Pay Rates in Southern California

As it becomes harder and harder to find top talent in Southern California, especially for our clients’ temporary workforce needs, we’ve done a little digging regarding what great workers expect in Orange and Los Angeles counties regarding pay rates.

SoCal pay rates

Below are some pay rates for positions we typically fill (from Indeed.com):

  • CSR, Anaheim: $13.82 (14 percent higher than national average)
  • CSR, Aliso Viejo: $14.12 (16 percent higher)
  • CSR, Brea: $14.11 (16 percent higher)
  • CSR, Los Angeles (13.88 (14 percent higher)
  • Forklift Operator, Anaheim: $13.52 (7 percent higher)
  • Forklift Operator, Buena Park: $13.15 (meets national average)
  • Forklift Operator, Commerce: $12.62 (meets national average)
  • Forklift Operator, Los Angeles: $13.26 (meets national average
  • Administrative Assistant, Anaheim, $16.05 (11 percent higher)
  • Administrative Assistant, Aliso Viejo, $17.97 (24 percent higher)
  • Administrative Assistant, Brea: $14.97 (meets national average)
  • Administrative Assistant, Los Angeles: $16.44 (13 percent higher)

Meanwhile, down in San Diego, people in these positions are receiving:

  • CSR: $14.05 (16 percent higher)
  • Forklift Operator: $13.86 (10 percent higher)
  • Administrative Assistant: $16.11 (11 percent above average)

All meet – even exceed – national averages. Which is proper considering that the cost of living in Orange County has an index of 187 (according to Sperling’s Best Places), with 100 considered to be the U.S. average). What’s more, Orange County’s housing index is a whopping 356. Los Angeles County’s overall cost of living index is 156 with its housing index at 283), still far above the average.

If you run or manage a business in Southern California, what are you noticing about how much the better employees in different job sectors are expecting in regards to pay? What’s the minimum they will accept?

If you’d like some help in deciding what the best pay rates will be for your temporary or regular workforce, contact us here at Helpmates. Our expertise (not-so-humble-brag) in the Southern California market is extraordinary and we’ll be happy to help you set rates that will help attract the best workers possible.

The Rise in the Minimum Wage and Your Temporary Workforce

The minimum wage rose to $13.50/hour in Los Angeles in July and will rise to $12/hour in Orange County in January. Couple this with the fact that it’s a hot candidates’ market today with unemployment in Los Angeles at 4.1 percent (in May) and in Orange County at an incredible 2.6 percent (also in May), and the best temporary workers have their pick among assignments.

So if you’re not paying even more than the new minimum wage going forward, you more than likely will find that your staffing partner won’t be able to fill your order because it won’t be able to find quality candidates at that rate.

Top Talent Wants More Than Minimum Wage

The fact that better talent wants more than the new minimum is understandable: not only should better employees be paid more, they often are. And they expect it.

What’s more, if you want a temporary person to stay with you for the duration of his/her assignment (or even work with you on a temp-to-hire assignment), you should pay top talent more in order to keep them working for you: underpaid workers may decide to look for better-paying work. Irvine staffing agency

Investing in top temporary talent by paying a few dollars more is still less than paying for wasted training, productivity and overtime when the best workers leave assignments for better pay.

The average tenure of a temporary employee industry wide is 10.7 weeks (in 2017), but Helpmates’ temporary associates stay with us an average of 17.1 weeks, 60 percent longer!

Billing Rates Need to Rise with the New Minimum Wage

In addition, chances are you might be asking your staffing firm to keep its billing rates low. At first blush, this makes sense from your standpoint: after all, the temporary workers aren’t your employees but the staffing firm’s and one of the reasons a company works with a staffing agency company is to  keep its staffing/workforce costs low.

But your staffing partner’s costs have just increased because the staffing firm has a ton of expenditures that need covering with the money it receives after it subtracts the rate it pays its employee (your temporary worker) and your billable rate:

  • Worker’s compensation
  • Payroll taxes
  • Benefits (to both internal and temporary employees)
  • Recruiting costs
  • Office lease and overhead costs
  • And so on.

