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!

How to Decline a Job Offer (So That They Won’t Hate You)

Let’s say you’ve been offered a job but it’s lacking.   In something.  The pay isn’t enough. It’s too far to commute. (“91 freeway westbound in the morning? Are you KIDDING me!?”) Your ex-boyfriend just announced on InstaStories that he got a job there. Whatever the reason, you’ve decided that the job isn’t what you thought it would be and so you’ve decided to turn it down.

But in order to get a job offer, one usually must say right out loud while shaking a hiring manager’s hand goodbye: “Thank you for this interview(s). I think I’d be a great addition to your team and I hope you will offer me the job.” Or you said as much on the phone. Or probably in your thank you letter after your interviews.

So. Turning down the job after you baldly and repeatedly said you wanted it? This is embarrassing.

No, it’s not.

People decline job offers all the time. What’s more, job offers get rescinded all the time. So, minor embarrassment aside, it’s perfectly normal to say no thank you after an offer’s been extended.

Los Angeles jobs

But. You never know: you may want to work at this company someday in the future. So be careful how you the job down: you want to do so with grace, professionally and in a way that makes the hiring manager think well of you.

Take a look below for how to do this.

  1. Don’t not show up on your first day.

Sure, you’re nervous about saying no. You also may be worried that you might be making a mistake by turning it down and so you postpone making a decision until the day you’re supposed to start. And so you don’t show up. And you don’t answer texts or calls or emails from your (could have been) new boss.

Instead, be a professional and as soon as you’re certain the job’s not for you, let the hiring manager know, preferably no later than a week before your start date. (Even better, turn it down before you even set a start date!)The absolute latest you can tell someone you’re not coming in: the day before your first day and even that is cutting it way too close.

Not showing up just shows extreme immaturity and massive inconsideration. Man- or woman-up and tell the hiring manager with days to spare.

  1. It’s best to call the hiring manager. Second best is an e-mail. Never text.

Yes, it could be a hard call to make. But the hiring manager deserves this courtesy. And you’re a professional: you definitely can do this.

Whether you call or email, follow these guidelines:

  • Thank the hiring manager for the offer. Tell her how much you appreciate her consideration of your skills and background.
  • Give a brief reason why you’re not accepting the offer/changed your mind. You don’t have to go into great detail: you’ve accepted a position at another company. After much thought, you’ve decided to stay put. You and your spouse discussed and the longer commute will just cut too much into critical family time, etc. You don’t even have to give a reason, you can just say “As wonderful as this opportunity is, unfortunately I am going to decline.” (If you say this in a phone conversation, understand the hiring manager probably ask for a reason. Have a good one handy. Again, you don’t have to go into details.)
  1. Offer a solution.

You’re not going to say “give me 20 percent more than you offered and I’m your gal!” Instead what we mean by a solution is to say you have several connections in your network who may be great for the position and you offer to talk to them about it and send their information to the hiring manager

You see, by turning the offer down, you’ve created a huge problem for your hiring manager: he has work to be done that no one’s going to do and he to go through the interview process all over again! By offering a solution you show that you understand you’ve created a problem and you want to help fix it.

This shows empathy and professionalism.

  1. Say you want to stay in touch.

The world of work is small one. Particularly within industries. There may come a time when you will want to work for this company. Or you may see the hiring manager at conferences, seminars and other professional events. If you aren’t yet connected on LinkedIn, say you will send a connection request soon (and then do so that day). Even a simple “Thank you for your time and offer and I hope we meet again,” will be enough.

Say yes to your next job offer by contacting Helpmates. We have many great job and career opportunities in Orange and Los Angeles counties. Good luck with your job search!

How to Get the Most Out of Your Recruiter

We’re recruiters and we love it! For all its many ups and downs, it’s a career that helps candidates find work and our clients find great employees. Our hearts just go zing! when we help someone find a new position. After all, without work, we can’t support our families, we can’t realize our dreams, we can’t help our children become all they can be.

Los Angeles recruiters

So we fully understand that “a job” really is more than that: work can give us meaning and provide us the opportunity to work at something greater than ourselves. It also can provide community as well as income.

So in a very important way, jobs are our lives in the sense that without work, we can’t truly live. And that’s why we think working as a recruiter is one of the greatest careers out there because our work has a massive impact on individual lives.

(In fact, the American Staffing Association [the trade association of the staffing industry; Helpmates is a member], has a whole section on the benefits of recruiting/staffing as a career: Staffing as a Career – A Whole Opportunity Awaits. If you’ve ever wanted to sit on our side of the desk, we hope you check it out.)

