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.

Helpmates Staffing Services Named as Best Place to Work by Orange County Business Journal

Helpmates Staffing has been named one of Orange County’s Best Places to Work 2018 by the Orange County Business Journal.

Run by the Business Journal as well as the Best Companies Group, an independent research firm located in Pennsylvania, the annual Best Places to Work survey and awards program identifies, recognizes and honors the best employers in Orange County.

To participate in the program, employers must:

best Orange County employers

  • Have at least 15 permanent employees working in Orange County;
  • Have a facility in the county;
  • Be a not-for-profit or for-profit business or government entity; and
  • Must have been in business for at least one year.

“This is our second time on the Best Places to Work list and it’s truly because of our great employees,” said Rosalie Villa, Helpmates’ chief revenue officer. “They truly embrace Helpmates’ values: our culture of teamwork and camaraderie, as well as our focus on service to both our candidates and clients.

“This award really speaks to the quality of our leadership and how their accessibility, transparency and commitment to Helpmates’ team members has made our staffing service known throughout the Southern California region as the staffing firm to work for among the area’s staffing professionals.”

Companies participating in the survey went through a two-part process:

  • The first part evaluated each employer’s workplace policies, practices and demographics. This part was worth about one-quarter of the total evaluation.
  • The second part consisted of an employee survey that measured employee experience. This part was worth three-fourths of the total evaluation.

The Best Companies Group managed the overall registration and survey process as well as analyzed the data and used its expertise in determining the final rankings.

The Orange County Business Journal published the Best Places to Work special report in its July 23 issue.

If you’d like more information about how Helpmates can help you find work with some of the region’s top employers or help you find some of the top workers in the region, contact the Helpmates office nearest you.

A To-Do List for Extending Job Offers

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

Los Angeles temp firm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Use EI When Interviewing

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

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

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

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

Orange County temp agency

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

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

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

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

  • Pay attention to a candidate’s body language.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Contact the Helpmates branch location nearest you to learn more.

Thinking of Becoming a Recruiter? Tips to Help You Thrive (and Survive)

If you’ve ever thought of becoming a recruiter – particularly in the staffing industry – you’ve picked a great time in the history of the industry to do so:

Staffing Industry Analysts projects that the staffing market will grow by three percent in 2018, with revenue projected at $145.1 billion.

What’s more, because not everyone is cut out for a career in staffing (you’ll either love or hate its extremely fast pace and the high demands placed upon you), many people leave the industry in two or three years.

Which means staffing firms – including Helpmates – are always looking for internal employees, even if they are not actively posting job opportunities.

We went into great detail about the many benefits of working as a recruiter in staffing in a previous blog post, so we won’t repeat ourselves here.LA recruiter career

Instead, here are some tips to help you thrive (and survive) as a staffing recruiter:

  • Understand that your primary duty is to your clients, not to candidates.

Many people enter the staffing industry because they want to help people find work. And that’s true: we do help people find work/careers and there’s little in this world that feels as good as knowing you helped someone vastly improve his life.

But your job is to fill your clients’ positions and unless a candidate has the skills and background that fit your client’s opportunities, you won’t be able to help him, no matter how much you’d like to. You can certainly tell your clients about this great individual, but – once again – if the client has no need for the candidate’s skills, he won’t get hired.

In other words: it’s not your job to find people work. (That’s their own job, actually.)

  • You’ll come into work planning on doing A first thing, but find that B, C and D, MUST be done first!

If there’s are two things both good and bad about working as a staffing recruiter, they are a) change is constant and b) no two days are alike.

The pros of this: you won’t ever, ever, EVER be bored! You’re constantly meeting new people, you’re helping clients and candidates create great partnerships, you’ll receive accolades from both clients (when you send terrific candidates) and candidates (when you send them on terrific assignments).

The cons of this: You can’t plan your day. We’re sure you’ve heard of putting together a list of priorities for work, correct? Well, as one staffing pro put it to us once, “The very few days I get one thing done on my must-do list I consider a great day!”

For example:

  • Temporary associates don’t show up for work and you need to find a replacement ASAP.
  • A client calls needing two administrative assistants for tomorrow.
  • You have five people to interview, today, too.
  • A candidate arrives at your office wanting to know why she didn’t get the position for which she interviewed (she called ahead to make an appointment), and so you owe it to her to give her your insights, but meanwhile an associate calls letting you know her child just got sick at work and she needs to leave your client’s office immediately.