Here’s a little-known fact: while you may pay a billable rate of $22.50/hour to your staffing firm and the agency pays its employee $15/hour, you may think that that 50 percent markup is considerable. But don’t forget all the costs the staffing firm needs to cover (as listed above). The reality? A staffing firm’s actual profits “are pennies on the dollar, low single digits.”

Sounds like we’re whining doesn’t it? Yet, just like our clients, staffing companies are in business to make a profit. If we continue to charge you the same but pay our employees more, our already-slim profit margin decreases even more.

Bottom line: the higher minimum wage requirements in Los Angeles and (in January) Orange County will affect the quality of the temporary workers your staffing partner is able to attract and place. You should expect your partner’s billable rate to increase and support its doing so.

In fact, Orange County employers may want to consider raising their own “minimum wage” now because Orange County residents can “cross borders” to work in Los Angeles County cities with the higher minimum – and they probably will.

If you’d like to partner with Certified Staffing Professional experts who have the tools to customize a temporary staffing program that will deliverable favorable results in this challenging market, or if you just want to better understand compensation and billing rates, contact us here at Helpmates: we’ll be happy to chat with you.

Are You STILL Focused on Finding the Perfect Candidate?!

As a hiring manager, are you looking for ways to screen people out instead of looking for ways to find the good in candidates?

For example, if you notice a typo on a resume, do you automatically throw it into the proverbial “round file”? What about gaps in work history? Do you say “Next!” when you come across such a gap?

perfect job candidate Los Angeles

In this candidate’s market, this focus on finding fault may be preventing you from finding great – if slightly flawed – candidates.

We explain below.

Now we understand that your employees are a HUGE expense, and so it’s natural that you would want to hire terrific people (so that they’ll be great at solving your problems and will stick around for a long, long time, adding incredibly value all the while).

But why look for the perfect when the perfect is entertaining multiple job offers? Why waste so much time and emotional energy on searching for, finding and then working like the dickens to land the best when the pretty-darn-good are just a typo or job gap away?

Even great coders make small mistakes. Even great salespeople take time off to help their elderly parents end their lives comfortably. Even hard-working and loyal employees work at one job for just three months, discover it’s a really bad fit and then start looking for work elsewhere ASAP.

In times like today when, for example, a top-notch software pro can land five job offers after just five job interviews and the best college graduates are landing mid- and high-five-figure jobs even as they’re still nursing hangovers from their last frat house bash, it makes no sense to hold out for the best when the “good enough” are, well, definitely good enough!

So take that second look. Sift through the (online) trash can for the resume with the one typo of that administrative assistant with 15 years’ experience at a Fortune 500 company who left the company last year to finally take that six-month trip around the world she had always been putting off until she decided it was now or never!

Call back for a second interview the workers’ comp specialist who worked in the consumer products sector industry (even though you’re hiring for your distribution warehouse).

These folks may not be gold, but they definitely silver and could make a massive, positive impact in your company!

Looking for great people (who may – or may not – have  some imperfections) for your Irvine company? Then call the recruiters at Helpmates! We can source, vet and place terrific folks in your temporary, temp-to-hire and direct-hire job opportunities. Contact us today!

A To-Do List for Extending Job Offers

Have you ever extended an offer of employment to a job candidate only to find that the candidate then goes back to his employer and accepts a counter offer? We’ve all been there. But if we’d followed a pre-job-offer-extension checklist, the scenario above might not have happened (or it would happen far less frequently).

Los Angeles temp firm

Having a to-do list of things that you will make sure the candidate understands can go a long way to ensuring you end up onboarding a candidate quite happy to start working for you, one who clearly knows he’s going to work for you soon.

Here’s how such a checklist works: it ensures that all aspects of the offer are settled before you extend a written job offer.

Of course, you’re going to want to make sure the candidate clearly understands the compensation you will offer, the benefits he’ll receive and what it will take to earn any bonuses (if applicable). You’ll also want to discuss and settle upon a tentative start date.

