3 Keys to Avoid Common Workplace Distractions

October 29th, 2015

If you read articles on the internet (since you’re reading this one, it’s probably a safe bet), you likely see at least a handful of articles focusing on productivity each day. With good reason: Today’s employers expect their employees to get more done. “Time is money” is the old adage, and it holds true today.

The “secret” to getting more done.helpmates

What if instead of getting more done, we focused on eliminating common workplace distractions that are unimportant or worse, make you “feel” like you’re being productive, when reality is just the opposite (and they’re taking us away from truly important tasks)? It might not be much of a “secret,” but eliminating distractions can make a drastic impact on your ability to get work done and feel satisfied when you leave the office each day.

Focusing on these three keys will help:

Put away the phone. Is your mobile phone an accessory, a communication device…or an extension of your physical body? The latter is true for an increasing number of adults. In fact, people between the ages of 18 and 36 check their phone an average of 43 times per day! When added up individually, one or two minutes on your phone more than 40 times equals a little over an hour. That doesn’t sound too intimidating; however, when you think about the time taken away from tasks, or restarting important tasks after checking your phone, the actual impact is much greater. Making matters worse, actually checking your phone isn’t the only thing distracting you from work – just hearing and seeing phone notifications is enough to distract you and prevent you from focusing on your tasks. The solution is as simple as it sounds – don’t keep your phone somewhere easily accessible, where the temptation to check it (or the sights and sounds of notifications) can cause you to veer off course.

Manage your email. Researchers have found that checking email more often leads to increased stress and feeling emotionally drained. So then why do many of us check email compulsively throughout the day? Regardless of specific industry, many of us now find ourselves in service-based roles. Our clients or customers expect us to respond to their questions or concerns quickly. But how quickly? Another recent study found that three quarters of employees report replying to email within an hour of receiving it. Is that really necessary? Depending on your industry or specific role, maybe — but it’s highly unlikely. Rather than constantly checking email all day (which, as noted above, not only takes the time necessary to read and respond to emails, but the time needed to resume tasks or get back into whatever you were working on previously), schedule set times throughout the day to check it. In most cases, checking email first thing in the morning, just before or after lunch, and again near the end of the day ensures you read every message within a couple hours of receiving it, and can promptly address anything that needs to be addressed. For real emergencies, your coworkers, clients or customers will call you or find you in person, they won’t be sending emails. So schedule time to check and respond to emails, and focus the rest of your time on truly important tasks.

Drown out ambient noise. Open offices are becoming more common, and even in traditional, cubicle-based offices, conversations and other ambient noise can bleed into your workspace — and make it difficult to focus on important tasks. The simplest way to drown out noise and create a more suitable work environment is to wear headphones and listen to music that helps you focus. But if your workplace doesn’t allow headphones, consider explaining to your supervisor that, while you are a team player, the nature of your job makes it difficult to focus with the level of noise outside your cubicle. Your supervisor may be able to accommodate a request for a new cubicle. Or, you may be able to negotiate the addition of a “white noise” machine or fan, which can drown out ambient noise and provide a better environment for you to get your work done.

Avoiding workplace distractions at work can help you get more done and be more successful, but when you’re looking for a job that provides you with the opportunities you need, call Helpmates. We work with top employers to provide jobs across Southern California, and we’ll find the right job to help you reach your goals. 

Mastering the Art of Multiple Job Offers and Counter Offers

October 9th, 2015

Whether you call it a “talent war” or a “skirmish,” one fact is certain: businesses today are in extreme competition for talented professionals. And that competition puts many job seekers at a distinct advantage.HM

Without a doubt, today’s businesses want top talent — and they are willing to provide competitive compensation in order to get it. Position yourself strategically — one excellent way is to partner with a staffing firm —  and there is incredible potential to receive not just one job offer, but multiple offers.

