The Job Skills You’ll Need in 2021 and Beyond

The pace of change continues to accelerate in our society, led by technological progress and the accompanying economic growth. Growth and change will only continue to pick up speed into the future. In such an environment, what are the skills and abilities workers will need to navigate the world of work?

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The skills necessary for success in the 21st century, as identified by business leaders and academics, are all connected to what is known as “deeper learning” or “higher order thinking skills”. These are skills such as analytic reasoning, complex problem solving and teamwork. They put a premium on flexibility and adaptability. They differ from more traditional types of skills in that they are not as content or knowledge-based.

It will certainly come as no surprise to hear that skill sets related to digital literacy will be highly valued. So-called “soft skills” (such as being able to get along with others and communication skills) will become increasingly important as well. Here are some of the key skills for the 21st century.

Learning and Innovation Skills

  1. Critical thinking

This involves analyzing facts to reach a conclusion or form a judgment. It is based on a rational, logical, objective evaluation of evidence.

  1. Problem solving

This is the use of different methods or strategies to find solutions to problems. There are many different methods depending on the type of problem. Some of the more common problem-solving strategies include abstraction, brainstorming, hypothesis testing, root cause analysis, and divide and conquer.

  1. Communication

Communication skills encompass both written and oral expression. These skills are necessary to express thoughts and ideas clearly and effectively.

  1. Collaboration

This skill involves the ability to work with others. It requires empathy, listening, tolerance, and good communication. People with collaboration skills can handle difficult situations, accept feedback, work with people of different cultures and backgrounds, and influence and persuade others. They know how to work in a team-oriented environment.

Digital Literacy Skills

  1. Information literacy

This is the ability to determine when new information is needed, as well as the ability to locate the information, evaluate its validity and then use it effectively to understand an issue or solve a problem.

  1. Media literacy

This involves the ability to assess the information produced by different types of media for its truth value. Being media literate means a person can detect propaganda, censorship and bias in media information and the motivations behind these distortions.

  1. Information technology

Information technology covers a broad range of activities. Generally, it describes any entity that stores, retrieves, manipulates, or receives information electronically in a digital format. This covers everything related to computer technology and to areas such as robotics. The skills required to work in this area are considered hard skills: learned abilities that can be quantified.

Career Skills

  1. Leadership

Not everyone will be in a leadership position, but the kinds of skills leaders require will be highly valued by employers. These are skills that relate to decision making, managing and resolving conflict, delegating, giving clear and useful feedback, and project and task management.

  1. A solid work ethic

People with a strong work ethic are motivated, dependable, persistent, and resilient. They meet deadlines. They have a positive attitude and are results oriented. They focus on how to overcome obstacles rather than being overcome by them. They work to continually improve their skills and performance.

  1. Organizational and time management skills

When companies are always trying to do more with less – and do it more efficiently – they value employees with good time management skills. These are skills that involve prioritizing tasks, allocating time, planning, setting goals and creating strategies to meet them, and reviewing performance in order to determine how to improve it.

Whether you’ve been laid off in 2020 or are thinking of broadening your job and career horizons in 2021, the recruiters here at Helpmates are here for you. If you haven’t already, check out or current job opportunities and/or contact the branch nearest you to register with us.

Here’s to a happy 2021 for all of us!!!

On the Lookout: Recruitment Trends for 2021 and Beyond

Technology and the competition for talent are changing the recruiting landscape significantly. Artificial intelligence and data analytics are giving recruiters powerful tools to locate, evaluate and communicate with job candidates. These digital tools are also helping recruiters find passive job candidates as the recruiters become more aggressive in their search for talent. Here are some of the trends gaining momentum in recruiting and likely to become even more widespread in the future.

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  1. Employer Branding

The competition for top talent is keen, and a company’s reputation and popularity have become increasingly important in attracting the best people. A brand name that stands out can make a real difference in recruiting, and that is why companies are focusing on branding.

Studies have shown that employers with strong brands get 50 percent more qualified applicants. More than 75 percent of job seekers check out the employer brand before they apply to a company.

