How to Get the Most Out of Your Recruiter

May 23rd, 2017

We’re recruiters and we love it! For all its many ups and downs, it’s a career that helps candidates find work and our clients find great employees. Our hearts just go zing! when we help someone find a new position. After all, without work, we can’t support our families, we can’t realize our dreams, we can’t help our children become all they can be.

Los Angeles recruiters

So we fully understand that “a job” really is more than that: work can give us meaning and provide us the opportunity to work at something greater than ourselves. It also can provide community as well as income.

So in a very important way, jobs are our lives in the sense that without work, we can’t truly live. And that’s why we think working as a recruiter is one of the greatest careers out there because our work has a massive impact on individual lives.

(In fact, the American Staffing Association [the trade association of the staffing industry; Helpmates is a member], has a whole section on the benefits of recruiting/staffing as a career: Staffing as a Career – A Whole Opportunity Awaits. If you’ve ever wanted to sit on our side of the desk, we hope you check it out.)

Not All Bright Lights and Glamor

Still, working as a recruiter in the staffing industry is intense. Our days are extremely busy day. As in incredibly, astonishingly, exceedingly, unbelievably, absurdly busy.  On any given day we could:

  • Need to find 20 people to head to work at a distribution center. Tomorrow. Oh, and the client called us about it at 4 p.m.
  • Need to fill 10 administrative assignments this week. We only have eight great admin professionals available, so we need to interview several more so that we can fill our clients’ needs.
  • Three temporary associates called in sick at the last minute, and we need to replace them ASAP.
  • We have two great accounting professionals coming in for an interview with us before we send them out on a terrific permanent job interview.

And that’s all while fielding lots of phone calls and dozens upon dozens of e-mails from our clients and candidates.

What to Look for in a Recruiter/Staffing Service

Looking for work is stressful enough; don’t make it harder by working with a service that makes your job search more nerve-wracking than it need be.

When looking at different staffing firms, look for:

  • A firm in which most of its recruiters are Certified Staffing Professionals (CSPs). CSPs are certified by the ASA and the designation shows that the recruiter has the expertise and commitment to adhere to the highest standards of professionalism. The exam is comprehensive and takes considerable study before a recruiter can pass. It’s a true mark of distinction and all of our recruiters here at Helpmates are required to take the exam and pass it!
  • A commitment to treating all candidates with the utmost respect and understanding. This actually can be rated. Inavero’s Best of Staffing surveys asks both staffing service clients and candidates to rate their staffing service and then Inavero tallies results and provides its Best of Staffing award in the two categories. Only two percent of staffing firms in the U.S. and Canada win these awards and Helpmates has been placed on the “Best of Staffing” list for eight straight years. Winning the candidate (called “talent” by Inavero) satisfaction award is a sign that our candidates feel we treat them with the respect and consideration they are due.
  • Look for a service with recruiters who have stayed with the company for at least three years. The staffing and human resources industries are well known for their internal employee turnover rates. So when you find a service with recruiters with several years’ tenure, you’ve found a firm that treats its internal employees right – a very good sign for you! Here at Helpmates, our average recruiter tenure is 5.1 years and our turnover is less than half of the staffing industry’s rate.

How to Get the Best Out of Us

If you’re looking for work and contact one of our offices, we want to make sure you have the best experience possible, so we want you to know this:

We truly want to help you find work. Really. Honest. Truth!

But we do have constraints and the biggest one is this: our primary job isn’t to find people work; it’s to find our clients the best workers.

Remember, our work on your behalf costs you nothing. If our main purpose was to find you work, we’d have to charge you for it. We need to make a profit: Helpmates is a business, after all.

So our clients pay for our work and therefore our top priority is to find them the best candidate for a position. Yet right up there with that priority (as in, thisclose) is finding you work.

However, unless you have the skills and background our clients need, we won’t be able to place you. You could be the nicest, the hardest working, the most devoted person in the world, but if you don’t have the skills or experience our clients need, we may not be able to find a position for you.

However, that doesn’t mean we can’t help you.

What does that mean? If you have flexibility and are willing to take positions for which you may be overqualified; if you understand our client-stipulated constraints; if you understand that even temporary assignments are real work, should be treated as such (yes, put your time with us on your resume) and can lead to more permanent work; if you’re open to learning new skills (such as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) on your own time, without pay (we provide the software so that you may do this at home); we will work very hard to help you.

