Hiring Managers’ New Year’s Resolutions

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

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

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

2018 hiring resolutions

  1. Resolve to make a hiring decision quickly.

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

  1. Promise to consider the “imperfect” candidate.

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

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

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

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

  1. Pledge to embrace the reference check.

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

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

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

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

  1. Vow to ask for help.

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

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

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

Happy New Year!

5 Outdated Recruiter Habits (and What to Focus on Instead)

The employer/job seeker relationship today is vastly different than 15, 10 or even five years ago. Today’s candidates expect more from employers after they hit “send” on their resumes. Those organizations whose recruiters understand and embrace the new recruiting reality are winning the battles for top talent. Those who are standing by their outdated recruiter habits are struggling. recruiter habits

Are you winning great talent or struggling to find them due to outdated recruiter habits?

It’s time to look honestly at your recruiter habits to determine whether they are helping or hindering your recruiting efforts. Here are five outdated recruiter habits that make the biggest negative impact:

  1. Form, template or mass messages. Today’s job seekers are more savvy and discerning than ever. They want to be “wooed” by employers. At a minimum, they want to be treated like an individual instead of a number. With the number of tools and technologies available to reach candidates quickly and easily, it can be tempting to continue “following a script” in your communications.

    This is one of the fastest ways to burn bridges and turn candidates OFF of your organization.

    It’s fine to start off with a general message you use for a certain role or specialty, but take the time to customize it for specific candidates (just as you expect them to customize their resumes for your job openings!). Review their LinkedIn profiles and look for commonalities or information you can include that shows you are truly sending a one-on-one message. You’ll stand out to candidates for the right reason.

  2. Sticking to an interview script. Ten or twenty years ago, many recruiters and interviewers would print out a sheet of questions and diligently work their way down the list during each interview. Providing a neat and tidy recap of the conversation, it was often the “go to” resource during job interviews.

    Both employers and candidates today are much more savvy than 20 or even 10 years ago. Candidates expect to have conversations instead of rigid interviews – and the strongest candidates are ones who navigate those conversations with ease. Successful employers understand that top talent can address expectations and requirements during an interview without having to fit into a “mold.”

    If you’re still sticking to a script, you’re not only behind the times, you’re potentially hurting your organization. Asking every candidate the same questions almost completely ensures you’re hiring “the same person” for every role. For innovative, growing companies, this mistake could literally kill their businesses.

    Using an interview script also sends a message to candidates that your organization is outdated. Today’s top talent is looking for the cream of the crop among employers. They want employers who are innovative, looking ahead and who are invested in the right technology and tools to help them do their jobs effectively. If your recruiters aren’t using the best tools to do their jobs, why would candidates expect the best tools to do theirs?

  3. Taking their time to make a hiring decision. Strong hiring decisions are critical to the short- and long-term success of your organization. But, if your hiring process takes a long time, requires multiple visits and interviews and generally is, well, bloated, your organization needs to catch up.

    Top talent today is often contacted by recruiters within days of posting their resumes. Many don’t post their resumes at all! Finding and reaching passive candidates is essential to landing top talent for your organization. When talent is already employed and not actively seeking a job, do you really think they are going to welcome a weeks-long hiring process? Or multiple visits and interviews?

    We recently shared tips for speeding up your hiring process. Implement this advice to speed up your hiring process and move past one of the most outdated recruiter habits.

  4. Posting the same generic job descriptions. We’ve been discussing job descriptions here on the Helpmates blog quite a bit lately, and with good reason. Strong job descriptions can help you land better talent that is enthusiastic for your jobs. They can also save you time and money.

    Yet some recruiters are still using the same, generic job descriptions their organization has posted for years. If your organization is often hiring for the same positions, it’s acceptable to post the same description.

    Cutting and pasting a job description from five or two years ago is not acceptable and is one of the most outdated recruiter habits.

    Your organization is constantly changing. Chances are your roles are evolving too. Your job descriptions should be evolving with them. Instead of using your descriptions as a checklist of requirements, use them to inform candidates about the role and your company. Your job descriptions should be selling your company!

