extensive network of top talent across Southern California. We’ll help you find exactly the talent you need to get to the next level. Contact your nearest Helpmates office to learn more.

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

3 Signs Your Interview Isn’t Going Well (And How to Turn it Around)

October 10th, 2016

You only get one shot to make a great first impression. Often times, that “one shot” with an employer is at a job interview. It’s a pretty simple formula, right? Prepare for the interview and put your best foot forward and you’re much more likely to land the job.september-blog-1

But it’s not always that easy. 

Many of us have left job interviews feeling like a million dollars, certain that we are going to receive a job offer…only to get turned down (or never hear back at all). Sometimes the reasons are out of your control; however, a strong interview is critical to increasing your chances of getting the call.

Look out for these signs your interview isn’t going well

Keeping your eyes and ears open during your job interviews can help you identify trouble and steer clear of it – potentially saving your opportunity at the job. These three signs can most often signal that an interview isn’t going well >>

  1. No one tries to sell you on the job. Today’s job market is incredibly competitive. Employers know they have to effectively sell you on their opportunity and company as much as you’re selling your skills and background! If you’re doing a solid job highlighting key parts of your background but the interviewer isn’t trying hard in return, it could mean trouble. Not sure what to look for? When interviewers start to take about company culture, growth opportunities, office technology and other job perks, it’s a good sign they’re interested.
  2. The interviewer doesn’t mention “next steps.” If you’ve ever applied for a job before, you’ve probably heard about “next steps” frequently during interviews. Those next steps could be signaled by anything from salary requirements/history, references or even scheduling follow-up interviews. Some interviewers will give you a timeline to expect follow up >> these are all good signs. If you don’t hear a peep out of your interviewer, it could mean things aren’t going well.
  3. You’re in and out of the interview quickly. Hiring for the right fit puts a huge burden on interviewers – make the wrong choice and it costs an organization significant time and money. That’s why many job interviews can take 20 to 30 minutes or more. Today’s interviewers are asking more detailed, behavioral questions than ever to gauge things like culture fit, ability to navigate challenging situations and emotional intelligence. Job interviews should rarely (if ever) be quick and easy. If you haven’t been asked any difficult or detailed questions, the interviewer might not be interested.

How to turn around a bad job interview

All’s not lost if you recognize some of the above signs that an interview isn’t going well. Keep these tips in mind to try and turn it around:

  • Be upbeat. Nerves can get the best of all of us. If an interviewer picks up on negativity or stress, it could send the wrong message and result in an interview that feels like it’s going downhill. A cheery disposition and genuine enthusiasm for a company and role go a long way toward impressing interviewers. Skills can be taught, enthusiasm and drive cannot – employers know this, so show them that you are excited for the opportunity.
  • Ask thoughtful questions. Don’t just wait until the interviewer asks you if you have any questions. This usually comes at the end of the interview and there isn’t much you can do about it at that point. Listen to what the interviewer is saying and explaining, think about questions before you answer them, then ask thoughtful follow up or probing questions yourself. Prepare some questions ahead of time, but also try to think on your feet and ask questions that demonstrate genuine interest and knowledge of the company and role.
  • Watch your body language. Nervousness really can make a big impact on the message you convey to interviewers. It’s natural to have some nerves, but be sure you’re overriding them and avoiding body language miscues like slouching, which can convey disinterest. A few other body languages “musts” include the basics like smiling, nodding and making eye contact.

Before you can ace your interview, you have to land one! Here at Helpmates, we work with top employers across Southern California. Search our available jobs or contact your nearest office to take the next step in your career.

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