After all, if you do the above, you’re showing initiative and you’re showing a great work ethic. In other words, to paraphrase Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire, you’re helping us help you and so don’t be surprised if we go out of our way to help you as much as we can!

In the meantime, take a look at our current temporary, temp-to-hire and direct-hire opportunities at some of Orange and Los Angeles counties’ best employers. If one appeals to you, follow the instructions on the listing or contact us! We look forward to helping you find a great position.

Using Snapchat in Your Recruiting Efforts: Why and How

May 16th, 2017

Have you heard the buzz about Snapchat and recruiting? With 158 million people using Snapchat every day, it’s no wonder the social platform has enticed recruiters.

In a nutshell, Snapchat allows users to record videos, take photos, add then text and graphics to a message and then send it to a specific list of recipients.

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The feature that has made Snapchat so popular with Millennials and Generation Z is because each of those messages (known as Snaps) have a set time limit, from about 1 to 10 seconds, depending on the length the Snap’s creator chooses. If a recipient opens a Snap in the Snapchat app on a smartphone, the message disappears after the allotted time, whether the recipient looks at it or not. The platform therefore has a huge “Look at me NOW or miss out!” vibe. (A recipient can open a Snap and save it for later, but the recipient needs to save it quickly.)

While you may think that you don’t want to recruit teens (Generation Z), understand that as the social channel grows, user age also is growing: about 50 percent of Snapchat users are older than 25 and the number of 35-year-olds and older is growing, as well. (More Android users have downloaded the Snapchat than the Twitter app!)

Using the Power of a Disappearing Image/Video to Your Recruiting Advantage

So how can you incorporate Snapchat into your recruiting strategies? Take a look below.

  1. If not already using the app, download it and create an account.

Take a profile picture and add some friends. (Make sure you’re careful about the username you choose, as you won’t be able to change it. Since you may use Snapchat for professional purposes, choose as professional username as possible.)

You also can use a public/professional/company profile as you get used to the app. But until then, play around with your personal account to get used to its quirks and capabilities. Have fun!

Learn the lingo: a Snap is a message that’s deleted. A Story is an image or even video that’s accessible to recipients for up to 24 hours.

  1. Once you start using the app for recruiting, get creative!

Online marketing company HubSpot has a nice blog post on how to use Snapchat for business, including tips on using it for recruiting (scroll down to the last one, about HubSpot’s own used of the app for recruiting).

  1. Post live videos on Snapchat.

Are you holding a big conference, seminar or recruiting event? If so, send a photo, video, or clips of speakers, etc. to your followers. Get them involved!

  1. Use Snapchat’s Stories feature to post job opportunities.

Tape the hiring manager talking a bit about the opportunity – make sure he talks about why it’s a great opportunity for someone – and ask people to send in their resumes.

  1. Video team members talking about their day-to-day lives at work.

Use Stories and send the short videos to your followers. Doing so gives potential candidates a peek into your culture. Provide Snaps and Stories about team member birthdays, promotions, team meetings and outings. You get the idea.

In other words, stay professional, but show your potential candidates the exciting and fun things that take place day-to-day at your firm.

Speaking of fun, it may sound corny, but we do love to match great candidates with terrific employers in Orange and Los Angeles counties. When you have a direct-hire, temp-to-hire or temporary opportunity at your company, call upon Helpmates to find you the talent you need. Contact one of our Southern California offices today.

5 Things to Do In Your First Days on the Job

May 9th, 2017

You’ve just started your new job. You want to impress your new manager and get along well with your new coworkers.

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To help you do so, we present you with five things you should aim to do on your first few days and weeks at your new employer.

Take a look below.

  1. Get there early and stay late.

First impressions matter and if you’re late for your first day – or first few days – you’re sending the message that the job is one you’ll get to when you get to. Instead, make sure you arrive on time. Arriving even a little early is better.

As for clocking out, aim to stay at least until quitting time. Staying 10-20 minutes after also is a good thing to do.

  1. Set up some one-on-one meetings with co-workers and others in your company.

We’re not talking lunch here, at least not yet. What we mean is that we believe you should make a point of meeting with new colleagues and supervisors (even people in other departments with whom you will be in contact) so that you can get to know them better. This includes finding out about what they do at the company, how long they’ve worked there, why they chose the company, and to ask questions about the ins and outs of your new employer’s culture. You also will get to know your new colleagues on a more personal level, helping you create a strong relationship from the beginning.

