Hiring Managers’ New Year’s Resolutions

The Big Day is behind us. Now on to the next chapter: New Year’s.

Most of us probably have some personal and career-oriented New Year’s Resolutions we’re considering: get fit, take a class/get some technical certification, eat better, go to more networking events.

If you’re a manager, chances also are great that you may see yourself hiring one or more people next year. That being the case, we offer you some New Year’s Resolutions pertaining to hiring. Take a look below.

2018 hiring resolutions

  1. Resolve to make a hiring decision quickly.

This year was a candidate’s market and 2018 is shaping up to be the same, at least in the near term. Dawdle on a hiring decision and don’t be surprised if you lose out on a great candidate.

  1. Promise to consider the “imperfect” candidate.

Face it: in todays’ war-for-talent climate, finding someone who matches everything your job description says she should and then hiring her at the price you can afford is going to at least somewhat difficult (and that’s an understatement).

So look beyond the perfect and consider other “perfectly good” attributes:

  • Cultural fit
  • Personality
  • Trainability (hire for personality and train for skills)n i
  • Work ethic

Many wonderful job candidates are out there if you only you would look at their “flaws” for the hidden potential within them.

  1. Pledge to embrace the reference check.

Too many people interview well and/or look great on paper. If you’ve never hired someone who appeared to be more-than-good-enough only find them a disaster once onboard, you’ve no doubt seen a supervisor or manager in your past do so. Many hiring mismatches could be solved by performing a thorough background check.

In fact, rather than look at the reference check as a formality, don’t even think of hinting at an offer of employment until you’ve spoken to several professional colleagues in the candidate’s past.

As you speak to references, ascertain if the candidate is as team-oriented as she says she is, truly can get along with anyone and can deal with an angry customer on the phone with grace and aplomb no matter how tired she is.

The main things to look for are to see how well the new hire will fit in with your current team.  Most people don’t turn into a “bad hire” because they don’t have the skills but because they just don’t fit in with your corporate culture.

  1. Vow to ask for help.

As a manager in a department or supervisor of a few people, you’ve a lot on your plate. Hiring someone to fill a departure or new personnel need can take up a lot of your time, time you’re not spending on the tasks for which you were hired.

That’s why working with Helpmates can be a smart move as you gear up for hiring in 2018: we can source, vet and even place terrific people in your temporary, temp-to-hire and direct-hire openings.

Resolve to help make 2018 the year hiring employees isn’t overwhelming and contact the Helpmates office nearest you.

Happy New Year!

5 Important Steps You Should Take After Every Interview

You’ve found the best candidates, put them through your hiring process and ultimately made a hire – congratulations! Your new hire is ready to get to work. But your job isn’t over once the hire is made. Each interview presents an opportunity for your company to learn, adapt and further build its employer brand.

Follow these 5 steps after every job interview to continuously improve and attract top talent:Helpmates May 1

  1. Ask candidates for feedback. The best way to know how candidates view your company and your hiring process is the easiest – ask them! Whether anonymously via an online survey provider, or via email or phone call after the process has been completed, candidate surveys can provide excellent insight into your company, employer brand and hiring process. But be prepared – most of the candidates you survey will not have received the job, and they may be (understandably) upset. Honestly assessing critical or negative feedback, though, can help your organization tremendously.
  2. Identify delays or snags in the process. Every organization and hire is different, but it can cost you top talent when your hiring process is exceedingly long. After each interview, take an honest look at the process to see where you can trim unnecessary steps. A leaner process is better for talent, and it helps get new hires to work for you, faster! If you need help identifying some common hiring process delays, we recently profiled three of them in our blog.
  3. Examine your notes. Take a look at notes gathered during each interview. If you had multiple interviewers, be sure to gather and review their notes too. Did you get all the information you needed to make the best hiring decision? The questions you ask – or how you are asking them, could affect the information gathered that ultimately enables you to make the best hire. If there are gaps in the information you prefer to have, determine why you were unable to get that information, and take steps to ensure you’re gathering everything you need in the future.
  4. Look for what’s missing. Rather than just looking at what you gathered during the process, take a look at what you didn’t gather. Could something have made the hiring decision easier? Would including another team member in the first round of interviews made moving into the second round easier? Could a skills test or references upon application help you bring in only the most qualified candidates, saving time and resources? If you need help identifying key data or gaps in your process, call Helpmates. Our experienced team of recruiters can analyze your hiring process to determine the best, most efficient way to identify and interview only the best candidates for each position.
  5. Be honest. Honesty and candor are essential here and during every step of your interview review. Whether it’s reviewing candidate feedback or identifying holes in your process or interview questions, taking a fresh look at your job interviews every time will help you improve. But most importantly, it will help you attract and land better talent.

