Helpmates Staffing Services Once Again Wins Two of Inavero’s 2018 Best of Staffing® Diamond Awards

Helpmates Staffing – once again! – has been named to the “Best of Staffing” list.  For the 9th straight year! We are way beyond thrilled! And honored!!

Helpmates Staffing  Services has earned Inavero’s Best of Staffing® Talent and Client Diamond Awards after winning the best “Best of Staffing” award in each category at least five years in a row.

Only 2 percent of all staffing firms in the U.S. and Canada win the Best of Staffing award and only 33 percent of the Best of Staffing Award winners also earned the diamond distinction this year.

More than 1.2 million people (staffing candidates and clients) across the country provided feedback on many of the nation’s staffing firms. Award winners are determined by the percentage of satisfaction scores of 9 or 10 (out of a possible 10) given to them by their placed job candidates and clients.

Helpmates Wins Best of Staffing Diamond Awards Again

Helpmates won in four areas:

  • Client Satisfaction Award (9th year in a row)
  • Talent Satisfaction Award (7th year in a row)
  • The Best of Staffing Client Diamond Award (4th year in a row)
  • The Best of Staffing Talent Diamond Award (2nd year in a row)

What’s particularly important in this year’s awards is the fact that our Net Promoter Score (NPS), a customer metric that measure the loyalty between a provider (Helpmates) and its customers (clients and candidates/talent). Helpmates’ 2018 NPS score was 51.3 percent far above the staffing industry average of just 9 percent.

We need to acknowledge the dedication and extremely hard work our internal Helpmates team members performed on our behalf in order to earn us these important awards. We are grateful beyond words that our clients and temporary associates appreciate the work that our recruiters, branch managers and sales professionals do on their behalf.

All of us here at Helpmates intend to continue that hard work throughout the rest of this year and beyond, committing once again to ensuring that Southern California candidates and businesses find terrific work and the top talent possible.

Finally, thank you to our clients and candidates: it’s a great honor to work for and with you and we are exceedingly grateful for your belief in us!

Is THIS Why the Candidate Said No to Your Job Offer?

Yours is a nice company filled with nice people who work hard and aim to do their best in their jobs. Your receptionists are pleasant. Your HR department is filled with people-persons. You feel your managers are professional and have great communication skills.

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Then why do so many job candidates feel they’ve been treated so shoddily?

Yes, that’s right: too many companies make the application, interviewing and job offer process tough for applicants:

  • They don’t let rejected candidates know they didn’t get the job.
  • They make candidates jump through hoops to even apply. (WHY – in this age of identity theft – are employers still insisting on online applications that applicants provide social security numbers!?)
  • They call applicants at their current job insisting on having a phone interview right then.
  • They won’t accommodate candidates who can only interview in person after hours.
  • They put them through impersonal preliminary interviews.
  • They insist on tough panel interviews.
  • An experienced candidate contacts a hiring manager directly but the manager insists the candidate contact HR first
  • Candidates with several years of experience must still take basic-level skills testing.
  • And so on.

It’s tough to find great people. But too many companies still treat candidates as if it were 2008, the peak of the Great Recession, when great people were plentiful and businesses could pick and choose among the best job candidates.

Instead, it’s 2018 and the tables have turned: candidates get to choose among the best job opportunities!

This is important when it comes to hiring top talent because 79 percent of those surveyed said they would be “unlikely” to accept a job offer if they felt they were treated poorly during the recruiting process.

And it gets worse: 27 percent of respondents said they might talk about their poor experience on their social media channels!

What’s the right way to treat candidates?  With considerable courtesy and attention. Look at it this way: it’s something of a courtship today between employers and candidates, with companies doing the wooing and candidates saying yes or no to making a commitment.

So court your candidates! How do you do so?

  • Be accommodating to their schedules: interview them after hours, if necessary.
  • Make it easy for them to apply. Allow them, for example, to simply send a resume and cover letter as application. Ask for references only once you’re thinking of hiring and individual. Leave the nitty-gritty paperwork (and asking for their SSN) when they start the job, not before.
  • Send emails – or even videos — about the company culture, dress code, directions, etc. to those people you invite for an interview. This helps them get to know you before meeting and helps them know how to dress, where to park, etc.
  • Hiring managers: welcome phone calls from candidates who have the chutzpah to pick up the phone. Most applicants won’t; doing so shows assertiveness, courage and not a small amount of self-confidence, all terrific traits to have in employees.
  • Make a decision quickly and let interviewees know when you expect to make it. In fact, explain your next steps in the recruiting process clearly. If there’s a delay, let all interviewees know of it.
  • If you interview a candidate but decide not to hire her, she deserves the courtesy of a phone call from the hiring manager letting her know so. After all, she took several hours out of one of more of her days to visit your offices. It’s simple common courtesy.
  • Let all non-interview applicants know when the job is filled. An e-mail message or snail-mailed letter is sufficient.

When you need help attracting, interviewing and, yes, even courting top candidates in Southern California, let Helpmates help you source, interview, vet, and place them. Contact the office nearest you to learn how we can help you make job candidates feel like the VIPs they are in today’s tough talent-search market.

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.

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.

Ghosting Isn’t Right in Romance and it’s NOT Ok to Do to Job Candidates

Have you ever been “ghosted”? That time when a romantic partner just disappears – not returning calls or texts – just suddenly cutting off all communication, as if the relationship never existed?