  1. Ask questions. A lot of questions.

You’re the new guy or gal, so don’t be afraid to ask questions. Remember: you may not know what you don’t know. So ask your supervisor to be very clear on his or her expectations. Ask specifically what your duties and goals are. Ask colleagues for help and advice. You’ll come across as a team player and approachable if you do.

  1. Talk less and listen more.

This applies even if you’re a new manager and, if you’re not, make sure you’re contributing knowledge and insights and volunteering for projects, but definitely don’t hog conversations. Instead sit back and observe. When you do speak, make most of the words coming out of your mouth questions, not statements.

  1. Remember to always talk nicely about your former employer.

Yes, perhaps your ex-manager truly was the boss from hell, or a co-worker really did try to sabotage your good work. But you’re unproven. You’re not truly accepted yet and trashing former bosses and colleagues just makes you look…immature and a gossip (which makes you untrustworthy).

If you believe it’s time to move on from one employer to the next, take a look at our current – and ever changing – job opportunities in Southern California. If you see one or more that’s interesting, apply! And if you don’t, contact the Helpmates office nearest you about registering with us so that we can contact you quickly when a position better suited to you appears.

The Art of Writing Online Job Descriptions

May 2nd, 2017

It’s a candidates’ job market: the job seeker pool is shrinking and it’s becoming ever harder to fill positions, especially those that require even a modicum of skill.

Orange county staffing

In fact, the ratio of open jobs to the number of unemployed people in the U.S. is 1 to 1.4, which is big difference from the ratio at the height of the Great Recession in July 2009, when it was 1 to 6.6. In other words, today, there is just one unemployed for every 1.5 job openings. Gone are the days of posting a position and receiving applications from many qualified applicants: candidates call the shots today.

And so your online job description for your open position is in deep, deep, DEEP competition with others.

Here’s how to fix that. Take a look below.

  1. Showcase what’s in it for them.

Make sure you show how working for you benefits a candidate. Do you have incredible perks such as three weeks of paid vacation from the get-go, tuition reimbursement, cell phones provided, free lunches, and so on? Do you offer telecommuting options, bonus and incentive programs, free gym memberships, incredible opportunities for advancement? You get the idea.

Of course they need to work hard and help you solve your problems/challenges and reach your goals, but when it’s a candidates’ market, the onus shifts to you a bit more to “sell” your company to potential applicants.

  1. Don’t forget keywords.

And make sure you place them in the posting’s title. You also will want to stay clear of fun and “cute” titles (“Seeking Medical Office Ninja”). Instead, make sure your titles are straightforward and that you’ve made sure include optimal keywords.

  1. Stay away from boring.

Yes, we just mentioned staying away from the cute and quirky, but you need to make sure your posting shows that humans work in your office. Nice humans. Humans who can be fun to be around.

In other words, the body of your posting should be warm and relaxed, rather than staid and impersonal.

Remember to make the opportunity inviting (it is a sales pitch) instead of just listing job tasks and candidate requirements. You want to make the reader want to learn more.

  1. Make the posting mobile friendly.

Most people – and this includes job seekers – surf the Web on smartphones or tablets. In fact, Jobvite in 2016 reported that fully half of all job seekers have looked for a new position while in bed!

So keep the length short-ish. Skip the big blocks of text (bullet points and subheads are your best friends).

  1. Consider video.

Having a link to a short employer branding video (no longer than 60-90 seconds) can help present your company’s culture, mission and branding. A video lets a potential applicant see what your offices look like, see how colleagues interact, the dress code, and so on. You want to showcase your company’s “vibe,” showing how it’s an attractive place to spend 40-plus hours a week.

If possible, have one or more videos ready depending on the level of the open position. New grads, for example, will want to see young people, mentoring examples, socialization during and after work, etc.

Let Helpmates Staffing help you find Southern California’s best employees. All of our recruiters are CSP-certified or working toward certification (it’s a requirement to work here). We can source, vet and place skilled healthcare, finance, office, HR, warehouse/distribution professionals for you. Contact an office nearest you to learn more.

Getting Gender Diversity Right

April 25th, 2017

You undoubtedly want to make sure your Southern California company enjoys a diverse employee pool when it comes to the number of the men and the number of women who work for you.

We’ve put together five strategies that can help you do so. Take a look below.

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  1. Embrace the fact that women bring a great deal of talent to the table.

