How To Reduce Turnover by 40%

An on-site program that resulted in 160 warehouse positions filled and a 40% decrease in turnover.

The Summary

A leading developer and retailer of top-quality educational materials for early childhood programs, elementary schools and homes nationwide required a new recruiting solution. With more than 60 stores in 29 states, they are one of the largest suppliers of classroom products. The company has a history of leveraging staffing agencies to fill positions in their warehouses, such as packers, forklift operators, transloaders and quality control associates.

The Problem

The company was working with two other staffing vendors, but unhappy with the results. Specifically, they had:

  • High employee turnover and low job order fulfillment, causing missed production goals.
  • Issues with background checks and employees’ eligibility to work in the U.S., preventing them from converting temporary employees to full-time associates.
  • Lack of management of job order requirements, check-ins on every shift, troubleshooting, and prioritizing safety within their workforce.

The Solution

The company sought out a new partner and chose Helpmates for their ability to quickly source and vet candidates and commitment to safety. Helpmates made changes to address the client’s needs:

  • Assigned a dedicated team including an Account Manager, a Sr. Recruiter, and a Sourcing Coordinator to manage the temporary workforce and pipeline talent.
  • Placed the Sr. Recruiter on-site to handle day-to-day items with employees, engage with management/HR and support job openings with closer communication.
  • Introduced a Risk Management Program that followed safety and OSHA compliance in California with the help of Helpmates’ Safety Manager.
  • Implemented innovative employee engagement programs to source and retain employees, such as weekend work campaigns, Helpmates’ referral bonus program, gas cards, lunch passes, and contests.
  • Administered Helpmates’ rigorous hiring process including background checks, E-Verify, I-9 employment authorization, and a final audit to ensure no step in documentation was missed.

forklift operator in warehouse

The Impact

Helpmates was able to quickly assess the client’s needs and provide them with a superior level of customer service. Through these new improvements, Helpmates was able to deliver:

  • 160 positions filled within 4 months, exceeding expectations
  • 48 successful employee conversions
  • 40% reduction in turnover

Want A Similar Impact For Your Company?

With Helpmates as a consultative partner for your workforce, we can help reduce turnover, increase retention, and provide you with the superior customer service you’ve been missing. Contact us when you need to hire quality manufacturing, production, distribution, and logistics talent.

Employees Are Worried About a Recession — Here’s How to Ease Their Minds

worried person wringing hands


Move over, Great Resignation. There’s a new buzzword on everyone’s minds that’s occupying all the headlines these days: Recession.

A recent survey cited in Bloomberg revealed that a whopping 78% of Americans are worried about losing their jobs when the next recession hits. And rightfully so, when more than half of workers don’t feel financially prepared for a layoff — especially when record high inflation is already impacting wallets in just about every spending scenario.

While no job, employer, or industry is recession-proof, there are some actions employers can take to ease their employee’s minds as the prospect of a recession lives rent-free in everyone’s heads.

Here, we talk about if we’re even in a recession, how it affects your employees (and may affect your company), and provide three tips for what to do next.

Are We Even In A Recession?

It depends on who you ask, though one thing’s for sure: it’s ambiguous.

A recession happens when there’s a consistent decline in economic activity (due to declining consumer confidence) over a prolonged period, ranging from two months to six months (again, depending on who you ask). And while a recession is technically always inevitable, some economists are suggesting that we’ll see the next event as early as 2023.

Officially, recessions are declared by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). Comprised of eight economics experts, the NBER studies three criteria: depth, diffusion, and duration. Each criteria needs to be met (to some degree) before declaring a recession, and by their standards, America isn’t there yet.

Indicators To Watch

That said, there are several clues economists watch out for that tie into NBER’s recession criteria, including:

  • Inflation
  • Decreased spending
  • Flat wages
  • Low consumer confidence
  • Rising unemployment rate

Despite low and steady unemployment reported in June (and almost back to pre-pandemic levels), with other economic indicators being met, it’s no wonder workers are anxiously waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Employees Are Nervous: What This Means For You

American workers know that when a recession hits, one of the first things companies do is layoff staff. Nine out of ten managers even agree that would likely happen in the next recession. While you can’t control the economy, you can control how you respond to the rumblings and address your teams’ concerns. Here are three actions to take.

leader addressing recession fears with team

1. Communication And Open Dialogue

As with any kind of relationship, communication is key. Bloomberg’s report found that 47% of employees don’t fully trust that their employer would fully communicate their company’s plans. Commit to not being part of that statistic! Teams look to their leaders for guidance when times are hard, and strong leaders possess strong communication.