Not All Bright Lights and Glamor

Still, working as a recruiter in the staffing industry is intense. Our days are extremely busy day. As in incredibly, astonishingly, exceedingly, unbelievably, absurdly busy.  On any given day we could:

  • Need to find 20 people to head to work at a distribution center. Tomorrow. Oh, and the client called us about it at 4 p.m.
  • Need to fill 10 administrative assignments this week. We only have eight great admin professionals available, so we need to interview several more so that we can fill our clients’ needs.
  • Three temporary associates called in sick at the last minute, and we need to replace them ASAP.
  • We have two great accounting professionals coming in for an interview with us before we send them out on a terrific permanent job interview.

And that’s all while fielding lots of phone calls and dozens upon dozens of e-mails from our clients and candidates.

What to Look for in a Recruiter/Staffing Service

Looking for work is stressful enough; don’t make it harder by working with a service that makes your job search more nerve-wracking than it need be.

When looking at different staffing firms, look for:

  • A firm in which most of its recruiters are Certified Staffing Professionals (CSPs). CSPs are certified by the ASA and the designation shows that the recruiter has the expertise and commitment to adhere to the highest standards of professionalism. The exam is comprehensive and takes considerable study before a recruiter can pass. It’s a true mark of distinction and all of our recruiters here at Helpmates are required to take the exam and pass it!
  • A commitment to treating all candidates with the utmost respect and understanding. This actually can be rated. Inavero’s Best of Staffing surveys asks both staffing service clients and candidates to rate their staffing service and then Inavero tallies results and provides its Best of Staffing award in the two categories. Only two percent of staffing firms in the U.S. and Canada win these awards and Helpmates has been placed on the “Best of Staffing” list for eight straight years. Winning the candidate (called “talent” by Inavero) satisfaction award is a sign that our candidates feel we treat them with the respect and consideration they are due.
  • Look for a service with recruiters who have stayed with the company for at least three years. The staffing and human resources industries are well known for their internal employee turnover rates. So when you find a service with recruiters with several years’ tenure, you’ve found a firm that treats its internal employees right – a very good sign for you! Here at Helpmates, our average recruiter tenure is 5.1 years and our turnover is less than half of the staffing industry’s rate.

How to Get the Best Out of Us

If you’re looking for work and contact one of our offices, we want to make sure you have the best experience possible, so we want you to know this:

We truly want to help you find work. Really. Honest. Truth!

But we do have constraints and the biggest one is this: our primary job isn’t to find people work; it’s to find our clients the best workers.

Remember, our work on your behalf costs you nothing. If our main purpose was to find you work, we’d have to charge you for it. We need to make a profit: Helpmates is a business, after all.

So our clients pay for our work and therefore our top priority is to find them the best candidate for a position. Yet right up there with that priority (as in, thisclose) is finding you work.

However, unless you have the skills and background our clients need, we won’t be able to place you. You could be the nicest, the hardest working, the most devoted person in the world, but if you don’t have the skills or experience our clients need, we may not be able to find a position for you.

However, that doesn’t mean we can’t help you.

What does that mean? If you have flexibility and are willing to take positions for which you may be overqualified; if you understand our client-stipulated constraints; if you understand that even temporary assignments are real work, should be treated as such (yes, put your time with us on your resume) and can lead to more permanent work; if you’re open to learning new skills (such as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) on your own time, without pay (we provide the software so that you may do this at home); we will work very hard to help you.

After all, if you do the above, you’re showing initiative and you’re showing a great work ethic. In other words, to paraphrase Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire, you’re helping us help you and so don’t be surprised if we go out of our way to help you as much as we can!

In the meantime, take a look at our current temporary, temp-to-hire and direct-hire opportunities at some of Orange and Los Angeles counties’ best employers. If one appeals to you, follow the instructions on the listing or contact us! We look forward to helping you find a great position.

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.

Resumes:

  • 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.

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.

7 Questions to Help You Recruit For a Team Fit

When you have notions of the ideal candidate for a job, it can be hard to sway your thoughts from finding the “perfect” person. Hiring managers can sometimes get stuck in a “I’ll know him/her when I see him/her” mentality during the recruiting process. Or worse, some recruiters focus on one specific skill set or qualification, eliminating potential superstars until someone with a precise background comes along. A lack of clearly defined needs can add costly time to the hiring process and can ultimately cost you access to top talent.september-blog-2

Recruiting for a team fit can boost your organization

Taking a “big picture” approach toward recruiting for your business can help you identify and attract top talent. Research shows that terminating an employee due to poor culture fit can cost up to 2.5 times that person’s base salary. That’s an added expense most organizations cannot afford. Add in productivity and morale losses due to increased turnover and the cost of aiming for the “perfect” candidate instead of one who fits into your team adds up quickly.