But how do you handle multiple offers and potential counter offers from employers? These tips can help you weigh the benefits of each offer and make the best decision for your family and career:

  1. Think about your current employer first. If you’ve received multiple job offers and visit your employer to review, you may receive a counter offer. This counter offer could be very tempting – you wouldn’t have to learn new processes and procedures, or memorize new names for your coworkers. You’d keep the old, familiar feeling, while also gaining a higher salary or other fringe benefits. Seems like an ideal situation, right? If you’ve already decided to leave but feel lured by the counter offer, consider this: If you have to turn in notice and announce you’re leaving in order to get a promotion or salary increase, does your employer really value your contributions? Or are they simply buying time to find your replacement? Or perhaps they realize that retaining one employee is cheaper than finding and hiring a new one. While the initial counter offer could seem appealing, the long-term ramifications of accepting that offer may not align with your initial plans and goals for seeking new employment.
  2. Get it in writing. So, you’ve decided to consider multiple offers from employers – congratulations! But until the choice has been made, it might be best to temper your excitement and focus on the task at hand. First things first, ensure you have any job offers in writing before making a decision. Verbal offers are not legally offers, and employers may — and this could be unintentional or a miscommunication, but it does happen — change the details of your verbal offer. If you’ve already turned down another employer, you’ll end up stuck with whatever is left. Alert the HR representative making a verbal offer that you are happy to consider the offer, as soon as you get it in writing.
  3. Be careful. Multiple offers are unsurprising to employers today — remember that talent war mentioned above. That doesn’t mean, though, that they enjoy being pitted against one another. It’s important to tread carefully and ensure you’re communicating thoroughly with employers. You most definitely don’t want them to feel that they’re in a sort of game. If you’ve received an offer from one employer while still interviewing with another, wait until the final interview and alert the recruiter that you have received an unexpected offer from another employer. Reassure them that they are your top pick, but that the other offer is appealing. Ask them when they might be considering making a hiring decision, then leave the ball in their court. If they are strongly considering hiring you for the position, they will likely be motivated to enter the fray and make their own offer. If, however, they decide to back out at that time, know that you’ve been totally honest and upfront with the employer, and that you are choosing the employer who is most invested in your future.
  4. Don’t burn bridges. Regardless of which employer you choose, always end the decision with personalized thank you notes. Communicating with an organization after you’ve turned down a job may feel awkward – kind of like running an old boyfriend or girlfriend at the grocery store.  But, sending out a quick note thanking each employer for its consideration officially closes the hiring process while leaving them with a positive impression of you. Sure, you may have chosen another opportunity this time, but you never know when you will cross paths with either that employer again, or with someone you met during the interview process. It is always better to be gracious and honest with employers!

Before you can choose between multiple job offers, you need to jump feet first into your job search. Helpmates partners with talented professionals like you to match them with excellent career opportunities at respected employers. Visit our job board to learn more about our current jobs in Southern California and submit your resume to get started.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net/ambro 

How to Turn Around Bad Job Interviews

September 25th, 2015

Maybe your alarm didn’t go off that morning and you were running behind. Or maybe you just never quite felt comfortable. There are any number of reasons why your job interview didn’t start off on the right foot, but don’t give up hope just yet. You can absolutely salvage an interview that appears to have gone off its rails.HM Blog Image

Every job interview can be a successful one.

Although not every job interview will result in a job offer, every interview can be successful in one way or another. Here are some common job interview mistakes, along with tips for turning a bad interview into a successful one:

  1. Problem: You blew your answer to an important question. Solution: Ask for a do-over. Sometimes you can’t help it – despite practicing your responses and feeling like a rockstar before your interview, you ended up going off on a tangent and mumbling through a response. It happens – but the best thing you can do is to admit that your response didn’t quite come out right and ask if you can answer again. At best, you’ll get another opportunity to share a strong answer. At worst, you’ve demonstrated your poise and confidence to the interviewer.
  2. Problem: You’re so nervous you can’t think straight. Solution: Talk about your nerves. Sometimes no matter how hard we try, we’re just plain nervous during a job interview. If practicing your responses and taking deep breaths hasn’t prevented shaky nerves before your interview, the best way to avoid those nerves taking over your interview is to acknowledge them. Sometimes nerves present themselves physically – shaky hands are a common symptom – and it can be more effective to simply tell your interviewer that you’re a bit nervous, but only because you’re so enthusiastic about the position. But then once you’ve acknowledged your nerves, don’t dwell on them – move on and talk about the great traits and experience you bring to the table!
  3. Problem: The interviewer doesn’t seem interested. Solution: Make a stronger connection. Sometimes we can forget about the human element of job interviews, treating them like a business transaction instead of a new personal connection. If you feel like your interviewer is bored with the interview or that he or she just isn’t interested in your skills, it’s up to you to make a stronger effort to connect. Think about your body language – are you making strong eye contact, leaning in and demonstrating your own engagement? Asking questions can also help bring interviewers “back.” Turn the conversation around to engage the interviewer with questions about his or her role with the company, what it’s like to work with the employer, and other questions about both the interviewer and the company (remember, of course, to keep the questions professional, but on a personal level).
  4. Problem: You just know that the interview didn’t go well. Solution: Talk to your recruiter. Sometimes no matter what steps you take, an interview feels like it just didn’t go well. In these situations, a recruiter can be your most valuable tool. Call your recruiter and talk to him or her about what happened. Be honest about where you could have done better or where you felt you didn’t make the right impression. Bad interviews happen, and when you are working with a recruiter who has a strong relationship with the employer, you have the added benefit of someone “going to bat” for you.

Preparing ahead of time can help minimize bad job interview experiences, but now you have the necessary steps to turn around a less than stellar interview. Are you looking for jobs in Southern California? Helpmates matches professionals like you with leading employers across the region. Visit our job board to view and apply for jobs today.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net/Ambro 

How to Take Your New Hires From “Employees” to “Superstars”

August 21st, 2015

Hiring employees takes considerable time, effort and ultimately, cost. But once you’ve got the right team on board, your work as an organization doesn’t stop there. Tapping into your team’s true potential raises everyone’s performance and can have a dramatic impact on your bottom line.

Are you maximizing the potential of your team?ID-10066157

There’s a superstar within nearly every new hire you make — it’s up to you and your organization to help employees realize that potential. Here are three ways you can get started right now:

Get off to the right start. Onboarding really is essential to the long-term performance of new employees. From introducing new hires to their new coworkers to ensuring they have all the technology and supplies needed to get started, your organization is responsible for how new employees feel as they get used to their new positions. Onboarding should never be an afterthought, but a carefully planned and executed part of your engagement and retention strategy. A couple other suggestions to help new employees get off on the right foot:

– Create daily “lessons” or “homework” so that new employees know what is expected of them for their first week or two. Rather than feeling confused or like they’re not contributing, new team members will go home each day with a sense of accomplishment.

– Keep in regular contact with new hires leading up to their start date and send paperwork in advance – let them know what to expect on their first day.

– Ensure they’re “in the loop” by providing a list of any company jargon that is used regularly – being the new guy or gal is hard enough, but feeling out of the loop when people speak what feels like a foreign language can make it significantly harder.

Recognize them on social media. Everyone likes to see their name in lights (or their picture in the paper). While social media is a great tool for meeting new clients or customers, it’s also an excellent place to recognize your employees and show off your corporate culture. Welcoming new hires while promoting events like employee birthdays, special achievements or awards, team building activities and other internal recognition shows your employees that they are valuable members of the team. It recognizes their essential contributions to your success, and fosters a sense of pride in employees outside the typical 9 to 5 (as your employees “like,” “comment” on or “share” your posts, they’re also spreading the word about your great company to new potential clients or employees). Employees who feel more engaged and involved in their employers’ success are are more productive and invested in their future.

