Is Your Employer Brand Sending the Right Message?

April 26th, 2016

With competition for top talent becoming stiffer by the day, focusing on a strong employer brand is critical to helping your business stand out from the pack. While you don’t have to be named a “Top Place to Work” in order to attract and retain top talent, a strong employer brand helps you build trust and engagement with candidates. In the past, we’ve shared tips to help you differentiate your employer brand from the competition, and have highlighted some ways to attract and retain top talent.

Have you followed our advice? Great, then you’re on the right track!Helpmates April 2

Now it’s time to take your employer brand to the next level.

While many employers have great intentions in developing their employer brand, many make some considerable mistakes that end up costing them access to talent. Avoid these mistakes to prevent an uphill battle in your quest to land top talent:

  1. Underestimating candidates. In their most recent candidate behavior survey, Jobvite found that 18% of all job seekers are using Facebook to research your company’s culture. Today’s job seekers are more savvy than ever. They know what they’re looking for in an employer, and they want to find a match between their needs and your company. Specifically, they want to know what it’s really like to work for your business. And with tools like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Glassdoor and Google at their fingertips, it’s easier than ever to get this information. To ensure that candidates are finding a message that truly represents your brand, a strong social media presence is essential. We recently posted a blog offering advice for employers looking to engage candidates on social media. This is a good place to start. Showcase your employer brand, expect and understand that candidates are doing their research and that they value honesty and a strong message from your company
  2. Not “walking your talk.” Creating a strong employer brand involves more than messaging.  A strong employer brand engages candidates while accurately depicting your company’s values and the experience of working for your organization. Now “walking the talk” here isn’t just overtly misleading candidates (which most employers wouldn’t do deliberately). Many employers have the best of intentions, but don’t actually understand what day-to-day life is like in their workplaces for most employees. Before embarking on an employer branding initiative, an informal, anonymous survey of your current employees can help you pinpoint the true benefits and experience of working for your company. Bonus: It can also help illuminate areas where you could be doing better. Take this information and use it to create a better experience for your employees!
  3. Thinking your employer brand is “one and done.” Embarking on an employer branding initiative like the one mentioned in #2 is a great way to start your employer branding efforts. Notice the emphasis on “start.” Understanding your employer brand and crafting your message is just the beginning. A strong employer brand is constantly built and honed – it takes a long-term commitment from your organization. Ensure that your mission, vision and company goals are properly communicated to prospective employees by investing time and resources into a strong social media strategy so that when candidates research your company, they’re finding recent, relevant content that engages. Work on improving areas that underperformed in the survey you conducted as part of #2, then promote those advances across the board. Refresh your employer branding materials as needed to ensure the messaging is the most current, up to date and engaging. Ensure that your organization is committed to building and leveraging its employer brand. This may require someone within your organization “taking ownership” of employer branding. Designating a dedicated resource toward your employer brand can be a great way to ensure this important area doesn’t fall by the wayside.

Landing top talent doesn’t have to be an uphill battle. Follow this advice, and call your local Helpmates office. Our network of top talent across Southern California is ready to jump in and make an immediate impact on your business.

It’s Time For Spring Cleaning (Your Job Search)

April 22nd, 2016

Spring has officially sprung — as the trees blossom and the weather improves, are you where you want to be in your career? Just a few months back, we offered these tips for turning your New Year’s career resolutions into a reality this year. If you haven’t made as much progress as you’d like, it’s time to use the spring season to your advantage. 

Get to work on spring cleaning your job searchHM April Blog 1

The theme of “spring cleaning” has a few different applications – maybe it’s cleaning out the garage, a spare bedroom or your car. Maybe it means changing your diet to focus on healthier foods. This year, take a different approach to spring cleaning — use it to freshen up your job search.