Be forthcoming and ask your teams how they’re feeling about all the recession buzz and acknowledge their concerns. For the sake of transparency, let them know what to expect from the company in a full-blown recession. Consider any and all suggestions they may have to keep the company operationally efficient.

It’s important to note that transparency does not equal over-promising or outright lying. You may have some hard conversations that are difficult to swallow, but employees will appreciate the honesty now so they can prepare for “later”.

2. Plan For Future Recessions

Most will agree that — pandemic or not — no company is recession proof and exempt from the financial struggles that go with it. But that doesn’t mean companies should just sit back and wait for the inevitable.

Consider making layoffs the last resort. What are some other ways your company can go lean? Bloomberg notes that 54% of American workers would be willing to take a pay cut to avoid being laid off — would your executives do the same?

Think about a temporary pause in 401(k) contributions and quarterly bonus programs to help save money. Try to keep health benefits off the table; in times of uncertainty, workers need to know their medical needs will still be available to them.

Staffing and recruitment agencies might also be able to help in a pinch, especially if your company implements a hiring freeze. An agency could help provide the professional temporary labor you need for a fraction of the cost of hiring new employees, saving your HR team time and money.

3. Utilize An Employee Assistance Program

Does your company have an employee assistance program (EAP)? Many EAPs assist employees with personal and work-related issues that may impact their job performance and health (including physical, mental, and financial).

With more than half of workers not financially prepared for a recession or subsequent layoff, an EAP may be able to help them strengthen their finances in a variety of ways. Whether it’s a plan to pay off debt, build up savings, or budget like a boss, a financial plan can help your employees’ peace of mind.

EAPs can also help with mental health, offering resources to help deal with anxiety, stress, and overall emotional well-being. The pandemic certainly helped thrust mental health into the light, and as a manager you have the opportunity to point them in the right direction. Encouraging your anxious team members to use the resources available to them shows that you care.

If an Employee Assistance Program isn’t part of your company’s benefits package, strongly consider making the investment.

When, Not If

When it comes to recessions, it’s always a matter of when, not if. Economic highs and lows are an expected part of a free market economy, and we always land on our feet. If we’re lucky, we learn a few things along the way that help us become better employers.

For recessions, pandemics, or any general hardship that causes uncertainty, companies can (and should) address their employees’ fears as best they can. Plan ahead for the scenario and communicate it to your teams. Talk through concerns, and do it often. When everyone is on the same page and working toward the same goal — in this case, avoiding a complete layoff — you may just find it increases employee loyalty and morale, and that’s something everyone can benefit from.

Reasons to Outsource Your Skilled Labor Workforce


While it may seem like a no-brainer to take care of hiring internally, many companies find that this can cost them more money, take longer, and may result in lower-quality candidates. This was already a challenge pre-COVID but is more difficult now due to the current labor market.

When it comes to money and time, loss of cash flow can have an immense impact on your business. One way to reduce costs while keeping your business productive is outsourcing hiring. An effective staffing partner will decrease time and financial expenditures while bringing in quality employees.

The 3 risks of managing hiring in-house

  1. Increased turnover

While it may seem easier and more cost-effective to handle hiring internally, studies show this may result in lower-quality candidates and hire who is not the right fit for the role. A single bad hire can impact team morale and ultimately increase employee turnover. One study found that the average cost to replace just one employee can have a huge financial impact on your business.

  1. Loss in productivity

When companies handle hiring internally, often this responsibility is an addition to their normal day. It starts with spending money to post the position, weed through possibly hundreds of applicants and resumes in hopes of finding the needle in the haystack. Next comes scheduling and conducting interviews, doing reference checks, and pre-screenings while continuing to do your “day job”. If you were to pass the hiring off to a trusted partner, you could then focus valuable time on revamping your business to function in the new norm.

  1. Drain company bankroll

The cost of a new hire does not stop with getting them interviewed, onboarded, and paid. You’re adding another person to your payroll, benefits as well as the exposure for worker’s compensation and any unemployment costs.

True cost savings when partnering with a staffing agency

Helpmates has worked hard to better help companies and provide employment for talent during the current labor market. Here are a couple of ways we’ve been able to help our clients find top associates.

