Consider the Resume: Time to Say Goodbye?

As much as technology has changed the way we look for work and look for new employees, one thing has remained pretty much the same: the resume.

Sure, many automated tools allow us to create out resume, scan resumes, search to see if a resume contains the skills, education, etc. (keywords) that are needed for a candidate to be able to do the job if hired, post jobs online, apply online, and on and on and on.

And the one constant in this constant change? We still require that applicants create and send resumes!

Should the Resume Stay or Go?

Orange County Jobs

There’s been some talk over the past few years about “doing away” with the resume. Yet before we get into why this may be a good idea, let’s talk about the benefits resumes offer both the candidate and the employer.


  • Provide a snapchat of a candidate’s skills, education and accomplishments in a one- or two-page document. Easy to read and scan; not too hard to create.
  • Can be tailored for each job opening, highlighting a candidate’s specific skills, etc. that fit a particular job. (Benefit to job seeker.)
  • Are easily scannable into an employer’s database, allowing recruiters the chance to automatically sort through resumes, looking for the specific skills, education and background they feel a candidate should possess. (Employer benefit.)

The Argument for Saying Goodbye

Here is where resumes fall short – extremely short: they are inefficient, inaccurate and provide absolutely no true indication as to whether an applicant can actually do the job, if he will fit in with his colleagues and if he will enjoy the job, all extremely important things to know when looking for work or hiring.

Resumes also  act as a barrier to people who would be good fits and technically able to do the job because their very nature has them acting as filters and roadblocks: unless a resume has the exact skills, background and education “needed” for the job, both human and automated screeners tend to say “no.”

This, plainly, is nuts. After all, just about every hiring manager has at least once said “you’ve got the job” to someone who wasn’t a great “match on paper” who then turned out to be wonderful. And wonderfully happy and successful.

Resumes also are potent “lie machines”: they require that hiring managers and recruiters rely on what a candidate says on them. Some falsifications are relatively easy to spot with a little digging (education, certificates, job history), but how does a manager know if a person really is outgoing and a team player? The candidate truly may feel he is such, but different degrees of “plays well with others” definitely exist.

Possible Resume Alternatives

So if a job hunter or even a hiring manager and/or recruiter decides to “just say no” to a resume, what are some possible substitutes? Here are just a few (with two of them described below):

  • LinkedIn profiles: Recruiters/managers can take a look at different candidates, comparing the same elements. What’s more, because LinkedIn is a public platform, some believe they “encourage” information that’s more truthful than what could be on a resume. The bad side – for candidates – is a LinkedIn profile isn’t very flexible as to what can and can’t be included.
  • Personal websites: Obviously, these can be very candidate-focused (and candidate-subjective). It can be harder for a hiring manager to figure out what is real, what is exaggerated and what is just plain false. But websites could be exceptionally powerful – and even accurate – for candidates looking for creative work: writers, graphic artists, website designers, marketers, etc.

While we understand that the “get rid of the resume” fight will continue – and possibly grow stronger – we still accept and want them here at Helpmates. Just as we always welcome candidates who visit our offices in order to apply for work, we also ask that applicants include their resumes when applying for specific openings. Contact the office nearest you today.

How to Take Your New Hires From “Employees” to “Superstars”

Hiring employees takes considerable time, effort and ultimately, cost. But once you’ve got the right team on board, your work as an organization doesn’t stop there. Tapping into your team’s true potential raises everyone’s performance and can have a dramatic impact on your bottom line.

Are you maximizing the potential of your team?ID-10066157

There’s a superstar within nearly every new hire you make — it’s up to you and your organization to help employees realize that potential. Here are three ways you can get started right now:

Get off to the right start. Onboarding really is essential to the long-term performance of new employees. From introducing new hires to their new coworkers to ensuring they have all the technology and supplies needed to get started, your organization is responsible for how new employees feel as they get used to their new positions. Onboarding should never be an afterthought, but a carefully planned and executed part of your engagement and retention strategy. A couple other suggestions to help new employees get off on the right foot:

– Create daily “lessons” or “homework” so that new employees know what is expected of them for their first week or two. Rather than feeling confused or like they’re not contributing, new team members will go home each day with a sense of accomplishment.

– Keep in regular contact with new hires leading up to their start date and send paperwork in advance – let them know what to expect on their first day.

– Ensure they’re “in the loop” by providing a list of any company jargon that is used regularly – being the new guy or gal is hard enough, but feeling out of the loop when people speak what feels like a foreign language can make it significantly harder.

Recognize them on social media. Everyone likes to see their name in lights (or their picture in the paper). While social media is a great tool for meeting new clients or customers, it’s also an excellent place to recognize your employees and show off your corporate culture. Welcoming new hires while promoting events like employee birthdays, special achievements or awards, team building activities and other internal recognition shows your employees that they are valuable members of the team. It recognizes their essential contributions to your success, and fosters a sense of pride in employees outside the typical 9 to 5 (as your employees “like,” “comment” on or “share” your posts, they’re also spreading the word about your great company to new potential clients or employees). Employees who feel more engaged and involved in their employers’ success are are more productive and invested in their future.

