Job Searching During the Holidays: Make it Ho-Ho-Ho, Not Humbug

Although hiring activities may slow during the holidays, they certainly don’t stop. Companies are still reviewing applications and scheduling interviews. They still need to fill openings and maintain their operations. Forging ahead with your job hunt over the holidays will give you a head start on all those people who take a break from their search for employment during this time of year.

La Mirada Jobs

Many companies post their job openings before the holidays, even though they won’t make any hiring decisions until the new year. So, you will again have a jump on all those people who have stopped looking.

Moreover, continuing your job search will enable you to keep the momentum going on the job-search work you have been doing, rather than letting it slow and perhaps even become non-existent.

So, if you are thinking of suspending your job search during the holidays, we urge you to think again. Here are a few tips on making the most of your job hunt over the holidays.

  1. Make a schedule and stick to it.

With all that is going on over the holidays – shopping, family gatherings, holiday parties – it is easy to lose focus and let the job search slide. One way to keep up your efforts is by making a daily schedule, where you block out time that is devoted exclusively to your search. It is best to do it the same time every day so you get into a routine.

Doing this should help prevent procrastination or avoidance because you have a definite time and date set up to do it.

People currently employed should especially make a job-search schedule because you will likely have vacation time available, some of which you can use for your job search if you plan well.

  1. Renew connections.

The holidays present a great opportunity for networking. You can send a card or email to your contacts with a holiday greeting. Then also mention that you are searching for a new job and would appreciate any information they could pass along.

If you don’t feel comfortable bringing up the job search with the holiday greeting, your card or email is also an opening to get reacquainted and to set up more conversations where you can bring up the topic later.

  1. Use holiday gatherings to network.

Whether the gatherings are work related or not, they are also great opportunities to do some networking and letting people know about your job search. Attend as many as you can. Talk to colleagues and any other professional connections, as well as friends and family, about your search.

  1. Use volunteer events.

Around the holidays there are also many opportunities for volunteering – with church groups, charities, and others –which can also be used as networking opportunities.

  1. Update your search materials.

This time of year is also a good opportunity to make sure your resume is current. Naturally , each resume you send out will be tailored to the particular job you are applying for, but you can still make sure your work history is up to date and that you have plenty of examples of your accomplishments to draw from when you need them.

It’s also a good time to review your social media presence and to make sure that it is current. Do you have a current picture of yourself posted on LinkedIn? You can also use the time to write a few blogs or engage in a few discussion groups to enhance your professional reputation and make contacts.

Our Clients Always Need Great People Every Day of the Year

Whether you’re looking for work during the holidays for some extra stocking-stuffer money, or you’re looking for a new full-time position, contact the Helpmates office nearest you for more information on our job opportunities.

Prepare for Your Career Talk with Your Manager

Have you ever discussed your career hopes with your manager? No? You’re not alone: too many employees, unfortunately, are not having these kinds of conversations with their supervisors. Many supervisors do not talk about career development with their employees during the performance review process.

Los Angeles jobs

So, if you want to move ahead in your career, you need to take the bull by the horns and start the process yourself – and you don’t have to wait for your performance review to do it.

Preparation

The first step in this process is preparation. You need to have some idea about where you want to go before talking with your supervisor.

Begin by considering a few career issues. First, think about where you want to go with your career. As part of this, think about your values and whether they match up with your career goals. Review your strengths and weaknesses – how can you put your strengths to use in advancing your career, and what skills do you need to work on to move ahead?

What are your short-term and long-term career goals? For example, short-term – within the next year or so – do you want to move to another type of job or take on more responsibilities in your current position?

Longer term goals may be a bit more difficult to specify simply because of the time frame involved. But in general, you should be able to talk about what you want to accomplish in your career.

After you have contemplated all of these issues, develop a plan of action for achieving your goals.

Meeting with Your Supervisor

The first thing to do when you meet is to get some sense of how committed your supervisor is to helping you. You can begin by telling her that you want to talk about the next steps in your career, that you would like to advance within the company but are not sure how to make that happen.

Run through your achievements at the company during your time there and emphasize how much you have enjoyed working there. Then, observe the kind of feedback you get to gauge how supportive your supervisor is.

Talk to her about your goals for the coming years, giving her a general idea of where you would like to go professionally. For example, do you want to get involved with managing people or work more with clients? Also, discuss the skills you would like to acquire, as well as the knowledge you want to gain, and make sure to do so  within the context of how this can benefit the company.