  1. Automation

More companies are automating the recruiting process, a trend that will continue for the foreseeable future. The technology used for recruiting is becoming more sophisticated. Eighty-eight percent of all companies worldwide already are using automation/AI technology in their HR and recruiting efforts.

  1. Data analytics

Because of the large amount of data now available through applicant tracking systems and recruitment marketing websites, companies are able to analyze the data to help them make hiring decisions. They are using the data to determine what recruitment strategies are working and which are not.

Using data analytics improves hiring in a number of different areas, including the quality of the hire, and the cost and time to hire.

  1. Soft skills

Companies report that they are struggling to find workers with the needed skills. The shortage is especially acute with soft skills. Recruiting trends will focus on finding candidates who have demonstrated soft skills. According to some sources, two-thirds of all new jobs will depend heavily on soft skills, and the demand for such skills is expected to increase further into the future. These skills include such abilities such as collaboration, critical thinking, problem solving, and communication.

  1. Talent pools

Recruiters will be creating and using talent pools to a much greater extent in the future. They will be building their talent pools using both internal and external talent. Using current employees to fill open positions is a good way to retain employees and ensure a good fit for open positions.

  1. Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI is helping recruiters handle some of the more routine tasks associated with the job, giving them more time to interact with candidates. It is also helping to improve the candidate experience. AI is expected to play a greater role in future recruiting.

Screening candidates is another task that AI is very effective at doing because it is much better than humans at minimizing bias in the process.

  1. Social media

This is a trend that has been gaining in popularity and is likely to become more so in the future. It has become so popular because recruiting on various social media sites really works. At least 84 percent of all companies recruit on social media (reported in 2017 so that percentage undoubtedly has increased since then).

  1. Candidate Relationship Management (CRM) tools

Companies are increasingly using CRM tools in their recruiting activities. CRM tools are software that is specifically designed to enable companies to manage and look after their job candidates. This is more important than ever because of the war for top talent.

CRM software enables companies to provide ongoing automated communication with candidates to keep them informed and to hold their interest during the hiring process.

These software tools also provide searchable databases to help build up a talent pool. They enable companies to screen applicants for desired qualifications, schedule interviews and conduct background checks.

2021: the year things more than likely improve in so many ways

Next year undoubtedly will only accelerate recruiting trends that started a few years ago. What’s more as Americans receive a coronavirus vaccine and the economy improves, we also expect it to once again become much more of a candidate-market, making it ever harder to find and hire top talent.

We look forward to these challenges as we work with our client partners helping them source, vet and place skilled workers for jobs of all types. We look forward to hearing from our clients whenever they have a staffing or recruiting need.

May 2021 be a wonderful year on so many levels for all of us!!

Talkin’ ‘Bout Those Transferable Skills

You may be dissatisfied with your current career and looking to make a change. It’s a big decision, enough to put a few butterflies in the stomach of the most unflappable person, especially is you’re worried about how your current job skills will – or won’t – transfer. How do you get started, and what do you need to do? Here are a few tips.

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  1. Reflect

The first step is to examine your motivations. Why exactly do you want to make a switch? Are your reasons compelling enough to warrant such a big change in your life? For example, you may be dissatisfied with your current job because of a bad boss or work environment, or lack of growth opportunities in your current job. These problems can often be addressed without launching into a new career.

Think about the aspects of your job that you find most and least satisfying. Would your new career increase your job satisfaction where it is lacking now? What are you most passionate about, and will the new career allow you to fulfill your passion? Finally, how are you situated financially as you make the transition?

  1. Research

You need to do a lot of this. First, you need to find out as much as you can about your new career. You may have a pretty good idea about what it involves, but you need to get into the weeds and learn about what it is really like to do the job.

These days, there is no lack of resources to help you do this. You can look at journals and books or check out the many different resources online. Websites such as LinkedIn and Glassdoor are invaluable resources to make connections with people who work in your prospective career. Pick their brains for information about the job and ideas for making the transition.

You will also need to find out if you will need additional training to prepare you for entry into your new career.

