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.

4 Times Employee Engagement Should Be a Focus

Research from Gallup shows that only 34.1% of employees are engaged. That means that nearly 2/3 of your employees are disengaged (which correlates with research from Jobvite that shows 66% of employees are open to new employment).

In other words, if you’re not focusing your attention on employee engagement, you could soon find your top performers jumping ship. Employee Engagement

But while your organization should consistently demonstrate its commitment to employee engagement through the design and implementation of a strategic plan, there are also certain times where employee engagement should be a focus.

Specifically, your organization should pay particular attention to employee engagement when:

1. Several employees have left in a short span of time. Turnover is inevitable in every business, but when several employees leave in a short span of time, it can subconsciously signal to the rest of your employees that things aren’t well (even if the employees leave for different reasons). Being proactive in these circumstances is critical. Exit interviews for departing employees can help you identify (and change) any employee engagement issues before they result in increased turnover. But more importantly, detailed steps for communication and reinforcement of your company culture should be implemented whenever an employee leaves to help ensure your remaining employees stay on board.

2. You’re expanding your team. There are many different reasons your company could expand its workforce. Perhaps you’re gearing up for seasonal changes. Maybe you’re out of startup mode and into growth mode. Growth is (typically) good news for an organization, but it can also cause unease in your current team. Without clear communication, your employees could guess at (or gossip about) reasons for the addition of new positions and employees. Fear of losing jobs or changing expectations could cause some employees to panic and look elsewhere for new opportunities. Communication here is essential, but in addition to communicating business plans and goals, taking initiative to engage your employees in the process (and make them a part of the process, involving them in new job descriptions, input on candidates, etc) can help them feel secure and engaged with your business in the short- and long-term.

3. You’re going through organizational changes. Acquisitions and mergers require the tying of many loose ends — your employees shouldn’t be one of them. Major organizational changes are, understandably, incredibly stressful for employees. As mentioned previously, ongoing, direct communication is essential in these circumstances. Activities and programs to keep employees engaged and confident in the direction of the company can help support open communication by providing a sense of stability and purpose for your employees, even when the direction of the company is somewhat in flux.

4. Work is slow/stressful. Are you seeing a trend here? Any time there is stress in your office, a focus on employee engagement is essential. Depending on your specific industry, the availability of work can fluctuate from season to season or month to month. Partnering with a staffing firm like Helpmates can help you staff up or down appropriately to handle fluctuations in work. But while your staffing partner can help you whether the workforce challenges associated with industry fluctuations, your HR team should focus on keeping employees engaged and confident in your organization.

While your organization is focusing on employee engagement, your staffing partner is focusing on providing you with new, exceptional talent to help you reach your goals. Here at Helpmates, we have an extensive network of candidates across Southern California who are ready to join your team and make an impact. Contact us today to learn how we can help your organization reach its goals.

Image courteous of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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.

How to Reject Candidates Without Burning Bridges

It happens – for every job. Someone’s going to get the job, and some people (sometimes many) won’t receive an offer. But while your organization is excited to make a new hire, rejecting candidates can be nearly as critical.

Build strong candidate relationships — even when they don’t get the job.Helpmates June Blog 1

That’s right, every candidate rejection offers an opportunity to build stronger relationships and to also strengthen
your candidate pipeline. Depending on your industry, every candidate who submits a resume could also be a customer. That means treating candidates poorly can directly impact your revenue.

But poor treatment of rejected candidates can affect your organization in other ways. Perhaps someone isn’t the right fit for this specific role, but is a team player with great credentials. Could they be a fit for another opening down the line? Imagine how much time and cost you could save by bringing that person back in to ensure a fit, rather than sift through hundreds (or thousands) of resumes and going through the entire process again!

Negative treatment of candidates can also make a permanent mark on your business through negative reviews – take a look at some reviews of your competition on Glassdoor. Some of the feedback is brutal – but that’s just what you’re seeing online. Even more conversations are sharing feedback in email, in person or on other review sites. It’s hard to erase a negative impression, and treating candidates poorly can impact your ability to consistently recruit top talent.

