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.

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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.

Face It: Your Employees Have a Side Hustle. Support Them in It

With 44 million Americans working a side hustle in addition to their regular, full-time job, we feel it’s time that employers embraced that fact and supported their employees in their entrepreneurial endeavors.

Many of us can’t make ends meet on our main job: half of all U.S. workers make less than $15 an hour and even if two people making minimum wage on full-time jobs (the federal minimum wage is $7.25, although several states pay more) pool their resources, that’s just $30,160 a year, making it tough for the couple to make ends meet, let alone raise a family.

So these side gigs help a family with finances: the CNN Money story linked to above said 36 percent of those with a side hustle make $500 a month or more.

Many workers report taking on a part-time job with another employer, but many others hustle as Uber or Lyft drivers, sell items on eBay or Amazon, design websites for businesses, and so on.

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Unsurprisingly, a PWC survey this year found that 53 percent of all employees were stressed about their finances and that stress actually causes the workers to spend three or more hours each week thinking about their sad state of affairs, which lowers their productivity.

In addition, what would happen to these employees if a spouse were laid off, a child or parent became sick, or the employee herself was injured and therefore unable to work?

But what if employers helped their workers be prepared for financial tough times? What if they encouraged their entrepreneurial bent?

After all, if finances are such a huge stress on employees – and that stress is lowering their productivity – why not support their spare-time, off-the-clock efforts?

Businesses, of course, would need to come up with guidelines regarding the side gig (not working on the enterprise while at work, no starting a business in direct competition with the employer, no using the employers’ equipment in the side hustle, etc.).

But instead of saying “no” most often, why shouldn’t businesses provide resources for their workers to learn how to launch a business, invest wisely and so on? Businesses also could provide classes or seminars on how to create a budget, how to put money aside for emergencies and for retirement, and so on.

Doing so could help lower workers’ stress and therefore help them be more productive, a big benefit to the employer. In addition, who knows? A worker who embraces and learns about entrepreneurship for his own enterprise may come up with some fresh ideas for his employers’ business!

Want to find some hustling workers for your Los Angeles or Orange County business? Let Helpmates find them for you! Contact the office nearest you today.

How to Become the BMOC in Candidates’ Eyes

Remember the Big Man on Campus (BMOC), the guy every girl wanted to date and every guy wanted to be? He was cool. Calm. Collected. (He often was the football team’s quarterback.) He was hot. Happening. Hip.

Girls would apologize to him if he stood them up on a date accepting whatever he gave as an excuse, saying it was wrong of them to be upset.

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Boys would secretly thrill if he gave them even a throw away compliment on their athletic prowess, “Hey, good job, you caught it!”

Everyone just wanted to experience the grace of being noticed by him, even if it was only for a moment. Everyone wanted to be in his orbit as if somehow they could gather up whatever crumbs of awesomeness would fall from him if they were just nearby.

When it Comes to Keeping Candidates’ Interest, You Want to be the BMOC, Too

You want job prospects to feel their lives will be so much BETTER if they become your employee. You want them to become giddy with excitement if you just look in their direction (“We’d like to hold a preliminary phone interview with you”).

You want them to wait patiently for you as you make a hiring decision: they won’t go anywhere and will wait for your text or email (today’s equivalent of “waiting by phone”) before they a) consider someone else’s offer and/or b) start looking for another opportunity.

So how do you become this type of company, one where everyone wants to work and will wait patiently for whatever hiring decision you give them, will even renege on another offer already accepted because you finally got around to saying yes?

Read below.

  1. You may be a BMOC, but you never ACT like a BMOC.

Big Men on Campus traditionally are arrogant. When they finally do get a comeuppance (and they always eventually do), not a few people are glad. Schadenfreude is rampant when the BMOC goes down!

Your company, however, is not arrogant. It doesn’t treat job prospects poorly and instead makes candidates feel important, respected and wanted.