  1. Hire candidates faster
    Think of everything you have to do to hire candidates, there’s a long checklist that needs to be completed in a short amount of time before you can even get the hire you need working. Staffing agencies have a pool of qualified workers that they can tap into, saving you time and effort in the long run. They deal with the time-suck of weeding through candidates, screening, interviewing, and preparing candidates for the position all while you are focusing on your core business. Often, they will fill your vacant positions faster than you expect. Staffing partners also have the technology and expertise to guide you through hiring, even with restrictions on face-to-face meetings.

  2. Reduce training costs
    Every time you make a new hire, there is a certain learning curve or training that has to take place for this person to perform their everyday duties. Hiring through a staffing firm will most likely eliminate/reduce your training costs because these teams pre-qualify candidates to find those with the expertise you need to perform the job.
  3. Improved workforce flexibility
    When companies like yours choose to outsource staffing, they are hiring contracted/project workers, which allows you to increase and decrease staff depending on the workload without long-term financial commitment. This will allow you to run an efficient business as demand for services changes day by day.

  4. “Try before you buy” a candidate before you commit
    A great added benefit of working with a staffing agency is that you can employ temp and temp-to-hire workers. You can see how they fit and make sure they are the correct match for your business before you bring them on full-time. If for some reason they don’t work out, you can ask your staffing partner to end the assignment. You are not responsible for unemployment or the necessary paperwork to let someone go.

  5. Lower overhead costs
    Staffing agencies can offer significant financial savings when it comes to employer costs you would normally provide to your employees. Health benefits, 401k, sick days, PTO, workers compensation, unemployment, and all employer taxes are the responsibility of your staffing partner.

The Takeaway

As you can see, there is a much higher cost than simply what you pay the employee. Shift the time, costs, responsibility, and headaches of hiring to our staffing experts.

You have far more important business aspects to worry about. We will find the talent that is the right match for your business, so you can achieve your business goals and save valuable time and money.

Contact us to discuss possible savings you could see with a staffing partner.

Helping Your Accounting Staff Members Keep Up with Their Professional Development

Change is coming in a big way for your accounting and bookkeeping staff members. Automation is a big part of it as is the growth of remote work: Gartner reported in April 2020 that 74 percent of CFOs said they “intend to shift some employees to remote work permanently.”

Santa Ana staffing

So as accounting automation and the change to working from home will affect you accounting and bookkeeping employees, so will the need to help them keep up with their professional development grow.

Why help your accounting team members keep up with their personal professional development?

There are many reasons, not the least of which is the fact that as they grow, so does the capability of your department, public accounting company or CPA firm.

McKinsey perhaps said it best (when talking about businesses in general and how the future is going to a lot different moving forward):

Companies should quickly “craft a talent strategy that develops employees’ critical digital and cognitive capabilities, their social and emotional skills, and their adaptability and resilience.”

Doing so will help your compete in the new world of accounting and finance, if not actually grow and thrive moving forward.

Another reason to help your team members develop professionally?

It helps keep them loyal to you.

Great accounting professionals skilled in automation who also are able to adapt to the many changes happening extremely quickly in the industry are becoming harder and harder to find. Providing training in emerging technologies and other skills help them feel valued – especially if you pay for their training or help them do so – and empowered.

Reskilling and upskilling your current workforce

Your automatic first impulse regarding having team members who have the tech skills that will help your accounting department or company thrive in the coming years may be to immediately look for new hires with the needed skills.

But retraining (now often called reskilling or upskilling) allows you to reposition and retain a valued team member. This, of course, really benefits them, but it also helps you: you don’t need to spend the time and expense of recruiting someone new, someone who’s not a proven team member, someone who could decide they’re not happy and leave within just a few months.

Keep in mind that reskilling quickly will turn into the need for regular upskilling  as technology will continue to change and the need to keep up with it will be absolutely critical for your employees as well ensuring that your company can keep up with the fast pace of change.

Making professional development easy to pursue

Remember that not everyone looks at learning new skills and knowledge as something enjoyable. They also may wonder if this “work” is going to be required on top of the current workload.

Make sure team members understand that professional development is important and something to welcome. (For example, could a pay raise be in the offing once they complete the training?)

If possible, give them extra time for the training: don’t expect them to deliver as much as they normally do on a workday. (Or give them an extra day off if they work on learning a new skill and then need to stay late for a few days in order to get all of their daily tasks completed.)