    Check out these quick tips for job descriptions that deliver – toss out your old descriptions and start using this critical tool to attract top talent.

  5. Disregarding overqualified candidates. Today’s professionals may have two or even three different careers by the time they hit 40. That’s a lot of skills and experience! But along with those skills and experience can come the stereotype that overqualified candidates are a poor choice.

    What a mistake!

    Candidates whose skills exceed the requirements of the position are often leaders who can help mentor younger employees. They bring enthusiasm and skills that can add dimension and productivity to the role that you never imagined. Although a strong resume can help top talent stand apart, candidates are often much more than you see on paper. Discounting candidates simply because they appear overqualified could mean losing out on significant opportunity for your organization – both immediately and down the road.

Here at Helpmates, our team is at the forefront of the latest recruiting trends, tools and technologies. We’ve built strong relationships with an extensive network of talent across Southern California, and we can find the best talent for your organization and needs. Contact your nearest Helpmates office today to learn more.

3 Ways to Reduce Your Recruiting Costs

 As successful, growing businesses, the pressure to reduce costs and maximize profits is very real. While there are certainly many opportunities to reduce costs within an organization, the recruiting function is often one that receives scrutiny from leadership. recruiting costs

Here’s the good news: You can reduce your recruiting costs and still attract top talent!

You don’t have to sacrifice quality to reduce your recruiting costs, but you do have to focus on making the right changes. Here are three steps smart organizations are taking to improve their recruiting efforts and ultimately, to reduce recruiting costs.

  1. Write better job descriptions. Job descriptions that are poorly written, unclear or lack critical details can result in hundreds — if not thousands — of unqualified or inappropriate resumes landing on your desk. Sifting through those resumes can take many hours of manpower, and can result in passing by a potential superstar too quickly.

    Avoid getting bogged down with administrative costs due to poor job descriptions. We previously highlighting some essentials for writing job descriptions that deliver – start with this advice and you’ll be on the right path.

  2. Build a strong referral program. One of the best places to find great talent is by talking to the great talent you already know – your employees! Establishing and promoting a strong employee referral program can significantly reduce the time and cost investment needed to recruit for some key positions.

    Successful referral programs don’t necessarily require massive payouts. Start with a few hundred dollars for new hires after they complete their first 90 days of service. As a bonus, establishing an employee referral program can help you assess your company culture. Consistent, strong referrals are often indicative of a strong culture. Poor referrals (or none at all) can signify the opposite.

  3. Partner with a staffing firm. The quickest and easiest way to immediately reduce your recruiting costs is to partner with a staffing firm. From writing and posting job descriptions to reviewing resumes and conducting interviews, the right recruiting partner can dramatically reduce your recruiting costs.

    In addition to “literal” costs, partnering with a staffing firm frees your staff to focus on more mission-critical tasks. You’re more likely to make better, stronger hires (resulting in higher retention rates), your team is likely to be happier and your hiring process can be significantly decreased, resulting in the attraction and hiring of better candidates.

Helpmates has been partnering with top organizations across Southern California for more than 40 years. We are at the forefront of the recruiting industry and we can help you reduce your recruiting costs while gaining access to an exceptional network of top talent. Contact your nearest Helpmates office to learn more about our staffing solutions and how we can help you reduce recruiting costs.

Creating a Candidate Experience That Gets Results

Research from CareerArc shows that nearly 60% of candidates have had a poor candidate experience, and 72% of them shared that experience online or with someone directly. candidate experience

Whether it’s on Glassdoor, Facebook or another social media site, or in one-on-one  conversations with family, friends and colleagues, talent is talking about your organization and its candidate experience. Do you know what they’re saying?

Attracting top talent starts with candidate experience

It can be difficult to undo the damage of written or spoken criticism from candidates. The best solution here is prevention >> Creating a positive candidate experience can help build a strong reputation for your company and ultimately can help bring exceptional candidates into your talent pipeline.