Spring cleaning your job search doesn’t have to be as intensive as a weekend spent cleaning the garage – follow these three steps to take a fresh approach to your career this spring:

  1. Overhaul your resume. You should be reviewing and updating your resume at least once or twice a year (or perhaps more frequently if you’ve changed jobs multiple times). This checklist offers four things many people forget to put on their resumes (make sure yours is complete!). Spring cleaning your resume can really help remove unnecessary clutter and help employers focus on the most pertinent and relevant details. Here are a few places to start: Removing work experience that’s more than 10 years old or isn’t directly relevant to the jobs you’re applying to right now; Freshen up your bullet points by adding your most recent accomplishments (quantifying results wherever possible) – remember to go beyond your to-do list and focus on what you’ve done in your jobs; Tighten up the language by including relevant keywords to your target job titles wherever possible; and Eliminate unnecessary words or clutter to make your resume more visually appealing.
  2. Call your recruiter. Maybe you’ve been working in your latest position for awhile, or perhaps your job search just took a backseat to other priorities to start the year. One of the best ways to freshen up your job search this spring is by calling your recruiter. Either on a phone call or in a meeting, update your recruiter on what you’ve been up to, what your goals are and what you’re looking for in the short and long term for your career. Your recruiter is one of the most critical tools in your job search, and ensuring he or she has the most up to date information about you, your job and your goals means that recruiter is able to match you to the most relevant jobs within those goals. Plus, many recruiters are extremely busy – when you take the initiative to touch base with an update, you’re ensuring that you stay top of mind, which can be a huge boost when new jobs open up.
  3. Spring clean your wardrobe. Hiring managers are using a lot of information to determine whether you’re a fit for their companies. Resumes and input from recruiters play a part, but your wardrobe is also essential. From the moment you walk through the door, potential employers are assessing your wardrobe to determine your level of professionalism and respect for the position and company. In the literal sense, spring cleaning your wardrobe means putting away the heavy sweaters and moving into lighter clothing. But also take the opportunity to determine whether your spring and summer interview clothes truly put your best foot forward. Ask a friend or relative for input if you’re not sure. New wardrobe pieces don’t have to cost a fortune, but your interview clothing should be professional, and your work wardrobe should match the corresponding employment environment of your profession.
  4. Review and revise your online presence. Recruiters are putting in the time to review your online profiles for sites like LinkedIn, Twitter and even Facebook. While you’re updating your resume, take a few minutes to update your social media profiles to ensure they are up to date and positioning you in the best light. For Facebook, verify your privacy settings keep personal photos and posts to family and friends. Keep Twitter content personal but professional and respectful wherever possible – if you spot something that could be misconstrued or hurt your reputation with a hiring manager, play it safe and delete the tweet(s). On LinkedIn, verify your photo is professional, and update your profile throughout to ensure it helps tell your personal story while highlighting your professional accomplishments. Taking a few minutes on each of these sites helps ensure recruiters and hiring managers see a complete, professional portrait when visiting your social media profiles.

Spring offers an excellent opportunity to recharge your job search – the team at Helpmates can also help you take your career to the next level. Visit our job board or contact your local Helpmates office today to get started.

3 Ways To Speed Up Your Hiring Process

March 4th, 2016

The unemployment rate dropped considerably in 2015, driving up the competition for top talent. In a candidate’s market, employers must find ways to stand out as the best choice.

Are top candidates choosing your business?HM

One of the biggest barriers to landing top talent for many organizations is the hiring process. A longer, more drawn out hiring process with multiple layers of approval or more calls, meetings and stress for candidates makes it increasingly unlikely you’ll land the best talent.