If you are interested in a promotion, you have to let your supervisor know. You could ask her for ideas on what your next step should be. If the response is unbridled enthusiasm, you are off to a promising start.

On the other hand, you may simply get a blank stare, with little in the way of support or ideas. In this case, you will have to forge your own path if you want to stay at the company. Start by looking at other departments that can use your particular talents and where you can expand your knowledge and experience.

Check with colleagues at the company about possible opportunities, such as assignments or projects that you could get involved in.

Talk to your supervisor about what you would like to do and ask her to give his support to your efforts. If your performance has been noteworthy, she should be willing to do that. Review what your investigation has turned up and, working together, decide on a few possibilities that would be a good next step for your career and the best course of action to take. Ask your supervisor to take the appropriate actions to help you get started.

If you’re not sure where you want to go with your career, consider exploring a bit by working as a temporary associate with Helpmates. We have many terrific opportunities that can allow you to try out different industries and companies. What’s more, many of our assignments can turn into an offer of employment with our client (so long as both you think it’s a good idea).

Contact the Helpmates branch nearest you for more information.

 

 

Helping Employees Embrace Negative Feedback

None of us succeeds in our careers without receiving negative feedback at least once.

Many of us understandably melt into a puddle of despair and never recover believing that if feedback is true (and when done correctly, it is) then we are losers of the first order and so…what’s the point? And we then settle for a career of mediocrity, never reaching our full potential.

Irvine staffing

Since constructive criticism is essential to employee growth and improved performance, we’ve put together a short list of things you can do to help your employees embrace – or at least welcome – negative feedback.

  • Feedback is a tool, not a weapon.

Remember that your purpose is not to shame an employee but to help them improve. When done well, employees receiving less-than-gushing feedback will understand that you’re not trying to hurt them, but trying to help them improve. Truly caring about your subordinates comes across when feedback is given in the spirit of “you’re pretty good; here’s how to get even better.”

(Note: if you learn that someone is using feedback in a vindictive manner to colleagues and/or subordinates, it’s time to have a sit-down to discuss and reiterate that such behavior is not acceptable. Yes, the irony here is not lost on us: there’s the chance you’d be providing strongly worded negative feedback to a negative feedback bully.)

  • The “feedback sandwich.” Is it time to retire it?

Some people think the old “sandwich” technique of delivering feedback with a “compliment/critique/compliment” process can give a worker a “false sense of how they’re doing” (hearing two positives to just one negative can appear to mean that they’re doing well).

  • Try the “critique and solution” method instead.

For example, say someone regularly provides reports past deadline. Tell the employee why this is a problem: “Joshua needs to edit and proof the report and Tenisha then needs to lay it out graphically and if it’s late, you put them both behind in their schedule.”

Then together come up with a solution.  Ask the worker to think about why they’re regularly late with the report and then the two of you can figure out how the report can be done on time.

Understand that you may have to do something yourself to help the employee fix the problem. Perhaps the employee feels the deadline is too rushed and so you then offer to provide a longer lead-time/extended deadline.

  • Follow up is key.

And by follow up we don’t mean micromanage. Check in with worker regularly (let them know you will do so) and offer feedback. Once you feel the employee has improved as much as possible and/or you think is necessary, back off.

  • Failing to provide feedback means you’re failing your employee.

Many managers have a hard time offering criticism to subordinates, but you’re doing no one any favors if you don’t:

  • You’re allowing an employee to continue a sub-par performance, possibly hurting productivity and/or profits.
  • You’re showing other employees that a sub-par performance is okay.
  • You’re not helping your subordinate grow and reach their full potential.

None of us improves without making mistakes and then having someone see that we’ve made a them, professionally pointing it out then offering direction and suggestions for improvement.

Criticism therefore is important for all of us: it helps us improve and better ourselves. Failing to provide negative feedback/critiquing employees when warranted means they will continue performing poorly. And, because it’s part of a manager’s job to help employees improve, by letting a poor status quo continue, you’re letting your subordinates down.

While we encourage you to work with employees to help them improve, if one or more can’t – or won’t – accept your feedback and strive to improve and you decide to terminate, Helpmates can provide you with top-notch workers for your temporary, temp-to-hire or direct-hire needs. We hope you contact the branch nearest you to learn more.