Follow these seven steps to improve your candidate experience and start getting better results from your recruitment efforts:

1. Create a plan ahead of time. It’s one thing to say you want to improve your candidate experience. It’s another thing entirely to put a plan in action. Schedule a meeting with key personnel within your organization to identify and map out critical steps.

2. Involve your current employees. While you’re creating that plan, don’t be afraid to gather feedback from your current employees or if you’re currently recruiting for a position or positions, ask candidates for their input along the way. This feedback can help you gain important perspective on your process and where it’s missing the boat. Be sure to let employees know their candid feedback here helps everyone – some employees may fear punishment if they deliver constructive or critical feedback on your process.

3. Be specific in your job descriptions. Once you have a process in place that helps you find the best talent while providing a great experience for candidates, it’s time to review your job descriptions. Research from The Talent Board shows that job descriptions are the most important job-related content candidates look for when they are applying. Specifically, they want a clear description of the job duties and responsibilities, plus an overview of the essentials: salary, benefits, company values/culture and any perks (eg. working remotely, flexible schedule, education allowance). Your job descriptions should include all of this information within a quick, easy-to-read package.

4. Communicate throughout the process. In the previously referenced research from CareerArc, 60% of candidates said that better communication throughout and after the applicant process would make the most positive impact on their candidate experience. Yet, 65% say they never or rarely receive notice about their applications. This should be a part of your planning in Step 1, but it’s especially important to follow through. Let candidates know when they can expect to hear from you (even starting with the job description mentioned above). Then, be sure to call or email them at the right stages and times.

5. Consolidate multiple interviews into one visit. Speed of your hiring process can make a major impact on candidate experience. As we mentioned earlier this year in our blog, unnecessary steps can bloat your hiring process and lead to unhappy candidates. This is especially true with multiple interviews. Coming into your office two, three, even four times for interviews can be excessive and cause candidates to become frustrated (consider this: getting dressed up, printing out resume copies and travel time to and from your office can cause major stress). Align your schedules so that all critical personnel are able to meet with candidates on the same day. Your candidates will appreciate the effort and your hiring process will likely move much more quickly.

6. Follow up with EVERY candidate. To build on the point made in Step #4, communication throughout the process is essential >> But, that includes communication with EVERY candidate, not just those who are moving forward in your hiring process. Today’s “wrong fit” could be tomorrow’s super star (or could know him or her). Putting in the extra effort to follow up with every candidate in your pipeline can help ease disappointment at not getting the job and encourage a positive impression of your organization.

Creating a more positive candidate experience takes some time up front, but the results can make a major impact on your business. But before you can impress candidates with a great experience, you need the right candidates in your pipeline. Here at Helpmates, we have an extensive network of top talent across Southern California. Contact your nearest Helpmates office to learn more about how our talent solutions can help your business achieve its goals.

What REALLY Motivates Employees?

As the economy continues to improve, candidates are raising their expectations when it comes to compensation and benefits from employers. Is your organization meeting those expectations?

Keys to attract and retain top talentHelpmates June Blog 2

Recent research from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) identified the top 3 drivers of job satisfaction for employees. Let’s dig into these 3 and identify how your organization can use them to win the talent war:

  1. Respectful treatment of employees at all levels. While most of us expect this type of treatment and would feel that we are also acting within this type of expectation, its presence at the top of list implies that many employees either do, or have, felt that they weren’t treated with a proper level of respect from their employer. With more employees struggling to find top talent, every organization should prioritize interaction between all levels of an organization to ensure that from candidate to employee, ever individual feels valued and respected. Encouraging an “open door” policy (where appropriate) where employees at all levels feel comfortable interacting and sharing feedback with senior management can go a long way toward ensuring a culture of respectful treatment. Additional research from BambooHR takes this notion a step further, suggestion that employees are looking for reward and recognition for superior work. Don’t be intimidated by this thought – recognition doesn’t necessarily mean cruises and lavish prizes (although those probably wouldn’t hurt!). Simply recognizing the great work of employees in meetings and other communications can be an excellent way to ensure employees feel valued. During the interview process, acknowledging impressive credentials or previous results can help demonstrate to candidates that their contributions will be valued when they join the team as well.
  2. Compensation/pay. The recession of 2008-2009 may seem like ancient history, but it has had a lasting effect on employee compensation over the past 8 years. In their research, SHRM found that compensation is rising in its importance among candidates and employees. After flat salaries or unimpressive bonuses for nearly a decade, more employees feel that the current state of the economy merits additional compensation. Among younger employees this can be especially critical, as student loan debt and other financial burdens are shown to weigh heavily on the minds of millennials. Yes, your candidates and employees place a high emphasis on respect and recognition, but compensation is heavily considered. While that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to outspend your competitors, it does mean you’ll need to do some research into average salaries for specific positions within your market. If you’re not meeting average salaries, you could be in trouble, both with recruiting and retention (which could end up being much more costly than meeting those initial salary expectations).
  3. Benefits. The numbers here should make some employers nervous: 60% of employees rated benefits as a very important contributor to job satisfaction, but 68% of employees aren’t currently satisfied with the overall benefits package offered by their employers. Want to get candidates in the door and keep them there? It might be time to overhaul your offering. If you’re really looking to stand out, wellness and pension programs, or benefits designed to support families currently show the least amount of satisfaction. Most organizations have got basics like health and PTO benefits covered – now’s the time to get creative and see how your benefits can support and nurture employees to help them feel valued and secure while working for your organization.

While there certainly weren’t any surprises on this list, that doesn’t mean these factors are any less critical. In fact, understanding the nuances of today’s employees in relation to these factors is an important step toward attracting and retaining top talent. Finding the right balance between compensation and benefits is key – the team of experts at Helpmates can help you understand the competitive salaries needed to attract and retain talent, identify top benefits that are likely to help you stand out, and most importantly – help you find candidates who are ready to step in and make an immediate impact on your organization. Contact your nearest Helpmates office today to learn more about how we can help your organization maximize its talent investment.

5 Important Steps You Should Take After Every Interview

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

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

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

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

Is Your Employer Brand Sending the Right Message?

With competition for top talent becoming stiffer by the day, focusing on a strong employer brand is critical to helping your business stand out from the pack. While you don’t have to be named a “Top Place to Work” in order to attract and retain top talent, a strong employer brand helps you build trust and engagement with candidates. In the past, we’ve shared tips to help you differentiate your employer brand from the competition, and have highlighted some ways to attract and retain top talent.

Have you followed our advice? Great, then you’re on the right track!Helpmates April 2

Now it’s time to take your employer brand to the next level.

While many employers have great intentions in developing their employer brand, many make some considerable mistakes that end up costing them access to talent. Avoid these mistakes to prevent an uphill battle in your quest to land top talent:

  1. Underestimating candidates. In their most recent candidate behavior survey, Jobvite found that 18% of all job seekers are using Facebook to research your company’s culture. Today’s job seekers are more savvy than ever. They know what they’re looking for in an employer, and they want to find a match between their needs and your company. Specifically, they want to know what it’s really like to work for your business. And with tools like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Glassdoor and Google at their fingertips, it’s easier than ever to get this information. To ensure that candidates are finding a message that truly represents your brand, a strong social media presence is essential. We recently posted a blog offering advice for employers looking to engage candidates on social media. This is a good place to start. Showcase your employer brand, expect and understand that candidates are doing their research and that they value honesty and a strong message from your company
  2. Not “walking your talk.” Creating a strong employer brand involves more than messaging.  A strong employer brand engages candidates while accurately depicting your company’s values and the experience of working for your organization. Now “walking the talk” here isn’t just overtly misleading candidates (which most employers wouldn’t do deliberately). Many employers have the best of intentions, but don’t actually understand what day-to-day life is like in their workplaces for most employees. Before embarking on an employer branding initiative, an informal, anonymous survey of your current employees can help you pinpoint the true benefits and experience of working for your company. Bonus: It can also help illuminate areas where you could be doing better. Take this information and use it to create a better experience for your employees!
  3. Thinking your employer brand is “one and done.” Embarking on an employer branding initiative like the one mentioned in #2 is a great way to start your employer branding efforts. Notice the emphasis on “start.” Understanding your employer brand and crafting your message is just the beginning. A strong employer brand is constantly built and honed – it takes a long-term commitment from your organization. Ensure that your mission, vision and company goals are properly communicated to prospective employees by investing time and resources into a strong social media strategy so that when candidates research your company, they’re finding recent, relevant content that engages. Work on improving areas that underperformed in the survey you conducted as part of #2, then promote those advances across the board. Refresh your employer branding materials as needed to ensure the messaging is the most current, up to date and engaging. Ensure that your organization is committed to building and leveraging its employer brand. This may require someone within your organization “taking ownership” of employer branding. Designating a dedicated resource toward your employer brand can be a great way to ensure this important area doesn’t fall by the wayside.

Landing top talent doesn’t have to be an uphill battle. Follow this advice, and call your local Helpmates office. Our network of top talent across Southern California is ready to jump in and make an immediate impact on your business.

3 Ways To Speed Up Your Hiring Process

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

Are top candidates choosing your business?HM

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

Streamline your hiring process to attract top talent

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

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

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

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How You Are Turning Off Candidates on Social Media

By now it’s not a matter of if you should be engaging candidates and recruiting talent on social media. And with good reason — employers who used social media to hire found a 49% improvement in candidate quality over recruiting through traditional channels. Instead, it’s a matter of how you can do it better. Competition for top talent is fierce, and social media is no longer a differentiator, but a necessity.

Today’s candidates are more discerning than ever.december blog 2

Although businesses are spending billions of dollars on social media, it is ultimately a very personal tool for many people. With the personal nature of social media — particularly as it relates to job searches and careers – adhering to best practices when engaging with candidates is important. Seventy-three percent of job seekers aged 18 to 34 found their last job through a social network – can you afford to turn off these candidates? Commit any of these social recruiting faux pas, and you risk alienating talent while building a negative reputation online:

  1. Lacking a plan. What are your specific goals for social media – to stay top of mind with candidates? To provide useful information for candidates to find jobs? To demonstrate thought leadership? These are just a few of the goals many businesses have when it comes to social recruiting, but yours may be different. And the steps you take to achieve those goals can vary widely. Do some research into social media best practices, be sure you understand the social sites where your company will be active, and map out a plan to help you achieve your goals. A little work ahead of time can go a long way toward building a strong social media reputation.
  2. Ignoring your profile. If you’ll pardon the comparison, your company social media profiles are essentially your online resume (how’s that for irony?). If your profiles aren’t up to snuff, just as your recruiters are likely to throw away an imperfect resume, candidates are likely to pass by your profiles. Engaging photos and complete descriptions (that sound “human” and are filled with more than corporate speak – remember, these are “social” profiles!) are the first tip off to candidates that your profiles are genuine, engaging and worthwhile. Once your profiles are set up, though, it’s up to you to keep them “social.” Guidelines can vary, but be sure to post to Facebook at least a few times per week, LinkedIn as well, and to Twitter a few times each day. Once you get a handle on these most popular networks, you might even want to consider looking at additional networks like Instagram or Snapchat. But be sure to post often: Content that is useful to your audience (eg. resume tips, interview advice, etcetera) or provides insights into your company (eg. holiday parties, birthday celebrations, employee recognition) help candidates feel “connected” to you before they ever speak to a recruiter or visit your office.
  3. Spamming candidates. Although your job openings may be great, exciting opportunities, the reality is that not every candidate is interested. Spam is universally abhorred, and when you spam candidates they don’t forget it (they also tell people…a lot of them). If you’ve sent LinkedIn InMail to a candidate and haven’t heard back, one or two follow ups within a few weeks is completely acceptable. Five messages over the course of a week (particularly with sales-y language) are not. And spam goes beyond frequency – if you’re sending sales letters to candidates on social media, you may as well be telling them not to apply to your jobs. It has been stated here several times but bears repeating – they call it “social” media, so be social! While it’s often impossible to craft custom messages for every candidate, be sure to do more than send mass emails to hundreds of candidates, all containing the same generic message. Block candidates into groups by criteria like age, experience level, alma mater, etcetera, then craft messages that offer personal elements to show that you’ve taken the time to reach out to them online. Candidates will absolutely remember you after you’ve reached out to them on social media – it’s up to you to make sure it’s not for the wrong reasons.
  4. Getting too personal. While social media can help you make stronger connections with candidates, be careful not to get too personal. Connecting on LinkedIn and (often) Twitter are acceptable and encouraged ways to stay in touch with candidates, but many candidates prefer to keep their Facebook profiles for friends and family. Avoid sending friend requests on Facebook, or any requests to connect on other social sites where you notice that posted content is strictly personal.

