Finding Those Elusive Creatures: Top Talent

Non-news flash: the best talent is incredibly hard to find today. With the unemployment rate at its lowest in 17 years, most people who want to work more than likely have found it

This low unemployment rate means that employers are willing to look the other way in regards to less-than-stellar job histories, felonies on their record and more, leaving recruiters and hiring managers scrambling and almost coming to fisticuffs when it comes to attracting and snagging candidates with in-demand skills.

find top talent los angeles

All employers want to hire the best employees they can afford. And while it’s a candidate’s market – and then some! – out there, we’ve found four strategies that can help you find the hard-to-find candidate with the skills, attitude, background, and solid work history you seek.

Take a look below.

  1. Good people know other good people: work your current employees for referrals. And work them hard!

The great ones know other great ones: they tend to hang out with them, live near them, go to/went to school with them, once worked with them, and so on. So it’s time to put together a robust referral program. No more: “refer a friend to us and get a Starbucks card,” or “If someone you refer to us is hired and stays for six months, you get $100.” No. Too weak.

Instead, make it extremely worth your current employees’ while to refer their friends to you. Hire a referral and give the referee $200 immediately; give the person giving you the referral $500 if the new-hire stays six months and then another $500 if the newbie becomes a yearling.

In addition, help your applicant tracking system help you with referrals: some ATS platforms have plugins that allow anyone in a company to notify HR or another designated individual when one of your employees finds someone online who looks pretty darn good.

  1. Reconsider the resume.

We know: blasphemy! But hear us out. Many people would be great employees but a) they don’t know how to write a resume that showcases how they can help you or b) they hire someone else who doesn’t know how to do this! Many people – as you well know – refuse to tweak a resume to highlight the skills they possess that you need. And so because those skills are hidden, you never see them and thus lose out on a potentially terrific candidate.

Some work history/skill assessment alternatives? If the job is skill-heavy (such as for IT and engineering), why not offer challenges/competitions open to anyone? Participants must give you their name, phone number and e-mail address in order to play and if you find they play well, you can contact them.

  1. Move away from that job board!

You already know LinkedIn is lousy with recruiters (87 percent of your fellow recruiting pros use the site for sourcing and contacting candidates.). Jobs posted on Monster, Indeed, Careerbuilder, et al do result in lots of applicants but the screening/culling process can be a killer. Instead, take a look at the job sites your candidate prospects frequent: Dice for tech, AngelList for startups, Dribbble for designers, and so on.

  1. Create a standalone website geared to the type of talent you seek and offer advice, news, job openings (your openings only).

The site should be more of an informational site than merely a recruiting site. Post blogs that discuss trends in the industry, news about movers and shakers, how to find work in the industry as a whole, salary information, etc. Offer forums/advice where professionals can ask questions from experts and their peers. And then provide links to job openings at your company.

(If this site truly takes off and receives a lot of traffic from talented individuals, make a bit of money by offering industry competitors to advertise on your site; create your own job board!)

When you’re having a hard time finding the perfect person, don’t go it alone: partner with the highly skilled recruiters here at Helpmates. Whether you need someone in the HR, healthcare, finance, administrative, or warehouse/distribution sectors, we can help. Contact the Helpmates office nearest you today.

Looking for Work During the Holidays: Why it Works

It’s the holidays! Time for great food; enjoying the red, green, yellow, blue, and white lights; listening to noels as well as goofy old-fashioned holiday songs (which still make you a tad weepy in a good way because they remind you of your grandmother); watching children’s faces light up with delight at special holiday decorations; getting together with friends and loved ones; shopping for gifts for those you love (and even those you’re not that keen on).

So who could possibly have time for job hunting?

holiday job search los angeles

You do!

At the least, you should make the time for job hunting because as busy as you are getting ready for the holidays, as much as you may not want to look for work (it’s not nearly as much fun anticipating the hunt for a job as it is the hunt for the perfect gift), looking for work during the holidays is a terrific idea because (drum roll): employers still have holes in their employee rosters! What’s more, here in December 2017, it’s still a candidate’s market and employers pretty much are desperate to find good people.