Use objective and reliable methods to assess performance. In many organizations, employees wander a bit aimlessly day to day, going through the motions and working on the same tasks, in the same way. Without consistent and valuable feedback, how could anyone expect employees to take it to the next level? Annual performance reviews are not enough to build a team of superstars. Gather your managers and define performance metrics for key roles within your organization. Objectivity here is key – input from other departments or leaders may be helpful to ensure consistency and fairness across the board. Then once those metrics have been defined, ensure they are communicated to each member of your team, along with expectations and steps to take to ensure their performance is where your organization expects it to be. Follow up regularly to encourage continued growth and performance, and offer suggestions while also soliciting feedback from your team.

Before you can help your employees reach their potential, you have to find the right people to add to your team. Helpmates has an extensive network of talent across Southern California – we’ll help you find your next superstar. Contact us today to get started.

Image courtesy of

Want the Best Talent? Avoid These Top Recruiter Mistakes. 

You’re an experienced, savvy recruiter. You find the best candidates and make a perfect match with your open roles. Even the best of us make mistakes from time to time, though. In fact, most recruiters will succumb to one of these mistakes eventually.shareasimage 9.44.44 AM

Avoid these mistakes to land better talent for your organization.

Here are four of the most common mistakes – read them now, and you’ll be in great shape to avoid them later!

  • Not taking time to craft excellent job descriptions. With all that’s on your plate, job descriptions can almost seem like an afterthought. But spending an extra few minutes to create a compelling job description that accurately conveys requirements and expectations for the job will save you significant time (and possibly headaches) down the road. Better job descriptions lead to more informed candidates. More informed candidates have better prepared resumes and cover letters, which make identifying top talent a bit easier. Plus, they’re more likely to come to job interviews better prepared with thoughtful questions.
  • Only searching for the “perfect” match. You may think you know exactly the perfect candidates for your job openings. The precise background, education and experience needed to thrive in your roles is perfectly laid out for you. But are these expectations really setting you up to find the best candidates for those roles? Or more importantly, for your company? Take a “big picture” look at candidates before painting a picture in your mind of how the perfect candidate should look. Speak to managers and team members to understand how employees will fit into the big picture, then be flexible while meeting with candidates. While you certainly want to adhere to requirements and expectations, taking a more open-minded approach could mean landing a future superstar within your organization.
  • Turning down overqualified candidates. We are living in an era where career transitions are more common than ever. Online education has made learning about new fields and areas of interest easier than ever, and bright professionals are taking advantage. But, eager professionals with impressive resumes can set off the “overqualified” warning to recruiters. Turn off that warning and be open to overqualified candidates – while you certainly want to conduct your due diligence to prevent being a “stepping stone” organization, you will likely gain a passionate, eager employee.
  • Not communicating. Whether it’s explaining things during a telephone screen or following up post-interview with next steps or decisions, communicating with candidates is critical to a successful recruiting career. Remember, candidates are also your customers. If you leave them hanging or fail to provide critical information to help them make decisions or continue through the hiring process, you are providing poor customer service. While you may not be interested in certain candidates, taking a few moments to communicate effectively ensures that – while they may not have gotten the job – you still value their application. Word of mouth is extremely important when it comes to considering new employers…you want to ensure word of mouth about your organization is positive! Plus, while a candidate might not be the right fit for this role, he or she may be a perfect fit for another role down the line. If you’ve failed to communicate effectively and have left a negative impression, do you think they’ll want to work for you later?

Finding great talent in today’s marketplace can be a challenge, but following these tips can help you considerably. Need more help? Helpmates has an extensive network of talented professionals across Southern California who are ready to jump in and make an immediate impact on your business. Contact us today to learn more.

How to Know When Your Employees Are About to Jump Ship

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

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

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

What should you do now? 

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

Image Courtesy of Castillo Dominici

Job Hunts Go Mobile: Is Your Website Ready?

Today’s job seekers are increasingly tech-savvy. With mobile devices like smartphones and tablets now an integral part of daily life, most of the available talent is searching for—and applying to—jobs on the go. 111819231

In the fall of 2012, nearly one-third of Google job searches were performed on mobile devices—up from just 17 percent in November of 2012. More importantly, the big job boards are seeing an increase in mobile traffic, with both and reporting mobile searches that have more than doubled in the past year.

The attraction to mobile job hunting

Smartphones and tablets have made just about everything more convenient. When users can do their banking, shopping, and emailing from their phones, it’s a natural extension to start transferring other typical computer activities to mobile devices.

By going mobile, candidates can search for jobs anywhere, anytime. Job seekers can set up email alerts on mobile devices, see job postings in real time, and apply on the spot. In addition, those who are currently employed can browse jobs on their lunch breaks or commutes, using a non-corporate network.

How companies are failing to capitalize

Despite the rising popularity of mobile job hunts, a majority of companies are making it hard for mobile candidates to apply. Only 29 percent of businesses with more than 500 employees have mobile-optimized websites—which means the other 71 percent of business sites will display tiny, barely readable text on a mobile screen.

