The Rise in the Minimum Wage and Your Temporary Workforce

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

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

Top Talent Wants More Than Minimum Wage

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

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

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

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

Billing Rates Need to Rise with the New Minimum Wage

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why Social Talent Sourcing May Not Work

Social media is teeming with people, millions and billions of people: Twitter boasts of 100 million users per day. Facebook was heading toward 2 billion users worldwide in February. LinkedIn, meanwhile, now has half a billion users.

And many of them could well be interested in a new job or career opportunity.

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So recruiters have flocked to social sites in droves. And who can blame them: all those millions of people in the U.S. in one place, available to contact with an easy click on the Enter key after writing a short message.

Yet, 80 percent of recruiters report that they’ve had zero luck in actually hiring someone they sourced on Facebook and Twitter. Nada. None. Big fat goose egg. Zilch.

How is this possible? So. Many. People.

And that’s the problem: the author of the post linked to above believes that recruiters tend to look at the social sites as quasi candidate databases because there are just so many potential candidates on them.

Yet the sites weren’t created with recruiting in mind, so it’s quite difficult to find qualified candidates. After all, look for people who are business managers and good luck finding them with that keyword on Twitter (the social platform doesn’t sort profiles by job title). As for Facebook, most people don’t put career information on their profiles at all.

Many people have written on how to source talent on social media. (For example, take a look at this terrific piece on sourcing and recruiting on Twitter). Take a look below for our advice.

Sourcing on Twitter

To source on Twitter, you need to be active on it: you should be participating in its community regularly. Make sure you have a photo of yourself (rather than the “egg”) by your Twitter handle. Tweet about more than jobs and recruiting issues. Stay away from just tweeting job postings.

Work hard to get followers: it helps build your credibility. This will mean tweeting possibly five times a day (job postings don’t count). You can use Hootsuite to schedule your posts, but will need to scan through your followers’ tweets and re-tweet, comment and like them.

Facebook Sourcing Tips

You may want to use a free sourcing tool created specifically for Facebook, Social Talent.

Successful Facebook recruiters join the Facebook Groups where their typical prospects hang out. Comment when you feel you have something worthwhile to say; answer questions that provide true help. Don’t recruit; you’ll be seen as pushy and sales-y.

Go ahead and reach out to people you feel might make a good candidate for an open position: Facebook is public. It’s also a business. It’s OK to treat it like one – carefully so, however.

The most important thing when it comes to sourcing on social media is sincerity. Be genuine. Be enthusiastic – this opportunity could a life changer for someone and her family!

Speaking of sourcing: we know where the good guys are! If you need help finding and vetting potential candidates for your company’s job opportunities, contact the Helpmates’ office nearest you. We would love to hear how we can help: contact us today.

Streamlining the Recruiting Process: Hire Fast, Hire Well

If you’ve noticed that you’re losing some great candidates because you’re taking too long to hire, you’re not alone: in this candidate-driven market, where there are just 1.5 applicants for each opening, a slow hiring process can mean you’re losing out on top performers, because someone else has already snatched them up. (Many top prospects are hired within just 10 days of dipping their toe in job search waters.)

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We understand that sharing the misery of missing out on the best candidates in no way alleviates the pain of losing those prospects. So we have some strategies for you. Take a look below.

  1. Make sure the job’s description is well defined.

That is, know exactly what the job entails and make sure you define it clearly. Absolutely clearly. Knowing precisely what type of background, certifications, education, and skill sets required from the get-go helps you make better – and faster – decisions when it comes to comparing qualified candidates with varying degrees of what you need.

  1. Use an applicant tracking system to shortlist candidates.

An ATS uses keywords to filter through candidates and pass over those who don’t fit your requirements. This can make the sourcing process much faster compared to having an individual spend hours going through resumes received. This also can help ensure great candidates aren’t lost due to simple human exhaustion.

  1. Consider allowing a candidate to send you a link to her LinkedIn profile first.

Doing so can save you some time in the preliminary vetting process, especially so since not all great candidates (think passive candidates) have an updated resume on hand. Looking at a prospect’s LinkedIn profile can allow you to see if he or she has the qualifications you need. You can always ask to see a resume later.