Yes, employers may distracted by the holidays as you are and hiring decisions may be put on hold later in the month as many people take vacation and some businesses close for a few days. But if you keep your full-court press on your SoCal job search at this time you’ll keep that momentum going in your search (a job hunt thrives on momentum).

Take a look below for X reasons why looking for work during the holidays…..works!

  1. Not everyone can stay focused on the job search, so you’ll have less competition.

We understand all too well how distracting the month of December can be. And not everyone can compartmentalize their different priorities – certainly not as well as you can! And because you can focus on the search, you can snag an interview from someone who’s distracted by holiday events and to-do lists.

Yes, you may find that hiring managers are a bit slower to get back to you. You also may find that when you are hired your new manager may say you won’t be starting until after the New Year. (But that’s OK, because instead of being “unemployed,” you’ll be “on vacation” and you can truly enjoy the holidays!)

  1. Can you say “Networking opportunities galore!”?

Take advantage of the many holiday gatherings and parties held at this time of year to – discreetly – connect with people who could possibly help you in your search. Not sure how to network at holiday gatherings? This article has several good tips.

  1. Many companies have “use it or lose it” budget policies.

Many department/hiring managers are given department funding that requires them to use all of the funds budgeted to them each year or else the money not used won’t show up in their budgets next year. (“After all,” their manager may reason, “they didn’t use it this year, so they don’t need it next year.”)

So hiring managers may be eager to fill an open position before the year ends and you may find yourself being called in for interviews and getting an offer faster than you might have anticipated.

  1. Many holiday positions can turn into permanent work.

Seasonal jobs often do turn into full-time work even after the holiday season ends. Savvy department managers know they would be foolish to let great workers go and so you well could be pleasantly surprised to be offered the chance to continue working after January 1.

So there’s one more reason to look into seasonal/holiday work if your “real” job hasn’t yet panned out.

  1. Temporary assignments also often become full-time opportunities.

Working with a staffing service such as Helpmates during the holiday season – or any time of the year – can help you bring in some cash while you look for work.

Yet many of our associates take on a temporary assignment and later are hired by our client company as their own employee. This happens regularly throughout the year and during the holidays.

So if you’re looking for your next opportunity, take a look at our current openings and, if one or more look interesting, follow the directions for applying.

Happy Holidays!

Why – Oh, Why! – is Organizational Change So Hard?

If you work in HR or in some management or leadership capacity at your company and if you’ve ever been part of a committee charged with some form of “organizational change management” at your firm, we don’t have to tell you plain fraught such a task can be.

Few of us like change. Even fewer of us at work like change and if we by chance do like change, well, most of our colleagues certainly do not. Nope. Not having it. We’ve always done it this way. Put it back the way it was before.

Los Angeles temp agency

Why do humans pretty much abhor change? Because we don’t like the unknown (better to deal with the devil you know than the devil you don’t). In addition, change means uncertainty: the suggested change could work, but it also could not and humans are hardwired to dislike uncertainty: it’s stressful!

What’s more, when it comes to organizational change many people worry it could affect them in negative ways, ways such as:

  • A loss of status or job security.
  • Fear of the unknown (as mentioned above).
  • Fear of failure (employees worry the change may mean they’re not up to the task of any new projects or duties for which they’ll be responsible).

So how can your company make organizational change easier? Take a look below for some ideas.

  1. Start a conversation. And then listen. Really

Decide which areas of your company or department could use some change and then look at them closely. Talk to members of your company/that department and get their take on what changes you think need to take place.

If you see one sub-set of your company or department that’s doing something great and you think you’d like to expand upon it, bring it up and then listen. Ask for feedback and listen some more. See what insights you can glean.

Now that you have your feedback, let everyone you talked to – or who answered a survey – know what you’ve learned. See what common threads popped up in different responses to your queries. Don’t neglect the “outliers” – those comments that may take you in a slightly different direction – they may be worth pursuing.

