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.

How to Stand Out on a Temporary Assignment

And Therefore Have a Better Chance of Being Hired on Full Time

Many people think the job opportunities offered via staffing agencies such as Helpmates are “just” temporary assignments.

Many are, but many of our assignments do see our associates getting hired on to our client’s own payroll after a few weeks or months. (A very happy day for us as well as for our employee and client!)

Gardena staffing

We understand that many folks are looking for steady, full-time work. “Temporary assignment” doesn’t sound nearly as reliable (although many of our temporary opportunities last for several weeks or even months).

So because we understand you may be hoping to turn that short-term assignment into a full-time position with a client, we’ve put together a short primer on how to turn a temporary assignment into a more permanent position.

Step 1: Be a great temporary specialist

Take on the assignment with the attitude that it’s a real job. Which it is. We wouldn’t have hired you and sent you to our client on assignment unless we thought you had the skills needed and would be a great addition to our client’s workforce.

In addition to your job skills, our clients are looking for skills such as commitment, a great work ethic, dependability, curiosity, and so on.

Showcasing these qualities is the first step you need to take for a client to look at you as a potential new-hire someday.

Step 2: Think of your assignment as the first few weeks in a new job

You know how it is: you start a new job and you want to impress your new boss and colleagues. You’re on your best behavior. You try to do things before being asked and solving problems you know your boss needs solved. After all, that’s really why employers hire people for: to help them reach their goals and solve problems.

Working on assignment allows you to “prove” you have the ability to do this. In many ways, you’re in a better position than people interviewing for more permanent jobs because you’ll be able to prove you can do the job while they can only say they can.

Step 3: Let your staffing recruiter as well as your assignment manager know you’re interested in being hired at the company someday.

Ask for a meeting and tell your manager at work that you’d like to work at his or her company should an opening occur.

At pretty much the same time – or even before – let your recruiter/manager at the staffing company know, as well.

Never worry: if the client wants to hire you, the staffing company will not stop it. It may be delayed a bit but if the client company wants to bring you on to its payroll, the staffing company will be pleased. Truly.

One thing to look out for: a client manager who offers you a full-time position and asks you to not tell the staffing company. This is going against the contract the two businesses have with each other. The manager you’re working with on assignment knows this; he or she basically is knowingly breaking the contract.

Don’t be surprised if the manager you work with at the assignment asks you to submit a resume and fill out an application. This pretty much is par for the course.

Also, you should look at the company’s internal job opportunities because many companies allow temporary specialists to apply before the jobs are opened to the general public. Let both your staffing manager as well as the assignment manager know that you’re applying for one or more positions.

Check out temp-to-hire assignments

If you’re looking for full-time work, check out the job opportunities at Helpmates. You’ll see temporary assignments, direct-hire opportunities and other assignments known as temp-to-hire.

These are positions that clients ask us to fill because they are looking to bring someone on in a temporary capacity in the hopes the company will want to bring the person on to their payroll in about three months or so – and that the specialist on assignment also will want to do so.

If any temporary, temp-to-hire or direct-hire assignments appeal to you as you search, follow the application instructions or contact the Helpmates branch office nearest you for more information.

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? Salary.com 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.

How to Make Sure You Won’t Be Miserable at a New Job

Make sure this isn’t you:

You start a new job, one you’re really excited to begin. But in just a few weeks – maybe even just days – you find that you’re actually miserable.

Compton jobs

You realize too late that you chose to take a job that’s just awful.

Here’s how to make sure a new job will be one you enjoy.

  • It all starts with the job description.

Read the job description carefully. It often tells you what type of company you’ll find yourself in.

If it describes the company or department as lively, energetic, with a big focus on teamwork, but you’re shy, prefer working alone if possible and want quiet, it may not be a good fit. And, if it appears too quiet and you like intermingling with coworkers, it also may not be the job for you.

  • Take a look at where the job is located and consider the commute.

Take a close look at the job description. Don’t assume that you know the name of the company so you therefore know exactly where the job is: the job may be in a satellite location.

Folks who live and work in Los Angeles and Orange counties aren’t afraid of “long” commutes, of course, but if your commute will be 30-40 minutes or more, consider hard before choosing this position, especially if the commute will be an hour or more: long commutes absolutely can make you miserable. (Or as this article’s headline states: ”Long Commutes Destroy Happiness.” How’s THAT for being for being blunt!?)

And if you think a higher salary will compensate for that long commute and make your life less miserable, you’d be wrong.

  • When interviewing with your future boss, how do you feel?

This pretty much means “going with your gut” and your gut usually isn’t wrong.

If you feel uncomfortable with your boss, if you feel your personalities will clash, you’re probably right. No amount of money or career progression will make this situation better. You’re boss isn’t going to change. If anyone does, it will have to be you. That’s really no way to have to live one-third of your day (8 hours on the job): to twist yourself into a pretzel in order to “get along.”

  • Ask to see where you’d actually be working.

This also is “going with your gut.” If you see the office, the department, the warehouse, etc. and it’s dark and dingy, or your colleagues appear to be unhappy (or sourpusses). Or they’re absolutely ebullient and you think they’re too much so? Again, go with your gut.

Our surroundings matter. Naturally, a distribution center will be noisy; you understand that. But is it dirty? Is it dusty? Does it have plenty of sunshine? If it does and you don’t mind, good for you? Really!

If you work in customer service, you know that you’ll be hearing your co-workers. But do they talk over one another? Or are they too quiet? How do you feel when you see the room? Again, your surroundings matter. Don’t ignore this sign that you could feel out of place.

  • Ask to see if you could speak with a few of your future colleagues.

