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.

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How to (Quietly) Conduct a Job Search

Three out of four employees within a given company are actively searching for a job. It’s definitely a candidate’s market right now, and employers are hiring. But searching for a new job while working at your current one can feel like a challenge.

Use some discretion during your job search.

Conducting a job search with discretion while you’re employed requires some extra steps, but it’s far from impossible. Follow these steps to protect your privacy and stay under the radar during your job search:HM2

  1. Update your LinkedIn privacy settings. One of the first things you should do when preparing for your job search is update your LinkedIn profile to ensure you’re putting your best foot forward. But as you’re making updates to your LinkedIn profile, you may be broadcasting your changes and intentions to your connections. To keep your changes under wraps, visit the Privacy & Settings page by moving your mouse to the top right of LinkedIn (where your photo is located). On the expanded menu that appears, scroll down to “Privacy & Settings” and click. Scroll down to “Privacy Controls” and turn off your “Activity Broadcasts.” You can also change other settings if you’d like to take another step to protect your privacy (this can be particularly effective if you’re connecting with hiring managers or recruiters – “Select Who Can See Your Connections” is the setting to update in that instance).
  2. Be careful when networking. Spreading the word about your impending job move can help you build some momentum and increase your network of contacts. But proceed with caution – once you start telling others about your job search, you are essentially “all in” and have no choice but to move forward. Additionally, how you present yourself during networking opportunities is important. Stressing that you’re happy in your current job but open to new opportunities can help demonstrate your aspirations without sounding desperate or negative about your current company.
  3. Think about references. It is nearly impossible to share references from your current employer during a job search. Be careful when compiling references for your new career opportunities. A trusted colleague at your current employer (absolute certainty at this person’s discretion and support is essential) or supervisors or colleagues from previous employers, can help fill the gap left by any current managers. Also, it’s important to note that many employers understand and appreciate that candidates are searching for new opportunities while still employed. Discuss this fact openly with new potential employers — they will often make job offers contingent on positive references. From there, it’s up to you to have a strong conversation with your current boss (and persuade him or her to provide you with a good reference) when you eventually get an offer. As in many areas of business, clear and open communication here is essential.
  4. Partner with a recruiter. Finding a new job is in and of itself a full-time job for many people. If you’re working 40 hours a week and simultaneously looking for a new job, it could be too much. When you partner with a staffing firm, your recruiter will help you polish your resume, prepare for interviews and most importantly — will look for job opportunities that match your goals. Your recruiter will operate with discretion while searching for your next great career opportunity, so you can focus on continuing to do a great job at your current employer.

Here at Helpmates, we help talented professionals like you find great jobs in Southern California. Visit our job board or contact your nearest Helpmates office to take the next step in your career.

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Back to School? Continued Education and Its Impact on Your Career.

Education equals career success. That’s what we’ve been taught for years, right? But what kind of education makes the biggest impact? And does it really make an impact at all?

Employers love education.

Without a doubt, education is something that employers look for on a resume. Generally, degrees and education can help you earn a higher salary. Education also demonstrates a commitment to growth and learning that impresses hiring managers. With a variety of online and in-person education opportunities available today, the time has never been better to invest in continued education.

But, continued education can make a bigger impact on certain careers and industries than others.  Here’s a breakdown of some important areas for professional education, and how they can impact your career:HM1

  • Customer service professionals. You’d be hard-pressed to find an employer that isn’t impressed by any continued education, certificates or degrees in the areas of leadership and management. As an employee, investing in courses or degree programs that focus on management and leadership demonstrates to employers that you plan on moving up in the company and taking on more responsibility. It also can demonstrate some stability, and give the impression that you’re looking for a long-term career partner, and not just a stop along the way. In the literal sense, you’ll gain critical information in these types of programs that can help you not only ascend the corporate ladder, but truly succeed and thrive as a leader within your organization.
  • Administrative professionals. While there are technical and soft skills that are essential for any administrative professional to succeed, advanced certification opportunities can also help you stand out from the competition and demonstrate competency in your area of expertise. IAAP (International Association of Administrative Professionals) offers a certification program that encompasses all areas of an office environment. An advanced certification in organizational management takes that certification a step further as well. Providing a range of education and study materials and culminating in an exam, completing these certifications is an investment in your career that demonstrates a genuine commitment to your profession.
  • Accounting/finance professionals. Few industries are evolving and changing as often as accounting and finance. Quality continued education opportunities adhere to strict standards while providing insights and information into evolving tax law, business ethics, specialized knowledge, personal development and more. From seminars and webinars to online and in-person courses, a range of organizations offer certifications and continued education opportunities for accounting/finance professionals. Especially in this industry, it’s important to research the credentials and background of your education provider for accounting/finance education. Credentialed individuals and organizations with the right experience and qualifications are essential to provide you with relevant, correct information and a quality learning experience.
  • Changing Careers. When you’re looking for a new career, education and certifications can provide the qualifications and knowledge you need to make a successful transition. Employers who see education and certifications for a career shift are also more likely to feel that you are serious about your new career path, and have wholly committed to being successful. Finally education and certification programs often provide opportunities for internships and volunteer opportunities that can give you hands on experience in your new career field, adding even more benefit and value to prospective employers.

Making an investment in your education can absolutely make a big impact on your career. The right career partner is also critical. Helpmates is hiring for a range of positions with top employers across Southern California. Search our open jobs now or contact your local Helpmates office to get started.

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