Here at Helpmates, our network of candidates across Southern California is engaged and ready to contribute to your bottom line. Contact us today to learn more about our staffing solutions.

4 Ways Your Company is Turning Off Top Talent

Bloggers and the Internet spend a great deal of time sharing suggestions for attracting top talent (we posted some tips for attracting millennials this summer, actually). But while attracting top talent is critical, there is another recruiting key that is often forgotten.

Turning OFF top talent!

While you’re thinking of ways to attract talent, you could be simultaneously sending a subliminal message that you’re not the best place to work. And that message could be costly. Here are four common mistakes companies make that can turn off top talent:Untitled

  1. Boring job descriptions. Job descriptions are much more than a way to weed out unqualified candidates – they’re your first (and sometimes only) way of selling both the job and your company to talent. If your job descriptions offer little more than a bullet list of “musts” and “would like to haves,” you’re missing out. We share some keys for writing effective job descriptions in this blog post – print it out and hang it by your computer for some inspiration when creating your next job description.
  2. A drawn out hiring process. It’s a candidate’s market right now, with some industries fighting tooth and nail for top talent. You can’t afford to drag out the hiring process unnecessarily – when you do, your competitors are snatching up top talent. Take a realistic look at your hiring process and see where you can “cut the fat.” Do you really need four people in an interview (which can add days or weeks to coordinate schedules)? Could you conduct several interviews in one day to avoid bringing candidates in on multiple days? You’d be surprised how often one or two extra days in a few places can result in loss of your top candidates.
  3. Disconnected messaging and reality. This one can be a bit tricky. Building a strong employer brand is a critical part of the recruitment strategy for many organizations, and rightfully so. But spending hours and dollars on a strong employer branding message could end up a colossal waste if the reality of life within your organization doesn’t mesh with the reality you’re pushing in your messaging. Be honest about your company culture and identify its true strengths, not what you wish they were. Craft messaging that helps convey that message, so that when candidates meet with your team, that message is reinforced. Taking these steps can save you considerable recruiting costs down the line (and should also help your retention rate).
  4. Too much formality.  By all accounts, if your corporate culture is more formal, be sure to present yourself formally in all communications. But formality doesn’t mean a lack of humanity. Generic messages like “Your resume has been received” help you blend right in with every other competitor using an ATS (applicant tracking system). Are you excited that incredible candidates are applying to your company? You should be! Let them know about it so that when someone from your office does call or email them, they’re excited to hear from you. A shift from “Your resume has been received” to “We are so excited you chose to apply with us – we’re reviewing resumes for the next few days and will be in touch soon” could be a simple change that makes a massive difference.

Turning off top talent can cost you, but a sound recruiting strategy is also essential. That’s where Helpmates comes in. Our extensive network of talented professionals across Southern California trusts us to find them incredible jobs. We’d love to connect them with yours! Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you find top talent.

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