But there are two additional important things you should discuss with a candidate before extending a formal offer. These often are overlooked and, if you do, don’t be surprised if a candidate accepts your offer but never actually becomes your employee. They are:

  1. You want to make sure the candidate won’t accept a counter offer at his current employer.

Some candidates do look for work just so they can take an offer back to their current boss and ask for more money. This rarely is wise because (among other things) now the current boss knows his current employee isn’t all that committed to his current position and guess who will be laid off first when layoffs are necessary? But that’s not your problem.

Most candidates aren’t looking to play you: they simply return to their boss to give notice and the boss counters with an offer the candidate (thinks he) simply can’t refuse.

Instead, have a verbal OK from the candidate that any counter offer won’t be accepted.

  1. You also want the candidate to agree not to entertain any other offers from any other companies.

By the time a candidate receives one job offer, chances are good that he will receive at least one more from another company, especially when he mentions to that company that he’s received an offer from you.

Ask him where he is with other companies and don’t extend an offer until he agrees that he will let the other company know he is withdrawing his candidacy once you do so.

Can/will a candidate change his mind even after he agrees to these two stipulations? Of course! But this type of discussion and verbal agreement on the part of the candidate will decrease the chances of that happening.

If a candidate accepts a job offer and then leaves you in the lurch and the work he would have done is critical, contact Helpmates for a temporary worker to help you while you look for another candidate. And – it’s definitely possible – our worker could end up being the individual you eventually hire!

How to Use EI When Interviewing

As a recruiter or hiring manager, interviewing job candidates is a critical part of your job. If you’re a hiring manager interviewing potential employees for work in your department, your department’s success – as well as your own – relies on you choosing the right individuals for your team. (Not that there’s any pressure, of course!)

If you’ve been interviewing/hiring for any amount of time, you’ve no doubt come across candidates who interview really well. They say all the right things. They come across as terrific team players who can work well on their own. They’re happy to pitch in and do tasks and projects that aren’t quite in their job description. They enjoy having lunch with colleagues but aren’t into gossip and drama.

And then you hire them and, well, they’re not quite who they made themselves out to be.

There’s a way to interview that helps you get a much better understanding of what a candidate is really like and how the candidate truly will interact/fit in with your team. It entails using your emotional intelligence (EI) when interviewing.

Orange County temp agency

Take a look below for tips and strategies on how to use your EI for best results when interviewing candidates.

  • Don’t move into the question/answer type of interview until you’ve done a bit of small talk. More than you might think necessary.

Many interviewers jump right into skills and “how would you do” type questions much too quickly. Instead, take your time to ask the candidate a bit about himself. Then segue into topics such as why he decided to apply for the position, what does he know about your organization, what are some of his career goals, even where he is now in his job-search.

Doing so helps you build trust and respect with the candidate. He sees that you’re interested in him beyond his job skills and these more personal interest types of questions can help him feel more at ease with you, allowing him to share more of his real reasons for applying, his future goals and aspirations and even some things he may not normally reveal in an interview (such as how he thinks his former boss was a piece of work).

  • Pay attention to a candidate’s body language.

Watch how the candidate reacts to your questions and his body language as he answers them. For example, if you asked a candidate how he dealt with a difficult boss and he says the two of them were able to work out their differences, does his body language indicate he still harbors negative feelings toward his boss; does he still seem unhappy with the individual?

  • Watch out for short answers that “sound” good.

“I am calm under pressure.” “I work well with everyone.” These are too vague and could be canned and/or rehearsed. Watch body language (as mentioned above) as you dig deeper. Ask for specific instances of when the candidate was calm in a pressure cooker and ask specifically what he means by “everyone.”

  • A big red flag is when a candidate criticizes co-workers and/or supervisors.

It’s especially troublesome if the candidate says the colleague/boss was a witch or know-it-all (and even more troubling if he uses much stronger language to describe the person).  A negative experience with a boss/colleague isn’t inherently a bad thing, but watch for how the candidate describes the individual, if he takes responsibility for his part in the negative experience and if he mentions what he’s learned as a result of the experience.

Do you have too many openings to fill and not enough time to interview or screen candidates? Helpmates can help! We can perform screening interviews for you following the criteria you set and then send the top candidates on to you for final interviews. We can also help you design EI questions that will help interviewers ascertain whether a candidate is a good fit for your organization.