  1. Plan but make sure the plan is broken into steps.

Small and steady change is better than massive modifications that take place all at once.

  1. Share your vision.

Talk about how the proposed changes will improve your company. Explain how and why they will do so. Most importantly, show your employees how the proposed changes will make their lives better (place the emphasis on them, not on how it will make your business better). Remember, they are nervous that any change will affect them adversely.

  1. Communicate, communicate and then, when you think everyone understands exactly what’s happening and when, communicate some more.

You really can’t tell people too much when it comes to changes in their workplace. Remember: they are stressed. They are worried. They may be excited but there’s no certainty that change will be a success. Give them information. Tons of information. Accurate information. Answer their questions (even if they’ve been asked hundreds of times before).

  1. Thank people. Keep thanking them.

Organizational change takes time. You should thank employees once the change is complete, but you should thank them regularly during the process. Announce when milestones have been met successful. Name individuals, if possible, and work hard to name as many people as possible.

Many organizational changes involve new projects, projects for which your company may not want to bring on full-time employees until the change is complete. If so, consider bringing on skilled temporary workers as needed. Contact the Helpmates office nearest you to learn more. We look forward to being of service.

4 Reasons Why You’re Unhappy at Work

It’s unfortunate but it happens to all of us at least once in our working lives: we really dislike our job. As in, we really, really, REALLY dislike it! Hate is not a too-forceful description of how we feel about our job.

In fact, if at least one of the following four scenarios apply to you, chances are good you may be seriously thinking of breaking up with your job.

Jobs in Irvine CA

  1. The commute is too long.

How long is too long? Studies show that anyone with a 30-minute or longer commute one way is pretty much miserable. Not only can such long commutes wreak havoc on your health, it also messes with your family life: taking a job that means you give up seeing your friends/family on a regular basis means you’d need to earn “$133,000 just to make up for the lack of happiness.” (Note that the linked post was written in 2004; how much more income would it take to make up for your long-commute misery today?)

Of course, in this scenario, it’s not your job you hate (necessarily), it’s the commute. Still, it’s time to find work with a shorter commute.

  1. Your co-workers/boss are idiots.

Granted, they probably aren’t idiots, but you’ve come to see them that way. They also probably didn’t “start out” as idiots either, but as nice people who, as time has gone on, moved from “nice new co-worker who invited me to lunch on my first day” to “annoying woman who always wants to eat with me and looks so hurt when I turn her down because she talks about her kids SO much.”

And your boss is a jerk.

Seriously. If you and your boss don’t get along (and we’re being nice when we call the boss the jerk; it could be you, after all), life is too short to be miserable. It’s time to move on (and look at why you and your boss don’t get along and try to figure out how to do better with the next boss).

  1. No one notices your good work and you’re not rewarded for it.

If you’re working hard, if you’re solving the problems you were hired to solve and you’re doing so well you should be recognized for it and rewarded. Yes. Definitely. Smart companies know this. If your company isn’t acknowledging and rewarding you, it’s not smart. You’re smart; move on.

  1. You’re not able to use your talent to the best of your ability/no chance for upward mobility/career development.

It’s something of a no-duh finding, but IBM recently found that 81 percent of workers are happier on the job when the work they do makes effective use of their abilities and skills. The reverse also applies: if you feel your job is a dead end, offering you no way to use your talent or grow in the position (opportunity for advancement), you tend to be….unhappy.

If the idea of going to work makes you cringe each and every morning, it may be time to make a change. Helpmates can help: take a look at our current temporary, temp-to-hire and direct-hire opportunities and, if something piques your interest, follow the instructions on the job description and apply and/or visit one of our locations.

Busting Freelancer Myths

Do you think freelancers/independent contractors are good just for “quick fix” projects? You may want to think again because these types of professionals can be a great way to take advantage of their skills without committing to them full time. What’s more, it’s not true that any freelancer worth his or her hourly fee wouldn’t consider a longer-term freelance position: freelancing can be up and down income-wise and having a long-term project with a steady paycheck can be very attractive.