  • Online learning

Take a look at what you already have on hand.  For example, if you’re already using some form of online training, is there accounting/bookkeeping/finance training upon it?

Check out e-learning platforms such as Coursera, Degreed, even LinkedIn Learning.

Industry organizations also probably have training available at low cost to members or even free.

  • Mentoring

While mentoring of lower-level employees by those at a higher level is common, consider using remote capabilities. What if someone mentored a team member via video. Or, a team member could watch someone use certain technology (new accounting software, for example) on a videoconference.

  • Peer-to-peer teaching

Many of your bookkeepers, accounting and finance pros have a knack for showing others how to do something and love to do. Allowing them to take on colleague and show them the ropes is a very inexpensive training tactic. It even could help colleagues become close(er) to each other, fostering a good sense of camaraderie.

  • Coursework reimbursement/payment

If accounting/bookkeeping employees need to take courses, seminars, attend lectures, purchase technology, etc., aim to provide compensation to them for their costs as much as possible.

After all, a lot of the training your employees will need are far longer and more intense than a free online tutorial. Some of your team members may need certifications and such programs often take weeks and tuition can be pricey. Could you reimburse them for the costs or help with financial assistance?

Providing your team members with the time and the resources to advance their skills is a truly powerful way to not only develop their knowledge but also demonstrates how much your value their work as well as their skills.

Here at Helpmates, we constantly recruit finance, accounting and bookkeeping professionals, with many of them having up-to-the-minute experience in new accounting technology.

Contact the Helpmates branch nearest you to learn more about our finance staffing services.

Are You Still Sourcing Call Center Reps and CSRs Yourself?

Recruiting dozens of call center and customer service representatives (CSRs) is time consuming.

It’s also wasteful: what could your recruiters be doing if they weren’t constantly sourcing, interviewing and hiring for these positions?

Irvine staffing

  • Could they be working to build a talent pipeline in other areas of your business so that they won’t be scrambling for candidates when openings occur?
  • Could they be sourcing, recruiting, interviewing, and vetting candidates for higher-level positions so that your company has a better chance of hiring these positions right the first time, thus cutting down considerably the chance that poor hires take place in these more important positions?
  • Could they be working more closely with hiring managers in creating job descriptions, screening applicants and vetting them, thus seeing to it that hiring managers only spend their time on interviewing top candidates?

Or are they instead constantly sourcing, recruiting, interviewing, and vetting dozens upon dozens of call center reps and CSRs…and then repeating it all again and again? (Call center reps, on the whole, tend to have low retention rates, with a turnover rate of between 25-35 percent.)

And that doesn’t even take into account additional costs of high turnover: training, benefits, salaries, etc. With high attrition, up to a quarter of your annual staff expenses can disappear.

Outsourcing your call center rep and CSR hiring improves recruiting effectiveness

Here’s how:

Many company recruiting/HR departments are short-staffed with team members stretched much too thin, resulting in difficulty in finding qualified candidates as well as improving their department’s overall recruiting function and processes.

Unfortunately, when HR/recruiters get backed up, it’s very difficult to get caught up with hiring.

Outsourcing CSR and call center rep recruiting means a company can take advantage of a staffing firm’s ability to reach more candidates (recruiting companies are constantly sourcing candidates), find passive candidates and overall find more qualified candidates more quickly.

Engaging a recruiting company to recruit call center reps and CSRs simply is a much more efficient – and effective – use of recruiting budgets.

CSR/call center rep turnover also can be reduced

CSR/call center rep turnover isn’t so much about a recruiting professional’s abilities but more with the actual recruitment function. The recruiting process performed by a staffing firm is one that’s been honed over the years by its dedicated, experienced, savvy recruiters.

Your business thus will enjoy better quality candidates.

Small companies can gain a competitive advantage

Using a staffing company with considerable experience recruiting call center reps and CSRs means a small or mid-sized business can efficiently and quickly work to build its own key staff. The company will be able to focus its limited resources where it truly counts: sourcing, recruiting and hiring people for higher-level positions.

Leave a good deal of the onboarding to the recruiting firm

Allowing your staffing partner to provide an overview of your company’s call center/customer service policies and procedures as well as your company culture can cut back considerably on your call center/CSR managers need to do so.