How to focus your hiring process on team fit

Shifting your mindset and approach during the hiring process to recruit for team fit doesn’t have to be a massive overhaul. Asking these 7 questions during your next interview can help >>

  1. What’s your perfect take on work/life balance? If your team thrives while burning the midnight oil to finish the big project, someone who enjoys leaving work at the same time every day might not be a fit.
  2. What does your ideal workplace look and feel like? Directly asking about the type of workplace preferred by candidates can present insight into whether they will be a good fit (and can help you determine whether some internal changes should be considered).
  3. What has been the greatest work day of your life? Why? If there isn’t a match between someone’s best work day ever and what your organization aims to deliver for its employees, there might not be a fit.
  4. When have you been in a position and didn’t know what to do? Learning new things happens in most jobs. Some organizations encourage a more open, “learn as you go” system than others. Asking an open ended question here gains extra insight into whether candidates could struggle without specific direction at every turn.
  5. What does “teamwork” mean to you? From weekly meetings to daily rundowns and multiple, coordinated projects, the definition of “teamwork” can shift widely from organization to organization. Aiming for nuts and bolts-type responses here instead of theory can really help you zero in on a candidate’s potential fit.
  6. When have you been forced to adapt to change in the workplace? What happened? Some candidates prefer to have extreme consistency from day to day. If your business is gearing up for a big acquisition, is experiencing immense growth or is going through any significant organizational changes, the answer to this question could serve as a red flag.
  7. When has an employer NOT been a great fit for you? Why not? By their nature, candidates don’t prefer to speak negatively during an interview. But constructive input and thorough responses to this question can provide an excellent standard to use for comparison.

Recruiting for a strong team fit can sometimes feel like searching for a needle in a haystack, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Here at Helpmates, we have an extensive network of top talent across Southern California. We’ll help you find exactly the talent you need to get to the next level. Contact your nearest Helpmates office to learn more.

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

How to Overcome Your Biggest Career Fears

How to Overcome Your Biggest Career Fears

“It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.” Theodore Roosevelt

What are your biggest career goals? If you haven’t achieved them yet, what’s holding you back? Fear is a powerful component of career success, and it’s something that can prevent you from reaching new heights. overcome career fears

Your success depends on overcoming career fears.

If you sometimes freeze up because of fear, you’re not alone. Many of us share the same career fears and concerns. Overcoming them is key to reaching your goals.

Here are the four most common career fears and how to battle them:

  1. Being asked a difficult question during job interviews. Job interviews are intimidating enough on their own: Being asked to describe why you’re better than the hundreds (or thousands) of people who also applied definitely brings some pressure! “Freezing” after being asked a difficult interview question is a very common fear for job seekers. The definition of a “difficult” question varies from industry to industry and person to person, but the best way to overcome this fear is consistent. Think of the Key P’s: Preparation and Practice. Do your research into common interview questions for your industry or area of specialty. Then practice answering them. Be prepared to talk about everything on your resume. Preparation and practice ensure that you can handle any curveballs that come your way. Need someone to practice with? Call your Helpmates Talent Relationship Specialist >> He or she will walk you through the interview process and can help you master the P’s to feel comfortable during job interviews.
  2. Being negatively impacted by social media posts. Social media is a critical part of your job search. The Internet is filled with posts warning about the dangers found in posting questionable content. It could be tempting to avoid social media altogether, but employers want to learn about you online before the interview >> Avoiding social media could potentially raise a red flag and could actually result in fewer job interviews. The best way to alleviate this fear and avoid any negative fallout from social media mistakes is to remove anything that could be considered offensive or inappropriate. Then, follow the advice we shared a few months ago in our Top 10 Social Media Tips for Job Seekers. Pay particular attention to your privacy settings and build consistent, complete profiles. Follow those tips, then be sure to consider your career when posting any content in the future. If you wouldn’t post it at work, it’s better not to post it at all!
  3. Not getting a high enough salary. Depending on your industry, you could either be in a candidate’s market or a more competitive environment. In the tech industry, for example, some specialties are commanding increasingly competitive salaries. Other industries aren’t quite as swayed in candidates’ favor. Depending on your specific background and goals, you may have some fear that the jobs that most appeal to you won’t provide the right salary. Knowledge is power to help overcome this fear. Use tools like salary.com to research positions and salaries for ideal positions in your city. These tools can give you a good idea how much salary to expect. Be prepared to back up your salary expectations with real-world examples of results you’ve delivered in previous positions. RESOURCE: Our salary negotiation tips can help you land competitive compensation.
  4. Not finding the right job. Feeling stuck in the wrong job is not a great feeling. Struggling to find any job can also be stressful. A fear that the right job will never come along is understandable during your job search, but it doesn’t have to be realistic. Partnering with a recruiting firm like Helpmates can help in a few ways. First, your job search efforts will be focused only on those jobs that are most likely to help you reach your goals (no more dead ends!). Second, recruiters will work with you to understand which jobs are best suited to your strengths, background and goals. We’ll work with you to find the right job for YOU.