In addition, as the independent contractor works with you, you no doubt trained him in your processes and procedures. Why lose all that “cultural knowledge” after just a few weeks when chances are good that his skills could be used elsewhere, on another project and/or in another department?

Orange County temp firm

That’s just one myth. Take a look below for three additional freelancer/independent contractor myths and then watch how we bust each of them, below.

  1. Independent contractors aren’t for the important stuff. They’re there to take some of the strain off regular employees so that regular staff can do the “mission critical” work.

Hello!  Independent contractors may have high-level skills that are better than your current employees! After all, they have to stay on top of new technologies and strategies – their very livelihood depends on it!

  1. Independent contractors are lazy: they freelance so they can take afternoons off and go to the beach.

You know it and we know it: working as an hourly or salaried employee means you often don’t work hard. You get paid when you’re sick, when you take a vacation, when you decide you’re “just not feeling it” today, so you don’t give it your all on the task at hand and you know you still will be paid the same.

An independent contractor? If he doesn’t produce what his client wants, he doesn’t get paid. He isn’t paid to attend meetings (unless he builds that time into his hourly rate). He doesn’t take vacations (unless he works double time for more than a week before in order to get all of his deliverables….delivered).

What’s more, chances are great that a freelancer can do more in an hour than a regular employee can. Because he often has to.

So this idea that you bring in an independent-contractor for busy work? Chances are great that your employees already are overwhelmed and can’t handle their usual workload. A freelancer – after just a few days in training in “how you do things here” – has a very good chance of becoming instrumental in completing an important project or meeting a critical deadline.

  1. Freelancers will charge far too much for a project.

Yes, they will charge an hourly rate higher than what you pay your employees who perform the same tasks. That’s because the independent contractor probably doesn’t work a total of eight hours a day on billable work: there’s self-marketing to do, administrative work, invoicing, etc. It’s all work, but it’s not something for which he can invoice you. He only charges for the time it takes him to actually work on your project, not for his business’ administrative tasks.

What’s more, he’s responsible for his healthcare, the full amount of Social Security taxes, purchasing equipment, and other office necessities, etc. You, happily, are not.

Still…..

As terrific as independent contractors are, they do come with special rules of engagement: you can’t force them to work on your project where you want (in your office) and when you want (between 2-5 p.m., for example). Do so and you’re headed down the sticky-wicket trail toward a lawsuit from the independent contractor claiming you controlled him as an employee but you didn’t treat him like an employee (hello, benefits and PTO!)

So if you’ve thought of bringing in an independent contractor or two and are worried about what you can and can’t do with a freelancer, consider the alternative, a temporary specialist from Helpmates with the same skills.

Contact the office nearest you and tell us the skills and background you need for your project. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

Are You Really Overqualified or is it Age Discrimination?

You’re 43. You’ve been laid off or you’ve decided to look for another position. You start networking and even applying for opportunities you find interesting. You get a few interviews (but it feels as if they are fewer in number than they were when you last looked for work at age 37). But offers? They aren’t coming. And you get a feeling, one that you can’t quite put your finger on, but it sorta, kinda feels as if interviewers and hiring managers think you’re too old.

Job hunt over 50

At 43.

Of course, they don’t say you’re too old, because age discrimination is illegal. Instead they something such as “with your considerable experience, we wonder if you’d be bored in this position,” hinting – but not outright saying – that you may be “overqualified.” Which often does mean “too old.”

So while age discrimination supposedly is a no-no, why are you still hearing that you have too much experience? More importantly,  what can you do about it? For some answers, take a look below.

There’s always the chance that you are, indeed, overqualified. If you keep hearing this over and over again, take a look at the job descriptions for the openings to which you’re applying. If the tasks you’ll be performing and the skills you need to do those jobs really are something you can do with your eyes closed and while walking backwards, perhaps you should aim higher.

But what if the skills/tasks would be something of a do-able reach for you? What if they exactly match your skill set and background? Chances are it’s not because you’re overqualified: it could well be because they consider you “too old.”