Streamline your hiring process to attract top talent

For many organizations, the hiring process stalls or is challenging around several key areas. The good news is that many of these areas are easily fixable, so you can start improving your hiring process and recruiting top talent in no time:

  1. Focusing too much on hiring the “perfect” candidate. “I’ll know him/her when I see him/her” is not the best way to identify the right candidate for a position. In fact, you should clearly define your needs, wants and “musts” well in advance of posting your job opening. Without having a specific list of background, skills or experience requirements, you could end up so focused on hiring the “perfect” candidate that you pass on highly talented and qualified candidates who could make a real impact on your business. If multiple people are involved in your hiring decisions, bring them in early in the process to help you define a range of skills and background necessary to succeed in the given role. Then carefully articulate those requirements in your job descriptions and throughout the hiring process. You’ll get better quality candidates applying to the job, and you’ll be able to make much more efficient decisions during the hiring process.
  2. Lack of awareness over current market conditions. Depending on the industry, specialty, skill set or even town/city, the market for talent could vary considerably. For some specialties, the current market for talent compensation is extremely competitive. If you’re entering the process without the most up-to-date knowledge, your definition of the role and your specific desires in a candidate could be off track, causing unnecessary delays in your process.
  3. Eliminate unnecessary steps. The easiest way to streamline your hiring process is to document it – many organizations don’t have a formal hiring process. You might be surprised just how many steps are required to join your company (and how long it takes!). For an outside perspective, consider bringing in someone from a different department to look for opportunities to eliminate, reduce or streamline steps. Do you really need to collect references in the beginning, for all candidates? Or could you use them as a last step when deciding between a handful? Do five people really need to interview that candidate, or would two work? Could both interviews be scheduled on the same day to save time and prevent bringing a candidate in twice? These are just a few places where you can start cutting/streamlining – get creative, think objectively and see how you can make things run leaner and more smoothly.

Of course, one of the easiest ways to streamline your hiring process is to partner with a staffing firm (like Helpmates!). We’ll help you craft job descriptions that attract the right talent, and we’ll only present those candidates who are the right fit for the job. We can help eliminate unnecessary steps and identify ways for you to improve your internal processes. Plus, we have an extensive network of top talent across Southern California. Contact your nearest Helpmates office to take the first step.

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

10 Ways to Stand Out on Your Temporary Work Assignment

March 2nd, 2016

Temporary work assignments offer excellent opportunities to expand your skill set, get to know different industries and employers and advance your career while taking advantage of short-term, flexible work arrangements.

Employers are continuing to take advantage of the benefits temporary workers offer them as well. This means that professionals across a range of disciplines can expect more opportunities for temporary work assignments in the coming years. Sure, the length of your temporary assignments may vary, but each offers an excellent opportunity for you to not only benefit your career, but to make a great impression. And standing out while making a great impression will help you land the best temporary work assignments with the most desirable employers.

How to make a great impression on temporary work assignmentsMarch blog 1

Try these 10 steps to stand out on your next temporary work assignment (for the right reasons!) and boost your career:

  1. Always arrive for work on time. This is one of the most basic pieces of job advice out there, yet it always bears repeating — because many employees don’t arrive to work on time! For the purposes of any job, “on time” usually means arriving about five or 10 minutes early. If you like to say hello at the water cooler, drop off your lunch or do any small tasks before getting started on your actual job duties, 10 or 15 minutes early may be more appropriate. Arriving “on time” means starting work on time. So take the necessary steps to ensure you’re starting work on time every day.
  2. Ask questions and be engaged. Even for experienced professionals, every job comes with a bit of training. Take notes, ask questions and show that you’re truly interested in learning the right way to do things at your employer.
  3. Be a “team” player. Show a genuine interest in your coworkers and be friendly. Even for a one week or 30-day assignment, being approachable and friendly is always appreciated, and is more likely to earn you a favorable review.
  4. Show that you’re flexible. Sometimes the exact nature of a position evolves or changes, or an employer notices another need after you’ve begun your assignment. If you can be adaptable and step up to help in a new area (even one that you didn’t expect), you’ll make life much easier for your employer.
  5. Present yourself professionally. There are a few elements to this – avoid getting caught up in any office gossip or politics (which can happen, even on shorter assignments) and also be sure to dress appropriately for the position and office where you’ll be working. If you arrive on your first day and notice everyone else is adhering to a certain standard, show up on your second day with something that’s more in line with the team.
  6. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It may be tempting to try and do everything yourself to make a good impression on temporary work assignments, but sometimes asking for help is the best way to make a good impact. No one expects you to know everything!
  7. Don’t wait around for next steps. If you’ve finished a task or series of tasks, don’t wait around for your manager to find you and tell you what to do next. Instead, seek him or her out, share that you’ve completed your tasks and ask what else you can do to help.
  8. Be polite. Saying “please” and “thank you” goes a long way in every aspect of life, but especially in an office.
  9. Pay attention to details. It can be overwhelming when you’re inundated with details on the first days of a new temporary work assignment, but pay attention to them. Write them down, add meetings to your phone or calendar – do what it takes to ensure you aren’t missing key meetings or crucial details.
  10. Learn about the company. Your Helpmates recruiter will provide you with information about your next company, but take the time to not only read what they provide, but to do your own research as well. Showing up to your temporary assignment with some knowledge about the company and its goals will show that you value your time with them as much as they value your contributions!