Contact the Helpmates branch location nearest you to learn more.

Why EVERY Employee Needs Recognition

Do your employees feel recognized? As in seen by you? Thanked for their work on your behalf? Praised every now and then when warranted?

Probably not: a recent survey found that 74 percent of workers in North America plan to switch jobs this yearOrange County recruiters and 44 percent of them said their desire to leave was because of a lack of recognition and engagement at their current employer (that would be you).

So unless you want a good portion of your employees to leave for your competitors, here are three reasons why EVERY employee needs recognition.

  1. Humans need appreciation.

Notice we didn’t say “crave” or “like” or “want.” Nope. People need to be recognized for their good work because it confirms that our work – which in a way is our very being – is valued by others. Appreciating me means you value me and I absolutely need to feel valued.

If your employees feel you value their work, it benefits you: their productivity as well as satisfaction rises. This also leads them to want to maintain as well as improve on their good work. It’s a positive feedback loop that benefits everyone.

  1. If you’ve ever worked in a place that criticizes mostly and rarely praises, you know what crappy it was to toil.

Chances are all of us have worked for employers or supervisors at least once in our work lives that failed to praise and recognize. How did that make your feel? We bet you did only that which needed to be done, and the bare minimum of that, to boot. (You also probably kept your eye on the job boards regularly.)

Praising/recognizing your workers is essential when it comes to creating an exceptional workplace. Your employees want to be valued for their contributions and if they are not, morale sinks. And faster than you may think.

  1. Praise your team as a whole, of course, but don’t forget to praise workers individually.

It’s important to praise your team for work well done, as a team. But even if you know for a fact that some people worked and accomplished more than others, it’s still important to praise everyone individually for the good work.

Find something, no matter how small, to praise a worker for. You don’t need to do so publically. A handwritten thank you note mentioning the instance you noticed the worker do something special should be enough.

Noticing people individually shows you see them. Humans are social creatures and we all like to be part of an appreciated group, but it’s important for our individual psyches that others notice us. As in notice me. Just me.

Ignore individual employees and they could become disillusioned and may end up fueling a negative work environment, one that contributes to low morale, lower productivity and high turnover.

Turnover and attrition occurs even in the best companies. If you need great people for direct-hire, temporary and temp-to-hire opportunities at your LA- or Orange County-area business, contact us here at Helpmates. Contact our location nearest you.

Be a More “Visible” Recruiter, Attract More Candidates

Many job seekers don’t know how to find – let alone contact – recruiters, especially if they’re interested in looking for a new position while still working for their current employer. (Hello, lovely passive candidate!).

In today’s hard-to-find-great-candidates environment, it’s far, far, FAR better to be visible. Easy to find and talk to. And this goes for online as well as in real life.

Orange County staffing firm

Let’s discuss how recruiters and human resources pros can make themselves more visible to potential candidates and reap the ensuing rewards.

  • If you recruit locally, get out of the office!

What are you doing sitting at your desk!? Yes, we know you have many requisitions coming in, but if you’re going to get them out, get out! Go to chamber events. Talk at college campuses. Join your PTA. Join United Way and volunteer. Sure, we know you probably belong to SHRM, but how often do HR pros send you great candidates?

Instead, get out of the office and talk up what you do. Mention some current openings. Ask any and all people you meet if they might know of someone for a position.

  • Put your contact info on job postings.

That’s right: your name, email and phone number. Expect emails and phone numbers – and resumes. Welcome emails and phone calls. Answer the phone when it rings; reply to email questions from potential candidates.

  • Publish a post on a topic of interest to your target candidates and publish it on LinkedIn Pulse.

Pulse posts can be a great way to showcase you expertise as a recruiter to potential candidates. Once it’s published to your profile, share it. Join relevant LinkedIn groups and share a link there. If someone comments on it, make sure to reply. Place a link to it on your personal Twitter and Facebook channels.

End the post with a specific call to action (known as a CTA to marketers). If you’ve written a post that discusses how to find a job in your industry, consider saying something like “To learn more about opportunities in this field, email me at….” And so on.