  1. Your company is growing/expanding and you provide highly competitive wages/salaries, benefits and perks.

The BMOC often is a handsome physical specimen. Glowing with good health and vitality. The equivalent for you is a healthy bottom line. You’re growing, or at least keeping ahead of the pack when it comes to technology and your facilities’ physical condition.

You also offer great wages (higher than competitors’), fantastic benefits (a good amount of PTO, you match employees’ retirement account deposits, education stipends/repayments, etc.), and perks such as free lunches on Fridays, bring-your-dog-to-work policies, pick-up/drop-off car maintenance services, and so on.

  1. You keep all commitments and exceed candidates’ expectations during the hiring process.

The sincere and caring BMOC does what he says when he says he will. He wants to make sure his date is having a great time and thinks of her needs before his. That’s you.

You reply to all applicants within 24 or 48 hours and you graciously thank them for applying. Once you interview candidates, you call or e-mail them regularly to let them know where you are in the hiring process. If a decision is delayed, you let candidates know as soon as possible.

Choose one candidate over the others and you let those not chosen know of your decision immediately. With a phone call.

  1. Keep showing them “you’re the one.”

The true BMOC isn’t afraid to talk about his accomplishments. He doesn’t brag; he just states the facts, as warranted: “I got the football scholarship again, but I wouldn’t have done it without the help of my teammates!”) So as you’re making your way through the hiring process, let your top choices know why you’re truly awesome.

Share your company’s blogs, news stories, etc. with your candidates. Send a short post on how one employee was finally able to get her bachelor’s degree through your educational reimbursement program. Mention how one-quarter of your employees volunteered with Habitat for Humanity over the weekend. No need to brag, simply show candidates the true good work you do.

The way to becoming seen as the place to work is by a) being awesome but also b) creating a sincere relationship with your candidates around shared values. Doing so will have them be eager to work for you and willing to wait it out if the hiring process takes longer than either of you would like.

You’re extremely busy. Your hiring managers are extremely busy. Let Helpmates help you keep your hiring process moving along quickly. Contact the branch nearest your company today.

Simplifying Your Recruiting Process

In our opinion, good recruiting boils down to two things: great (clear) job descriptions and a strong and large community in which to network.

In other words, when a recruiter understands the needs of a job completely and has a lively network of professional relationships to help her find great-fit candidates, extending an offer should happen quickly.

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Really. It’s not complicated; all of us (recruiters, hiring managers, HR professionals, etc.) have just made it so.

A Simple Recruiting Process

We live in the real world with you and as much as we all would love recruiting to be as easy as described above, we know that’s not possible. Still, just because it’s not possible doesn’t mean it can be made easier, simpler.

Take a look below at what we believe is a roadmap to simplifying your recruitment efforts.

  1. It all starts with the job description.

If the job description is fuzzy, incomplete, etc., your search for a great candidate is already in danger. You can’t find what you need if you’re not clear what that need is.  And “I’ll know it when I see it” is a recipe for convoluted, drawn-out process, possibly resulting in hiring someone who really isn’t a good fit.

Instead, a clear, comprehensive job description helps keep recruiters and hiring managers focused, and when one has clarity and focus, recruiting magic happens!

  1. Help applicants help you: make it easy to apply.

Don’t ask applicants to fill out a long application online (they can fill it out at length if the come in for an interview or after hired). Consider allowing them to simply send you their LinkedIn profile as a sort of preliminary application.

Finally, not every great employee looks great on paper or has access to a computer: don’t force people to apply online. If they prefer to bring their resume and cover letter – or to even fill out a paper application in your office – let them!

  1. Keep that interview process humming!

For the love of everything you find precious, don’t bog down the interview process! In this candidate-driven market, your applicants are busy people (busy interviewing at your competitors)! Require that they go through too many interviews before extending an offer and you’ll lose them. How many interviews is enough? One or two, tops: a preliminary screening chat and the interview with the hiring manager.

