Job Search 2013: What we’ve learned, and what’s to come

Three key points to take away from 2012

The job market is vastly different than it was just a few short years ago, as social media sites gain clout and cell phone technology surpasses any predictions. Three distinct trends have emerged from 2012, all vital to the modern job seeker.

Photos

On every site where you have an Internet presence, it needs to be accompanied by a professional photo. It’s best to have a series of photos taken, so you can use different snapshots for your social profiles, author bios, and blog posts. A photo gives you credibility: even if the person viewing it has no connection to you, they are more likely to click on the profile or believe the article when there is a face to associate with the name. While you may be hesitant about splashing yourself across the web, recognize that this has taken the place of an interview as the initial visual contact between you and a potential employer. If there’s nothing there, you lose a valuable chance to connect face-to-face, even if it’s only one-sided.

Recommendations

As the Internet shrinks the world, connections become increasingly important. This is reflected in the hiring process: instead of the traditional process of calling references, employers are casting a wider net of a potential hire’s companions. Through the “recommend” feature on LinkedIn and similar options on other social networking sites, coworkers and friends can vouch for you—and potential employers take notice. No longer is it enough to list three contacts and their phone numbers; with hundreds of friends and interactions visible to companies, all data involving you factors into a hiring decision. This can seem daunting at first—but when you leverage it right, you can boost your standing through other people’s words, which is automatically considered more reliable than self-promotion.

Branding

When you add professional pictures to online interactions, you’re well on your way to achieving the final, most comprehensive step toward an effective self-presentation. Building your identity into a virtual brand ensures you have the recognizability and legitimacy to be a viable candidate for a position. Stay active on social networks, write guest posts for blogs in your field, keep an up-to-date YouTube channel—a few years ago, these would have been considered leisurely activities, but as the line between work and life blurs, they now factor into your professional persona. By spreading your name through your field, and integrating it with your picture and profiles, you’ll market yourself better than an application or resume ever could. You’ll build an identity, one that employers will see and value.

What to expect in 2013

The job market is becoming even more specialized, and potential hires will have to stay on their game if they want to be top contenders for desirable positions. Certifications and niche degrees will become more important, as is any specialization within your area of expertise. Those doing the hiring are beginning to rely more on analyzable data to target their ideal candidate; by the end of 2013, there is sure to be a new list of requirements to land your dream position.

We’re here to help

Helpmates Staffing can help you hone your job search and place you in the career you’ve always wanted. We’ve worked with top employers throughout Southern California for more than 40 years, and we have access to unique career opportunities that aren’t available anywhere else. Contact Helpmates for Southern California Jobs that fit your skill set!

How to Define Your Employment Brand. And Why It Is Important

Branding has become an essential part of marketing your business to customers. However, many employers don’t realize that branding strategies can also help you sell your company to current and potential employees—resulting in a stronger workforce that pays off in big dividends for your business.

An employment brand paints a picture of your company’s internal culture, attitudes, environment, and beliefs, letting people know what it’s like to work for you. There are several advantages to developing your employment brand that not only strengthen your team, but also spill over into customer satisfaction and community goodwill.

Here, we’ll take a look at some of the benefits of having a clearly defined employment brand.

Increase your employee retention

Every employer is familiar with the costs of high turnover. Lost time and lost production, administrative paperwork for termination, severance or unemployment pay, and all the expenses and hassle associated with hiring and training can add up to substantial losses.

With a strong employment brand, you can more readily identify employment candidates who suit your business culture. The closer the fit for the employee, the longer they’re likely to stick around and enjoy their work. Defining your employment brand also helps you attract the most relevant candidates. If people have a clear picture of what it’s like to work for your company, you’ll receive more applicants who are truly interested in a business environment like yours. You’ll be able to cut down on your budget for advertising openings, spend less time weeding through applicants, and avoid last-minute hiring mistakes. This means a lowered turnover and reduced investments in future hiring and training expenses.

Build your employee engagement

In the process of defining your employment brand, you’ll arrive at a set of values for your company that your employees can support, rally around, and spread to their peers—and your customers. Employee engagement has proven effective at increasing customer satisfaction, because engaged employees who enjoy their work naturally put forth greater effort, and produce higher quality products and services.

In fact, according to a 2011 study from CareerBuilder, 70 percent of job seekers are willing to accept less than their desired salary if the company has a strong employment brand. The unified message of a brand helps employees feel they’re making valuable contributions to a larger cause than themselves.

Improve your resource allocation

Finally, a clear employment brand lets you invest your resources where they are most needed to further your company’s growth and success. When you define your values as an employer, you can apply them to all of your investments and company initiatives, ensuring that you’re maintaining the most important aspects of the business.

With a defined employment brand, it’s easy to say “no” to investments that don’t adhere to your values and won’t further your growth. An employment brand helps ensure that every dollar counts, resulting in a loyal and fully engaged team of employees that will propel your company to success.

We’re here to help

For more than 40 years, Helpmates Staffing has worked with the Southern California market and its candidates to provide companies like yours with highly qualified talent. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help strengthen your employment brand and hire employees that outshine the competition.

When to Start Your Job Search

Job seekers have plenty of details to worry about, like what to include on resumes and cover letters, how to dress for interviews, and what to say when they’re asked the tough questions like “Why do you want to work for this company?” But there’s another concern that many job seekers don’t even consider: when to start looking for a job.

For some, the answer seems obvious: when you’re unemployed. However, there are many underemployed and unhappily employed people who are searching for something better—and if this is you, it’s important to factor timing into your job search.

So, when should you launch your search? These tips will help you figure out the most beneficial time to start sending out your resume for the career you want, instead of the job you need.

After you’ve done your homework

There are three keys to a successful job search: research, research, and research. You should be spending a significant amount of time looking into the industry you want to enter, the companies you’re thinking of applying with, and the position itself.

Hold off on sending out resumes until you’ve learned everything you possibly can. This not only helps you prepare for interviews, but also ensures that you’re pursuing a position you’ll truly enjoy.

Before you get sick of what you’re doing now

You may not need a new position right now. You might even enjoy your current job. However, unless you landed a fast-track career at your favorite company in an industry you love, and you’re already halfway to CEO, chances are you’ll eventually want to branch out, even if only within your current company.

Spend some time reviewing your long-term goals. Are they achievable in your current position? If not, start looking for opportunities inside and outside of your current employer that will allow you to get where you ultimately want to be, even when your employment situation is stable. This way, you’ll be prepared when you’re ready to make the change.

Once you’ve completed a major project

Work experience is a great thing to have on your resume—but responsibility and results are even better. If the future of your current position includes a big project in which you’ll have a primary role, it’s a good idea to stick around and get the experience before seeking greener pastures.

Potential employers are impressed by candidates with proven results. Make it your goal to achieve major project experience in your current job. If you’re ready to move on afterward, use that experience as leverage to get your foot in another door.

We’re here to help

Helpmates Staffing can help you hone your job search and place you in the career you’ve always wanted. We’ve worked with top employers throughout Southern California for more than 40 years, and we have access to unique career opportunities that aren’t available anywhere else. Contact us to find out more about how Helpmates can further your career.

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