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.

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

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

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

Los Angeles temp agency

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

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

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

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

  1. Start a conversation. And then listen. Really

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Share your vision.

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

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

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

  1. Thank people. Keep thanking them.

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

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

Busting Freelancer Myths

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

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

Orange County temp firm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Still…..

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

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

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

 

Attracting the Attention of Top Talent: 5 Tactics

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

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

Orange County temp agency

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

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

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

  1. Streamline that interview process and do it ASAP!

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Partner with a staffing/recruiting service.

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

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

Keeping Your New Hire for as Long as You Need Him

With up to a quarter of your new hires leaving your employ within just half a year, the longer you can keep them the better for your bottom line.

SoCal Staffing

How can you do so? Read below.

  1. Make sure you’re ready for him.

We’re sure it’s happened to you at some point in your own career: you start your first day in your new job and only to discover there’s no desk/office for you, your computer or phone hasn’t been delivered yet and your manager may be late – or even not in the office that day.

Talk about a company making a very bad first-day impression!

Instead, make sure your new hire has the equipment he needs, his new boss is there, and onboarding paperwork is ready to be filled out and HR is expecting him. (In fact, it may be best if you send the onboarding paperwork to the new hire’s home so that he can fill as much of it out as possible before day one.)

  1. Clearly delineate expectations.

Either in the days before your new hire starts or at some point in the first week, sit down with your new employee and let him know what’s expected of him. How can he meet and exceed your expectations? Write guidelines/parameters down and give them to him. If you have milestones he needs to meet, make sure they are included in the guidelines with their deadlines/due dates.

  1. Help him fit in with colleagues and company culture.

If you’re too busy to do so yourself, assign someone in your department to show your new hire the lay of your department’s “land.” Make sure your new employee has an official organization chart but understand that his colleague probably will tell him who the true movers and shakers are and who slacks off. Who is the unnamed “boss” of sub-departments and who the department’s maverick is. And so on.

Ask all of his new co-workers to introduce themselves (even if you’ve already gone around with him in tow to do so).

If possible, see if the company owner or vice-president in charge of your department can stop by to have a private “welcome to the family” chat with your newbie.

Finally, within the first month of his start date, take your new hire out for a one-on-one lunch and ask him how he’s feeling in his new position, what questions he may have and if there’s anything you can do or get for him that will make his job easier.

  1. Provide clear guidelines and expectations and then go away.

You hired him to do a job, now let him do it. Most successful, hard-working professionals do best when given parameters and then left alone to get things done. In other words, don’t micromanage! Be available for questions, give feedback and guidance when requested but don’t hover. Correct or straighten the new hire’s course only if he veers too far off it. Check in now and then (monthly at first, then bi-monthly or even quarterly, depending on the position) to see how things are going.

When you need a new employee for a temporary, temp-to-hire or direct-hire opportunity for your Southern California company, come to Helpmates Staffing. Whether you want someone to come in for the holiday rush or you need someone to grow with your firm, we can source, vet and place some of the region’s top talent. Contact the Helpmates office nearest you.

Don’t Ignore These When Looking at Job Candidates

When trying to choose among different applicants for an opportunity at your company, there are some things you can overlook in a candidate:

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  • Nervousness at the interview.
  • One or two gaps in job history, depending on how long the individual has been in the workforce.
  • Missing one or two “critical” skills.
  • No college degree. (Seriously, if Google and Ernst & Young can say a degree isn’t necessary, couldn’t you consider it, as well?)
  • Dressing a little inappropriately (as in wearing khakis instead of slacks or a blouse that’s a touch too revealing).

But there are at least four things a hiring manager or recruiter should never ignore. We list them below.

  1. Past performance.

Nothing says how well a candidate will do in your position than how well he did in previous positions. If you find that the person you’re interviewing likes to do only the minimum to get a job done, doesn’t do well in teams, barely made sales quotas, prefers to do things by the book, and so on, she will do the same with you.

Yes, perhaps quotas were too high at her past position, but what about the one before that, and the one before that? And, yes, people can change when highly motivated. But if the person has been in the workforce for at least five years and has exhibited certain traits time and again, chances are she’s not going to change much, if at all, when she’s your employee.

How to find these characteristics? When checking references, ask specific questions as to the candidate’s self-motivation, results, attitude, etc.

  1. She wants the position!

Most candidates will say they want the position, but look for signs that this candidate truly does. Does she become somewhat excited talking about what she can do for you as your employee? Or does she seem to be underwhelmed by your opportunity? Does she talk about doing tasks in the past (see above) that indicate she’s willing to pitch in wherever needed, whether they were in her job description or not? Enthusiasm and appreciation for your opportunity is easy to spot, as is a sense that the candidate feels she is overqualified for the position and it’s therefore somewhat “beneath” her. Observe closely.

  1. Interpersonal skills.

Introverts can be great team players while extroverts can be obnoxious boors (“I’m not going to go along with you because you are wrong!”) Generally, unless a candidate is going to work absolutely alone (or even telecommute), you need to look at her interpersonal skills. She doesn’t have to make “best friends” with colleagues, but can she make professionally friendly and cooperative connections with her teammates?

What’s more, you want to hire people who can embrace your company’s values and mission as well as culture. Do her personal goals mesh with those of your company?

  1. Can the candidate do the job?

While it can be better to hire for attitude rather than skills, you do want to ensure that the candidate can handle most of the skills necessary to be competent in the position. This is why many Southern California firms ask us to find them candidates for temp-to-hire positions so that both our client and our candidate can decide if the individual is right for the opportunity – and the opportunity is right for the candidate. Temp-to-hire assignments mean you can observe the candidate first-hand to see if she has the necessary skills, aptitude and attitude to succeed in the position.  If not, you can ask us to find another individual you also can try out.

To learn more about our temp-to-hire services, contact the Helpmates office nearest you.

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.

LA recruiters

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.

orange county staffing

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.

Los Angeles employer of record

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.

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