We won’t go into the trouble people over the age of 40 and 50 have when it comes to finding work. And we won’t even touch the difficulty people over 60 have (these links speak plenty on their own). Instead, we’ll offer some tips to help you combat ageism in your job search.

  1. Don’t list ALL of your jobs on your resume.

Frankly, it doesn’t matter what anyone did 15 or 20 years ago; it matters what you’ve done lately, so list only those positions from the past 10 or 15 years (maybe 20 if you’ve been at one employer that long, but highlight what you did for that employer for the last 10 years or so).

We know you don’t want to lie, so under “additional experience” mention different “special projects” you worked on.

  1. Reach directly out to hiring managers.

We’ve touched on this before, and the link above also recommends this tactic. Find the contact information of the position’s hiring manager and reach out. Many hiring managers will at least look over the resumes of those people who reach out to them.

  1. Show energy and enthusiasm in the job interview.

Many younger hiring managers believe older candidates have less energy and are waiting to just coast along in their next (“final?”) job so you want to exude vibrancy and energy.  You could try to hide your age, but that can be difficult and there’s always the chance you could try too hard), but you can show enthusiasm and dynamism. If you work out several days a week or hike frequently, etc., don’t be afraid to mention this when an opening appears in the job interview (such as if the interviewer asks you about your hobbies).

  1. You don’t need to highlight your Microsoft Office skills.

Knowing them is considered a given today and highlighting them could add a bit of the fuddy-duddy to you. Instead, if the position requires certain higher level technological skills, highlight them, especially if they are specific tech skills.

  1. Consider looking for work at smaller companies.

Larger companies tend to hire and promote from within. In addition, smaller companies tend to have fewer applicants. Always a good thing, no matter what your age.

  1. Think about working some temporary positions.

The longer you’ve worked, the higher the salary you’re seeking (typically) and higher salaried positions do tend to be longer to come by, no matter what your age. If you’re finding that your job search is taking longer than you anticipated, think about contacting one of our Helpmates offices and registering for temporary assignments with us. Remember, many temporary assignments do turn into regular, full-time positions.

Photo courtesy Thomas Hafeneth/Unsplash.com.

Why Working in Staffing is a GREAT Career

Arguably some of the best kept secrets when it comes to careers are working as a recruiter, manager and/or sales professional in the staffing industry.

If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve worked with us either as a temporary associate or client so you know what we do: we match candidates with Southern California companies in temporary, temp-to-hire and direct-hire job opportunities. In other words, our work makes a huge, positive difference in the lives of our neighbors and our colleagues. We can’t think of a better career than that!

Staffing Careers

What’s more, the work is never dull (no two of our days truly are ever alike) and compensation – especially after working in staffing for a few years – can be quite attractive. In addition, while college degrees will help, they are not required in order to become a great recruiter or sales pro: a willingness to learn, to do things far out of your comfort zone, to deal with rejection and – sometimes – unhappy  people while always treating everyone with respect, professionalism and kindness is.

Most People Don’t Think: “Hey, I Want to Work in Staffing!”

Most of us didn’t graduate high school or college with the plan to work in this industry: most staffing pros come from other business sectors. In fact, we’ve found that folks who have worked in retail, food service/hospitality, customer service (particularly car rental services and call centers) do well because they know how to deal with the public.

How we came to work in staffing varies for each of us, but we all stay for pretty much the same three reasons:

  • We can have a huge, positive impact on people’s lives.
  • It’s fun.
  • It can pay pretty darn well.*

We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention staffing’s downside: it can be a highly stressful industry. Priorities change constantly as you work to satisfy both clients and your candidates.

Yet every career has its downsides and we feel that the many positive aspects of this career far outweigh the negative.

If we’ve at all piqued your interest, contact us: we have a few internal openings now. But even if that link shows no current internal opportunities, or doesn’t show the type of position you’d like to explore, contact us anyway as we always are looking for great people to join our internal team.