Does your rejection process burn bridges? These tips can help you maintain a strong relationships with the candidates in your pipeline and build a positive reputation:

  1. Actually reject them. This one sounds strange, but it is essential. There are few things that can hurt your impression with candidates more than never letting them know whether they have received the job. Candidates have sent their resumes and cover letters and endured interviews (which could include phone, video and/or multiple in-person interviews). Simply letting rejected candidates know that you’ve gone with another candidate is a matter of courtesy — one that is often neglected. Whether it’s via email or traditional mail, contacting all candidates to let them know of your decision is a matter of respect.
  2. Let them know as soon as possible. We all seek closure in various aspects of life. Finding closure during your job search can be especially challenging. If you’ve made up your mind that a candidate isn’t the right choice, let him or her know as soon as you can. Not only does this help candidates move on, it can help them pursue other opportunities that may be the right fit since they won’t be waiting on a response from you.
  3. Be personal. Templates can be a helpful way to save time – using a basic templated email or letter is perfectly acceptable. But, avoid a “Dear Sir/Madam” generic communication. Including the person’s name and the position they applied for is a good start, but depending on where the candidate landed in the process, you may want to include something more specific. A compliment or specific highlight of something discussed during the interview can be a nice way to show that you are talking to a person and not just a “candidate.”
  4. Don’t dwell on it. Short and sweet is essential here – it’s like ripping off a Band-Aid. Sharing some information about why the candidate wasn’t chosen is helpful, but avoid going into a highly detailed description of why the chosen candidate was the better fit. A few sentences explaining the decision are all that’s needed.
  5. Be honest. Some candidates may be a great fit for your company culture, but just aren’t the right fit for specific openings. If that’s the case, be honest and let them know that they could be a fit down the road. Conversely, don’t offer hope where none exists. Only share the notion of a potential match down the road when you sincerely believe candidates would be solid additions to your company. Never offer hope of a potential match as a consolation prize — it will only result in frustrated or angry candidates when they don’t hear back in the future.

Searching for talent to help your organization achieve its goals? Here at Helpmates, we have an extensive network of top talent across Southern California. Contact your nearest Helpmates office today to learn more about our staffing and recruiting solutions.

Top 5 Interview Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them)

You’ve put hours into perfecting your resume and cover letter. Great work – but you’re not done yet! Until you’ve impressed an employer in your job interview, you’re still a candidate and not a new hire. Now it’s time for your ‘A’ game.HM May Blog 3

Successful interviews are far from impossible, but you’ve got to avoid making mistakes.

Recruiters often see some of the same critical interview mistakes from candidates. Avoid these mistakes and you’ll better position yourself to land a great job:

1. Not asking any questions. You might be eager to wrap things up and tell everyone how you aced your job interview, but when an interviewer asks you if you have any questions, he or she isn’t just being polite. This is a critical step in the interview process, and one that can make or break your chances of landing the job. Thoughtful questions can turn an average interview into a great one, while a lack of questions (or a poor choice of questions) can have the opposite effect. Try to get specific with your questions and show that you’re interested in the job, engaged with the employer and eager to jump in and start getting results. Here are a few examples:

      • How will my performance be evaluated in this position?
      • What does your company value the most (and how can I contribute toward those values)?
      • What do you do better than your competitors? Conversely, what do they do better than you?
      • What do your customers/clients love about working with you?

2. Not sending a ‘thank you’ letter. This is a “classic” piece of interview advice that is still just as important today as it was 20 years ago. Although technology may have changed expectations here a bit, sending a ‘thank you’ letter, note or email is essential. Not only is it polite and good manners to thank the interviewer for his or her time, it is one final opportunity to present your qualifications and sell yourself for the job. If you’re sending a letter or card, be sure to get it in the mail within 24 hours of your interview. If you’re emailing, later that afternoon or the next day is appropriate.

3. Not tooting your own horn. Now’s not the time to be shy – job interviews are your chance to SHINE. Take every opportunity to show interviewers how you contributed to successful projects, great ideas you had to improve customer experience, awards or recognition you received – the list goes on and on, and shouldn’t stop with these ideas. Show off your knowledge, experience and passion for the job. While you don’t want to come across as cocky, showing pride in your accomplishments and enthusiasm in your skill set demonstrates to interviewers that you will bring that same level of excitement to their business.