Workplace Change: Constant and Disruptive

If there’s one thing employers and their workers can count on is that….they can’t count on much. What was there yesterday is gone today. Co-workers, clients/customers, technology: they all change.

Santa Fe Springs staffing

Change always has been with us, of course, but the rate of change today is unheard of (some are calling it “exponential”) and when it happens in the workplace it’s extremely stressful, resulting in fatigue, depression, illness, low morale, and….decreased productivity.

How often does change occur in the workplace? Gartner, a business research company, said in 2018 that the pace of change in business has accelerated considerably over the past 10 years, with the average organization undergoing five major changes in as few as just three years.

Helping Workers Deal with Change

The first – and critical step – to helping your employees cope with workplace change is to let them know that changes are coming. This sounds like a no-brainer first step, of course, but not all businesses tell workers of impending change, or they don’t give them time to process the fact.

Additional steps:

  • Before making the change, acknowledge the old way of doing things. “Formally” make note of the work done the old way, celebrate successes and help your team members feel appreciated for their previous work. Celebrating helps workers feel encouraged about taking on the change.
  • Be sure to explain the why behind the change and make it clear why the change will be happening now and not later.
  • Let employees know the outcomes you expect with the change.
  • Be sure your management teams understand how the change will be implemented, when, the tasks necessary to make the change, its timeline, and any challenges you anticipate.

There Will be Push Back

Your employees will complain. They will balk. They will be stressed.

It’s not true that people don’t like change, it’s that we don’t like change that we think isn’t to our benefit! To counter this, you need to understand the change from your employees’ perspective.

What could people be fearful of? They could be worried about loss of status or job security, fear of the unknown, fear of failure, politics within your company, etc.

Bottom line: you will need to carefully and over time (a few weeks) help your employees understand how the change will actually benefit them, both as a company and – especially – as individuals.

For example, if the scuttlebutt you hear is that members of your team are worried they may lose their jobs, emphasize that they’ll be learning new skills.

Keep Communication Open

Let your employees know they can go to managers and executives with questions and concerns. Reward the behaviors you want instead of punishing those you don’t. Make sure managers have the training and resources to help their team members make the transition.

Finally, provide coping strategies to employees: encourage them to exercise, eat well, get enough sleep. Make it a part of your company culture to take regular breaks that include stretching, walking around the block or even within building, maybe even meditating. (Could you provide quite places for this?)

Workplace Change: a Force for Good?

Done well – and that entails creating a plan well in advance of any large organizational alterations – change in your workplace can empower your employees as it (re)engages them with the work you do/services you provide. It can, basically: reenergize your workplace!

Do you need some help – whether temporary or long-term – during a time of workplace change at your company? Helpmates can provide you hard-working temporary personnel for a day, a week or months. Contact the branch nearest you for more information.

Here’s Why Your Colleague Got the Promotion and You Didn’t

You’ve been passed over for a promotion. And maybe not for the first time. It’s baffling. You’re a good worker, you do your job well, exceeding expectations. You feel that you have proven your value to the company. You work well with your colleagues and are generally well liked. Why, you wonder, have you been passed over (again)?

Brea Jobs

To get some idea of why you didn’t get the promotion, you have to put yourself in the place of a supervisor and look at the situation from their perspective. Here is a short guide.

  1. They are looking at the future.

While past performance is certainly important, it is not what management gives the most weight to. They are looking to the future, not the past. What they are concerned about is how the person will perform after being promoted, what kind of value they will be able to offer the company in that future role. In fact, performance reviews really don’t matter that much when management makes promotion decisions. Studies have shown they are often ignored.

Managers often tend to rely on their intuition and relationships when deciding on promotions. That is because jobs higher up the ladder generally deal with information, analysis and more complex decision making. There are more intangibles involved. Managers are often wary of putting too much emphasis on performance reviews because they cannot reveal much about these qualities.

So, you cannot simply assume that technical skills are all that is needed. You need to demonstrate soft skills as well. Are you a person who routinely looks for new challenges? Are you a good communicator, someone who can resolve conflict, motivate people and get them to work together? How resilient are you in the face of failure? Do you take responsibility for it and learn from it? Are you looking ahead, planning how you can use your knowledge and skills to take on roles with more responsibility?

All of these things give some indication of your future value to the company.

  1. They don’t know enough about you.

Again, your performance may have been stellar, but HR experts say that only counts for about 10 percent in the decision making process. It is generally assumed that everyone being considered for a promotion is performing well, or they would not have been nominated for the higher level job to begin with.