Senior management needs to understand this most of all because gender diversity starts at the top and trickles down. Managers and members of the C-suite need to set an example. Your firm should embrace a diversified, inclusive workforce because it not only brings a great deal of new and different perspectives into the workplace, it also enhances a company’s business performance.

  1. Take a look at all of your HR policies and get rid of gender biases.

Revamp policies that either actually do – or even just appear to – benefit men over women. Review your training and management grooming policies to make sure women are given the same career development prospects.

Also, make sure you train hiring managers and recruiters to be aware of their unconscious biases when making hiring decisions. Make sure you do not shame anyone as you ask them to take a close look at their own partialities: everyone has some level of unconscious bias.

  1. Don’t just think about “making sure” you hire more women: include

It may take some work, but aim to transform your company culture into one that automatically includes women in everything you do. Need more technicians? Make the effort to train hiring managers to look for female techs as a matter of course. In other words, don’t look at gender diversity as something you have to do to be compliant with today’s equality laws; instead, embrace it as a “part of a vibrant organizational culture.”

  1. Consider hiring someone to focus solely on increasing gender diversity.

Your human resources director already has to concentrate on many different things. Instead of asking her to put one more critical task on to her overly full plate, put the resources behind your push for gender diversification and hire someone to focus only on increasing diversity.

  1. Think long-term rather than merely short-term.

The United Nations has asked that leaders from businesses throughout the world work to have 50-50 gender equality by 2030. (It’s part of the UN’s 17 sustainable development goals for the world.)

Get started on meeting this goal now, or take the risk that your competitors will beat you, thereby becoming magnets for the best and brightest of female talent, talent you really can’t afford to lose.

Helpmates Staffing can help you meet all diversity goals. We have connections with many of the region’s best candidates in healthcare, HR, finance, administration, and warehouse/distribution. Contact the recruiting professionals in the office nearest you to learn more about how we can help fill your workforce with the best talent Southern California has to offer.

The False Reasons We Give to Stay Put

April 18th, 2017

How often have you thought, “It’s time I really take charge of my professional life and ask for that raise/change careers/move to a better employer/get that college degree so that I can advance in my career.”

And then you do….nothing.

Orange county jobs

You’re not alone. After all, who hasn’t dreamed of saying adios to the status quo and just….making a major move!

But too often we only think about making a big change in our work life or career and take none of the steps necessary to get us where we want to go.

What’s more, we almost always come up with one or more excuses – um, reasons — why we can’t make the change. And, let’s be honest here: they truly aren’t reasons; they are excuses we provide ourselves because – let’s be honest – we’re scared. Totally, utterly, scared.

Need proof? Take a look below at three false reasons we give ourselves when we’re actually too afraid to make a move.

  1. It’s not that bad right now where I’m at in my life/career. I enjoy the work and the pay’s decent. Why change?

Ask yourself this: if you say “it’s not that bad right now,” why aren’t you really saying “it’s terrific!”? In other words, “not that bad” is a far cry from “terrific,” right? “Not that bad,” is code for “I’m scared of change/scared I’ll fail/scared I’ll hate any big change I might make.”

In other words, “not that bad” really means “I’ve given up hope things truly could be terrific.”

Don’t let yourself be “that guy.” You know: the guy (or gal) who reaches the end of life and wonders “what if.”

  1. I can’t afford it.

Yes, you may not be able to make a big change right now. After all, if you have debt or you need to support a family, making an abrupt change definitely is a bad idea.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t start moving forward. Have too much debt? Look into ways you can pay it off.

Want to change careers but need more education to do so and you can’t afford it right now? Talk to a financial advisor at the school of your choice. You may find it has scholarships or grants it can recommend. At the least you will know how much the education will cost and you can start saving budgeting now.

Want to start a business? You may not be able to quit your job now, but there’s nothing stopping you from starting a side-gig and growing it over time while you toil at your day job.

“It’s too expensive,” often really means “I don’t want to do the extra work or make the additional effort to pay down debt/side a side hustle/go back to school.”

If that’s the case, own it. Don’t hide behind supposed poor financials. You’d be amazed how things can come to fruition once you acknowledge that money really isn’t the problem.

  1. I’ve worked so hard to get to this point in my career; I can’t just give it all up now.

This is an example of believing the sunk-cost fallacy, which is a belief that because you’ve put so much money, effort or education into something you should continue doing it because it cost you so much. But in reality the money/time, is already spent (it’s a sunk cost). Leaving it will cost you nothing more and you’ll get nothing more from staying with it, either.