If you’re a hiring manager or recruiter at an Orange County or Los Angeles-area business and need help finding great talent, contact the recruiters at Helpmates. We specialize in finding workers for temporary, temp-to-hire and direct-hire opportunities in administrative work, healthcare, financial services, warehouse/distribution, and – yes! – human resources! Contact the office nearest you and craft a recruiting strategy to help you.

Growing Young Talent into Great Leaders

You spent a lot of effort and funds to hire your younger team members, some of whom are actually phenomenal people and terrific at what they do for your company.

And, yet….you lose them. Forty-two percent of young people (who are mostly millennials today, but Generation Z is coming!) tend to stay at a job just one to three years.

It cost you several thousand dollars to hire the person and, because the worker left, you’ll now have to incur those costs again. But what if you could keep those young, talented people on your payroll? The benefits would be substantial:

  • You wouldn’t have the cost of replacing them.
  • You wouldn’t need to train their replacements.
  • You’d have the benefit of the knowledge they’ve accumulated in their time with you (compared to new hires, who wouldn’t have that accumulated knowledge).
  • And so on.

Orange County temp agency

What do young people want? What could entice them to say with you for more than three years? Raises and the chance for advancement!

It’s a no-brainer really: take your best young talent and groom them to become your company’s future leaders. Home grown CEOs, if you will.

But how do you actually do this? Read below.

Offer special training opportunities.

In fact, it may be a good idea to provide leadership/management training courses/webinars/seminars/programs for those employees who show potential (and interest). After all, what 27-year-old knows how to exude an aura of “I’m in charge” with the proper tone to address subordinates (who may be older than he/she), showcase appropriate body language and know the right way to react/punish when a team member exhibits unacceptable behavior?

Offer the chance to role play.

Make sure you your leaders-in-training have a chance to try out these new behaviors in a critical, but supportive, arena (as in critiques, not criticism).

Understand that many young people have a lot of self-confidence, but it’s the type that hasn’t been “tried by fire.” That is, your top young employees may have a strong can-do attitude, but the fact remains that they don’t have the skills needed to manage or lead.

Start providing increased responsibilities.

Allow your budding leaders the chance to exercise their new management skills in real life. Do so gradually and make sure they have someone in management (a mentor) to whom they report. Watch how they handle their additional responsibilities. Provide them greater obligations as they show the ability to handle them.

Depending on the new challenge, don’t shirk giving the person a promotion and/or an increase in salary.

Give feedback, and not just from other managers.

The trainee’s mentor/manager should review and give the person feedback, but so should others, particularly those who also have worked with you for about the same amount of time but who weren’t chosen for leadership training.  Encourage open and truthful feedback without fear of reprisal.

Looking for more great talent for your Orange County or Los Angeles-area company? Then contact Helpmates! We can help you find new grads, middle-managers and members of the C-suite for temporary, temp-to-hire and direct-hire opportunities. Contact the Helpmates branch nearest you.

Does One Word Lead to True Employee Engagement?

How many of your employees like working for you? Probably not as many as you may think, and definitely far fewer than you would want: Gallup reports that worldwide, a full 67 percent of workers are “not engaged,” with 18 percent actually “are actively disengaged.”

And these numbers are nothing new; employees have Not. Liked. Working. At. Their. Employer. For. Years!

And we don’t have to spell out why this is a bad thing for your company’s bottom line: you already know so.

Orange County temp agency

Many reasons exist for this disengagement. Your employees may feel:

  • Their boss is mean.
  • The workplace is hostile/threatening.
  • They toil in hazardous or unpleasant conditions.

In addition, they may feel all of these things and also feel too afraid to speak up.

And what do all of the above have in common? What is the one missing thing that ties them all together?

Kindness.

Think about it: when it comes to engaging employees aren’t we really talking about respect, motivation, workplace relationships, teamwork, shared goals, genuine connections?

And how does one create these connections, motivate others, build strong relationships, share goals? By being nice. Follow the golden rule and treat others as you would want to be treated.

Yes, you can cajole, force, make employees do that which needs to be done. But you can also help them eagerly perform their jobs well by making it an absolute top-down, company-wide culture of respect, kindness and support of employees.