Research for the job search

The next step is preparing for the job search. You will need to put together a resume and cover letter and update your LinkedIn profile. You will need to research companies you might like to work for and find out which ones you want to target in your job search.

You will need to network with friends, colleagues, contacts on social media, and through informational interviews to gain the attention of your target company. And you will need to prepare for the job interview itself.

  1. Transferable skills

To make your case to a hiring manager and persuade him or her that you have what it takes to do the job, you need to show how the skills you have developed in your previous jobs are transferable to the one you are seeking. You may see little connection between the skills you have and the skills you need, but there probably are a number of skills you have developed that any employer would want.

Some examples of these transferable skills include communication skills, leadership skills, research and analytical skills, organization and time management skills, collaboration skills, numeracy and information technology skills.

What you need to do is show the employer how you used these skills at your previous jobs to achieve your goals, and how they will enable you to excel at your new job. Giving examples of transferable skills will help to show the employer that you are the right person for the job.

And there’s good news: all employers are looking for these kinds of skills, because they’re necessary for almost all types of jobs.

Are you ready to put your current skills to work in a new job? Take a look at our current opportunities and then either follow the posting’s application directions or contact the Helpmates branch office nearest you to register with us.

Follow These Steps to Create a Great Apprentice Program

Companies are constantly complaining that they cannot find enough qualified people to fill all of their openings, saying that job candidates just don’t have the skills that are needed.

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A survey earlier this year revealed that the problem is worse than ever – talent shortages at a ten-year high, with two-thirds of companies surveyed saying they were having trouble filling positions.

Workers also are frustrated. Only about one-third of college students believe their institutions are giving them the education and skills they need to prepare them for the job market and a good career. More students are complaining that a college degree isn’t worth the high cost.

This crisis is causing some companies to take action to solve it. In an effort to bring workers’ skills more in line with the needs of employers, some companies are establishing apprenticeship programs.

When most people hear the word apprenticeship, they think of an educational program associated with the trades.

But companies are now also using apprenticeships for professional jobs so that they can shape people into the kind of workers they need. Twenty-first century apprenticeships are work-based training programs used in a variety of jobs, including cybersecurity, healthcare, data analytics, engineering, hospitality management, and manufacturing.

Companies that offer apprenticeship programs report higher productivity, innovation and retention among their workers.

How Apprenticeships Work

One salient feature of this new kind of apprenticeship is that it is highly targeted toward specific individuals and specific jobs. These apprenticeships are customized to fit the particular needs of a company. A worker is paid while they get on-the-job training. As the worker advances in skill level, their pay increases proportionally.

While apprenticeships are tailored to specific needs, there are some general guidelines that organizational experts recommend to ensure the programs are as effective as possible. They are the following:

  1. Put together a team to develop the apprenticeship program and get it off the ground. Team members should include a cross-section of company employees, including people who provide services to customers, mid-level management and leadership.
  2. If looking for external support, identify any educational institutions, such as community colleges or universities, or other nonprofit organizations or state apprenticeship organizations that can help run the program.
  3. Have coaches in place to work with those in the program.
  4. Develop clear, measurable goals for the program, as well as determining exactly what skills and core competencies each apprentice needs to master, along with a way to measure these skills.
  5. Create a curriculum that is tailored to the core competencies and skills.
  6. Establish training schedules and wage levels.
  7. Put a process in place for evaluating the program and making changes as needed.

Industry Recognized Programs

If you want your apprentice program to qualify for national recognition within your industry, you can register it with the U. S. Department of Labor. There are three general criteria that must first be met in order to register – identifying a specific occupation that the program is designed for, developing a training plan and listing a training provider for the classroom element of the program.

When you register, you will have access to federal resources and technical assistance, qualify for state tax credits and the program also will offer a nationally recognized credential for apprentices.

It’s not too early to start finding newly-minted members of the Class of 2021 for your job opportunities. Contact the recruiters at the Helpmates branch nearest you for more information.