The recruiters at Helpmates are here to help you overcome your fears and find jobs across Southern California. We work with the area’s top employers — they trust us to match them with incredible professionals like you. Search our current jobs or contact your nearest Helpmates office to take control of your career.

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Searching for Passive Candidates? What NOT to Say.

Passive candidates are often considered the “holy grail” for employers – after all, who wouldn’t want to hire the competition’s best talent? But reaching passive candidates and enticing them to leave their current positions can prove challenging. passive candidates

Stop thinking like a recruiter to hire passive candidates.

Sounds like some difficult advice, doesn’t it? How can you NOT think like a recruiter? It’s important, though — thinking like an employee instead of a recruiter can help you understand and pinpoint what will resonate with passive candidates. But your work isn’t finished once you’ve opened up communication with passive candidates. Here is some advice to help you say the right things (and avoid saying the WRONG things):

  • Avoid going too far on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a powerful tool for recruiters, putting you within reach of just about any professional across the globe. But use LinkedIn incorrectly and you can quickly alienate (or anger) candidates, sabotaging your current and future recruiting efforts along the way. These quick tips can help you avoid LinkedIn mistakes:
    • InMail. Keep messages short and sweet. Remember that many candidates are reading their messages on smartphones. If you’re using LinkedIn’s recruiting tools, you can send InMail to just about anyone, but don’t badger candidates with every detail about your company or your jobs. Instead, start off with some positive feedback on the candidate and his or her profile. Quickly explain who you are and why you’re reaching out, then include a link to your specific job opening, if appropriate. Finish by including your contact information and a note explaining if you’ll follow up (and when).
    • Connection Requests. Once again, short and sweet is the rule here. Especially in certain industries (like tech), candidates are being inundated with messages from recruiters. Want to stand out? Keep your messages short and quickly explain what’s in it for the candidate. Don’t ever lie about why you’re reaching out or how you may or may not know a candidate. This may sound like common sense, but it can get cutthroat out there for talent – don’t ever be tempted to damage your reputation by lying.
    • Group messages. Sure, you may be able to send group messages through LinkedIn, but that doesn’t mean you should. Yes, it takes longer to send individual messages to candidates, but group messages are the easiest way to get your name, company and job trashed by passive candidates. They’re already employed (and possibly quite happily so). If you can’t take a few minutes to craft a unique message to each person, how could passive candidates feel as if you truly value them and their potential contributions to your company? Remember: Think like the passive candidates. What would make you feel valued by an employer? Which leads to the final point on LinkedIn communication…
    • Get personal. Look at candidate profiles before sending InMail or a request to connect. Don’t cut and paste the same generic message to all the passive candidates you’re trying to reach. Pay close attention to schools and previous employers to see if you share an alma mater or colleague. Look at any portfolio work, project examples or LinkedIn Pulse posts, then comment on them in your message. Remember, you’re trying to “woo” passive candidates from their current positions. Flattery doesn’t hurt, and taking a genuine interest in someone by relating to items in their profile instantly helps you stand out from the pack.
  • Try weekends. It may seem counterintuitive, but candidates get tired of hearing from recruiters all week. Following the recommendations above (whether you’re using LinkedIn, email or another communication method) in communications on the weekend can help you stand out and open the door to more communication.
  • Work harder on referrals. Putting your effort into new, passive candidates is important, but it’s critical to value your current candidates and employees. Foster an environment where they want to refer more people to you. Recruiting and HR should be working together to build a strong culture that increases retention rates and supports an environment where your employees want to refer their friends and former colleagues. According to research from LinkedIn, referred employees have longer tenure and higher performance, so in addition to maximizing your recruiting efforts, getting more referrals just makes better business sense.
  • Go beyond social media. LinkedIn is a great option for reaching and communicating with candidates, but it’s just one option. It’s important to also go where passive candidates in your target industries spend time. Professional organizations, associations, college career centers and niche websites/forums are a good place to start. Build relationships by providing value there (not instantly recruiting or trying to sell candidates on your organization). Not only are your communication efforts more likely to be successful, passive candidates may start reaching out to you directly to look for new opportunities!
  • Change your approach. Just as your messages and communication should be quick and to the point, once you’ve gained the interest of passive candidates, don’t put them through your standard interview/hiring process. Instead, brainstorm questions that could help uncover hidden problems within their current jobs that your new jobs could somehow solve. These questions provide a strong starting point. Keep it simple for passive candidates throughout – avoid putting them through the wringer with a long online application or drawn out interview process. If you’ve identified passive candidates who are an ideal fit for your organization, make it easy for them to make the switch. Offer interview times outside normal business hours, accept a resume instead of a long application — do everything you can to simplify the process and make your organization an appealing choice.