For example: you buy tickets to see your favorite band. Tickets are $200 each and you ask your girlfriend to join you. But by the time the concert rolls around in three months your girlfriend has dumped you, your heart is broken and you’ve no desire to go see the band because it’s too painful to do so without her but you don’t want to “waste” your money.

So don’t go! The money is already spent! You won’t get it back by going. It’s a sunk cost: it’s gone.

The sunk-cost fallacy often has cost people far more than $400 spent on a concert: people stick with a losing stock because they paid so much for it, for example. In your case, you’re staying in a career or at a job because you’ve put so much into it. That time and effort are sunk costs. They are gone! You should go, too.

If you think it’s finally time to take the first step to a better job, contact Helpmates. We connect people living in Los Angeles and Orange counties with some of the region’s best employers, so call or visit the office nearest you to learn more about how we can help get you where you want to go.

What Your Employees Might Ask For (If They Felt Brave)

April 11th, 2017

Think your employees are happy as the proverbial clam? They very well could be!

But chances also are good that there are a few things they would ask for if they felt brave enough to do so. Such as? Read below.

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  1. Better or fair compensation.

Many studies show that salary is not the be all and end all when it comes to employee happiness. But, seriously? Money does matter, and it appears it does so a bit more now that employees feel the recession is long over and they are looking to “recoup losses” as well as make up for higher healthcare premiums and reductions in benefits.

  1. Continuing education opportunities.

Millennials especially want career-enhancing continuing education opportunities. The Center for Talent Innovation released a study last year that found that 73 percent of this particular generation believe it’s important to have the chance to learn additional professional skills.

They’re not alone: everyone appreciates learning something new, especially in this changing-on-a-dime-every-second job market of ours. Employees know that if they’re not learning new technologies and strategies, they’re becoming obsolete.

Continuing education benefits could include in-house seminars, opportunities to earn certificates and degrees (partially paid for or fully reimbursed by the employer), the chance to go to off-site conferences and seminars, etc.

  1. Better workplace technology.

You ask a lot of your employees and judge them by their productivity, efficiency and goals met. Yet are you providing them with the tools they need to meet these challenges? For example, are you asking your sales people to make 100 cold calls a week but not providing them with an up-to-date CRM?

And if you think your technology is up-to-snuff, you may want to check with your employees: fully one in three say the equipment they have at home is better than what they have to work with at the office!

  1. More flexibility in where work is completed and when.

Unless your employees must deal with customers or clients face-to-face all the time, consider offering them the chance to complete work when they want and from where they want. Deadlines must be met, of course, but does it really matter if a worker finishes the project at midnight from home the day before?

Many of your exempt employees probably already are working on weekends and after hours. Why not give them the flexibility to do that which needs to be done when they feel it’s best to do it? And from where it’s best to do it?

Telecommuting may not work for every employee or for every employer, of course, but because technology has made it so easy for your team members to work for you during their “off” hours, why not allow them more where-and-when flexibility all the time?

Every enterprise wants the right employees in place. Here at Helpmates, we connect companies across Orange and Los Angeles counties with outstanding talent. Give us a call today to learn more about how we can help you find great people for your business.

Shout “I Got the Job!”: Acing the Interview

April 4th, 2017

A resume gets you an interview. Your references and skills back up what a great fit you are for the position.

The interview is what gets you the job.

On the top of it, that sounds like a lot of pressure: it’s do-or-die time at the job interview! But let us reassure you: it’s not that hard to ace a job interview. It’s truly not, especially if you look at in two ways:

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  1. It’s the place where you can show a hiring manager what you’ve got.
  2. Remember that it’s also your time to check the company out to decide if it would be a good match for you.

Strategies that Can Help a Hiring Manager Say “When Can You Start?”

While we really do believe that job interviews can be enjoyable, the best interviews take a lot of preparation up front (they take some effort, in other words). Remind yourself: no winging it at a job interview. Never.

Instead, a key factor in getting a job offer is to make sure you take the time needed to do the following:

  1. Research the company. A ton. As in considerable research.

We told you good job interviews come about because of effort on your part. And most of that effort occurs long before you shake hands with the hiring manager. As soon as you set a date for an in-person meeting – or even “just” a phone interview – it’s time to crack open the Internet and get studying!