Understand, also, that this won’t be easy. Being understanding and compassionate when others around you are disagreeable or even mean (and there will be at least one instance each day when someone at your company will be mean or at least “not nice” to a colleague or subordinate in some way), is difficult. No workplace is perfect, just as no human within it is perfect.

But because a workplace is the sum of its parts, with its employees being the greatest “part’ of its whole, a simple, concerted effort by everyone to respect, build trust and show care for one another will go a long way to creating a workplace in which employees:

  • Feel appreciated.
  • Trust management.
  • Get excited about company goals and mission.
  • Enjoy coming to work/absenteeism declines.
  • Take responsibility for their failures and accomplishments.
  • Work efficiently, meeting deadlines.

Don’t believe us? It’s true: kindness in the workplace works!

When looking for terrific – and kind – individuals for your Orange County company’s temporary, temp-to-hire and direct-hire opportunities, look to Helpmates  to help you find them.  Contact the Helpmates branch nearest you today.

Is THIS Why the Candidate Said No to Your Job Offer?

Yours is a nice company filled with nice people who work hard and aim to do their best in their jobs. Your receptionists are pleasant. Your HR department is filled with people-persons. You feel your managers are professional and have great communication skills.

Los Angeles temp agency

Then why do so many job candidates feel they’ve been treated so shoddily?

Yes, that’s right: too many companies make the application, interviewing and job offer process tough for applicants:

  • They don’t let rejected candidates know they didn’t get the job.
  • They make candidates jump through hoops to even apply. (WHY – in this age of identity theft – are employers still insisting on online applications that applicants provide social security numbers!?)
  • They call applicants at their current job insisting on having a phone interview right then.
  • They won’t accommodate candidates who can only interview in person after hours.
  • They put them through impersonal preliminary interviews.
  • They insist on tough panel interviews.
  • An experienced candidate contacts a hiring manager directly but the manager insists the candidate contact HR first
  • Candidates with several years of experience must still take basic-level skills testing.
  • And so on.

It’s tough to find great people. But too many companies still treat candidates as if it were 2008, the peak of the Great Recession, when great people were plentiful and businesses could pick and choose among the best job candidates.

Instead, it’s 2018 and the tables have turned: candidates get to choose among the best job opportunities!

This is important when it comes to hiring top talent because 79 percent of those surveyed said they would be “unlikely” to accept a job offer if they felt they were treated poorly during the recruiting process.

And it gets worse: 27 percent of respondents said they might talk about their poor experience on their social media channels!

What’s the right way to treat candidates?  With considerable courtesy and attention. Look at it this way: it’s something of a courtship today between employers and candidates, with companies doing the wooing and candidates saying yes or no to making a commitment.

So court your candidates! How do you do so?

  • Be accommodating to their schedules: interview them after hours, if necessary.
  • Make it easy for them to apply. Allow them, for example, to simply send a resume and cover letter as application. Ask for references only once you’re thinking of hiring and individual. Leave the nitty-gritty paperwork (and asking for their SSN) when they start the job, not before.
  • Send emails – or even videos — about the company culture, dress code, directions, etc. to those people you invite for an interview. This helps them get to know you before meeting and helps them know how to dress, where to park, etc.
  • Hiring managers: welcome phone calls from candidates who have the chutzpah to pick up the phone. Most applicants won’t; doing so shows assertiveness, courage and not a small amount of self-confidence, all terrific traits to have in employees.
  • Make a decision quickly and let interviewees know when you expect to make it. In fact, explain your next steps in the recruiting process clearly. If there’s a delay, let all interviewees know of it.
  • If you interview a candidate but decide not to hire her, she deserves the courtesy of a phone call from the hiring manager letting her know so. After all, she took several hours out of one of more of her days to visit your offices. It’s simple common courtesy.
  • Let all non-interview applicants know when the job is filled. An e-mail message or snail-mailed letter is sufficient.

When you need help attracting, interviewing and, yes, even courting top candidates in Southern California, let Helpmates help you source, interview, vet, and place them. Contact the office nearest you to learn how we can help you make job candidates feel like the VIPs they are in today’s tough talent-search market.

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