The Absolutely, Positively Right Way to Leave a Job

You are at a point where you are giving serious consideration to leaving your job. It could be that the job no longer challenges you, that it has become routine. Or you’ve hit a dead end – there is no avenue for advancement. Or you simply cannot get along with your supervisor. Or you’re just burned out.

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Whatever the reason, there’s definitely a right way and a wrong way to quit your job. Here is the right way to do it.

  1. Think carefully

The first step is to think about why you want to quit. All of the reasons listed above are valid. But there are others that are a bit shakier. If you’re angry about being chastised by your supervisor or colleague or because you were passed over for a certain project, these are not good reasons to leave your job. Take a little time to cool off before you make any rash decisions that you might regret later.

Consider if there are alternatives to leaving your job, such as transferring to another department or asking for more responsibility, or working out problems with a coworker.

Also, career counselors advise having another job lined up before leaving your current position. It is much more difficult to find work when you are unemployed because this still carries a stigma with employers.

  1. Letter of resignation

Because of its purpose, the language used in this document should be more formal. You should use the full name and title of your supervisor.

Your resignation letter doesn’t have to be long. It should state your intention to leave, when your last day will be, your reason for leaving, and an expression of appreciation for the opportunity to work at the company. You could also include a few positive remarks about your experience.

  1. Giving notice

This should be done face-to-face, not through email. It is customary to give two weeks’ notice, but this can vary. Your supervisor may ask you to stay longer for various reasons. If this is the case, you should agree to the extended period to maintain a positive relationship. You don’t want to burn any bridges. It’s also possible that you may be asked to leave immediately, so you need to be ready for this. You should also suggest a transition plan for transferring your assignments.

What you don’t want to do is give vent to any vindictiveness over your frustrations about the job or interactions with other people at the company. This will accomplish nothing. You also want to maintain good relationships at the company.

After you have given notice in person, then submit your letter of resignation.

  1. Odds and ends

Make a list of the tasks you need to take care of before you go. This includes things such as cleaning out your files, finishing up any outstanding assignments, and so on.

Delete all personal information on your computer. You should do this before giving notice in case you are asked to leave immediately.

Put together notes covering all of your duties and responsibilities, as well as the status of your current projects and any background information needed to complete them if you are unable to. Get contact information from your coworkers.

  1. Do good work

It may be difficult to concentrate during the final weeks or days you are still at the company. But you need to maintain your professionalism, and that means continuing to turn in the best work you can. This will certainly leave a good impression on your supervisor and coworkers.

Wondering if there’s a better job opportunity waiting for you? Check out Helpmates’ job opportunities. If you see one or more that look interesting, either contact the office nearest you, or follow the posting’s application instructions.

When Terminating an Employee Remotely

With many more employees working from home because of the pandemic, companies have had to make adjustments in the way they do things. Even with the help of technology, working with people in different locations presents unique challenges.

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One of those challenges arises when you need to let an employee go remotely. Doing it long distance requires some extra measures and preparation. Here are a few tips.

  1. Set up a meeting

When terminating an employee in person, you would usually set up a meeting, telling him or her you have something important to talk about. You would never simply end a conversation with, “By the way, you’re fired.”

The same etiquette applies to remote workers. It is simply bad form to abruptly send an email to the person telling them they’ve been terminated. Set up a virtual meeting first so you can give the person the time and attention they deserve. With remote workers, this may involve taking different time zones into account.

Also, during the meeting set up a time for a virtual exit interview and a timeline leading up to the employee’s exit from the company.

  1. Be open and honest

When talking with the person, be up front about the reasons for the termination. The news will most likely not be entirely unexpected if it is performance related because it will be the final step in a process. The person should be well aware of the issues that led to this point.

You also need to inform other employees about the termination and be ready to answer questions about the impact on them and the company.

  1. Be ready for questions

The employee will probably have a number of questions about their termination, questions related to administrative details such as severance pay and benefits. You may want to have someone from your human resources department sit in on the meeting to answer these types of questions. The employee will also probably have questions surrounding the reasons for the termination.

Again, it is important to be open and honest about the situation. This should help to maintain an amicable relationship with the employee, and he or she deserves no less.

