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!

Why Telecommuting Might Not Make Sense

Why Telecommuting Might Not Make Sense

Telecommuting is definitely on the rise. The Society For Human Resource Management (SHRM) recently reported that telecommuting has increased threefold in the past 20 years, and more employers are beginning to offer the flexibility of working from home than ever to meet demand.

But does it really make sense for your business?

Telecommuting offers some distinct advantages for employers: mac-733178_640

While these benefits can have a dramatic impact on your bottom line, there are some challenges your business must consider:

  • Nurturing a strong culture can be more difficult when several team members (or more) are working off site. Allowing employees to work off site can expose a weak corporate culture — or degrade one altogether. When your team is separated geographically each day, it can be difficult to build and nurture a sense of team. If your culture is strong; however, telecommuting can be integrated effectively. It’s imperative that your HR department work with leadership to establish clear methods for the ongoing nurturing of your corporate culture (through virtual happy hours, Skype or other video conferencing, regular phone time, intermittent office visits, etcetera).
  • Collaboration can be stifled when employees aren’t working side by side. This is especially true for smaller companies that thrive on new ideas. When employees are chatting by the water cooler or over lunch, great ideas can often result. Take away the water cooler and the lunch room, and you could miss out on game-changing innovations for your business.
  • Clients can sometimes become uneasy with a lack of face-to-face contact with your team. If your clients are accustomed to regular, in-person meetings with one or more employees who are now working from home, it could create an issue for clients that require a bit more hand holding. In today’s economy, virtual employees are becoming increasingly common; however, watching out for this potential roadblock is something you would need to do on a case by case basis.
  • Some employees may become angry if your organization decides to allow telecommuting for some, but not all, employees. Be prepared to decide just how many people can take advantage of telecommuting, and how often. Perhaps one or two days a week, or only afternoons, works for some employees and/or roles. If telecommuting is impossible for certain employees or positions, be prepared to offer some type of added bonus to compensate them and avoid hard feelings (or worse, an exit of employees en masse).

Is telecommuting right for your business? 

Careful consideration for your organization is necessary before moving forward with a telecommuting option for employees. Internally, you should have the right business structure, culture and managers to effectively lead virtual employees. Here are some key traits to ensure your managers possess before allowing telecommuting:

  • No reservations. If your managers are nervous about allowing telecommuting, they won’t be able to effectively lead. Everyone should be “all in” before making the switch.
  • Clear communication. The ability to set clear expectations and deadlines (and enforce them when necessary) becomes especially critical with telecommuting employees. Accountability is key to taking advantage of the productivity boost noted earlier. Your managers should be able to clearly communicate what is expected and when.
  • Trust. Ultimately, your managers must trust their teams in order to effectively lead them in a telecommuting environment.

Once you have the right managers in place, you’ll want to ensure the right employees are being afforded the flexibility of telecommuting. Look for these qualities:

  • Self starter. Personal accountability is critical to success in a telecommuting role. Employees should demonstrate the ability to work with little to no supervision and should be able to allocate their time effectively.
  • Strong technology. While you may provide a phone and/or laptop for your employees to use at home, you should ensure that any telecommuting employees also have solid wifi and other in-home technology to support their company technology.
  • Strong problem-solving ability. Telecommuting employees will often be on their own when it comes to solving problems. Both from a technical standpoint as well a a client perspective, challenges arise. The ability to think on their feet and get things done without being able to pop in someone’s office is key.

Before your business can consider telecommuting, you have to have the right employees in place. At Helpmates, we connect employers across Southern California with exceptional talent. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your business achieve more.

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

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

Is your workplace attractive to top talent?december blog1

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

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

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

How to Know When Your Employees Are About to Jump Ship

Employee retention is always a hot topic – the cost of turnover is high, and the competition is constantly seeking ways to land top talent (especially your top talent). But identifying and preventing an employee from seeking greener pastures can be somewhat elusive.ID-10057575

While there is no specific formula for predicting when an employee will leave, there are certain indicators that can identify when an employee is considering jumping ship and heading elsewhere. Keeping an eye out for these key factors can help you spring into action and go the extra mile to keep top talent where they belong:

  1. Less contribution. When an employee starts to mentally “check out” of conversations and meetings, it could mean that he or she is preparing to make a clean break, or that the employee simply doesn’t care about his or her job anymore. There could be a few things at play here, but if an employee who typically chimes in often and offers constructive ideas suddenly starts to clam up, it could be a bad sign.
  2. Different clothes. Yes, how an employee dresses can be a sign of impending two-week notice. If your team typically wears khakis and a polo, but suddenly an employee starts showing up in a button-down shirt and dress slacks, it could be a sign that there are job interviews on the schedule. Conversely, if business suits are expected in your workplace and you find an employee suddenly inching toward business casual, it might indicate that something is brewing.
  3. Personal crises. When something dramatic happens – a death in the family, illness, divorce, or something similar – these circumstances can often cause people to assess their current life situations and determine what, if any, changes should occur. Oftentimes, jobs and careers are one area where people feel empowered to make changes.
  4. Not-so-social butterfly. For many businesses, team lunches or after-hours social activities are great team builders that build camaraderie. If one of your employees suddenly drops out of these activities, it could be a sign that he or she is trying to create distance from the team due to an impending departure.

What should you do now? 

If some of these factors are tipping you off to a possible departure of one of your employees, it’s a great time to pull this employee in and have a non-confrontational talk – how are things going? What’s new? Are you happy here? Based on the answers to those questions, your organization could find itself in a range of situations. And when your employees decide to move on, or you’re looking for more superstars to add to your team, call Helpmates. Our network includes talented professionals from across Southern California who are ready to jump in and make an immediate impact.

Image Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net/David Castillo Dominici

The Importance of Succession Planning For Your Business

When it comes to long-term planning for your business, regardless of its size, succession planning should be a key part of the process. Key benefits of succession planning include:

  •  Time and cost savings. If your top employees suddenly left tomorrow, your organization could lose valuable time and resources while scouring for replacements. Succession planning can reduce the burden of sudden departures.
  • Identify areas for improvement. Taking an objective look at your organization during succession planning can help you identify any strengths and weaknesses in your business.
  • Helps HR be more proactive. Rather than hiring or responding to management reactively, succession planning allows HR to be more proactive, making your company a better place to work.

While succession planning is integral for every organization, there are some best practices to keep in mind so that your investment is maximized:Succession Planning

  1. Evaluate everyone. Yes, everyone. When it comes to the long-term stability and success of your business, strong leadership is imperative. Today’s mail clerk could be tomorrow’s CEO.
  2. Look beyond CEO.  Succession planning is critical for all key roles within an organization. While you’re looking at all of those employees we mentioned above, be sure to consider their best potential roles. To determine which roles need succession planning, ask yourself this question: “If [blank] left tomorrow, what would we do?”
  3. Think about mentoring. Extensive preparation is needed by all successful leaders. Once you’ve identified successors, it’s imperative you give them the preparation they need to succeed once their opportunity comes.
  4. Identify talent needs. When it comes to succession planning, a strong talent pipeline is critical. Now’s the time to assess your talent and identify any current or potential future gaps that could hinder your succession planning.

Taking the time and resources for succession planning now can mean a much more stable and successful organization in the long term. The team at Helpmates is experienced in talent strategies and assessments. We are here to help businesses across Southern California with their succession and talent investment planning.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net/jscreationzs

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