4. Being negative and complaining. Last year, we talked about confidence in job interviews and how staying positive can help you. Let’s flip that coin and examine how you can spoil an interview by being negative. In addition to the most obvious choice of negativity to avoid – bad mouthing past employers or colleagues (which you should, of course, NEVER do), this also includes complaining. Sometimes it just slips into the conversation unintentionally: “How are you today?” “I’m fine, but wow, that weather is awful!” Or sometimes it can come through when answering questions during your job interview. Either way, avoid negativity and complaining at all costs. No one wants to work with a Debbie (or Donnie) downer – if you’re complaining about the weather in your interview, who knows what you’ll complain about every day in the office? At least, that’s what the interviewer will be thinking! If you’ve failed into the habit of griping about the weather or traffic in every day conversations and you’re especially concerned about interviews, just keep your answers to intro questions short and sweet – when asked how you’re doing or how your drive/commute into their office was, a quick “Great, thanks” will do just fine.

5. Not paying attention to the interviewer. You’re understandably focused on what you’re saying and doing during job interviews, but if you’re too focused on you, you might be missing some important cues from the interviewer. For example, if you’re talking about a past employer or skill set and you notice the interviewer’s eyes brighten or increased note taking, that’s a good sign that you’ve piqued his or her interest and are discussing something that is directly relevant to the job. Run with it! Take every opportunity to showcase that skill set again throughout the interview. Also, it’s pretty common to miss important cues in interview questions when you’re too busy thinking about what you want to say. This is completely understandable, but it could seriously hurt your chances of landing the job. It’s perfectly acceptable to slow yourself down and be sure to listen to the interviewer, which could help tip you off to certain skill sets or personality traits the employer is seeking. Then after the question has been asked, pause for 10 seconds or so to formulate your response. It is always better to listen to the question and possibly pick up on cues that will help you land the job through a more thoughtful response.

Looking for a job in Southern California? We’re hiring! Here at Helpmates, we work with employers across Los Angeles County and Orange County. We’ll help you find the right job and put your best foot forward to avoid interview mistakes. Search our current job openings or contact your nearest Helpmates office to learn more.

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 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 FreeDigitalPhotos.net/Ambro

How to Keep Your Business Humming During the Cold and Flu Season

It comes every year, and yet everyone seems to be surprised when it’s upon us. Yes, we are fully entrenched in cold and flu season. Sick employees are a reality for just about every business, but they don’t have to sap your productivity.

Avoid productivity lapses during cold and flu season Untitled

Of course, the health and well being of your employees is most important, but running a business still requires productivity. Here are critical steps to prevent flu season from negatively affecting your productivity this year:

  • Be a “model” sick employee. We all catch a cold from time to time, but coming into work sick just about guarantees your sniffles will spread like wildfire among employees. You don’t want sick employees coming to work and spreading germs, so be a model sick employee (and leader) – stay home when you’re ill. If you come to work sick, you’re sending a message to your employees — whether you intend to your not — that they should come to work sick. Thus, preparing the office for a rampant spread of germs. So do yourself (no one is at their best while sick, and you should get some rest anyway) and your staff a favor and set the example – stay home from work when you’re sick.
  • Plan for fewer staff – then do something about it. It bears repeating – getting sick is pretty inevitable this time of year. So plan ahead for some increased absences. This small step will ensure you avoid unreal expectations or productivity goals during the season. This can also help with employee morale – if your goals are astronomical and you have a rash of sick days that mean your team falls short, no one will feel good about it (and some people might even still be sick – yuck!). Set realistic goals that expect people to miss work for sick days. And to meet your goals despite the obstacle of sick days, augment your staff with temporary help by calling a staffing firm (like Helpmates). We can provide critical staff to help you meet your goals throughout this crazy season.  
  • Consider investing in updated technology. Surfaces can foster germs for days (weeks, in some cases). And in places like restrooms or kitchens, many employees are frequently touching things like handles and faucets. Hands-free options are available for frequently contaminated surfaces like sinks, toilets, soap dispensers, paper towel dispensers and hand dryers.
  • Provide germ-reducing products. In addition to updated appliances, using disinfectant spray (like Lysol) on commonly used devices like printers or copy machines can also be a big help. Another low-cost investment that can reduce sick days is a simple one – purchase hand sanitizer and distribute to your employees, place in restrooms, meeting rooms and other areas where people both congregate and frequently touch surfaces.

The cold and flu season can make you feel pretty miserable for a few days, but taking these few steps can make a big impact on your productivity. And if you need temporary help to keep your office humming, give us a call.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net/stockimages

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