Helpmates works with top employers across Southern California, and we have a range of temporary work assignments that can help you reach your goals. Search our available jobs now or contact your nearest Helpmates office to learn more.

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Helpmates is Named to Inavero’s “Best of Staffing” List For the 7th Year in a Row!

February 18th, 2016

For the seventh straight year, Helpmates is proud to announce it has been named to Inavero’s “Best of Staffing®” list. This annual list recognizes those staffing services that truly deliver exceptional service to their clients and specialists.

We are extremely proud that our clients and talented specialists and direct hire professionals have helped to recognize us with this distinction!

Best of Staffing Client and Talent Awards for 2016

 

While staffing industry veterans may recognize the mark of Inavero’s “Best of Staffing” lists, here’s a helpful breakdown of Inavero and their annual lists:

  • Inavero’s “Best of Staffing” award provides the only statistically valid and objective service quality benchmarks in the staffing industry
  • Although the staffing industry’s scores are trending downward as a whole, Helpmates achieved scores significantly higher than the industry averages
  • Less than 2% of all staffing services in North America receive the “Best of Staffing” award for service excellence
  • Helpmates is rare among the “Best of Staffing” client winners – earning the 2016 Best of Staffing Diamond Client Award for outstanding service over five consecutive years (this is our seventh!)
  • In addition to the Diamond Client Award, Helpmates earned the 2016 Best of Staffing Diamond Talent Award for outstanding service over five consecutive years!

We are immensely proud of our team for continuing to raise the bar for our clients and specialists, and for their incredible commitment to providing the most exceptional service possible.

Most of all, thanks to our valued clients and talented specialists across Southern California for their continued partnerships with Helpmates! We are proud to help you reach your business and career goals!

Workplace Wellness: A Retention Key in 2016

January 25th, 2016

Have you made any 2016 New Year’s Resolutions? Chances are if you did, at least one of your resolutions is health focused. Half of the top 10 resolutions are health related….and 1 in 3 people will ditch their resolutions by the end of January.

We’re closing in on the end of January now, so rather than let your employees (or you!) ditch their health-related resolutions, why not take advantage of the shift in focus toward healthy living and build a stronger wellness program? Forty-five percent of Americans working at small to medium-sized companies say that they would stay at their jobs longer because of employer-sponsored wellness programs, and productivity also increases as a result of employer-sponsored wellness initiatives.