The American Staffing Association (ASA) offers more information about opportunities found in a staffing career on its website. In addition, the ASA has partnered with CareerBuilder and Capella Learning Solutions to create a program that prepares people for internal, entry-level recruiter positions in recruiting and staffing companies. (Note: taking the course in no way guarantees you a position with us, but you also don’t need to take the course in order to be considered for employment with us.)

*What does “pretty darn well” actually mean? While we can’t go into our salary ranges here, but let us direct you to Glassdoor.com, which shows that staffing coordinators in Los Angeles make an average salary of $33,700 (maximum of $55K), while recruiters average $53,428 (maximum of $72K). Staffing account executives (sales) averaged $59,201 (a maximum of $95K), while a staffing branch manager (management of a branch office plus sales) averaged $68,771 (a maximum of $94K).

Take a look here for more information on what we provide you as a member of our internal Helpmates Staffing team,

In Your Job Search, Focus on What You Can Control

Famous UCLA basketball coach John Wooden used to tell his players to focus only on those things they could control.

His wisdom applies to your job search: you can’t control how many job interviews you receive but you can control how many people you reach out to. You can’t control whether or not you receive a job offer as a result of one of those interviews, but you can control how well you prepare for your interview, how much research you perform on the company and the hiring manager, how much you practice for the interview, and so on.

southern california careers

Take a look below for other things you can focus on in your job hunt.

  1. Making sure your resume and cover letter are free from typos, misspellings and grammatical mistakes.

You don’t want to trip up your chances from the get-go, so proof your resume and cover letter for any and all mistakes. If you feel your grammar and spelling skills are sketchy, ask someone you know who is up on spelling and grammar rules to proof your documents.

Another way you can really help your candidacy is to write a different cover letter for each position to which you apply. You also should tweak your resume to showcase the skills and experience you have that best meet the job’s requirements. Yes, this takes more work, but every job is different and your resume/cover letter should “sell” your skills, education and experience in a way that best fits any particular job.

  1. The best positions often go to people who know someone at the company.

Is this “fair”? That’s not the point: this is reality. However, you can control your own network and allow it to help you find a great position. So start asking around (let people know what you’re looking for and the skills you possess). If you see a position you like, check LinkedIn to see if anyone you know has a connection with the employer.

  1. Many people apply for the same position. Competition can be TIGHT!

Don’t let that worry you because as someone who wants to take control of his/her job search, you are going to contact the company (or ask around your contacts) to find the name and contact information of the hiring manager for the position. Then you’re going to contact that person directly. Yes, you are!

There’s a lot you simply can’t control about the job search process, but there’s plenty that you can when it comes to your own efforts. So take as much control as you can and contact potential employers directly, make sure your resume/cover letter is different for each job and has no mistakes at all, and expand your network to help you learn of – and be recommended for –terrific positions.

If your job hunt is taking too long, consider working on some temporary assignments with us here at Helpmates Staffing as you search. Many temporary assignments can – and do – turn into more permanent positions (so you may not need to search anymore)! Take a look at our current job opportunities and then either apply or contact us.

Attracting the Attention of Top Talent: 5 Tactics

How hard is it to attract top talent in today’s hot candidate’s market? Really tough. With unemployment at a 16-year low, with just 1.17 unemployed job seekers for every open position (compared to almost 7 unemployed job hunters to vacancies in mid-2009) it’s mighty difficult to fill positions at all, let alone with the best of the best.

And, while many talented people are quitting their current employer in the search for better pay and promotions – the quit rate was 2.1 percent in April compared to 1.3 percent at the beginning of  2010 – employers are doing backflips on demand in order to attract these hot-and-getting-hotter candidates.

Orange County temp agency

So what’s a recruiter or hiring manager to do? Take a look below for five strategies/tactics for attracting top talent to your business.

  1. See someone you like? Get in touch ASAP!

The best of the best – especially in IT – are being interviewed and receiving offers within mere days of placing their toe in the job-hunt waters. (IT pros can “wait” just 10 days from start of job hunt to offer, and this was in 2014!) In other words, if a recruiter calls with a great prospect or if someone who meets almost all of your criteria responds to a job post, don’t wait until all resumes are in. Pounce now!