You should prepare for these questions in advance. Put together written notes about everything that is likely to be discussed. This is a good precautionary measure to take in the event that the employee decides to take any legal action against the company.

  1. Be aware of the legal requirements

A remote employee could be in a location far away from the company, and the laws where they’re located could be different from those where the company is located. As a result, the manager needs to be aware of the different legal requirements that may affect the termination.

  1. Determine how equipment will be returned

Often companies supply remote employees with equipment to enable them to do their job and communicate with coworkers. If you are terminating a person, you need to work out a way for the equipment to be returned. This can usually be accomplished by having the employee ship it back, with the company covering the cost.

It is important to plan ahead to work out the details and prepare for different possible outcomes.

  1. Cut off the employee’s electronic connections

Remote employees have access to a company’s digital information from their home. To protect this information, you need to cut off their access to all company information immediately after their termination.

You may also want to make backups for any information available to the person and change passwords.

If you’ve had to let someone go and need a replacement quickly – even if the person worked remotely – contact the Helpmates branch nearest you. We have many terrific temporary specialists ready to get to work quickly, even remotely!

5 Ways to Break Up a Boring Workday

Many of us are working from home right now. Some like the change and prefer working remotely – there is no long commute to work, you can dress more casually, and you don’t have to deal with all of the interruptions that are part of office work.

However, working from home has its drawbacks: the lines between work and personal life can become blurred. And it can become a bit monotonous. After all, when your workspace is only a short walk from our bedroom, the scenery isn’t going to change that much.

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To break up the tedium, people may turn to diversions like social media or even online gaming. But these are not the healthiest sorts of distractions from work because people can become caught up in them, developing behavior that is addictive. Activities meant to be a break from work can end up taking people away from their work much longer than they had intended.

But there are other things you can do to break up the sameness of the workday that won’t hinder your productivity, but may actually help it.

  1. A new location

Organizational experts recommend having a dedicated workspace when operating from home. And generally this is good advice. It helps to separate work from other areas of your life. But working in the same location all the time might become a bit too boring.

For a change of pace, you can use different locations around the house as your home office throughout the day. You can work for a while at the dining room table and then the kitchen table or the front porch or backyard patio. For a little variety, you can add decorative touches to your home office, such as paintings, knick-knacks or flowers.

  1. Physical activity

This is another way to break up a boring workday.

Before the pandemic, people went to the gym, ran, swam, and played a variety of different sports. But many of these things are not considered safe now. The pandemic is especially hard on those who liked going to the gym.

When the weather is colder, opportunities for physical activity are fewer. But there are still things you can do. YouTube is a good source for workout related videos, activities that you can do at home. Facebook is another source for workout videos.

When the weather is warmer, there are more opportunities for physical activity outside, such as hiking, walking and running. Find out where the state parks are in your area and get back to nature while enjoying the scenery.

Also, get in some physical activity when you take breaks during the day. Go for a short walk or do some calisthenics or stretching exercises. Deep breathing exercises also help improve your mood and focus better.

  1. Social activities

Take some time during the day to stay in touch with coworkers. For example, you can schedule a virtual coffee break using Zoom or some other digital network like Slack or Google Hangouts. (Note: these breaks would be in addition to any Zoom/video meetings you have specifically for work-related matters.)

  1. Explore

Try out new ways of doing things to boost your productivity. For example, vary the times you do routine tasks and assignments.

  1. A new hobby

This is another way to put a little variety into your life while working from home. Learn a new skill, how to play a musical instrument, read something new. Many of these things you can do during short breaks throughout the day. For example, you can practice the piano for short 15-minute breaks or work on a painting.

If one of the reasons your workday is boring is that you’ve outgrown your position with your current employer, you may be wondering if it’s time to move on to another company.

If so, take a look at Helpmates’ current job opportunities. If one or more look interesting, follow the application directions on the posting. You also can contact the Helpmates branch office nearest you.

Tips for Getting the Candidate Experience Right, Right Now

Recruiting is a lot different today than at the beginning of the year. One of the major changes is the way in which candidates experience the hiring process. From Zoom interviews to virtual onboarding, there are a lot of adjustments to make for both companies and candidates alike.