Visit the company’s website and read all of it, if possible. Every last page. Read its blog. Read the bios of its executives. If it’s a publically traded company, check out its Investor Relations tab and read all of the company’s latest financial statements, especially its SEC filings. (These are goldmines, especially the quarterly reports – often called 10Qs – because they report in great detail what the company did that quarter, and what its plans are for the future. SEC filings are better than reading the company’s annual report because they are detailed and gloss over – spin – nothing.)

Studying these reports gives you great insights into a company’s goals, successes and challenges. What’s more, just watch – really, watch! – the hiring manager’s eyes get big with excitement when you say “I read your latest quarterly report about your acquisition of XYZ company. I have two years’ experience with acquisition accounting procedures. Let me tell you about improvements I made for my current employer’s latest acquisition.”

The idea behind this research is not to do the minimal and call it a day. Really dig into the meat of a company’s website, reports, etc. Look for news releases. Google it and see what gossip comes up.

If you know the hiring manager’s name, check her out on LinkedIn (after all, she undoubtedly took a look at your profile). Find out what you have in common and learn about her work experience, education and skill sets.

The more you know about a company the better. It truly will impress your interviewer and will allow you to talk intelligently and strategically about how your background and skills will help the company reach its goals.

  1. Practice the interview with a trusted friend, family member or mentor.

Practice can be especially helpful if this is your first job interview, if you’ve been on just a few or if this is an interview for your first “real” job after high school or college.

Google “typical interview questions in XX ” (human resources, manufacturing, marketing, banking, etc.), print them out and prepare for them. Ask your friend to play the interviewer and ask the questions. Practice asking some questions yourself. Practice answering the questions as asked and then moving them slightly so that you can talk about how your skills and background specifically apply: “I want to work in your medical office because I understand you are expanding and I’d love to help you create efficient patient in-take systems, thus helping you see patients more quickly and cutting down on their wait time. At my last employer I was able to revise the in-patient process such that ….”

You may think that having the interviewer do most of the talking is a good thing (less pressure!), but you want to be sure you are able to tell the employer why hiring you benefits her.

  1. Make a strong, positive first impression.

For good or for ill, the first seconds of a job interview can make or break the interview. Even the very first second. You need to make sure yours is the best it can be. Look the hiring manager straight in the eye as you approach with your arm outstretched to shake hands. Shake firmly, but don’t crush her hand. Wait to sit down until invited to. Call the interviewer Ms. or Mr.  unless told otherwise.

Wear business-type attire, even if you’re looking for work in a warehouse setting. If this is so, khaki slacks and a collared, long-sleeved shirt should suffice (no sneakers, and if you really want to impress, you might wear a tie and a jacket, although they are not necessary). Any office job requires a tie and jacket for men. At least a dress and jacket/dress pants and a blouse for women. If going for any type of professional position, suits for both men and women are appropriate.

Dull and boring? Perhaps. But you’re not there to show off your creative side (unless you work in marketing, and you can save the creative outfits for once you get the job). Yes, most offices are business casual today. But you want to come across as a serious candidate, and one to be taken seriously. It’s always best to overdress than under dress for a job interview.

If you’ve never been to the company before, if possible, make a trip before the interview to see how long it will take you to drive or take the bus: you don’t want to be a minute late, and if you find you will be, call and let the interviewer know.

Here at Helpmates, we want you to get the job and we’ll do all we can to help you land a great one. Contact the Helpmates office nearest you today.

Establishing a Successful Internship Program

March 28th, 2017

It’s the end of March and you know what that means: thousands of college students are looking for summer internships!!!

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If your Los Angeles- or Orange County-area company doesn’t already have an internship program, why not? Whether paid or un-paid (the student receives no monetary compensation but does receive college credit for her work with you), internships greatly benefit both the student and the employer: the student gets some real-world experience (that could lead to a real-world paying job) and the employer gets to have a top-notch student in his office, eager to work and learn – and possibly work after the internship! In other words, starting an internship program at your business can be a terrific recruiting tool.

March and April are Prime Time for Students to Seek out Summer Internships: How to Start One

If you’ve never had an internship program before, take a look below; we’ve put together an eight-step process for you to follow (and make your own, depending on your firm’s specific needs). Take a look below:

  1. Talk to a few local colleges.

If you’ve never hosted interns before, you’ll have a lot of questions that need answering. You’ll need to speak with college career offices to see what requirements they have as to what is acceptable in an internship (hiring someone just to get you coffee and run errands usually is not considered an internship). After all, the college wants its students to learn something during the students’ time with you. The college may ask you to outline what its students will learn and how you will ensure they learn it.