  1. Streamline that interview process and do it ASAP!

Even though great candidates are hard to come by, we still take too long in making a decision. And that hiring process is lengthening, up to almost 24 days, an increase from 22.9 days in 2015. With the best people getting snapped up almost as soon as they hit the send button, you can’t afford to take weeks to make a hiring decision.

  1. Take a look at your job descriptions/posts.

If the best people aren’t applying to your job opportunities, it may be because they aren’t attractive posts! Make sure those job descriptions are clear and precise in their qualifications: doing so helps narrow the field of applicants (and also help your ATS be more effective).

Remember that your job description is a candidate’s first contact with your business, so be creative (but not with the job title), conversational in tone, let a candidate know why he should work at your company (what makes you stand out), and how the position will have an impact on your company’s success (or even the community’s, region’s, nation’s, world’s success).

  1. Try social sourcing (especially for passive candidates).

Great people may not be looking for a job right now, but could be tempted with the right offer. The Society of Human Resources Management recently surveyed workers and found that even though 89 percent said they were satisfied or somewhat satisfied with their current position, up to 40 percent said they might look for another job within a year.

  1. Partner with a staffing/recruiting service.

You have only so many hours in a day and you have other things to do than just recruit candidates. Yet recruiting services such as Helpmates Staffing? Recruiting is all we do. All day. Every day. And we know where the good guys are.

Let us help you source, vet and place top talent. Contact  the Helpmates office nearest you today.

When You Get Caught in a Lie

It happens: you’re feeling great and there’s a ball game you’d love to see playing downtown that afternoon. So you call your boss in the morning, giving the best “I have a bad cold” impersonation you can muster, telling her you’re not feeling well. She buys it and you head off to the game.

But who should you run into at the ballpark but your boss (who took official PTO for the afternoon). She’s not happy and she told you to meet her in her office the next day at 8 a.m. sharp!

Are you toast? Possibly, but not necessarily.

The scenario above actually happened several years ago and the gotta-go-to-the-ballgame employee was fired. But that may not be the case today, as many companies now meld vacation and sick-days into one entity called Paid Time Off (PTO). Employers generally want their workers to take time off for vacations and stay home when they truly are sick. But if you lie about it….

Los Angeles jobs

Most of us are employed at will, which means a company can fire us at any time for any reason. (We also can quit at any time for any reason.) Most employers understand that “things happen,” and pretty much wait for egregious actions (theft) or big mistakes (losing a major client) before using the employed-at-will option and firing an employee.

But you definitely could be fired for lying (such as calling sick when you’re actually well).

However, most lies aren’t serious ones. They tend to be small: you made a relatively minor mistake and you’re trying to cover it up. Chances are you won’t be fired for these, but such a lie will damage your reputation with your manager and affect her trust in you.

So what can you do if you find yourself caught in a lie? Some strategies:

  1. When found out, don’t try to cover it up.

You’d just be continuing the lie and making the consequences when truth does come out even worse for yourself.

  1. Immediately. And sincerely.

As you do so, take full responsibility for your lie. Own it. Say you knew it was wrong and stupid and you deeply regret it. Don’t say it was a small lie, it didn’t affect anything. You can explain why you said it, but don’t try to use that explanation as an excuse: again, own your actions.

  1. Tell your manager you realize she may not trust you as much.

Again, this is part of owning your lie. You must understand that she probably won’t trust you to the same extent going forward and you must address this. Tell your manager you will work hard to rebuild her trust and that you realize this will take some time to do.

  1. Work hard to regain your manager’s trust.

It will take time, but no self-pity allowed. Work harder than you ever have. Unfortunately, you may never regain her trust. If that is the case, after a few months of giving it your all, you may want to start looking elsewhere because chances are good you will miss out on promotions and other opportunities.

When it’s time for you to look for another position in Southern California, make sure you take a look at our current job openings with some of the region’s top employers. If you find one or more opportunities that appeal  to you, apply online or contact the Helpmates office nearest you for more information.

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