In short, integrate your sourcing, recruiting, hiring, and some on-boarding activities, and you’ll be opening both brain power and time for your own HR and recruiting pros to focus on recruiting higher-level positions, creating policies and benefits packages, handling employee concerns and issues, working on building employee engagement throughout your entire company, and more.

Employee turnover and productivity often are the first areas of a company to suffer when recruiting and onboarding is stressed. Even the Society of Human Resources Management has said that onboarding is key to retaining and engaging talent.

Helpmates has exceptional experience sourcing, hiring, onboarding, and training CSRs

This isn’t bragging: this is fact.  Just last year at the beginning of California’s stay-at-home orders, we helped two of our clients transition 60 call center specialists between them to remote work.

And we did it in just three days (over a long weekend).

In fact, so successful were we that our clients told us that none of their own customers suspected that the representative with whom they interacted the first week of lockdown wasn’t working at the clients’ locations.

We’ve been in the business of staffing customer service needs for more than 40 years. We understand completely what it takes to be an exceptional CSR or call center rep and we have both a deep and wide talent pool of terrific individuals looking for this kind of work.

Contact Helpmates for more information on how we can perform recruit CSR and call center representatives for you.

How to Find Great Accounting Professionals

It’s not your imagination: it is tough to find great accounting professionals today.

Accounting Today reported in April 2020 that about 68,000 accounting and bookkeeping positions were eliminated just in the two months or so since the pandemic began.

A November 2020 jobs report found that accounting/bookkeeping services lost 2.4K jobs, a decrease of 2.3 percent from the previous year.

Buena Park staffing

However, just as it’s done for many business sectors, unemployment for accounting professionals has increased and there’s now something of a shortage.

In fact, Accounting Today reported in December on another survey and found that 31 percent of accounting firms “recruiting/retaining employees” was one of the top things “keeping them up at night.” (Note: this worry was greater “keeping up with regulatory change” as well as “acquiring and retaining new clients” and “keeping up with technology.”

Types of accounting/bookkeeping professionals in the most demand

So what accounting/bookkeeping positions are in most demand? reported last year that the most in-demand jobs will be:

  • Accounting clerk
  • Accountant
  • Financial analyst
  • Internal auditor
  • Tax accountant
  • Controller
  • Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

Industries that have the greatest need for accounting and bookkeeping specialists.

  • Small and mid-sized businesses need public accountants to help them work with unpredictable cash flows and changing compliance requirements
  • Corporations need help from accountants to help them keep their business sustainable in the coming years.
  • The government needs finance/accounting/bookkeeping specialists due to the need to scale up quickly to address the many – and unprecedented – financial aid programs created during the pandemic.
  • Financial services institutions (banks, credit unions, etc.) need employees to help the public secure lines of credit and reorganize debt during tough times.
  • Healthcare enterprises (hospitals, clinics, private practices) need finance, accounting and bookkeeping professionals to deal with new (technological) payment processes, billing and reconciliations.

Recruiting strategies and tactics to find these hard-to-find specialists

Your first step is to decide if you need to actually hire someone on to your own payroll or whether it might be better to engage the services of a staffing agency that focuses on accounting/finance/bookkeeping professionals and bringing someone on for a temporary or contract-to-hire basis.

This can benefit you as well as the specialist: both of you can “try each other out” before making a long-term employment commitment. Both of you can see if you’re a good fit for each other.

If you need to hire someone NOW, you’re behind

We aren’t trying to be harsh, but if you’re starting to look for someone only when you have a true need, you’re late to the party.

And it probably will take you far longer to find a great person than if you had “been recruiting” even when you had no need. (You also run the risk of hiring in haste and letting the person go relatively quickly.)

Always think ahead and forecast. Connect and network with folks who may not be right for current roles, but keep in touch (via newsletters, emails, even phone calls) so that you can keep them “warm” in your talent pipeline for when you do need someone.

Tips for keeping your accounting/finance/bookkeeping talent pipeline full

In addition to keeping in touch with candidates you don’t hire during a particular search, consider:

  • Hitting up college career centers.
  • Linking up with the college’s alumni program.
  • Presenting “how to find a job” seminars at colleges, libraries, accounting/finance associations, etc.
  • Asking current finance/accounting/bookkeeping employees for referrals.

Make sure the job description is as clear as can be

You do this so that only those with the skills and experience you need will apply for the position.

Yet you also need to be careful that the description isn’t so exacting that candidates who fit most of the criteria still apply and aren’t scared off. After all, it’s rare that anyone has all the requirements of a position; many people can be easily trained and/or upskilled quickly.