Keys to a successful wellness program HM Jan Post 2

Has your employee wellness program faltered in recent years? Or perhaps your organization is still waiting to get started? Here are five keys to a successful wellness program in any industry:

  1. They’re realistic. Sure, many of us would love to become ultra-marathoners or adhere to the healthiest diet on the planet, but those aren’t exactly realistic goals for most people. So rather than creating programs that aim to create superheroes, aim instead to help your employees make incremental changes that steadily improve their lives. A lunch hour massage therapist visit will likely be a huge hit. Yoga classes, meditation coaching, healthy cooking classes, team outings to local “laser tag” venues or other active but fun places, are all very fun, simple and accessible ways to get your team moving in the right direction.
  2. They’re fun. If you look at the few examples mentioned above, they’re all realistic for sure, but they’re also fun. Watching filmstrips and reading textbooks may have been necessary when we were in school, but in the real world we tend to, well, avoid them like the plague. Choosing fun places for active team outings and bringing in engaging teachers or coaches to lead classes are great ideas. Adding a competitive element can also make things fun and provide some extra incentive to your team. “Biggest Loser Challenges” are very popular in workplaces across the country, and winners designated for milestones and achievements throughout the challenge (which can be any duration, but are often between 8 and 12 weeks) can win small, yet fun and healthy prizes like gift cards for healthy restaurants, supermarkets or gyms, extra break time or even cash (budget permitting).
  3. Participation starts at the top. Many of us have been in organizations that tried to enact new policies or programs that ultimately failed because participation waned. And that often starts at the top. If you’re going to start a “Biggest Loser Challenge” or a series of lunchtime classes — any of these or your own suggestions — your organization should believe in these initiatives and be active in them at every level of your business. If you’re bringing in a chef to teach healthy cooking classes, your CEO or VPs should stand alongside your customer service reps. When participation and enthusiasm are genuine from all levels, it is contagious. Your team will believe that the organization truly supports and cares about the initiative, and its potential for success is much higher.
  4. Practice what you preach. If your employee cafeteria serves junk food or your vending machines are filled with candy bars and unhealthy snacks or drinks, you could be derailing your employee wellness efforts. Supporting your initiatives by surrounding employees with easy, healthy choices is one of the biggest ways to nurture a successful employee wellness program. Beyond the break room, think about meetings – bring in salad bars and flavored water instead of pizza and soda. Post signs around the office sharing information about employee wellness initiatives. Swap out the TV in the break room for a treadmill or bike. Think of ways to create a healthier office, not just a health program.
  5. Follow through. If your initial foray into employee wellness is an initiative – like the Biggest Loser Challenge – don’t just let it end. Keep up momentum by enacting ongoing initiatives and changes (like those mentioned throughout this post) to create and nurture an environment of wellness. One-off events and initiatives are great for spearheading efforts, but your continued commitment to employee wellness is what can ultimately help boost productivity, improve your employees’ health and build a stronger team with higher retention rates for your business.

Before you can develop and implement successful employee wellness programs, you need a team of superstar employees. Helpmates has an extensive network of talent in a range of disciplines across Southern California. We’ll help you find the right employees to help you reach your goals. Contact us today to get started.

How to Turn 2016 Career Resolutions into Reality

January 18th, 2016

Research shows that 45% of Americans make New Year’s Resolutions – are you included? Resolutions can be an excellent way to set goals and devise a plan to achieve them in the new year.

But here’s the thing: Research also shows that only 8% of Americans who make resolutions are successful. If you’ve set career resolutions for 2016, don’t be discouraged by these statistics – we’re here to help. Armed with the right knowledge, your odds of success should increase dramatically.

Your 2016 Career Resolutions Game PlanHM Jan Blog 1

This game plan can help you get off to a great start in your path toward 2016 Career Resolutions success. Feel free to print it out and hang it next to your bed or computer for a regular dose of focus and inspiration:

  1. Be realistic. Aiming high and reaching for the stars is admirable, but sometimes it takes longer than a year to reach the highest heights. Instead of aiming for the stars initially, take a more realistic approach. Think about what you can accomplish in one year – aiming high enough that it won’t be easy, but that it’s attainable. When people set goals that seem impossible, it can seem too daunting and ultimately result in giving up. A realistic yet challenging resolution offers just enough “reach” to help you strive for your best, but with an end result that is most definitely achievable.
  2. Be as specific as possible. “Find a new job” is a great goal, but in order to make goals more actionable, you should get specific. What kind of job? Is there a location that works best for you? How much would you like to earn? When would you like to find your new job by? These are just some of the questions you should ask in order to get specific with your career resolutions. If you’re struggling, just think about everything that would impact your goal. Focus on what would be the most ideal fulfillment of your resolution, then write it down. So “Find a new job” becomes, “Find a new administrative position for $17 an hour that is within 20 minutes of my house and offers the flexibility to work from home one day a week.” With the vague goal, devising and acting on a game plan can be hazy – it’s hard to know if you’re spending your time and effort on the right things or if you’re really making progress toward the goal. But when your goal is specific, you can eliminate unnecessary steps and options, allowing you to focus your energies in the right places.
  3. Spread the word. The phrase “accountability partner” is popular with people who make resolutions. Whether it’s having a friend call you every morning at 5am to help you wake up earlier or a family member who joins you for your morning jog to help you stay on track, having someone who will keep you in check and ensure you’re working steadily toward your goals can make a big impact on your success. If you can’t find one person who will hold you to your goals and plans each day, find two or three and ask them to do one thing (for example, one person might email you every day asking which jobs you applied to, while another might call you after a job interview to see how it went). And outside of your accountability partners, tell as many people as possible about your goals. While we may not be afraid of letting ourselves down from time to time (“life” gets in the way sometimes, we know!), as human beings, we are less likely to fail at a goal if we know other people are counting on us. So put your family and friends to work for you, and let them know about your goals. Ask them for encouragement, and talk about your progress with them in conversations and emails, and also on social media sites like Facebook. Their continued encouragement can help keep you motivated and focused.
  4. Break it up. You have set your resolutions and defined your goals for 2016…now what? Breaking down those goals into actionable steps and putting them on your calendar are essential. Having a goal is great, but taking action on that goal is what gets things done. Using the example above, your steps might include, “Attending three networking events each week,” or “Updating my resume before January 31,” or “Reach out to 10 former colleagues and update them about my status before February 7.” Break down how you’ll achieve your goals, then put those steps on your calendar to define how long you should take to complete each step.
  5. Expect setbacks. Remember, “life” happens. Maybe you’ll catch a cold, or a family member will need your help unexpectedly. Something may come up that derails you from your schedule and goals temporarily. But let the emphasis be on “temporarily.” Schedules can be changed and updated. Goals can be refined. If you know and appreciate that setbacks will happen, you will be more prepared to roll with the punches and get back on track. Setbacks happen to everyone, but those who persevere are the ones who end up reaching their goals in the end.

Do you need help setting or reaching your career goals in 2016? Helpmates works with some of Southern California’s top employers. Search our jobs now to find a position that will help you aim higher in 2016, or call your nearest office to speak with one of our recruiters.

How You Are Turning Off Candidates on Social Media

December 22nd, 2015

By now it’s not a matter of if you should be engaging candidates and recruiting talent on social media. And with good reason — employers who used social media to hire found a 49% improvement in candidate quality over recruiting through traditional channels. Instead, it’s a matter of how you can do it better. Competition for top talent is fierce, and social media is no longer a differentiator, but a necessity.

Today’s candidates are more discerning than ever.december blog 2

Although businesses are spending billions of dollars on social media, it is ultimately a very personal tool for many people. With the personal nature of social media — particularly as it relates to job searches and careers – adhering to best practices when engaging with candidates is important. Seventy-three percent of job seekers aged 18 to 34 found their last job through a social network – can you afford to turn off these candidates? Commit any of these social recruiting faux pas, and you risk alienating talent while building a negative reputation online:

  1. Lacking a plan. What are your specific goals for social media – to stay top of mind with candidates? To provide useful information for candidates to find jobs? To demonstrate thought leadership? These are just a few of the goals many businesses have when it comes to social recruiting, but yours may be different. And the steps you take to achieve those goals can vary widely. Do some research into social media best practices, be sure you understand the social sites where your company will be active, and map out a plan to help you achieve your goals. A little work ahead of time can go a long way toward building a strong social media reputation.
  2. Ignoring your profile. If you’ll pardon the comparison, your company social media profiles are essentially your online resume (how’s that for irony?). If your profiles aren’t up to snuff, just as your recruiters are likely to throw away an imperfect resume, candidates are likely to pass by your profiles. Engaging photos and complete descriptions (that sound “human” and are filled with more than corporate speak – remember, these are “social” profiles!) are the first tip off to candidates that your profiles are genuine, engaging and worthwhile. Once your profiles are set up, though, it’s up to you to keep them “social.” Guidelines can vary, but be sure to post to Facebook at least a few times per week, LinkedIn as well, and to Twitter a few times each day. Once you get a handle on these most popular networks, you might even want to consider looking at additional networks like Instagram or Snapchat. But be sure to post often: Content that is useful to your audience (eg. resume tips, interview advice, etcetera) or provides insights into your company (eg. holiday parties, birthday celebrations, employee recognition) help candidates feel “connected” to you before they ever speak to a recruiter or visit your office.
  3. Spamming candidates. Although your job openings may be great, exciting opportunities, the reality is that not every candidate is interested. Spam is universally abhorred, and when you spam candidates they don’t forget it (they also tell people…a lot of them). If you’ve sent LinkedIn InMail to a candidate and haven’t heard back, one or two follow ups within a few weeks is completely acceptable. Five messages over the course of a week (particularly with sales-y language) are not. And spam goes beyond frequency – if you’re sending sales letters to candidates on social media, you may as well be telling them not to apply to your jobs. It has been stated here several times but bears repeating – they call it “social” media, so be social! While it’s often impossible to craft custom messages for every candidate, be sure to do more than send mass emails to hundreds of candidates, all containing the same generic message. Block candidates into groups by criteria like age, experience level, alma mater, etcetera, then craft messages that offer personal elements to show that you’ve taken the time to reach out to them online. Candidates will absolutely remember you after you’ve reached out to them on social media – it’s up to you to make sure it’s not for the wrong reasons.
  4. Getting too personal. While social media can help you make stronger connections with candidates, be careful not to get too personal. Connecting on LinkedIn and (often) Twitter are acceptable and encouraged ways to stay in touch with candidates, but many candidates prefer to keep their Facebook profiles for friends and family. Avoid sending friend requests on Facebook, or any requests to connect on other social sites where you notice that posted content is strictly personal.

Here at Helpmates, our network of candidates across Southern California is engaged and ready to contribute to your bottom line. Contact us today to learn more about our staffing solutions.

Shorter Work Day? Maybe Not, But How About These?

December 17th, 2015

Sweden is making headlines with its shift to a 6-hour workday. While cultural and economic differences between the workplace in Sweden versus the U.S. might be vastly different, the shift is definitely garnering attention from the media. Specifically, it’s opening up a discussion about how employers can create work opportunities that are more attractive to top talent.

Is your workplace attractive to top talent?december blog1

You may not need to reduce your work day to six hours, but you can create an environment that attracts and retains top talent. Here’s how:

  1. Be flexible. Flexible workplaces are no longer a luxury – in many specialties, locations and industries, they are an expectation. With the latest technologies, telecommuting is more convenient and productive than ever. Are there roles within your organization that could be handled either part- or full-time from home? Could your workday start at 8am for some and 10am for others? Can your employees take breaks and lunches on their own schedules? Look at ways to create a more flexible environment – whether large or small – and employees will respond.
  2. Invest in your team. When employees feel as if their employers are invested in them and their futures, they respond. Are you investing in your team? The latest technology helps employees do their jobs more efficiently and with less hassle (it’s time to trash those old CRT monitors and clunky PC towers!). On- and off-site training and learning opportunities help employees expand their skills and learn about potential career paths within your company, improving retention and helping you nurture and build your future organizational leaders. And when you invest in your current team, it also makes an impression on candidates – think about the impression you’d have of an organization if you walked through the building to an interview and passed outdated computers and a drab office. Now think about passing the latest computers, or an engaged team in a training or team building session. Investing in your team doesn’t just retain your current talent, it attracts top talent at all levels.
  3. Simplify your hiring process. We recently highlighted some ways companies turn off top talent, and hiring process is one of the most critical. Show you’re an attractive workplace to candidates by making their first experiences with you positive and seamless. How you present yourself during the hiring process often gives key indicators to candidates how it will be to work for you. If it’s disorganized and slow, would you want to work for you?
  4. Get active in the community. Today’s talent (especially millennials) wants to work with employers who have clear values. Giving back to the community – both through financial support and volunteering or other employee events – is a way to not only make a difference, but show talent that your commitment to them goes beyond the 9 to 5.

Employees respond to a welcoming, flexible and supportive work environment, but finding the right candidates is essential. Helpmates has an extensive network of talent across Southern California – we’ll find the right talent to jump in and make an immediate impact on your organization.

4 Ways Your Company is Turning Off Top Talent

December 8th, 2015

Bloggers and the Internet spend a great deal of time sharing suggestions for attracting top talent (we posted some tips for attracting millennials this summer, actually). But while attracting top talent is critical, there is another recruiting key that is often forgotten.

Turning OFF top talent!

While you’re thinking of ways to attract talent, you could be simultaneously sending a subliminal message that you’re not the best place to work. And that message could be costly. Here are four common mistakes companies make that can turn off top talent:Untitled

  1. Boring job descriptions. Job descriptions are much more than a way to weed out unqualified candidates – they’re your first (and sometimes only) way of selling both the job and your company to talent. If your job descriptions offer little more than a bullet list of “musts” and “would like to haves,” you’re missing out. We share some keys for writing effective job descriptions in this blog post – print it out and hang it by your computer for some inspiration when creating your next job description.
  2. A drawn out hiring process. It’s a candidate’s market right now, with some industries fighting tooth and nail for top talent. You can’t afford to drag out the hiring process unnecessarily – when you do, your competitors are snatching up top talent. Take a realistic look at your hiring process and see where you can “cut the fat.” Do you really need four people in an interview (which can add days or weeks to coordinate schedules)? Could you conduct several interviews in one day to avoid bringing candidates in on multiple days? You’d be surprised how often one or two extra days in a few places can result in loss of your top candidates.
  3. Disconnected messaging and reality. This one can be a bit tricky. Building a strong employer brand is a critical part of the recruitment strategy for many organizations, and rightfully so. But spending hours and dollars on a strong employer branding message could end up a colossal waste if the reality of life within your organization doesn’t mesh with the reality you’re pushing in your messaging. Be honest about your company culture and identify its true strengths, not what you wish they were. Craft messaging that helps convey that message, so that when candidates meet with your team, that message is reinforced. Taking these steps can save you considerable recruiting costs down the line (and should also help your retention rate).
  4. Too much formality.  By all accounts, if your corporate culture is more formal, be sure to present yourself formally in all communications. But formality doesn’t mean a lack of humanity. Generic messages like “Your resume has been received” help you blend right in with every other competitor using an ATS (applicant tracking system). Are you excited that incredible candidates are applying to your company? You should be! Let them know about it so that when someone from your office does call or email them, they’re excited to hear from you. A shift from “Your resume has been received” to “We are so excited you chose to apply with us – we’re reviewing resumes for the next few days and will be in touch soon” could be a simple change that makes a massive difference.

Turning off top talent can cost you, but a sound recruiting strategy is also essential. That’s where Helpmates comes in. Our extensive network of talented professionals across Southern California trusts us to find them incredible jobs. We’d love to connect them with yours! Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you find top talent.

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