Use objective and reliable methods to assess performance. In many organizations, employees wander a bit aimlessly day to day, going through the motions and working on the same tasks, in the same way. Without consistent and valuable feedback, how could anyone expect employees to take it to the next level? Annual performance reviews are not enough to build a team of superstars. Gather your managers and define performance metrics for key roles within your organization. Objectivity here is key – input from other departments or leaders may be helpful to ensure consistency and fairness across the board. Then once those metrics have been defined, ensure they are communicated to each member of your team, along with expectations and steps to take to ensure their performance is where your organization expects it to be. Follow up regularly to encourage continued growth and performance, and offer suggestions while also soliciting feedback from your team.

Before you can help your employees reach their potential, you have to find the right people to add to your team. Helpmates has an extensive network of talent across Southern California – we’ll help you find your next superstar. Contact us today to get started.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net/Ambro

How to (Quietly) Conduct a Job Search

August 14th, 2015

Three out of four employees within a given company are actively searching for a job. It’s definitely a candidate’s market right now, and employers are hiring. But searching for a new job while working at your current one can feel like a challenge.

Use some discretion during your job search.

Conducting a job search with discretion while you’re employed requires some extra steps, but it’s far from impossible. Follow these steps to protect your privacy and stay under the radar during your job search:HM2

  1. Update your LinkedIn privacy settings. One of the first things you should do when preparing for your job search is update your LinkedIn profile to ensure you’re putting your best foot forward. But as you’re making updates to your LinkedIn profile, you may be broadcasting your changes and intentions to your connections. To keep your changes under wraps, visit the Privacy & Settings page by moving your mouse to the top right of LinkedIn (where your photo is located). On the expanded menu that appears, scroll down to “Privacy & Settings” and click. Scroll down to “Privacy Controls” and turn off your “Activity Broadcasts.” You can also change other settings if you’d like to take another step to protect your privacy (this can be particularly effective if you’re connecting with hiring managers or recruiters – “Select Who Can See Your Connections” is the setting to update in that instance).
  2. Be careful when networking. Spreading the word about your impending job move can help you build some momentum and increase your network of contacts. But proceed with caution – once you start telling others about your job search, you are essentially “all in” and have no choice but to move forward. Additionally, how you present yourself during networking opportunities is important. Stressing that you’re happy in your current job but open to new opportunities can help demonstrate your aspirations without sounding desperate or negative about your current company.
  3. Think about references. It is nearly impossible to share references from your current employer during a job search. Be careful when compiling references for your new career opportunities. A trusted colleague at your current employer (absolute certainty at this person’s discretion and support is essential) or supervisors or colleagues from previous employers, can help fill the gap left by any current managers. Also, it’s important to note that many employers understand and appreciate that candidates are searching for new opportunities while still employed. Discuss this fact openly with new potential employers — they will often make job offers contingent on positive references. From there, it’s up to you to have a strong conversation with your current boss (and persuade him or her to provide you with a good reference) when you eventually get an offer. As in many areas of business, clear and open communication here is essential.
  4. Partner with a recruiter. Finding a new job is in and of itself a full-time job for many people. If you’re working 40 hours a week and simultaneously looking for a new job, it could be too much. When you partner with a staffing firm, your recruiter will help you polish your resume, prepare for interviews and most importantly — will look for job opportunities that match your goals. Your recruiter will operate with discretion while searching for your next great career opportunity, so you can focus on continuing to do a great job at your current employer.

Here at Helpmates, we help talented professionals like you find great jobs in Southern California. Visit our job board or contact your nearest Helpmates office to take the next step in your career.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net/stock images

Back to School? Continued Education and Its Impact on Your Career.

August 7th, 2015

Education equals career success. That’s what we’ve been taught for years, right? But what kind of education makes the biggest impact? And does it really make an impact at all?

Employers love education.

Without a doubt, education is something that employers look for on a resume. Generally, degrees and education can help you earn a higher salary. Education also demonstrates a commitment to growth and learning that impresses hiring managers. With a variety of online and in-person education opportunities available today, the time has never been better to invest in continued education.