  1. Embrace the video interview….live and pre-recorded.

Many companies already use live video interviews/conferencing for preliminary interviews. Others are starting to drill down even further for preliminary vetting by sending candidates a set of questions and asking them to send them a video recording of their answers. This does benefit candidates: it allows them to think carefully about their answers and they can record their answers at a time convenient for them.

  1. Rate prospects against the job, not other candidates.

We must admit, we really like this one: instead of comparing candidates to each other, compare them to the position. That is, because you have clearly defined the role (see number 1, above), you should be able to see how each candidate would or would not fit it. This allows you to choose the candidate best suited for the role, not the best candidate among the candidates.

  1. Use a recruiting or staffing service to vet prospects.

Of course we are going to suggest using a staffing service such as Helpmates to help you get through the sourcing and vetting process! Doing so can free you up to interview only the top candidates for the position. Together we can craft a clearly defined job description and then source and vet candidates, sending only the best on to you for interviews.

Contact the Helpmates branch nearest you for more information.

Using Snapchat in Your Recruiting Efforts: Why and How

Have you heard the buzz about Snapchat and recruiting? With 158 million people using Snapchat every day, it’s no wonder the social platform has enticed recruiters.

In a nutshell, Snapchat allows users to record videos, take photos, add then text and graphics to a message and then send it to a specific list of recipients.

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The feature that has made Snapchat so popular with Millennials and Generation Z is because each of those messages (known as Snaps) have a set time limit, from about 1 to 10 seconds, depending on the length the Snap’s creator chooses. If a recipient opens a Snap in the Snapchat app on a smartphone, the message disappears after the allotted time, whether the recipient looks at it or not. The platform therefore has a huge “Look at me NOW or miss out!” vibe. (A recipient can open a Snap and save it for later, but the recipient needs to save it quickly.)

While you may think that you don’t want to recruit teens (Generation Z), understand that as the social channel grows, user age also is growing: about 50 percent of Snapchat users are older than 25 and the number of 35-year-olds and older is growing, as well. (More Android users have downloaded the Snapchat than the Twitter app!)

Using the Power of a Disappearing Image/Video to Your Recruiting Advantage

So how can you incorporate Snapchat into your recruiting strategies? Take a look below.

  1. If not already using the app, download it and create an account.

Take a profile picture and add some friends. (Make sure you’re careful about the username you choose, as you won’t be able to change it. Since you may use Snapchat for professional purposes, choose as professional username as possible.)

You also can use a public/professional/company profile as you get used to the app. But until then, play around with your personal account to get used to its quirks and capabilities. Have fun!

Learn the lingo: a Snap is a message that’s deleted. A Story is an image or even video that’s accessible to recipients for up to 24 hours.

  1. Once you start using the app for recruiting, get creative!

Online marketing company HubSpot has a nice blog post on how to use Snapchat for business, including tips on using it for recruiting (scroll down to the last one, about HubSpot’s own used of the app for recruiting).

  1. Post live videos on Snapchat.

Are you holding a big conference, seminar or recruiting event? If so, send a photo, video, or clips of speakers, etc. to your followers. Get them involved!

  1. Use Snapchat’s Stories feature to post job opportunities.

Tape the hiring manager talking a bit about the opportunity – make sure he talks about why it’s a great opportunity for someone – and ask people to send in their resumes.

  1. Video team members talking about their day-to-day lives at work.

Use Stories and send the short videos to your followers. Doing so gives potential candidates a peek into your culture. Provide Snaps and Stories about team member birthdays, promotions, team meetings and outings. You get the idea.

In other words, stay professional, but show your potential candidates the exciting and fun things that take place day-to-day at your firm.

Speaking of fun, it may sound corny, but we do love to match great candidates with terrific employers in Orange and Los Angeles counties. When you have a direct-hire, temp-to-hire or temporary opportunity at your company, call upon Helpmates to find you the talent you need. Contact one of our Southern California offices today.

Getting Gender Diversity Right

You undoubtedly want to make sure your Southern California company enjoys a diverse employee pool when it comes to the number of the men and the number of women who work for you.

We’ve put together five strategies that can help you do so. Take a look below.

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  1. Embrace the fact that women bring a great deal of talent to the table.