The other 90 percent is connected to what management knows about you. How much exposure have you had, and what kind of image do they have of you? These are the things that will really make the difference.

So, if you want a promotion, you need to come up with ways to increase your exposure at your company.

  1. They don’t see you looking at the big picture.

You may be focused on your career goals, but you cannot let that overshadow the goals of the company. If you want to get ahead at the company, you need to be looking at the big picture. What does the company want to achieve? You need to help its managers and executives accomplish those goals, to help the company carry out its mission.

People who are promoted into leadership roles are ones who look beyond the duties and responsibilities of their own job. They look at problems that affect the entire company, attempt to find solutions to those problems and then work to put those solutions into practice.

Have you been passed over for a promotion too many times at your current employer and you want to take your considerable skills and knowledge to new heights? You may need to move to a new employer.

Helpmates can help you in your search. Contact the branch nearest you for more information on our direct-hire opportunities.

 

The Upside of Employee Turnover

Companies try to avoid employee turnover as much as they can, and that is as it should be. Generally, If you are hemorrhaging people, it is usually an indication that something is wrong.

Plus, there is the time, money and effort involved in hiring people to replace those who have left.

La Mirada staffing

But it’s not all bad when it comes to turnover. And that is precisely because of what it can tell you about how things are going at your company. Turnover can be a useful bellwether of your business’ health when you look under the hood to determine what is driving that turnover.

High Turnover

If turnover has been going up, there are naturally two questions to ask – who is leaving, and why are they leaving?

If your top performers are jumping ship it’s obviously a cause for concern. But if the ones leaving are poor or mediocre performers, that’s less of a problem.

You may find that more people are leaving at about the same time that you are instituting changes at the company in its culture or operations. It could be that the people heading for the exits are unwilling or unable to adapt to the changes being made. In this case, their departure may not be that distressing. It gives you the opportunity to bring on board people who are a better fit for the culture you are trying to create at the company.

On the other hand, if people are leaving because of outdated skill sets, it is often better to try and keep them and retrain rather than simply hire new people.

But here is where the why of leaving becomes important: employees could be leaving because they are uncomfortable with the changes being made or because they are not getting enough support during the transition. In that case, you risk losing the good performers with those who are discontented. It’s not always easy determining the reasons for turnover, but exit interviews and employee surveys can help get at the root cause.

Low Turnover

At the opposite end of the spectrum is very low turnover. At first glance, this might be reason for celebration. But again, you need to go beyond the simple metric to look at what is going on behind the numbers.

For example, you may have people who have simply fallen victim to inertia. They show up each day and do just enough to get by and collect their paycheck. They may have no intention of leaving because they are comfortable in their jobs – possibly too comfortable – with no impetus for change or improvement.

To find out if this is the case, you need to survey employees anonymously to find out their level of engagement and their intent to stay with the company. If you find that levels of employee engagement are not all that high, but people have no plans to leave, you know that they are pretty much just marking time.

Your next step is to drill a little deeper and find out which departments are affected the most. Then you can take steps to work with these employees and raise their performance levels. Managers should meet with these employees to assess their interests, strengths and training, conducting performance reviews and looking at ways to improve.

Low turnover or a constant churn of employees leaving: if you’re looking for great workers, call the Helpmates branch nearest you. We can supply skilled associates for your temporary, temp-to-hire and direct-hire opportunities. We look forward to hearing from you.

Managing the Unseen Worker

More employees are working remotely than ever before. Some estimates claim as many as 70 percent of all workers around the world work remotely at least once a week.

This has become a trend in large part because of advances in technology, making it easier to communicate and share information.

Fullerton Staffing

There are several advantages to having employees work remotely. One is that it helps companies recruit the best talent, no matter where they are located. Studies have also shown that people who work remotely are more productive than those who do not.

But managing remote teams presents unique challenges as well as opportunities. Here are a few tips on how to handle the challenges.

  1. Be clear about what is expected.

Managers need to set clear guidelines for remote workers. This should cover areas such as when the person should be accessible, working hours, when the employee needs to check in and in what type of communication.

Performance expectations should be set, as well as productivity goals and deadlines. The focus should be on the goals.

Remote workers also need to participate in the same meetings as other workers. For example, if a department has a daily planning session, remote workers should be expected to participate.