But, continued education can make a bigger impact on certain careers and industries than others.  Here’s a breakdown of some important areas for professional education, and how they can impact your career:HM1

  • Customer service professionals. You’d be hard-pressed to find an employer that isn’t impressed by any continued education, certificates or degrees in the areas of leadership and management. As an employee, investing in courses or degree programs that focus on management and leadership demonstrates to employers that you plan on moving up in the company and taking on more responsibility. It also can demonstrate some stability, and give the impression that you’re looking for a long-term career partner, and not just a stop along the way. In the literal sense, you’ll gain critical information in these types of programs that can help you not only ascend the corporate ladder, but truly succeed and thrive as a leader within your organization.
  • Administrative professionals. While there are technical and soft skills that are essential for any administrative professional to succeed, advanced certification opportunities can also help you stand out from the competition and demonstrate competency in your area of expertise. IAAP (International Association of Administrative Professionals) offers a certification program that encompasses all areas of an office environment. An advanced certification in organizational management takes that certification a step further as well. Providing a range of education and study materials and culminating in an exam, completing these certifications is an investment in your career that demonstrates a genuine commitment to your profession.
  • Accounting/finance professionals. Few industries are evolving and changing as often as accounting and finance. Quality continued education opportunities adhere to strict standards while providing insights and information into evolving tax law, business ethics, specialized knowledge, personal development and more. From seminars and webinars to online and in-person courses, a range of organizations offer certifications and continued education opportunities for accounting/finance professionals. Especially in this industry, it’s important to research the credentials and background of your education provider for accounting/finance education. Credentialed individuals and organizations with the right experience and qualifications are essential to provide you with relevant, correct information and a quality learning experience.
  • Changing Careers. When you’re looking for a new career, education and certifications can provide the qualifications and knowledge you need to make a successful transition. Employers who see education and certifications for a career shift are also more likely to feel that you are serious about your new career path, and have wholly committed to being successful. Finally education and certification programs often provide opportunities for internships and volunteer opportunities that can give you hands on experience in your new career field, adding even more benefit and value to prospective employers.

Making an investment in your education can absolutely make a big impact on your career. The right career partner is also critical. Helpmates is hiring for a range of positions with top employers across Southern California. Search our open jobs now or contact your local Helpmates office to get started.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net/Stuart Miles

How to Attract Millennial Workers

July 31st, 2015

Millennials are a hot topic for employers today – and with good reason: Millennials will make up the largest generation in the US workforce this year. But while the millennial generation may be the largest, it can also be considered one of the most complex. Research shows they are motivated differently than several past generations, and understanding these differences could be key to landing top millennials for your workforce.Blogs_June3

Your organization’s success requires attracting talented millennials.

Millennials are driving innovation across multiple industries and are sure to be an essential component of your organization’s short- and long-term success. These tips can help you attract talented young professionals who will make an impact on your business:

  • Show them what you’re all about. While salary is the first thing people often think of when considering job opportunities, millennials today are more interested in who you are and what your company is all about. What do you stand for? Define your values and ensure your company actually lives up to them. Then be sure that message is clear in your employment branding tools and materials.
  • Offer clear career paths. Millennials are eager to jump in and make an immediate impact (23% of them said it matters most to them), but it can be difficult to feel important when you’re in an entry-level position. One way around this is to define and communicate clear career paths (and options) for new employees upon hiring (or even during job interviews). A “clear path for advancement” actually ranked as the second most important factor for millennials in one study (at 20%), so building a clear path and communicating how important employees are to the big picture is essential.
  • Be active on social media. Research shows that the best way to recruit millennials is on social media (42% – which is 50% more than the next highest method!). If your organization isn’t posting great content on social media and engaging with its audience, you are missing out on landing potential superstars.
  • Share feedback regularly. Performance reviews are an annoyance to some organizations, a requirement for others…and sometimes they’re used as an excellent retention and productivity tool. Millennials want and expect regular feedback from their managers, so if you don’t have a system in place for assessing employees and providing targeted steps for improvement, it’s time to get to work!