For example, if someone has five years of increasingly sophisticated accounting experience, do they truly need a bachelor’s degree? Probably not.

However, where you really do need certain skills or qualifications, be specific. When you need someone with three years’ experience in financial statements, for instance, say so.

Hire for hard and soft skills

No bookkeeper, no accountant, no CPA is worth it if he or she has all the skills you seek but is disagreeable to be around.

Working with someone like that – whether as a boss, an equal colleague or even as a member of your finance team – is a recipe for sheer misery.

Make sure the person is reasonably easy to get along with, isn’t averse to working with others, is happy to go the extra mile every now and then (particularly important around tax time), and so on.

So how does one really find and hire great accounting professionals?

By working with an accounting/finance staffing and recruiting such as Helpmates, you can cut down on the time it takes you to find someone. You’ll also have considerable peace of mind knowing that candidates have been thoroughly vetted in skills and knowledge and that references have been checked.

In addition, we understand the Southern California finance/accounting/bookkeeping employment market as if it’s our job…because it is! For direct-hire positions, we have an extensive network of already-vetted, talented professionals who aren’t necessarily looking for work but are open to the right opportunity.

In other words, just as we recommend that you keep your talent pipeline filled, we do so as a matter of course.

And that means we can place a contract professional at your worksite quickly and/or have you interviewing great direct-hire candidates in just a day or two.

Contact the Helpmates branch nearest you for more information.

A Case Study: Extremely High Temporary Specialist Retention for a Distribution Center

Is this you?

You’re a large company that needs to ship out a lot of small items every day.

In other words, you need dozens of people to help you get those orders ready. What’s more, accuracy of order fulfillment is critical because each and every customer shipment is different from any other.

SoCal Staffing

You already know this: it’s really hard to find people who will do this type of work for many weeks or months.

But what if you could find these people? And what if you could be sure that many of them stay in the assignment for several months, even as long as a year or more?

How much would that positively impact your business? Here’s how:

  • Your training efforts –and costs – would decrease substantially because you wouldn’t have to constantly train new workers.
  • Their accuracy at selecting items in your warehouse would only grow the longer they stay on the assignment.
  • Accurate items in a shipment mean happy – and likely repeat – customers. (It also cuts way back on customer complaints; meaning your CSRs may deal with fewer issues that need fixing.)
  • Their selection speed also would improve greatly over time.
  • You also would have a pool of trained, experienced sorters ready to move onto your payroll should you have openings.

Bottom line? Your company’s financial bottom line definitely would improve!

This isn’t a dream: Helpmates HAS done exactly that with one of our onsite distribution clients.

We can’t name our client, but we can say it’s quite large and ships tens of thousands of items to its customers each month, particularly at the beginning of each month, after the company’s sales people have hustled to make their end-of-month numbers the week before.

The company also has a policy of shipping quickly and so it really wants to make sure its customers receive their products within mere days of their order.

Our client has told us that our efforts in specialist retention has meant faster selection of items and filling of customer boxes, as well as higher accuracy, leading to far fewer customer service issues.

The result: Training costs have reduced due to high retention while sorting/fill rates and accuracy have increased. Thus, the company tells us, it has saved a considerable amount of money and greatly improved its bottom line.

We have quite a robust sourcing and vetting process when it comes to finding people who are reliable, accurate and hard-working.*

We won’t give the details here in how we do this, although we can say that we put in considerable extra effort in researching competitive wages, sourcing, screening, talent engagement, and assignment preparation.

Most staffing companies don’t make this effort.

The strategies and time we use to source, vet and train our specialists is critical to the value our client enjoys: considerably lower turnover and training costs with an increase in order sorting speed and accuracy, all resulting in that healthier bottom line mentioned above.

We naturally are quite proud of the results we’ve produced for our client as well as how satisfied our specialists are with the work they do. (We’re also quite proud of our specialists.)

What we’ve done for this client definitely can be replicated at any business that has a need for reliable, accurate, quick distribution specialists.

If you’d like to learn how we can help you, contact the Helpmates branch nearest you to learn more.

*In fact, the work we do upfront in our sourcing, recruiting and training of our specialists also has meant that our client looks to our specialists first when it needs to hire someone full time on to its own payroll.