You won’t be visiting with them long, but you’ll get a sense of their personalities and how they react to you. Again, your gut won’t let you down: if you feel uncomfortable in their presence, this may not be a good place for you. Even if you get a sense that just one of them is stand-offish or, conversely, too friendly, that also may be a sign, depending on your particular personality.

  • Make sure to ask about duties and hours.

Jobs may say they are eight hours a day, but they often are longer. Ask about flexibility: can you work at home some days? How does the company feel about leaving work early if a child is sick, etc.?

Bottom line? The more you know about the environment (both physical and personal), the corporate culture and your boss’ expectations, etc., the better you’ll be able to sit alone for a bit after your potential new boss offers you the position to decide if this job is a good move for you.

If not, say no to the offer. Keep looking. A great job IS out there for you!

Speaking of great jobs….

Take a look at Helpmates’ current opportunities. See one or more you like? Then either follow instructions for applying and/or reach out the branch office nearest you.

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.

How Focusing on What You Want to Happen Can Make it Happen

Many people believe that what you think is what you are:

Buena Park jobs

  • If you believe you’re talented, you are.
  • If you believe you can’t learn hard things, you won’t.
  • If you think you’re attractive, you are.
  • If you conclude that you’ll never land a great job, you won’t.
  • If you believe you deserve a raise…you’ll probably get it.

Some people call thinking such as “The Law of Attraction.” That is, what you truly believe is yours WILL come to you.

Think about being rich: you’ll become rich. Think you’ll marry a princess: you’ll marry a princess. Think about becoming slim, you’ll become slim.

There’s a lot more to it, of course:

  • You must earn money, save/invest it wisely and in a few years, wealth probably will happen.
  • You must hang out where royalty does so that you can meet an actual princess. You’re probably going to need a similar level of education and common interests in order to catch her attention.
  • You’ll need to exercise and eat well in order to change your physique.

Nothing comes from merely thinking about it: action on your part is required.

But it is true that thoughts are extremely powerful. “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right,” is how Henry Ford put it.

Changing how you think about things really can help you reach a goal. For example, if you say “There aren’t any jobs out there,” how well do you think you’ll do in your job search? Or, if you were to say “There are many jobs that need my skills and background; I just need to find them,” do you think your search would be more successful (and even quicker)?

This is NOT to say that you don’t have real challenges:

If this has happened, you may feel powerless and victimized.

We urge you to shake that feeling off. Such feelings/thoughts do nothing to help you. It will take work but making a real effort to think positively about your situation can only help:

  • “My knowledge and skills learned over my 30-year career is really valuable to an employer.”
  • “My job loss means I can really focus for hours a day on my search.”
  • “There are so many remote-work jobs now; I won’t need a car to find a job.”

As you think positive thoughts, act positively. Reach out to employers and mention your extensive experience. Work six hours a day on your job search. Start walking as much as you can on errands and enjoy getting outdoors.

Exercise, eat well, revamp your resume, network with former colleagues and on LinkedIn.

Act in positive/helpful ways as you think positively and you will find work you enjoy.

If you’re currently looking for work, act today and look at Helpmates’ current job opportunities. If you find one that seems interesting, either follow the job posting’s application instructions, or contact the branch office nearest you.

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.

Yes, Cover Letters Still Matter: They Can Help You Get an Interview

Cover letters, so old school and completely unnecessary, right?

NO!!!

Fullerton jobs

A well-written cover letter actually can help you get the job. Why? Because it can highlight your great interest in the opportunity. More importantly, it can showcase how you can help an employer solve its problems (which, remember, is why employers hire people).

What’s more, a cover letter actually  allows you to do something that you really can’t do until you’re sitting in a job interviews:

Ask for an interview!

Without a cover letter the only thing you’re sending an employer is your resume. (Sometimes not even that, if you’re applying online and the application is a form you fill out that doesn’t ask for – or allow you to include – a resume.)

Resumes used to put in black and white your contact info, your education, your skills and the jobs you’ve had. While you should write it such that it emphasizes your successes and the things you did for employers, it’s not a document in which you can ask for an interview.

Here’s the best part: simply asking for an interview in your cover letter actually increases your chances of getting an interview!

How to ask for an interview.

Don’t forget, in the body of your cover letter you need express your great interest in what the employer does and how you think you can help the company achieve its goals.

You do so by mentioning one or two things that you’ve done in the past that show how you have the skills, knowledge and experience to do so:

  • As a line manager in the Cerritos warehouse of my employer, I made it a point to get to know my team members personally, honoring birthdays, anniversaries, children’s accomplishments and so on. My own manager told me I appeared to “make work fun” for my team. Retention numbers also back this fact up: my manager told me attrition on the line declined by 15 percent – the most of any year – after my first full year on the job.”
  • During my two years as a CSR, I’ve been commended regularly by my manager for my efficiency as well as my customer reviews. My manager particularly has commented on my calm handling angry customers.

At the end of the cover letter (your concluding paragraph), you end by asking for an interview:

  • I’m excited about this opportunity as (position) with (company) and would enjoy the chance of meeting with you to discuss it more and – more importantly – the chance to discuss my experience and skills and how I can provide value to you. Please call me at XXX-XXX-XXXX or email me at name@emailaddress.com to schedule an interview.
  • Thank you for taking the time to consider my application. I would like to interview with you to discuss how my skills and background can be of service to (company) as (position). My number is XXX-XXX-XXXX and my email address is name@emailaddress.com. I look forward to hearing from you.

Are you looking for work? Take a look at our current temporary, direct-hire and temp-to-hire job opportunities. If you find one or more that look interesting, follow the listing’s directions.

Even if you don’t see anything that looks appealing, register with the Helpmates branch office nearest you: we’re constantly getting new assignments, some of which are filled before we ever have time to list them on our website.

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