It’s a cruel and immature way to end a relationship. Young people tend to do it because they are afraid of the reaction they may get when they want to break up with someone if they were to do it in person or over the phone or text.

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But even adults ghost. (Even middle-aged adults, if the story that Cherlize Theron ghosted Sean Penn is true.)

And, be honest, isn’t there at least one time you never got back to a candidate after interviewing him or her ? You just….disappeared?

We’ve all done it probably. After all, as recruiters we’re overwhelmed with candidates and position requisitions. Or as hiring managers, we have our regular jobs to do, not to mention interviewing several candidates, and then conducting second and possibly third interviews, negotiating salary with the candidate we do choose, onboarding the candidate and getting him up to speed. It’s easy to forget about the candidates we met with but didn’t choose.

But they haven’t forgotten us. And since many companies don’t even bother to send out a “thank you for applying but we choose a more qualified candidate” letter anymore your candidates — the people who took time out of their days (possibly more than once) to come to your office for several hours are sitting at home. Waiting. Wondering.

This is No Way to Treat a Candidate!

While it’s common practice now not to acknowledge applicants who aren’t interviewed for a position, we feel that anyone who takes the time to come in for an interview deserves the courtesy of a phone call to hear that the hiring manager chose someone else.

And that phone call should come from the hiring manager. (At the very least, the hiring manager should send an e-mail to the not-chosen candidate.)

More Than Just the Right Thing to Do

Taking the time to contact an interviewed candidate not only is courteous, but can help a candidate stay interested in you in the future. After all, a talented individual may not be the right fit for one position, but could be a great one for another. Just imagine the cost savings: instead of having to cull through dozens of resumes, speak to several more candidates, and so on you could instead just bring him in to make sure he’s a good fit. No need to go through the interview process all over again!

But if you never let him know he didn’t get the job, not only do you not keep him in your pipeline, he now has negative thoughts and feelings about you. Don’t forget, people tend to share negative experiences they’ve had with businesses more than they share positive encounters. And with social media at his fingertips……

Bottom line: calling a candidate to let him know he didn’t get the job not only shows respect and courtesy, it helps create a positive candidate experience. On the other hand, a negative candidate experience can be “self-destructive” and have undesirable consequences for your firm down the road.

Sorting through resumes and performing preliminary screening activities on candidates for your Orange County or Los Angeles company can take considerable time. Let Helpmates do this tiresome but critical aspect of your interview process for you. Contact us today.

We’re More Alike than We Think: Downplaying Generational Differences in the Workplace

You’ve no doubt heard it often: Millennials want to be groomed for advancement while members of Generation X are wanna-be entrepreneurs. And Boomers? They’re definitely not shy about challenging authority.

Pretty much accepted as true among most is that the generations are very different, so much so that entire books are written about how they can get along when working together.

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But are they really? We believe the generations coming together in today’s workplace are more alike than they are different. Hear us out below.

  1. Someone may be a Boomer but not remember the Beatles’ heyday.

What we mean by this is that each generation is about 20 years in length: Boomers, for example, are those born between 1946 and 1964 while Generation X generally is believed to be those born between 1965 and 1980. So a Boomer born in 1957 is going to have a very different cultural experience than her older counterpart born in 1947. The younger boomer may very well have a life experience more in common with a Generation X-er born in 1965 than an older Boomer.

A 1957 Boomer with an older sister may well remember her sister’s excitement about the Beatles coming to America (1964) when the Boomer would have been 7. But a 1957 Boomer with only younger siblings may not have experienced their music possibly until the band already had broken up (1969, when the Boomer would have been 12 and in middle-school) because there was no one in the house going nuts over them when she was younger.

Our point? Our outlooks and experiences in life often come about due to our family circumstances rather than our age. Older siblings give us entre to things four-year-olds otherwise wouldn’t be aware of. Even stations such as Nickleodeon and  now Netflix have for years shown old television shows such as the The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Andy Griffith Show and others to generations far too young to have seen them when first aired; yet later generations, too, have them as cultural touchstones. And what Generation X-er and Millennial haven’t bonded over their mutual love of Sesame Street (which first aired in 1969 and continues strong today)?

What’s more members of a generation born at each “end” more than likely have more in common with someone born a few years before or later, even if that individual is in a different “generation.” After all, a 10-year-age difference among any member of any generation is a much harder gap to close than the gap between someone five years younger older.

In other words, you may be surprised how much in common you have with a co-worker of a different generation.

(Here’s a fun quiz for everyone: How Millennial Are You? by the Pew Research Center. You may be surprised by how close to a different generation you are. For example, Dan Struve, our CEO, is a Boomer. He took the quiz and he scored an 80, making him pretty much a Millennial than a Boomer when it comes to activities and outlook.)

  1. Technology is the great equalizer of generations.

In fact, could we all be becoming Millennials?

Millennials, conventional wisdom goes, are:

  • Connected to their digital devices 24/7.
  • Leave their employer quickly (they stay at a job two or three years, tops).
  • They need constant feedback. And it better be of the positive variety!
  • They require flexibility and choice.
  • They want their work to have meaning and be of use to others in some way.
  • They want opportunity for advancement.

Just like the post linked to above, we argue that all generations are like Millennials more than not when it comes to the above. Proof?

No one likes to be stereotyped; all of us all think we are the exception to any “rule” and wish to be treated as individuals.

When you need help finding great people to work in your company or department, call upon Helpmates. We can help you find the great people to help your company reach its goals.

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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