Top 6 Skills Employers Are Seeking in 2017

Thinking about a job change in the New Year? Here at Helpmates and across the country, dynamic, innovative companies are looking for talent to help them reach new heights in 2017.

But do you have the skills they’re seeking?

Los Angeles Jobs

With more options than ever, today’s employers are looking for certain skill sets in talent, regardless of position. The following list includes 5 of the top skills employers are seeking in the New Year:

  • Customer service. Strong customer service skills will never go out of style. And in today’s businesses, every role is essentially a customer service role. PRO TIP: Be prepared to answer questions about delivering exceptional service in your next job interview. Even better? Step it up a notch and be proactive about your focus and abilities on delivering exceptional service (to customers, or even other employees!).
  • Have a knack for building websites or helping your family through their technical challenges? It could be time to put those skills to use in your career! Many employers are now looking for tech-savvy employees in a variety of non-technical roles.
  • From inter-office memos to emails and other internal documents, you might not realize just how much writing you do in a work day! The ability to clearly and concisely convey meaning and drive action is highly desirable in just about every role — bring samples or be prepared to discuss why your business communications are effective to make a positive impression on interviewers.
  • Problem-solving. We all hit the occasional road block at work. But how we work through those challenges helps determine our strength and success as an employee. Many employers request employees who have strong problem-solving skills, for a variety of roles. To help prepare for your next interview, start thinking now about times where you were presented with a challenge and worked your way through it (and lessons you learned along the way).
  • Sure, most of us have to, well, talk, during the work day, but have you thought about your verbal skills from the perspective of an employer? Probably not, but it’s likely time to start working on your verbal skills. One of the most critical times you’ll need those skills is when you’re in an interview! Practice answering interview questions so you can accurately convey your message during interviews. But also think about how your verbal interactions affect your colleagues and bosses once you’ve landed the job. Are you accurately and clearly conveying the right message? Are you getting great results when you ask for assistance or when you deliver feedback? These are critical components of a successful career, and employers will be listening carefully to see whether your skills measure up.
  • Okay, this isn’t a skill per se, but it’s still extremely important to employers today. If you walk into an interview brimming with enthusiasm for the role and company, you will make a positive impression on interviewers. Keep the enthusiasm going in your thank you notes, second interviews and when you start the job — your new career adventure will most definitely be off to a great start!

Here at Helpmates, we work with a wide range of top employers across Southern California. We connect you with great jobs to help you advance your career and reach your goals! Search our available jobs or contact your nearest Helpmates office to find YOUR next great career opportunity.

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What Do Your Workers Want from You Once School is Back in Session?

Soon the kids will be back to school, and workers will be faced with the increased challenge of finding a balance between home life, childcare, after school activities, and work obligations. Many times this conflict of interests is a main source of employee frustration and lowered morale, eventually leading to attrition.  As an employer, you are in a position to make this delicate balancing act a bit easier by offering your workers some much desired flexibility.

A recent national survey of 500 HR Managers, found that three quarters of employers surveyed are indeed offering some flexible schedule solutions to their teams. More and more, employers are finding that the need for at least some flexibility in scheduling is a basic requirement of employment, not simply a nice perk.

It will benefit you to find some ways to be accommodating this fall, as long as it doesn’t interfere with the productivity of your company or result in increased effort on the part of your managers to oversee any policy changes.  Here are a few examples of what you might be able to offer.  See which ones, if any, will work best for you.

  • Offer reduced hours.
    Many people will work extra hard during the week, or even come in an hour early Monday through Thursday to get tasks completed so they can leave early on Friday.  This may end up saving you some money on your electric bill to keep the office cool on hot afternoons.  It will certainly go a long way toward the collective group morale.
  • Offer telecommuting options.
    Even if it is only one day a week, this option is very appealing to employees, allowing them one less day of childcare payments or savings on gas.  You need to consider which job tasks lend themselves to telecommuting and which employees’ work ethics will match the task.
  • Schedule a company outing.
    Use the opportunity to do team building activities, allowing everyone to enjoy each other away from the pressures of the office.
  • Consider job sharing.
    If appropriate, coworkers can team up to make sure that each other’s job tasks are accomplished so they can alternate days off.  This promotes teamwork while allowing employees the flexibility in their work life they really desire.