We also go the extra mile for our specialists and it’s shown in our Net Promoter Score (NPS): those who work for this client gave us a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of plus 80 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Frankly, that’s off the charts.

Contact us to learn more about how we can help your distribution center increase its bottom line.

Tips for Hiring Great Temporary Specialists in SoCal

Your Los Angeles or Orange County company may need more workers as your business starts growing again as the economy continues to improve.

Yet you probably don’t really know how fast you’ll grow, in what areas you’ll grow and if you’ll be able to sustain that growth over a year or more.

Irvine staffing

Bringing on temporary specialists could be the answer.

Bringing temporary specialists in for one or a few days, or even for several weeks if not months, can help you grow your workforce as needed in the next few months…and then cut back if necessary .

Yet hiring great temporary specialists isn’t as cut and dried as simply calling up or emailing your go-to workforce management partner and discussing your current needs.

Many folks who work for staffing companies register with several staffing companies.

This is normal. After all, a specialist’s favorite recruiting firm may not have an opening for the specialist when he or she comes off from one assignment and needs another. It’s therefore savvy for folks to register with more than one staffing company.

Which means you may be competing for their services.

That’s right: many temporary specialists are extremely sought after by the staffing firms with which they’re registered. They have proven themselves to be reliable and trustworthy. Or they may have highly sought-after skills AND have proven themselves to be reliable and trustworthy. They also may have multiple offers for assignments with possibly higher hourly wages.

Our point? Our clients have found that they, too, need to stay sharp and on top of their game when it comes to hiring the best temporary specialists for their assignments!

How to beat your competition and hire the best-of-the-best.

  • Make your hiring decision quickly.

Working with a staffing agency means that their candidates are pre-screened. You know they have been vetted and pre-qualified.

When interviewing specialists sent by your staffing partner, move quickly. Have just one or no more than two people interview them. Use a qualified fit assessment to make sure they have the skills for the work and will fit in. (Consider giving this assessment tool to your staffing partner so that they can do so when they interview the specialists.)

Aim to let your staffing partner know as soon as possible whether or not you want the candidates: end of day, or the next day is best, yet no more than three days.

  • At the interview.

Be extremely clear regarding duties and expectations. Explain them again, if necessary. Make it clear that you’re happy to answer any and all questions.

If there’s a chance the assignment might lead to the specialist being hired on to your payroll, do say so, but don’t give false hope. If there’s a 50/50 chance, say so. The same goes for if there’s only a 10 percent chance. Bottom line: don’t provide false hope. It’s better to surprise someone with good news – you want to hire them – then it is to set their expectations too high.

If the assignment end date is unclear at the time of the interview, let the candidate know so. Be as honest as possible: if the assignment definitely won’t be extended, say so.

If you often provide letters of recommendation for temporary specialists, let the candidate know. The candidate isn’t your employee, of course, but letting the candidate know that you do write letters for exceptional work is a definite selling point for your position.

  • When the specialist is working on assignment.

Treat the specialist as much as possible as a regular employee. Many specialists tell us they often feel like second-class citizens and will leave an assignment before its official end if they are offered one (via another staffing firm).

Onboard the contractors as you would a regular employee (minus the employee benefits conversation, of course). Touch base with them often and provide them kudos regularly (and be sure to let the staffing firm know, as well).

Include them in small team gatherings, such as Friday pizza parties (when your employees work in person together again), and so on.

Many of our clients are starting to bring on more temporary specialists.

We have many terrific specialists in our ATS but the best ones are taken quickly. Reach out to the Helpmates branch nearest you and let us know all about your workforce needs as the economy improves.

Why Your Job Candidates Want You to Text, Not Call

Yes, it’s true: job candidates much prefer a text from a recruiter than receiving a phone call.

You probably can guess why from your own experience: a phone call is very disruptive. You don’t know if the call will take one minute of your time or 20. You don’t know if the caller is bringing bad news or good. If you don’t recognize the number, you probably think it’s a scammer, so you ignore it.

Gardena recruiters

The good news, for recruiters….

Texts have an open rate of more than 90 percent within the first three minutes of being received.

That said, here are some additional great reasons to move from a phone call to texting, at least for your first few contacts that aren’t filled with details (detailed information is best heard and understood via a phone conversation, so that the recipient can ask important questions, etc.).

  • Messaging shows candidates you value their time.