  1. Be available and communicate with your candidates.

If they have more questions after the interview, answer the phone and talk to them (or e-mail them a response to their query). Tell them upfront what your hiring timeline is and make every effort to meet your self-imposed decision deadline. (Make your decision no more than a few days after interviewing/checking references.) Let candidates know if you’re not interested in them as soon as you know so. Thank them for interviewing, sincerely wish them well and tell them a little bit as to what they were lacking: “We needed five years’ experience and the person we chose had eight.”

  1. Ask for help.

You hire employees to scale your business and get more done more quickly, so why not scale your recruiting process with the help of staffing professionals? Having a staffing firm do the preliminary leg work (source, vet, first interview, etc.) can save a considerable amount of time, allowing you to concentrate on your own work, spending time interviewing and hiring only after the top candidates have been identified.

Helpmates has been helping Los Angeles and Orange County employers find great talent for 45 years: we know where the good guys are! Contact us to learn more about our recruiting services.

To Fight Unemployment Claims – or Not

As an owner (or HR manager) of a small – or even large – Los Angeles or Orange County business, one of your main focuses probably is on keeping unemployment claims down. After all, you don’t want to have to pay an unemployment claim if it’s fraudulent:

  • The more unemployment claims you pay, the higher your unemployment tax rate. (Your rate depends on how many ex-employees collect unemployment after leaving your company.)
  • However, paying the claim –even if it’s “iffy” — could mean your company steers clear of a discrimination or wrongful discharge lawsuit, therefore saving time and money dealing with the suit. What’s more, paying unemployment also could raise your chances of winning a discrimination/wrongful discharge suit.

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So it’s a sticky wicket: pay every claim in order in order to possibly avoid a lawsuit but risk the chance you potentially increase your unemployment taxes considerably.

There are some very good reasons not to contest any claim. Here are two:

  • Let someone go – for whatever reason – and he likely is to be very angry. If you fired him, there was a good reason you didn’t want him around anymore. Do you really want to spend time – and lots of money – dealing with him again? Probably not.
  • What’s more, as Talent Management and HR (EREMedia.com) put it recently, “it’s your fault if someone is fired,” because there almost always are indications that a candidate will be trouble. So if you hired the individual anyway, you need to take some responsibility for it.

Does this just stick in your craw? After all, not contesting an unemployment claim when someone was fired for legitimate misconduct!? What planet are we living on!?

And we understand. Truly. Too many people file fraudulent unemployment claims as it is, so to not contest it feels as if we’re condoning such behavior!

When should you contest an unemployment claim?

When you fired an employee for legitimate misconduct and you have solid documentation. After all, no one filing an illegitimate claim is going to admit to doing so. So you need solid proof, which includes documentation and or witnesses (and remember to create the documentation before you fire the employee).

Let us take on the burden of unemployment insurance.

Helpmates can become your workers’ employer of record (EOR), thus becoming your now-employees’ legal employer. We therefore take on all related employer responsibilities, including unemployment insurance claims. We would handle – and pay for – all unemployment insurance claims. In other words, if we feel a claim is fraudulent, we make the decision whether to contest it and reap – for good or bad – all the consequences of the ruling.

For more information on our EOR services, contact the Helpmates office nearest you and ask to speak to the branch manager.

The Art of Writing Online Job Descriptions

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.

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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.

Establishing a Successful Internship Program

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.

5 Ways Contractors Can Help Maximize Your Talent ROI

Today’s organizations are looking for ways to maximize their talent investment while simultaneously attracting and retaining exceptional professionals. No small task, right?

The pressure is on!

Are you maximizing your talent investment?