One thing to keep in mind, no matter which of these options you select, is that ground rules need to be very clearly spelled out to each worker so they know the expectations and what they may have in return.  This will ensure that productivity remains intact, clients’ needs are being met, and your company benefits from your flexibility as do your employees.

These options all have one main focus: keeping your employees as happy as possible at work.  Happy employees are productive and loyal, and more willing to go the extra mile for you when it is needed because they feel their needs are being met.

Making plans to manage your fall workload?
Let Helpmates’ Certified Staffing Professionals fill your needs for office personnel, accounting, healthcare, distribution, manufacturing, or HR professionals.  Contact us today.

How to Master Tough Interview Questions Like a Pro

Congratulations! You’ve been asked to interview for the job of your dreams.

Are you excited…or nervous? More importantly, are you prepared?

Interviewing can be really stressful, or quite enjoyable, depending on the preparation you do. Over my many years of hiring, the best interviews I’ve had are always the ones that turn into more of a conversation than a question and answer session. And that happens when the candidate is ready for the interview.

So what do you need to know?

First, you absolutely must do a little homework (and the more senior the position, the more preparation is required). Visit the company website. Get to know their products and services. Understand the company mission. Learn a little about their industry. And most importantly, think about the value you can bring to the organization.

Next, do a little planning to prepare for the following common interview questions you’re likely to be asked.

Common Question 1: Tell me about yourself.

You don’t need to tell your life story. The interviewer wants to hear a few highlights about your background, and the reasons you’d be a good match for the job opening. Don’t be afraid to brag a little. Share specific examples of your successes from prior jobs, talk about relevant classes you’ve taken, and convey your passion for the job.

Common Question 2: Tell me about your greatest success.

With a question like this, be genuine. The interviewer is looking for real examples of your skills, experience and personality traits. Never make up a story. If you don’t have a lot of work experience, talk about school. Was there a group project where you really shined? Tell a story that illustrates your accomplishments and work ethic.

Common Question 3: What is your greatest weakness?

This is the one that seems to get everyone stumped. A lot of people will tell you to take a strength you have and make it into a weakness. An example of this could be, “I just care too much sometimes and I always take my work home with me,” but a good interviewer can spot false modesty. Instead, talk about a weakness you actually have, but when you respond, show you are working to overcome the weakness. For example, maybe you’re a little disorganized, but you started using a planner, and file folders to separate your work, so now you have a better handle on it.

Common Question 4: Give me an example of when you really went above and beyond for a client. 
Or the corollary, give me an example of a time you had a big conflict with a client and how you dealt with it.

This is a tricky question because the interviewer is looking for you to demonstrate behavioral traits from your past. They want to see how you really handle yourself when clients are demanding or conflicts arise. Like the previous questions, the best approach is to be sincere. Have at least a couple of real stories ready to tell. Explain the situation that occurred, how you dealt with the problem, and the results of your efforts. Also, be sure to explain how you followed-up after the event took place to ensure the client was happy.

Common Question 5: What qualities should a successful manager have?

I love this question. It really forces candidates to express how they like to be managed, and it helps me evaluate whether or not the candidate is a good fit for the culture of our organization. To prepare for this question, think of an example of a favorite former boss or professor. What qualities made that person a great leader? When responding, don’t just state what you think works, but tell the interviewer about your examples and why their leadership style worked. For example, you might discuss a supervisor who was great at setting clear expectations, someone who set a great example for the rest of the team, or a person who was very approachable and acted as an effective mentor.

Would you like more help getting ready for your interviews?

As one of the top employment agencies in Southern California, we can help.  Call Helpmates today to schedule an interview to land your next great job.

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