  1. Decide how many interns you can handle and where they will work.

Not every department in every company can host interns. Departments which typically host interns include marketing, human resources, accounting/finance, and even operations. Talk to department heads to see how many they may want/can handle before promoting internships.

  1. Decide if the internship will be paid or un-paid.

Don’t be worried if you cannot pay your interns. So long as they receive college credit, you will have students applying for your opportunity.

  1. Design the program.

A good internship structure will have learning objectives, daily responsibilities, both short- and long-term projects, evaluation procedures, written expectations, orientation, and an off-boarding process.

  1. Evaluate and decide on the skills, educational background, etc. you feel your interns will need.

For example, if you’re opening up a marketing internship, you will want a student with at least one or more classes in marketing, public relations/communications.

  1. Post the position.

You’ll want to post it with the many colleges and universities in Southern California. (You may decide to post only with a few, or with all; you can even post the opportunity at nationwide internship-posting sites.)

  1. Interview, check references and hire.

Practically every student you interview will have some sort of job history: it’s important that you check to make sure they have a good work ethic, no criminal background, and so on. Even if your firm’s HR department is in charge of the program, make sure the intern’s direct supervisor has a big say in choosing the final candidate.

If you’d like to hire your intern, but are still a tad uncertain if you want to bring her onboard permanently, Helpmates can put her on our payroll until if/when you decide to transfer her to your own.

Want to learn more? Contact the Helpmates office nearest you today.

When You Don’t Want to Be the Boss: the Lattice Career Model

March 21st, 2017

You’ve no doubt heard of someone who is absolutely terrific at sales. He or she meets and exceeds quotas left and right, month after month, year after year. So great is this person’s sales prowess that higher ups decide this individual is so phenomenal, they offer the carrot of going into sales management.

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And then the cliff falls away: the qualities it takes to excel at sales are different than those needed to manage and lead others. So much so that many exceptional sales professionals fall flat on their faces within just months of managing other sales professionals.

Successful sales people often turn down promotions into management for this very reason: they are great at what they do, are highly valued and often highly compensated. What’s not to like and why should they change?!

But what if you’re not a salesperson? Few jobs offer the chance to make more money without a promotion. Few positions also offer the opportunity to learn more and try different things without a promotion.

What’s more, what if you would love a promotion, but there’s just no room in your company for it (there’s only one spot ahead of you on the company’s organization chart and you know for a fact that that person has no plans to leave any time soon)?

Enter the career lattice. Possibly more appropriate in today’s workplace where people often come and go relatively quickly, where hierarchies are being replaced with collaborative work styles, the lattice is a great career path for ambitious professionals who know they don’t want to – or don’t have the skills to – manage others.

The lattice works because it recognizes there no longer is one definition of career success (that of climbing up “the rungs” until reaching the highest position possible in an individual’s career). The lattice concept is valuable because it acknowledges that there are a number of ways to contribute and different paths to grow in a career and skills.

What This Means for YOUR Career

Embracing the lattice concept of on-the-job success essentially gives those with non-traditional ambitions a sort of carte blanche when it comes to crafting a career. No longer do you need to worry that you’re not “right” for the next step up the ladder: once you get all you can out of a position in terms of challenge, skills and experiences, you can choose to take the next step up, or take those skills and experiences and find another position that uses your talents while challenging you in different ways.

For example, let’s say you started in banking at the teller level at a small bank. You take a few steps up the traditional teller ladder, taking a few classes along the way to upgrade your skills. You then find another job as a teller, but in a multi-national bank, where you’re encouraged to learn international exchange or credit analysis. You may not be “moving up” (at least, not yet), but while you’re a teller you’re learning new things and enjoying a more engaging work experience.

Or you’re a newly minted CPA and you start out in taxation in a large accounting firm. It can take a while to move up, but perhaps you get interested in the firm’s state and local tax side, so you ask to move over to that group for a while. Such a lateral move now allows you to learn additional skills, helping you stay in demand and moving up later.

If you’ve been stuck in a rut for a bit in your current position and are looking to make a change, contact the Helpmates office nearest you to learn more about how we can help you move up – or sideways – in your career. In the meantime, take a look at our current openings to see if there’s one that interests you.

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