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In today’s ever-changing economy, the most resilient of organizations are maximizing their talent investment by getting creative. Balancing full-time and part-time employees with contractors offers unique benefits to keep your organization agile and successful. In fact, here are five ways contractors can help you maximize your talent ROI:

  1. They help you stay flexible. Flexibility in staff and staffing costs allows organizations of all sizes to remain profitable. The ability to scale up or down your staff to meet increasing (or decreasing) workflow removes unnecessary stress and planning for handling permanent staff.
  2. Contractors can help you reduce talent costs. It’s one of the oldest benefits of working with contractors and it still rings true – augmenting your staff with contractors often can reduce your talent costs significantly. Besides saving you time and cost by outsourcing your recruiting function, you’ll also save on benefits and onboarding costs. And when the contract ends, the salary comes off your payroll (unless/until you need more talent).
  3. They help you better allocate resources. When you work with a staffing partner (such as Helpmates), the administrative burden of paperwork and oversight, as noted above, falls on the staffing partner instead of the employer. This can free your managers or HR department to focus on more mission-critical tasks.
  4. Contractors bring some fresh perspective. Contractors can serve as a breath of fresh air for many employers. Maybe you’re struggling with a specific challenge or your organization is suffering from stagnating innovation. Or maybe you’re not suffering or searching at all! Regardless, contractors bring a fresh perspective and voice that can help illuminate problems or call attention to hidden strengths within your team or organization. A “fresh set of eyes” can help you see things differently and can often help you gain a critical competitive edge.
  5. They can help increase performance across the board. Many professionals thrive in contract roles and seek out short-term opportunities with organizations such as yours. The most successful contractors enjoy the constantly-evolving challenges and opportunities presented by new organizations and projects, and tackle them with enthusiasm. The very nature of contract employment also demands consistently high performance – contract employees can’t just sit back. They’re constantly improving their skills and gaining new ones. Their ability to land future contracts depends on it. That means better results for your team and ultimately, your organization.

We work with some of the most talented professionals across Southern California. Our network of contractors is ready to jump in and start getting results for your organization. Contact your nearest Helpmates office today to talk about your specific needs and to learn more about how we can help your organization achieve its goals.

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

4 Ways to Maximize Value From Performance Reviews

For many organizations, performance reviews are an item to check off the to-do list. But the most successful enterprises use annual reviews as a strategic leadership and planning tool. Research shows that more than 2/3 of employees would work harder if they felt their efforts were better recognized, and organizations who implement regular employee feedback have turnover rates that are nearly 15 percent lower.

It’s time to start getting value from your performance reviews

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Make 2017 the year your organization gets real value out of performance reviews. Keep these four tips in mind:

  1. Ensure performance reviews are a two-way street. Employee input and feedback are critical components of successful performance reviews. Your meeting should include much more than reading scores off of a sheet! At least a few days in advance of your meetings, send an email (or mention to your team individually) explaining that, while you’ll be delivering feedback in performance reviews, you will be expecting some input and feedback from your team as well. That includes feedback on the organization, or input on where employees would like to take their careers. Set expectations ahead of time, so that you really maximize your time reviewing performance reviews and demonstrating clear value for everyone involved.
  2. Be prepared to get specific. Avoid generalities such as “You’re doing much better,” or “You’re doing a great job” during performance reviews. Everyone appreciates compliments, but when you provide specific examples of great work or offer measurable differences that demonstrate how your employee is doing “much better,” you’ll not only boost the esteem of your team, you’ll help illustrate just how your team has improved. Research shows that more than half of employers don’t track improved performance — tracking performance helps your employees feel valued and ultimately to contribute more! To get even more value from your performance reviews, consider offering suggestions for ways to take results even higher for next year as well.
  3. Go beyond delivering feedback. Specific feedback is important, but you should go beyond feedback to ensure you’re setting the stage for continued success. Prior to scheduling your employee meetings, meet with HR or executive leadership to ensure you have outlined specific next steps for each employee. To start, use some of those tips build on the suggestions found in the third suggestion above.
  4. Realize you’re just getting started. Research shows that nearly 2/3 of employees don’t ever see changes based on feedback they give during reviews. So while you may be relieved to have finished your performance reviews, simply delivering feedback and setting expectations isn’t enough to get real change or results. The end of the review is where the real work begins! As their leader, it’s your responsibility to ensure your team members have the tools, support and accountability needed to reach their goals. Many of us have left a meeting or workshop feeling excited about what we can accomplish…but it’s very easy to fall right back into our old patterns. As their leader, you can help bring it all together and keep everyone on track toward reaching their individual and team goals. Consistent follow up meetings can help you stay on track, even just a few minutes every week.