Anaheim recruiters

The hiring process may have changed in a number of different ways, but one aspect of it should never be altered. That is the candidate experience. It should always be a positive one for the applicant.

Change in the Landscape

Before the pandemic, job seekers had the upper hand because unemployment was so low. Now, however, the advantage has shifted more toward employers because so many people are now out of work. Employers may become more lax in their dealing with job candidates — and less concerned about making sure candidates are well looked after.

But this would be a mistake for several reasons. First, companies are still looking to fill about five million open positions, which is actually more than in 2014, when employers were really starting to have difficulty finding people. Second, companies that allow a poor candidate experience lose money because of it. Third, your brand will suffer – job candidates tend to talk about their negative experience with others in their profession. And fourth, job applicants are more likely to accept a job offer if they have had a positive experience. They’re also more likely to recommend your company to others.

How to Provide a Good Candidate Experience

  1. Communication

This is most important. You don’t want to leave candidates guessing about where they stand in the process and what the next steps are, or even how many other people are being interviewed. You should find out what questions they have as well.

You should also be honest with candidates. Some HR professionals advise discussing salary up front to be sure the company and the candidate are in the same salary range. You don’t want to go through the whole process, offer the candidate a job, and then find out that salary is a deal breaker. You also need to be honest about the position’s duties – the good and the bad aspects of the job.

Also, respond to all applications, whether you intend to follow up with someone or not. This is simply common courtesy, and it will make a good impression on applicants. Most companies don’t even bother to acknowledge the receipt of applications.

  1. Respect

You need to treat candidates with respect. That means preparing for the interview, knowing the candidate’s background and having questions already drawn up. Sometimes hiring managers show up unprepared, resulting in a haphazard interview.

  1. The hiring process

It should be designed to be user friendly. Too often, companies make candidates jump through a lot of hoops. Applications are long and complicated. The candidate has to interview with too many different people, and the process takes too long.

  1. Get Feedback

To improve the process, you also need to get feedback from the candidates. Find out what they thought of their interview. What kind of impression did they get of the company? Did they feel they received enough information as they went through the process? Did they think they were treated well? What did they like about the process, and what things would they change? What kind of improvements would they make?

Interviews are….a “tad” different now. And this does affect your candidates’ experience with the hiring process.

Helpmates can do all candidate pre-screening for you, from sourcing qualified candidates, to conducting preliminary interviews, to checking references and vetting, sending you (whether via video or in-person) only the top candidates for final interviews.

Contact the Helpmates branch nearest you for more information.

Acing the Pre-Screening Job Interview

Many employers today perform what are called pre-screening interviews with job candidates. These often are shorter phone or even video chats with applicants to see if it’s worth both the recruiter’s and applicant’s time to bring the candidate in for a longer interview.

Brea jobs

They are becoming the norm, and if you are a job candidate, you should expect to experience one during your employment search at some point.

Take a look below for a few tips on how to make the most of them. Probably the most important thing to know about pre-screening interviews is that you should treat them like any other interview and prepare accordingly.

  1. Do your research

This is basic, common-sense advice that job candidates hear over and over. And yet, some still don’t take the time to research the company they supposedly want to work for. Not doing your homework is a fast way to eliminate yourself from consideration.

If you want to give a compelling answer to the question of why you want the job, you need to know what the job entails, and so you need to study the job description. You need to know basic information about the company, such as when it started, its locations, and mission statement. To impress the interviewer, you can incorporate your knowledge of the company into your answers.

You also should learn as much as you can about the person who will be interviewing you. This is much easier to do now with social media sites such as LinkedIn. Find out about the person’s background – where they were educated, places they worked, what their interests are. This may help you to establish a rapport with the interviewer.

  1. Be ready to talk about salary

The pre-screening interview also presents an opportunity for the interviewer to find out early if you and the company are in the same ballpark with salary. This will save a lot of time and effort if there is an insurmountable gap between you and the company as far as salary expectations.