Having remote workers participate in the same routines as those who work in the office ensures that everyone is working together. It also helps create stronger bonds between the remote workers and their managers.

  1. Communicate frequently.

Managers should make it a point to have regular conversations with their remote workers individually. Communication with remote employees is especially important, whether it be casual conversation or planned meetings for feedback.

Contacting remote workers informally every day, in addition to scheduled meetings, also is wise. Some companies use video technology to stay in touch.

  1. Use the right technology.

You need to provide your telecommuters with the technology capable of allowing them to work together, to communicate easily and share information among all team members. There are many different software platforms available for this kind of service, ones that offer frameworks for team collaboration and the resources to solve complex problems.

The software should let teams organize their work and synchronize their goals. The tech tools used should be able to show clearly what individual responsibilities are and help managers see what each person is working on. The technology should also help employees to see how their work fits into the overall project and allow the team to respond nimbly to internal and external changes.

  1. Provide professional development opportunities.

Telecommuters should have the chance to train for new skills and grow in their careers, both in structured environments as well as informal settings. Managers should work with remote workers to set individual professional development goals.

  1. Resist micromanaging.

Bringing many different teams together in various locations demands a high degree of organization and coordination. But managers should resist the temptation to orchestrate this collaboration from above, but rather allow teams to work out processes and procedures on their own and to take responsibility for their work.

Give team members the autonomy to exercise their professional judgment and decision making, but hold them accountable. Allowing them to put together their own organizational frameworks also increases employee engagement.

Looking for remote workers for your Southern California company? Contact Helpmates. We can source, vet and even provide preliminary interviews for skilled and talented candidates. Call the Helpmates branch nearest you for more information.

Employee Retention Strategies that Work During Boom or Bust

You know that employee retention in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas is a major issue today because you no doubt are struggling with this at your own company. You also understand that most employees leave because they are unhappy in some way (and it often is because you disappointed them in some way of something you haven’t done for them).

Finally, you realize that your – perhaps – previous notion that a possible looming recession doesn’t mean your retention woes will abate.

Torrance staffing

We aren’t telling you anything you don’t already know: retention is a problem. A big one. To help, we’ve put together a short list of retention strategies that work whether it’s a candidate’s market like it is now….or not.

Take a look below.

  • Begin with the end in mind.

That is, hire only the best and aim with laser focus on job candidates’ character.

Yes, this won’t help you now if you’re already experienced a good deal of employee churn. But with every employee who leaves, work to hire only the best of the best from there on out.

Because top workers love to work with other top workers, the idea is to build an employee roster of the best-of-the-best. Which results in everyone being more motivated, productive and loyal because your company’s culture is one that provides the best and most engaging place to work…for everyone.

This tactic worked for Netflix, as it now enjoys an above-average employee retention rate.

  • Focus on developing great managers.

Ensuring that your managers are terrific makes great sense. They are, after all, the direct link between your executive suite and everyone else. Great managers help members of their team execute your company’s goals and vision; poor managers can allow everyone to become mired in personality conflicts and minutiae. Focus is lost.  Sturm und drang builds. Goals are unmet.

But if you tell your managers that their main job is to build great teams while providing them the leadership training and tools to do so, you’ll find that they – and the members of their team – stick around.

After all, they will have become a “great boss,” and people love to work for great people. As for “bad bosses”? Employees leave.

  • Empower employees in the decision-making process and create a culture of ownership

If you have an angry customer in front of you or on the phone and you decide then and there what you’ll do about it without asking your boss first, how do you think you’ll feel? Empowered? You bet! But don’t you also have a feeling of ownership: this is your job, your decision and your positive outcome? Going to feel pretty darn good about working for your employer? Yes, indeed! Plan to leave anytime soon? Probably not.

  • Build a values-driven culture/company.

What does your company believe in, stand for? What is its purpose? These concepts may appear woo-woo, but think about it: having a purpose (raising a family well, being of service to others, becoming wealthy so that you can give a considerable amount of money to a favorite cause) helps get you up in the morning.

Establishing some core values at your company around behind which your employees can rally can transform your business and fire up employees.

Examples of core values:

  • “We Support Employees’ Growth”
  • “We Work to Provide the Best Service to all Our Customers”
  • “We Aim to Delight Our Customers”

 

  • Commit to investing in employees’ personal development.

This includes not only professional development but also personal growth. That is, provide employee growth opportunities that help not only the company but also employees’ individual goals.