Performance reviews are a valuable tool to help you assess and retain your top talent. But when you need help finding talent, call your nearest Helpmates office. Our network includes thousands of professionals across Southern California. We can help you find the best employees to reach your organizational goals.

Time Management 101: Tips for Recruiters

Ever feel like your day just flies by? From reading resumes to posting jobs and interviewing candidates, the 8 to 5 can evaporate quickly for recruiters. But while fast days can be a good thing, it can sometimes leave you feeling stressed or worse, behind.

Rescue your time with these tips for recruiters.

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It’s not impossible to balance daily recruiting responsibilities and maximize your time while finding the best talent. Try these four tips to reclaim your time and focus on your most mission-critical tasks:

  1. Avoid last-minute meetings. The ‘pop in’ is a notorious time waster in every office, but for recruiters they can prove costly. One or two minutes here and there may not seem like a big deal, but when you have three, four or even five people popping in to your office for a few minutes every day, they can quickly turn into hours wasted. Not only do you lose the actual time speaking with colleagues, but you lose time and focus on the tasks at hand. In other words, you have to break away from what you’re doing then get yourself back on task. Often times, this time doubles (or even triples) those ‘few minutes’ you were initially going to lose! When you are heads down on mission-critical work, let your coworkers know that you’ll be unavailable. If you have a ‘chat’ or ‘email’ program that allows you to set your status, be sure to set your status to ‘busy’ or ‘unavailable’ when you’re working on your most important tasks. Then, be sure to stick to your guns. If an unexpected pop in stops by, smile and politely let your colleague know that you’re unavailable now, but stop by at XX time and you’re happy to help (or, ask if it’s something that can be handled via email).
  2. Turn off email notifications. While some issues may be better relegated to email, the most productive recruiters manage email effectively. ‘Inbox zero’ is a nice goal, but it can seem intimidating or even impossible for many. As a result, many recruiters receive constant email notifications, dealing with emails as they come in throughout the day in order to prevent a backlogged inbox. While this may seem like a good idea, constantly checking your email means that you’re not actually working on work! Instead of being constantly on call for email, set certain times throughout the day to check and handle your messages. This way, you can stay focused on tasks as they land in front of you and can avoid distractions provided by emails throughout the 9 to 5. (Hint: This also works well for voicemail messages).
  3. Set a plan for your day (but know it likely won’t be exact). Take a few minutes at the end of each work day to outline your goals and set expectations for the following day. While pop-up meetings, client calls and last-minute interviews will come up from time to time, having an idea of your must-dos and scheduled calls or meetings ahead of time can allow you to prioritize your time effectively and more efficiently handle interruptions or disruptions to your day.
  4. Partner with a staffing firm. One of the best ways to eliminate unnecessary time wasters and allow you to focus on mission critical steps is to partner with a staffing firm (such as Helpmates!). We take on the most time-intensive tasks of recruiting and only present you with the most qualified candidates for your job openings, freeing you to focus your interviewing efforts on top tier candidates who are ready to step in and make an immediate impact. Rather than sifting through thousands of resumes, you’ll only see the most highly qualified few at the top of the pack. Whether you need help vetting candidates at the onset or would like someone to take on a bulk of the process, your staffing partner can help eliminate unnecessary steps and burden on your organization.

We can help your organization better maximize its talent investment. Our network of talent includes top professionals in a range of disciplines across Southern California. Contact your nearest Helpmates office to learn more about how we can help your organization.

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