Time, even though it feels to pass so slowly during the pandemic, nevertheless feels quite precious right now. We have so much on our plates and answering a call when we don’t know how long we’ll be engaged in conversation just feels as if the caller is asking too much of us.

  • Candidates can look at the message — and reply to it – when THEY feel ready.

Answering a ringing call now feels so disruptive, as if we have to drop everything. And what if it’s bad news or we’re asked for information we don’t have. What if we don’t answer it right away? Have we lost out on some great opportunity?

But texting etiquette has evolved: We used to feel we had to answer a text within mere moments, but we now feel more and more comfortable looking at it and then replying later. This thus gives them the chance to respond in a more professional way, when they’re not in a meeting with their boss, etc.

  • Younger candidates actually feel a text is more personal.

Millennials and members of GenZ have come to think of text as more personal: after all, it’s often how they “chat” with their friends and family over the course of  a day.

This personal touch can really help a recruiter since many people think of the recruiting process as impersonal (having to jump through a website application’s hoops, for example….).

  • You can say goodbye to taking “too long” to acknowledge a candidate’s application.

A big pet peeve of job candidates is that they apply for a job and then they hear…nothing. Sure, they may receive an automatic email, but many people (younger ones particularly) barely look at email anymore and only if necessary (such as for work).

Instead, setting up an automation tool that allows you to text someone that your company has received their application is often (as mentioned above) seen as a “personal” response to their candidacy: it helps make for a much better candidate experience.

If your Southern California company needs workers for temporary, temp-to-hire and even direct-hire assignments, call the Helpmates office nearest you for information on our recruiting, staffing and placement services.

Avoid These Recruiting Marketing Mistakes

Does your company start hiring someone only as soon as you have a need? That is, do you whip up a job posting only when a hiring manager requests a replacement or needs to fill a new position?

If so, do you find yourself scrambling to source and recruit great talent? Probably, right? And that’s certainly an unpleasant place to be, always feeling pressure to hire quickly.

Irvine recruiters

But what if your company made a habit of creating a talent pipeline? What if you always looked for people with certain skills for certain positions? And what if you created relationships with these folks so that when you do have a need, they’re eager to apply?

How would that change the caliber of your hire? Pretty darn well, actually.

Hiring “just in time” is just one recruiting mistakes you might be making. Here are three more.

  1. Not following up after a virtual recruiting event.

The COVID-19 pandemic has meant a lot of recruiting’s tasks are performed online, including recruiting events and career fairs. And even though a lot more people are out of work this year than the beginning of March last year, it’s pretty much up to you, the recruiter, to follow up with candidates.

Remembering the talent pipeline warning above, it’s smart to reach out to candidates as soon as the event is over, especially those who appear the most promising. Keeping prospective candidates engaged means you have a much better chance of hiring the best talent when you need them.

What kind of “reaching out” should you/could you perform? Why not use an automated tool to ask candidates what they thought of the event and/or your company? Text or email them to tell them about next steps (if you have immediate hiring needs). Keep in touch with everyone you met with a newsletter. (This is terrific for pipeline building, as mentioned above.) And so on.

  1. Not hiring quickly when there IS an opening.

Too many companies make the hiring process far too long. Weeks, even months long. Hiring a mid-level person should take no more than four-six weeks, tops, from the time the job is posted to when an offer is made.

So no more posting a job when it’s “under consideration.” Post it only when the hiring manager is actually ready to hire. Posting when they’re just “thinking about it,” or you and they want to fill the pipeline in this way isn’t smart: you’ll alienate candidates who wait to even hear from someone about an interview, let alone making them angry if they find out there’s no actual need right now.

Instead, work to shorten the gap between when you start accepting applications and when you make someone an offer.

  1. Not using visual content in your messaging.

As you send emails, don’t be shy about using video. Video is a great eye catcher and one of the most engaging types of content.

As you keep in touch people who have expressed interest in working at your company (whether you meet them via a networking/hiring event or they’re not hired for a job to which they applied, etc.), you should be emailing them regularly with information about your company and careers within it.

What types of videos? Videotape current employees about what they like most about working at the company. Create a “day in the life” video of people who work in certain roles. Put together an interactive quiz filled with “did you know?” facts about the company.

Partner with Helpmates for an always available talent pipeline

Helpmates continuously recruits for our clients’ changing needs. That means we always have a healthy pipeline filled with people looking for work. Contact the branch nearest you for more information for your temporary, temp-to-hire and direct-hire staffing needs.

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