Passive or not, top talent acquisition is a goal for every organization. Helpmates has an extensive network of top talent in a range of industries and disciplines across Southern California. We’ll help you find the best talent to impact your bottom line. Contact us today to learn more.

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Why Telecommuting Might Not Make Sense

Why Telecommuting Might Not Make Sense

Telecommuting is definitely on the rise. The Society For Human Resource Management (SHRM) recently reported that telecommuting has increased threefold in the past 20 years, and more employers are beginning to offer the flexibility of working from home than ever to meet demand.

But does it really make sense for your business?

Telecommuting offers some distinct advantages for employers: mac-733178_640

While these benefits can have a dramatic impact on your bottom line, there are some challenges your business must consider:

  • Nurturing a strong culture can be more difficult when several team members (or more) are working off site. Allowing employees to work off site can expose a weak corporate culture — or degrade one altogether. When your team is separated geographically each day, it can be difficult to build and nurture a sense of team. If your culture is strong; however, telecommuting can be integrated effectively. It’s imperative that your HR department work with leadership to establish clear methods for the ongoing nurturing of your corporate culture (through virtual happy hours, Skype or other video conferencing, regular phone time, intermittent office visits, etcetera).
  • Collaboration can be stifled when employees aren’t working side by side. This is especially true for smaller companies that thrive on new ideas. When employees are chatting by the water cooler or over lunch, great ideas can often result. Take away the water cooler and the lunch room, and you could miss out on game-changing innovations for your business.
  • Clients can sometimes become uneasy with a lack of face-to-face contact with your team. If your clients are accustomed to regular, in-person meetings with one or more employees who are now working from home, it could create an issue for clients that require a bit more hand holding. In today’s economy, virtual employees are becoming increasingly common; however, watching out for this potential roadblock is something you would need to do on a case by case basis.
  • Some employees may become angry if your organization decides to allow telecommuting for some, but not all, employees. Be prepared to decide just how many people can take advantage of telecommuting, and how often. Perhaps one or two days a week, or only afternoons, works for some employees and/or roles. If telecommuting is impossible for certain employees or positions, be prepared to offer some type of added bonus to compensate them and avoid hard feelings (or worse, an exit of employees en masse).

Is telecommuting right for your business? 

Careful consideration for your organization is necessary before moving forward with a telecommuting option for employees. Internally, you should have the right business structure, culture and managers to effectively lead virtual employees. Here are some key traits to ensure your managers possess before allowing telecommuting:

  • No reservations. If your managers are nervous about allowing telecommuting, they won’t be able to effectively lead. Everyone should be “all in” before making the switch.
  • Clear communication. The ability to set clear expectations and deadlines (and enforce them when necessary) becomes especially critical with telecommuting employees. Accountability is key to taking advantage of the productivity boost noted earlier. Your managers should be able to clearly communicate what is expected and when.
  • Trust. Ultimately, your managers must trust their teams in order to effectively lead them in a telecommuting environment.

Once you have the right managers in place, you’ll want to ensure the right employees are being afforded the flexibility of telecommuting. Look for these qualities:

  • Self starter. Personal accountability is critical to success in a telecommuting role. Employees should demonstrate the ability to work with little to no supervision and should be able to allocate their time effectively.
  • Strong technology. While you may provide a phone and/or laptop for your employees to use at home, you should ensure that any telecommuting employees also have solid wifi and other in-home technology to support their company technology.
  • Strong problem-solving ability. Telecommuting employees will often be on their own when it comes to solving problems. Both from a technical standpoint as well a a client perspective, challenges arise. The ability to think on their feet and get things done without being able to pop in someone’s office is key.

Before your business can consider telecommuting, you have to have the right employees in place. At Helpmates, we connect employers across Southern California with exceptional talent. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your business achieve more.

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