Searching for talented millennial workers? Helpmates has an extensive network of talent across Southern California. Contact your nearest Helpmates office to learn how we can help your business reach its goals.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net/alexisdc

Job Interview Tips: How to Discuss an Awful Job Experience

July 24th, 2015

While every past position hasn’t necessarily been a dream job, chances are you’ve had a bad experience or two in your employment history. From bad bosses to policies that don’t make sense, you probably have quite a few stories…but how you handle those experiences during a job interview could be essential to determining whether or not you land the job.Juneblog2

Careful handling of past job experiences is key.

Interviewers will expect you to come prepared to discuss past employers and positions, so careful preparation and handling of any bad experiences can make the difference between starting your new job and submitting another resume. Here are five tips to help you get through the discussion with flying colors:

  1. Be honest. It can be awfully tempting to gloss over a bad work experience in an attempt to impress interviewers, but this tactic can blow up in your face – and cause more damage than a tactful answer in the first place. Chances are your recruiter will speak with someone at your previous job and understand that it wasn’t the best situation. Be ahead of the game by sharing honest feedback on your previous experience.
  2. But not too honest. An overview of past experiences – good or bad – can help give interviewers a well-rounded look into your background and how you’ve handled challenging situations. But while honesty is important, be sure to avoid giving too much information during a job interview. A high-level explanation of the challenges in a previous workplace, and how you overcame them, is more than enough to paint an accurate picture for recruiters. Going into more detail can open up additional questions that are uncomfortable and lead to unnecessary details.
  3. Avoid negativity. While honesty is important, tact and class are especially critical. Never (ever!) speak negatively about an individual in your previous workplace (or about an employer in general). While you can mention that you didn’t “have the strongest relationship” with a specific colleague, refrain from getting into blame or personal attacks during a job interview. Sometimes coworkers or bosses and employees don’t get along. It happens to many people, and if you speak about it with honesty while staying professional, you will make a much stronger impression.
  4. Find something positive. While you may not have had the best experience at a previous employer, chances are there was something positive you gained from the experience. Maybe they provided you with opportunities to grow your skill set. Or perhaps their flexible work arrangements helped create a better environment. Tying in something positive about the employer – despite your overall negative experience – demonstrates your willingness to learn and stay objective in difficult situations.
  5. Talk about your other jobs. Once you’ve given a high-level, honest overview of your experience and the positives you gleaned from it, move on. Put the emphasis more on your positive experiences and how they’ve prepared you for the specific career opportunity discussed in your interview. If you focus too much attention on the negative experience, it could end up being the most memorable part of your interview (for the wrong reasons). Instead, get to the details and move on to help tell your story and show why you’re the best fit for the job.

Want to avoid more bad job experiences? Helpmates is hiring professionals like you for jobs across Southern California. Search our job board or contact your nearest Helpmates office to learn more.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net/stockimages

Keep Your Job Search Focused This Summer

June 2nd, 2015

Summer is an exciting time for many of us – nice weather, vacations, family gatherings, outdoor activities and more. But while the season brings with it many fun activities, those activities could be considered distractions when it comes to your job search. HM_JuneBlog1

Finding a job during the summer requires focus

If you’re looking for a job, it can be easy to get distracted by summer activities and lose sight of your end goal. But while hiring generally slows down in the summer, it also ramps up quite a bit in the fall – the effort you put forth now can help set you up for success in the long term. The good news is that you don’t have to give up on fun entirely during the summer season – these tips can help you stay focused (while giving you some room for fun, too):