You’re always putting out fires working in staffing. Many people love it; many do not.  It is stressful. And while you’ll get better at handling the stress, it really never goes away.

So how can you thrive as a staffing recruiter? We hinted a bit above at two:

  • Embrace the fact that your day constantly changes and that you’re never bored.
  • Revel in the fact that you’re helping both clients and candidates find great workers/jobs.

And here are some ideas to help you cope with the stress:

  • Even if it flies out the window the moment you enter the office, at the end of your day the day before, write down one or two things you want to get accomplished. You may find that you can and having that sense of control over your to-dos is empowering.
  • Make sure you take a lunch break. And take it away from the office. Get outside and eat your lunch in nature. Take a break and meet a friend at a favorite restaurant to catch up. The point is to be away from the office for a bit each day.
  • You might consider doing simple meditation on your lunch break, or before or after work.
  • Read about the staffing industry and attend conferences. Your boss probably will pay for conference attendance.
  • Consider becoming certified as a CSP (Certified Staffing Professional). Doing so definitely will help you in your career as it indicates your commitment to staffing and your expertise when it comes to working with both clients and candidates to ensure that you and they comply with all federal and state regulations. (We pay for certification for our internal employees.)
  • Exercise, eat healthfully, enjoy a hobby or two, and otherwise step away from even thinking about your job at least one day a week.

As mentioned above, we’re always looking for great candidates for our internal positions. You can check for internal opportunities on our job board, but even if you don’t see any, if you’re interested in working as a Helpmates recruiter or sales professional, we want to hear from you!

Why EVERY Employee Needs Recognition

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

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

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

  1. Humans need appreciation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be a More “Visible” Recruiter, Attract More Candidates

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

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

Orange County staffing firm

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

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

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

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

  • Put your contact info on job postings.

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

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

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

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

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

Growing Young Talent into Great Leaders

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

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

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

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

Orange County temp agency

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

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

But how do you actually do this? Read below.

Offer special training opportunities.

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

Offer the chance to role play.

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

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

Start providing increased responsibilities.

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

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

Give feedback, and not just from other managers.

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

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

Does One Word Lead to True Employee Engagement?

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

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

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

Orange County temp agency

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

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

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

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

Kindness.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Helpmates Staffing Services Once Again Wins Two of Inavero’s 2018 Best of Staffing® Diamond Awards

Helpmates Staffing – once again! – has been named to the “Best of Staffing” list.  For the 9th straight year! We are way beyond thrilled! And honored!!

Helpmates Staffing  Services has earned Inavero’s Best of Staffing® Talent and Client Diamond Awards after winning the best “Best of Staffing” award in each category at least five years in a row.

Only 2 percent of all staffing firms in the U.S. and Canada win the Best of Staffing award and only 33 percent of the Best of Staffing Award winners also earned the diamond distinction this year.

More than 1.2 million people (staffing candidates and clients) across the country provided feedback on many of the nation’s staffing firms. Award winners are determined by the percentage of satisfaction scores of 9 or 10 (out of a possible 10) given to them by their placed job candidates and clients.

Helpmates Wins Best of Staffing Diamond Awards Again

Helpmates won in four areas:

  • Client Satisfaction Award (9th year in a row)
  • Talent Satisfaction Award (7th year in a row)
  • The Best of Staffing Client Diamond Award (4th year in a row)
  • The Best of Staffing Talent Diamond Award (2nd year in a row)

What’s particularly important in this year’s awards is the fact that our Net Promoter Score (NPS), a customer metric that measure the loyalty between a provider (Helpmates) and its customers (clients and candidates/talent). Helpmates’ 2018 NPS score was 51.3 percent far above the staffing industry average of just 9 percent.

We need to acknowledge the dedication and extremely hard work our internal Helpmates team members performed on our behalf in order to earn us these important awards. We are grateful beyond words that our clients and temporary associates appreciate the work that our recruiters, branch managers and sales professionals do on their behalf.

All of us here at Helpmates intend to continue that hard work throughout the rest of this year and beyond, committing once again to ensuring that Southern California candidates and businesses find terrific work and the top talent possible.

Finally, thank you to our clients and candidates: it’s a great honor to work for and with you and we are exceedingly grateful for your belief in us!

© Year Helpmates Staffing Services. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Statement | Site Map | Site Credits.