Senior management needs to understand this most of all because gender diversity starts at the top and trickles down. Managers and members of the C-suite need to set an example. Your firm should embrace a diversified, inclusive workforce because it not only brings a great deal of new and different perspectives into the workplace, it also enhances a company’s business performance.

  1. Take a look at all of your HR policies and get rid of gender biases.

Revamp policies that either actually do – or even just appear to – benefit men over women. Review your training and management grooming policies to make sure women are given the same career development prospects.

Also, make sure you train hiring managers and recruiters to be aware of their unconscious biases when making hiring decisions. Make sure you do not shame anyone as you ask them to take a close look at their own partialities: everyone has some level of unconscious bias.

  1. Don’t just think about “making sure” you hire more women: include

It may take some work, but aim to transform your company culture into one that automatically includes women in everything you do. Need more technicians? Make the effort to train hiring managers to look for female techs as a matter of course. In other words, don’t look at gender diversity as something you have to do to be compliant with today’s equality laws; instead, embrace it as a “part of a vibrant organizational culture.”

  1. Consider hiring someone to focus solely on increasing gender diversity.

Your human resources director already has to concentrate on many different things. Instead of asking her to put one more critical task on to her overly full plate, put the resources behind your push for gender diversification and hire someone to focus only on increasing diversity.

  1. Think long-term rather than merely short-term.

The United Nations has asked that leaders from businesses throughout the world work to have 50-50 gender equality by 2030. (It’s part of the UN’s 17 sustainable development goals for the world.)

Get started on meeting this goal now, or take the risk that your competitors will beat you, thereby becoming magnets for the best and brightest of female talent, talent you really can’t afford to lose.

Helpmates Staffing can help you meet all diversity goals. We have connections with many of the region’s best candidates in healthcare, HR, finance, administration, and warehouse/distribution. Contact the recruiting professionals in the office nearest you to learn more about how we can help fill your workforce with the best talent Southern California has to offer.

What Your Employees Might Ask For (If They Felt Brave)

Think your employees are happy as the proverbial clam? They very well could be!

But chances also are good that there are a few things they would ask for if they felt brave enough to do so. Such as? Read below.

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  1. Better or fair compensation.

Many studies show that salary is not the be all and end all when it comes to employee happiness. But, seriously? Money does matter, and it appears it does so a bit more now that employees feel the recession is long over and they are looking to “recoup losses” as well as make up for higher healthcare premiums and reductions in benefits.

  1. Continuing education opportunities.

Millennials especially want career-enhancing continuing education opportunities. The Center for Talent Innovation released a study last year that found that 73 percent of this particular generation believe it’s important to have the chance to learn additional professional skills.

They’re not alone: everyone appreciates learning something new, especially in this changing-on-a-dime-every-second job market of ours. Employees know that if they’re not learning new technologies and strategies, they’re becoming obsolete.

Continuing education benefits could include in-house seminars, opportunities to earn certificates and degrees (partially paid for or fully reimbursed by the employer), the chance to go to off-site conferences and seminars, etc.

  1. Better workplace technology.

You ask a lot of your employees and judge them by their productivity, efficiency and goals met. Yet are you providing them with the tools they need to meet these challenges? For example, are you asking your sales people to make 100 cold calls a week but not providing them with an up-to-date CRM?

And if you think your technology is up-to-snuff, you may want to check with your employees: fully one in three say the equipment they have at home is better than what they have to work with at the office!

  1. More flexibility in where work is completed and when.

Unless your employees must deal with customers or clients face-to-face all the time, consider offering them the chance to complete work when they want and from where they want. Deadlines must be met, of course, but does it really matter if a worker finishes the project at midnight from home the day before?

Many of your exempt employees probably already are working on weekends and after hours. Why not give them the flexibility to do that which needs to be done when they feel it’s best to do it? And from where it’s best to do it?

Telecommuting may not work for every employee or for every employer, of course, but because technology has made it so easy for your team members to work for you during their “off” hours, why not allow them more where-and-when flexibility all the time?

Every enterprise wants the right employees in place. Here at Helpmates, we connect companies across Orange and Los Angeles counties with outstanding talent. Give us a call today to learn more about how we can help you find great people for your business.

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