Attracting, screening and interviewing candidates can be a major time and resource burden for organizations. Here at Helpmates, we help some of Southern California’s top employers find the best talent to help them reach your goals. Call your local Helpmates office to learn more about how we can help your business.

3 Ways To Speed Up Your Hiring Process

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

Are top candidates choosing your business?HM

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

Streamline your hiring process to attract top talent

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

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

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

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

3 Key Areas to Review in Cover Letters

A few months ago, we talked about key areas recruiters should review in candidate resumes for more efficient screening. But what about cover letters? Has the range of expert advice shared about cover letters over the years rendered them useless during the hiring process?

Cover letters can still be a valuable hiring tool.ID-100123324

Looking at cover letters as an art instead of a science (as many experts have proclaimed over the years) can help you appreciate this tool in a new way. Candidates who put extra effort into a memorable cover letter could very well be the creative problem-solvers your organization is looking for! Plus, spending a few extra seconds on the cover letter can help you determine whether reading the resume is even worth your time.

Be on the lookout for these three keys:

  1. Spelling and grammar. Don’t get ahead of us here, this might not be what you are expecting. Spelling is an area where there is no debate – a misspelled word on resumes is just a bad sign. But when it comes to grammar, you may want to relax a bit. Today’s business language isn’t nearly as formal as it was 20 or even 10 years ago. Take this blog, for example – professionals are speaking more, well, human! So rather than grade candidates on whether they can write a formal letter that sticks to all the formatting suggested by those experts, take a look at how the cover letter is written. Are they speaking to you or at you? Can you feel the candidate’s enthusiasm through the use of language?
  2. The “meat.” One reason many recruiters scan or skip cover letters is that candidates often simply use the cover letter as a summary of their resume. It makes sense to skip it, then – why read a summary of the resume when the resume is right in front you?! Exceptional candidates who can make an impact on your business will use the “meat” of their cover letter to add insight that illuminates the resume or ties together their work history to paint the big picture and offer true perspective on this candidate, his or her career and ultimately, his or her potential within your organization.
  3. The close. The cover letter close seems innocuous enough – “Here’s my contact information and I’d appreciate it if you would schedule an interview.” But it’s also pretty yawn inducing much of the time. Creative candidates with real potential will use the close as an opportunity to further demonstrate their enthusiasm and make you enthusiastic about talking to them! Don’t just scan the close, read it carefully – are you excited about the candidate? Or are you ready to toss the resume altogether?

Knowing what to look for in candidate cover letters can help you be more efficient while screening candidates, and could ultimately help you land your next office superstar. If you’re struggling to find and identify the top talent your organization needs, call Helpmates. We specialize in finding precisely the talent businesses need to reach and exceed their goals.

Are you on social media? So is Helpmates! Connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter for more helpful recruiting and HR tips, tools and news.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net/imagerymajestic

Is Reference Checking Obsolete?

While social media has seemingly made reference checking obsolete, many organizations still regularly perform this once-critical step in the hiring process. But should you?

The truth about reference checking.

referencechecks

Many companies still ask for references, but they might not be conducting real reference checks. Some companies use them simply to verify employment. Others ask for references as a sort of protocol or natural step in the process, without following up on them. But those companies are missing out on a valuable hiring tool.

Reference checking can still be incredibly useful to hiring managers. Its value lies in the fact that:

  • It offers additional insights. In today’s job market, candidates are extremely prepared for the online searches hiring managers conduct. So much so, that they often prepare a well crafted social media and online presence. While this can definitely give you great insight into a candidate’s professionalism and communication skills, reference checks can offer additional insight into how a candidate performs on the job, or about specific personality traits you wouldn’t gather from a well-crafted online presence.
  • It can protect you. While social media offers great opportunity for research on candidates, it also comes with potential liability concerns over protected information. While reference checking isn’t without it’s own liability concerns, it still offers a formal process for gathering specific information, versus social media – where you could inadvertently be exposed to protected information that could compromise your hiring decisions. (Hint: Get more information on protected data and its impact on the hiring process here).
  • It can help differentiate. Some employers may look at reference checking as a validation step – the last step in the process before making a hire. This outlook can cause you to miss out on incredibly helpful data sources in the hiring process. The right questions and insights can help you differentiate between candidates and benchmark skills against job descriptions.

Reference checking can be an incredibly helpful tool in the hiring process – but it has to be done correctly for the best results (and for liability protection). Here at Helpmates, we conduct professional reference checks that offer you the insights you need with our experienced, professional recruiting staff. Contact us today to learn more about our extensive staffing services for Southern California.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net/Danilo Rizzuti

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