Even Fortune 500 companies aren’t optimizing on mobile. Around 2 percent of them have job applications that are designed for mobile users. Most Fortune 500 companies use a third-party system that forces job seekers to grind through as many as 15 pages just to apply. On CareerBuilder, 40 percent of those who don’t use the mobile software provided by the job board site abandon the lengthy application process.

Is your site responsive?

Having a mobile-friendly website that is optimized for job seekers is essential in today’s hiring environment. A long, cumbersome application process that doesn’t display well on smaller screens will frustrate those who are tech-savvy—often the very people you want to hire.

Look at your website from the mobile job seeker’s point of view, and make sure your application process could be easily completed on a lunch break. Creating a separate mobile site, or tailoring your existing website for mobile friendliness, could be the smartest recruiting decision you make this year.

Get a helping hand from Helpmates

A leader in recruiting and staffing solutions, Helpmates Staffing can help ensure that you’re ready to bring in the best mobile job seekers, and retain top talent for your company. With more than 40 years of experience, we understand the southern California market and its candidates. Contact us to learn more about our professional employee services.

Helpmates Makes Inavero’s 2013 Best of Staffing Lists

This is the fifth consecutive year that Helpmates Companies has won the Best of Staffing award2013_BOS_Talent2013_BOS_Client

Helpmates is proud to announce that it has once again been named to Inavero’s 2013 Best of Staffing lists of award winners. The annual lists honor those staffing agencies that deliver exceptional service to their clients and to the talent, which includes the permanent and temporary employees for whom they find jobs.

Inavero’s lists are especially noteworthy, as they are the only statistically valid and objective service quality benchmarks in the staffing industry—with more than 500,000 staffing agency clients and talent participating in its satisfaction surveys. It is the hope of Inavero founder and CEO, Eric Gregg, that “both companies and talent use the Best of Staffing lists as a benchmark to help select a staffing agency that can either secure the talent or employment opportunity they need.”

As one of the 2013 Best of Staffing winners, Helpmates has earned satisfaction scores of more than triple the industry average. Additionally, the service excellence award is obtained by less than one percent of all staffing agencies in North America.

Helpmates is honored to have received the Best of Staffing award for the fifth consecutive year. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank both our clients and our talent for their participation in the process, as we highly value their feedback and use it to support continual improvement at Helpmates.

About Helpmates

For more than 40 years, the Certified Staffing Professionals at the Helpmates Companies have been implementing strategic solutions for all our clients’ recruitment, employment, and human resource needs. We operate with a focus on long-term relationships, customer satisfaction, and client retention.

Workplace Improvements in 2013

Workplace_HelpmatesBettering your business

For most people, work is the single biggest chunk of their day. It claims most of the daylight hours and often bleeds into the evening as well; even away from the office, it’s usually still on the brain. Taking simple steps to improve the workplace can have long-term benefits for both the longevity of a company and the health of its employees.


Not every job can offer the option to work remotely, but those that do are in high demand. Having the flexibility of location or hours—or both—creates a more fluid boundary between work and life; that freedom not only makes for happier employees, but also breeds a more content atmosphere at the office.

In many ways, allowing employees to work from home or another location can be unnerving. It may not be right for everyone, but even allowing something as small as one day per month spent working from home can demonstrate that you care about your worker’s lives beyond the time they spend in a cubicle or at their desk.

Social Technology

Given that so much of our lives are spent at work, it’s vital to make that time as meaningful and pleasant as possible. Social networks have a reputation as time-wasters, but an internal platform such as Yammer or Google Business allows employees to connect more easily to one another, as coworkers on a project.

By making it easier to communicate, you will improve the overall workflow of the company in the long term. Productivity can even improve since simple messages and questions can be communicated so quickly and easily. Further, with a more accessible social environment, the workplace gains a sense of camaraderie, which is vital to success when you’re spending so much time together.


Traditionally, businesses didn’t involve themselves in their employees’ lives outside of the 9-to-5 workday. Today’s workplace has a broader scope—with staff members so invested in their jobs, modern companies are recognizing the value of returning that investment. Even seemingly tiny actions, such as filling vending machines with healthy snack options, shows that you care about more than your bottom line.

To go beyond the basics, consider offering a discounted gym membership, or providing flu shots. In contributing to your employees’ health, you will gain more fit and energized workers, and will likely see a decrease in the amount of sick days taken. From both a professional and personal standpoint, it’s a smart thing to do.

The human face of business

Making small improvements to the workplace has big returns. When you value your employees as people, they value you as an employer, and they appreciate the company for considering them as more than just cogs in a machine. Little steps will go a long way, so implement them early this year for a more productive and more content 2013.

Helpmates Staffing has worked with Southern California companies and its candidates for more than 40 years, providing highly qualified talent with leadership capabilities for companies like yours. Contact Helpmates today to learn more about what we can do for your management team and company culture.

© Year Helpmates Staffing Services. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Statement | Site Map | Site Credits.