  • As much as possible, encourage autonomy.

Not every position at a company can be unsupervised, of course, but most can. Giving workers autonomy means they’ll have to take on more responsibility, allowing them to push themselves to “figure it out.” Most will blossom under such a scenario. Another benefit? Don’t be surprised if your workers become more engaged and passionate about their work. And who wants to leave a job about which they feel passionate?

  • Just because it’s work doesn’t meant it can’t be fun.

Encourage your workers to actually see and interact with each other. In person. (We know; what a concept.) Encourage employees to move away from phone and text conversations to face-to-face meetings. What kind of team rituals could you create that encourage people to get together regularly: monthly lunch potlucks, bowling nights, birthday parties, lunch and learn meetings, yoga class after work?

And let’s not forget employee rewards/perks, which can be both exciting and easy to think of in Southern California. For example, let employees know that after one year of employment, their name will be placed in a raffle for tickets to ComicCon (or Disney’s D23 convention for those so minded). Depending on how robust your turnover is, sweeten the pot and provide a large-ish gift for those who stay with you five years: guaranteed tix to ComicCon/D23, etc.

Housing is beyond expensive in Southern California. Could you provide low-interest loans or help with a down payment on a home for employees who stay at least 5 years? Or tuition help for employees and/or their children? Get creative. Ask employees what they would appreciate. Celebrate the awards when given. Let a four-year employee know that they have just one more year to go before they’re eligible for the benefits you’ve set aside. Anticipation in in this case can work wonders.

If an employee suddenly quits and you need a replacement quickly, contact the Helpmates branch nearest you. We can get someone in to replace the departing worker for a day, a week …or even “forever” (we can source, recruit and perform preliminary screening and interviewing for you). We look forward to hearing from you.

Got Ghosts? Here’s How to Bust Them

A turbocharged economy has drastically reduced unemployment and created a buyer’s market for jobs. This state of affairs has given rise to a new phenomenon in recruiting, and a new word has entered the recruiting lexicon to describe it: ghosting.

It happens when a job candidate – or even someone who’s accepted your job offer – simply drops from sight. They’ve become a ghost.

Cypress Staffing

It can happen at any stage of the recruiting process.

  • The recruiter may try to get in touch with the person without any response. No return call. Nothing.
  • Or the person may be scheduled for a job interview and not show up. No notice, no explanation. Again, simply dropping from sight.
  • Or the person may actually be hired but fail to show up for their first day of work. Here again, there is no warning, no communication. The person just disappears.

It’s happening more often because there is such a labor crunch. Employers are struggling more than ever to find qualified people. As a result, top people are often receiving more than one offer. They have options. And, although it may not be the most professional approach, some have a cavalier attitude toward employers, dropping them without a second thought if something better comes along.

If you are an employer, what can you do so that you don’t fall victim to ghosting? Simply put, you need to take care of your job candidates. They need to feel that the company values them and their time. They need to be treated well, just like a customer.

Communication is important. The company needs to stay in contact with candidates and keep them up to date on status status – where they stand in relation to other applicants, what comes next in the process and when, how long the whole thing is expected to take.

Companies can no longer afford to keep candidates in the dark or impose on their time by dragging out the hiring process. If a firm does this, top prospects will simply go elsewhere. It’s all about giving job candidates a good experience.

To begin with, you need to reexamine every step of the hiring process, from the time a job candidate makes first contact, through the interviewing process and onboarding.

  1. Recruiting

To prevent ghosting, you need to attract candidates who are a good fit for the job. So you need to make sure your job descriptions are current and accurately describe the kinds of skills and experience needed to be successful. Skip the boilerplate and describe what is really involved in the job.

  1. Interviewing

Hiring managers need to prepare for the interview just like candidates. First of all, hiring managers need to be clear exactly what skills, knowledge and experience they’re looking for and interview questions should reflect that so that they produce the information needed. All of the candidates should answer the same questions to provide a basis for comparison.

Hiring managers also need to ask questions about company culture and soft skills, the person’s ability to communicate, collaborate, their work ethic, and resilience.

Doing all of this will help ensure that you find candidates who are a good fit for the job and the culture, which will make it less likely that they’ll ghost you.

  1. Onboarding

The onboarding process should give new hires the orientation they need to make a good start at the company. That means welcoming them, introducing them to people in their department, reviewing the duties and expectations of the job, preparing their workspace with everything they will need, and being available to answer questions or concerns they may have.