Again, a little research here will help. Before you begin throwing around figures, you should first find out what jobs like the one you want pay. There are a number of different places you can go to find this information, such as Glassdoor.

You also should provide the interviewer with a salary range, not a definite number.

  1. Show enthusiasm

You need to let the interviewer know how much you want the job, and one way to do so is by showing enthusiasm. You do this by the tone of your voice and the words you use. If you are doing a video interview, you show enthusiasm by the look on your face and the gestures you make.

  1. Put it all together

You have to be able to sell yourself, to show how your skills and experience make you the perfect person for the job. The interviewer is trying to get a sense of who you are and why the job makes sense for you, and you need to help him or her do that.

It helps to practice your pitch in advance with a friend or colleague so it is polished and persuasive.

  1. Have questions

At the end of every interview, the recruiter or hiring manager usually asks, “Do you have any questions for me?” If you want the job, you will have questions. If you don’t, it will look like you aren’t really interested in the position. And you should have questions that show you are thinking about how you can excel in the position. An example would be what skills are needed to be successful in the job, how they measure performance, how the job will evolve in the coming months, and challenges the company is facing.

Then, once you hear the answer, you say something about how X skill you have or experience because of X project fits with the employer’s needs.

  1. Follow up

During the interview you should get contact information from the interviewer and find out what the next steps are. Finally, be sure to send a thank you email.

If you haven’t done so recently, take a look at Helpmates’ current job opportunities. If one or more interests you, follow the application directions. You’re also welcome to contact the branch nearest you to register with us.

Why a Flexible Workforce is No Longer a “Want” But a “Need”

Used to be, many employers used temporary workers, independent contractors or freelancers only sporadically, such as during employee illness, leaves of absence or during the holiday season. But things have changed – savvy employers now use these temporary folks much more strategically.

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Companies need to make sure their workforces are agile and flexible enough to respond quickly to changing conditions, and to do this, they rely on contingent labor.

They use contingent workers for a number of different situations:

  1. For specific skills

If an employer has a short-term project that requires a special set of skills, they can use temporary workers to handle it. Also, by repeatedly using the same people for these special projects, the company builds relationships with these workers, and managers know they have reliable expertise available when needed.

  1. To handle work regular employees don’t have time for

If there is work that always seems to be unfinished because employees are too busy handling more important matters, companies can use contingent labor to clean up the outstanding assignments.

  1. Surges in demand

During certain times of the year (such as the holidays for retailers and summer for amusement parks), some companies can expect higher demand, and contingent labor can help them handle the increased workload during that time.

Background Checks Even More Important

It takes new hires a good deal longer than contingent workers to become fully productive because they don’t have to be introduced to all of the company’s processes, procedures and culture. They simply come in and begin working on their assignment.

But, as with regular workers, the performance of a temporary worker depends on their skill level. So, it is just as important to know about the temporary worker’s background. That means verifying all of the information on the resume to ensure it is accurate and also contacting references.

This is where staffing companies can help. The company will do the work of screening all the applicants, perform background checks, and will send you only the ones that fit closely with the job description.

It may also help to administer a skills assessment to the applicant to evaluate their technical ability to do the job.

A Blended Workforce

A blended or hybrid workforce is one that consolidates both full-time employees and contingent workers. To get the most out of such an arrangement, a company would probably have to tweak its culture a bit to allow for greater integration of the temporary workers.

A blended workforce culture is one that also incorporates remote workers into its operations to fully utilize the contingent workers, who sometimes may even work remotely.

Communication Is Key

When a company is moving to add more contingent workers, communication is critical. Company leadership needs to inform employees what is happening – the changes that are taking place and why the company is taking this particular course of action.

The company needs to spell out any changes to policies and procedures. It’s also important to assuage concern among regular, full-time employees about the increase in temporary and/or contract workers because regular employees may feel threatened. They need to know that the move is not a threat to their job security, but just the opposite, a way of enabling them to do their jobs more efficiently and effectively.

Need some flexible workers? Contact the Helpmates branch nearest you to speak with one of our recruiters about your workforce needs.

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