  • Schedule your day. Even if you can only devote a few hours each day toward your job search this summer, stay committed to those several hours. Schedule out your days and identify key goals and tasks you’ll accomplish each day. Something as simple as breaking things down into steps can mean the difference between landing a new job and starting over again in the fall.
  • Keep networking. With better weather comes better networking event locations – take advantage! Various networking groups will hold outdoor and other events during the summer, offering a fun way to enjoy the summer while moving your job search forward as well.
  • Stay professional. Summer temperatures are hotter, but resist the urge to wear casual summer clothes to networking or other professional events. Stay professional when you’re meeting with potential employers, recruiters or at networking events.
  • Remember it’s summer. Your schedule isn’t the only one that’s jam-packed this summer – chances are that hiring managers have summer vacations, family gatherings and other events too. Keep this in mind and be patient if you don’t hear back from employers in the most time efficient manner. Stay focused, follow up and be patient – it will pay off in the end.
  • Consider volunteering. Many nonprofit organizations hold fundraisers and other events to take advantage of the good moods and spirit of giving that come along with the great summer weather. Spending a few hours each week helping these organizations is not only a great thing to do for your community, but a great way to expand your network and build your skill set.

Looking for jobs in Southern California this summer? 

Helpmates is hiring! We match professionals like you with great jobs in Southern California. Search our currently available jobs or contact your nearest Helpmates office to get started.

Want the Best Talent? Avoid These Top Recruiter Mistakes. 

April 30th, 2015

You’re an experienced, savvy recruiter. You find the best candidates and make a perfect match with your open roles. Even the best of us make mistakes from time to time, though. In fact, most recruiters will succumb to one of these mistakes eventually.shareasimage 9.44.44 AM

Avoid these mistakes to land better talent for your organization.

Here are four of the most common mistakes – read them now, and you’ll be in great shape to avoid them later!

  • Not taking time to craft excellent job descriptions. With all that’s on your plate, job descriptions can almost seem like an afterthought. But spending an extra few minutes to create a compelling job description that accurately conveys requirements and expectations for the job will save you significant time (and possibly headaches) down the road. Better job descriptions lead to more informed candidates. More informed candidates have better prepared resumes and cover letters, which make identifying top talent a bit easier. Plus, they’re more likely to come to job interviews better prepared with thoughtful questions.
  • Only searching for the “perfect” match. You may think you know exactly the perfect candidates for your job openings. The precise background, education and experience needed to thrive in your roles is perfectly laid out for you. But are these expectations really setting you up to find the best candidates for those roles? Or more importantly, for your company? Take a “big picture” look at candidates before painting a picture in your mind of how the perfect candidate should look. Speak to managers and team members to understand how employees will fit into the big picture, then be flexible while meeting with candidates. While you certainly want to adhere to requirements and expectations, taking a more open-minded approach could mean landing a future superstar within your organization.
  • Turning down overqualified candidates. We are living in an era where career transitions are more common than ever. Online education has made learning about new fields and areas of interest easier than ever, and bright professionals are taking advantage. But, eager professionals with impressive resumes can set off the “overqualified” warning to recruiters. Turn off that warning and be open to overqualified candidates – while you certainly want to conduct your due diligence to prevent being a “stepping stone” organization, you will likely gain a passionate, eager employee.
  • Not communicating. Whether it’s explaining things during a telephone screen or following up post-interview with next steps or decisions, communicating with candidates is critical to a successful recruiting career. Remember, candidates are also your customers. If you leave them hanging or fail to provide critical information to help them make decisions or continue through the hiring process, you are providing poor customer service. While you may not be interested in certain candidates, taking a few moments to communicate effectively ensures that – while they may not have gotten the job – you still value their application. Word of mouth is extremely important when it comes to considering new employers…you want to ensure word of mouth about your organization is positive! Plus, while a candidate might not be the right fit for this role, he or she may be a perfect fit for another role down the line. If you’ve failed to communicate effectively and have left a negative impression, do you think they’ll want to work for you later?

Finding great talent in today’s marketplace can be a challenge, but following these tips can help you considerably. Need more help? Helpmates has an extensive network of talented professionals across Southern California who are ready to jump in and make an immediate impact on your business. Contact us today to learn more.

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