  1. Employee engagement

Ghosting also occurs after an employee has been working with you for awhile. If you have employees who are engaged and excited about their work, there is little chance they will leave without notice (ghost). To cultivate engaged employees, you need to show you value them and their work. Younger workers, especially millennials, want frequent feedback on how they are doing and what they need to work on.

To improve employee engagement, you need to recognize employees for their work and reward it, provide opportunities for growth in their careers and offer training opportunities, such as mentoring.

All of these things will make for employees who enjoy their work, thus helping you retain them.

Have you just been ghosted? Need to “bust” that departure quickly? Then call Helpmates! We can have one of our associates with the skills you need at your location quickly….and ready to get to work! Contact the Helpmates branch nearest you for more information.

How to Make Big, Career-Changing Decisions

At certain points in our lives, we are confronted with some big decisions. It could be whether to take a new job or change careers, start a business, buy a house, or move to a new location.

When facing such a challenge, it is natural to wonder about the best way to go about making a decision. Should you rely on your head or your heart, think things through as rationally as possible, or rely on your feelings? Actually, you should do both.

Carson Careers

In fact, begin the whole process by assessing how you feel about making a particular decision. Imagine taking a particular course of action and see how it makes you feel. Do you feel good about your choice, or does something not feel right about it? It is OK to trust your instincts because they may be telling you something.

  1. Clarify your decision.

The first step is to pinpoint exactly what you need to decide because the crux of your decision may not be what you think. For instance, you may be faced with a decision about taking a job in a new city but you’re not sure if the salary you’re offered will provide you a better lifestyle in your new home (or even merely the same lifestyle).

So, the actual decision here is not whether or not you want the job – you do – but whether or not it’s financially worth it to move to another area on the salary you’ve been offered.  You have to consider the cost of living new the new town and how far your new salary will go in it.

  1. Gather information.

You naturally want to gather as much information as you can about the choices available to you and the consequences of those choices. (In other words, you’ll need to research how much things cost in the new city). But you also need to be careful here because you will seldom be able to gather all the information you want. You will always be under some kind of time constraints, and often you will have to act rather than waiting for more data.

  1. Cause and effect.

Another framework to help in making decisions is to look at them in terms of cause and effect – the decisions being the cause and the consequences of that decision being the effect. Logically, this takes the form of an if-then proposition – if something is decided in a certain way, then particular effect will follow.

For example,  if your salary will go far in the new city, your life probably will be easier and if it’s not, you may regret making the career move.

  1. See the decision as the beginning of a process.

We often look at decisions as a once-and-done kind of thing, a choice that we make. And while this is true in part, we also need to look at decision making as part of a process, because every choice we make has consequences. Everything we do after making that initial decision is important as well. We need to follow through and do whatever we can to make the decision the right one.

Taking the new job in the new city question: if it turns out you discover your new salary won’t go far in the new city, but you decide to take the job anyway, you will need to figure out how to make the salary work in your new home. What additional decisions do you have to make? Can you downsize from a home to an apartment? Cook at home more? Take fewer vacations? Could you ask for more money before you even decide whether or not to take the new job?

We can make a good decision (a great, new career opportunity) but even good decisions can have poor consequences. You need to consider what the consequences might be and if you can live with them.

  1. Watch out for cognitive bias.

Cognitive biases are things like emotions, ego, and prejudices that color our thinking and get in the way of making good decisions. For example, one such inclination is called the anchoring bias. It describes the propensity we have to give more weight to the initial information we receive about something than information we get later.

In the case of whether to move or not, your first thought upon receiving the job offer is how great your new position will be and how much you’ll enjoy your new role. Once you realize your new salary won’t go as far in the new city it may not register as strongly as your initial excitement about the position.

Yet that information is important and you should recognize it as such. After all, living like a pauper day-to-day may – or may not – make up for your fabulous new position. Only you can decide that, but you need to be careful about how cognitive bias and anchoring can make you “forget” about how hard it may be actually live in the new city when you’re not working.

Bottom line: think through any big career decision carefully, from all sides, from pros and cons. Think about the what-ifs and what you’ll do if they occur.

If you’re considering a big career change – such as a complete change in careers – consider “trying” it out a bit on an assignment with Helpmates. Contact the branch location nearest you to learn more about our temporary,  temp-to-hire and direct-hire opportunities.

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