Face It: Your Employees Have a Side Hustle. Support Them in It

With 44 million Americans working a side hustle in addition to their regular, full-time job, we feel it’s time that employers embraced that fact and supported their employees in their entrepreneurial endeavors.

Many of us can’t make ends meet on our main job: half of all U.S. workers make less than $15 an hour and even if two people making minimum wage on full-time jobs (the federal minimum wage is $7.25, although several states pay more) pool their resources, that’s just $30,160 a year, making it tough for the couple to make ends meet, let alone raise a family.

So these side gigs help a family with finances: the CNN Money story linked to above said 36 percent of those with a side hustle make $500 a month or more.

Many workers report taking on a part-time job with another employer, but many others hustle as Uber or Lyft drivers, sell items on eBay or Amazon, design websites for businesses, and so on.

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Unsurprisingly, a PWC survey this year found that 53 percent of all employees were stressed about their finances and that stress actually causes the workers to spend three or more hours each week thinking about their sad state of affairs, which lowers their productivity.

In addition, what would happen to these employees if a spouse were laid off, a child or parent became sick, or the employee herself was injured and therefore unable to work?

But what if employers helped their workers be prepared for financial tough times? What if they encouraged their entrepreneurial bent?

After all, if finances are such a huge stress on employees – and that stress is lowering their productivity – why not support their spare-time, off-the-clock efforts?

Businesses, of course, would need to come up with guidelines regarding the side gig (not working on the enterprise while at work, no starting a business in direct competition with the employer, no using the employers’ equipment in the side hustle, etc.).

But instead of saying “no” most often, why shouldn’t businesses provide resources for their workers to learn how to launch a business, invest wisely and so on? Businesses also could provide classes or seminars on how to create a budget, how to put money aside for emergencies and for retirement, and so on.

Doing so could help lower workers’ stress and therefore help them be more productive, a big benefit to the employer. In addition, who knows? A worker who embraces and learns about entrepreneurship for his own enterprise may come up with some fresh ideas for his employers’ business!

Want to find some hustling workers for your Los Angeles or Orange County business? Let Helpmates find them for you! Contact the office nearest you today.

How to Become the BMOC in Candidates’ Eyes

Remember the Big Man on Campus (BMOC), the guy every girl wanted to date and every guy wanted to be? He was cool. Calm. Collected. (He often was the football team’s quarterback.) He was hot. Happening. Hip.

Girls would apologize to him if he stood them up on a date accepting whatever he gave as an excuse, saying it was wrong of them to be upset.

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Boys would secretly thrill if he gave them even a throw away compliment on their athletic prowess, “Hey, good job, you caught it!”

Everyone just wanted to experience the grace of being noticed by him, even if it was only for a moment. Everyone wanted to be in his orbit as if somehow they could gather up whatever crumbs of awesomeness would fall from him if they were just nearby.

When it Comes to Keeping Candidates’ Interest, You Want to be the BMOC, Too

You want job prospects to feel their lives will be so much BETTER if they become your employee. You want them to become giddy with excitement if you just look in their direction (“We’d like to hold a preliminary phone interview with you”).

You want them to wait patiently for you as you make a hiring decision: they won’t go anywhere and will wait for your text or email (today’s equivalent of “waiting by phone”) before they a) consider someone else’s offer and/or b) start looking for another opportunity.

So how do you become this type of company, one where everyone wants to work and will wait patiently for whatever hiring decision you give them, will even renege on another offer already accepted because you finally got around to saying yes?

Read below.

  1. You may be a BMOC, but you never ACT like a BMOC.

Big Men on Campus traditionally are arrogant. When they finally do get a comeuppance (and they always eventually do), not a few people are glad. Schadenfreude is rampant when the BMOC goes down!

Your company, however, is not arrogant. It doesn’t treat job prospects poorly and instead makes candidates feel important, respected and wanted.

  1. Your company is growing/expanding and you provide highly competitive wages/salaries, benefits and perks.

The BMOC often is a handsome physical specimen. Glowing with good health and vitality. The equivalent for you is a healthy bottom line. You’re growing, or at least keeping ahead of the pack when it comes to technology and your facilities’ physical condition.

You also offer great wages (higher than competitors’), fantastic benefits (a good amount of PTO, you match employees’ retirement account deposits, education stipends/repayments, etc.), and perks such as free lunches on Fridays, bring-your-dog-to-work policies, pick-up/drop-off car maintenance services, and so on.

  1. You keep all commitments and exceed candidates’ expectations during the hiring process.

The sincere and caring BMOC does what he says when he says he will. He wants to make sure his date is having a great time and thinks of her needs before his. That’s you.

You reply to all applicants within 24 or 48 hours and you graciously thank them for applying. Once you interview candidates, you call or e-mail them regularly to let them know where you are in the hiring process. If a decision is delayed, you let candidates know as soon as possible.

Choose one candidate over the others and you let those not chosen know of your decision immediately. With a phone call.

  1. Keep showing them “you’re the one.”

The true BMOC isn’t afraid to talk about his accomplishments. He doesn’t brag; he just states the facts, as warranted: “I got the football scholarship again, but I wouldn’t have done it without the help of my teammates!”) So as you’re making your way through the hiring process, let your top choices know why you’re truly awesome.

Share your company’s blogs, news stories, etc. with your candidates. Send a short post on how one employee was finally able to get her bachelor’s degree through your educational reimbursement program. Mention how one-quarter of your employees volunteered with Habitat for Humanity over the weekend. No need to brag, simply show candidates the true good work you do.

The way to becoming seen as the place to work is by a) being awesome but also b) creating a sincere relationship with your candidates around shared values. Doing so will have them be eager to work for you and willing to wait it out if the hiring process takes longer than either of you would like.

You’re extremely busy. Your hiring managers are extremely busy. Let Helpmates help you keep your hiring process moving along quickly. Contact the branch nearest your company today.

Simplifying Your Recruiting Process

In our opinion, good recruiting boils down to two things: great (clear) job descriptions and a strong and large community in which to network.

In other words, when a recruiter understands the needs of a job completely and has a lively network of professional relationships to help her find great-fit candidates, extending an offer should happen quickly.

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Really. It’s not complicated; all of us (recruiters, hiring managers, HR professionals, etc.) have just made it so.

A Simple Recruiting Process

We live in the real world with you and as much as we all would love recruiting to be as easy as described above, we know that’s not possible. Still, just because it’s not possible doesn’t mean it can be made easier, simpler.

Take a look below at what we believe is a roadmap to simplifying your recruitment efforts.

  1. It all starts with the job description.

If the job description is fuzzy, incomplete, etc., your search for a great candidate is already in danger. You can’t find what you need if you’re not clear what that need is.  And “I’ll know it when I see it” is a recipe for convoluted, drawn-out process, possibly resulting in hiring someone who really isn’t a good fit.

Instead, a clear, comprehensive job description helps keep recruiters and hiring managers focused, and when one has clarity and focus, recruiting magic happens!

  1. Help applicants help you: make it easy to apply.

Don’t ask applicants to fill out a long application online (they can fill it out at length if the come in for an interview or after hired). Consider allowing them to simply send you their LinkedIn profile as a sort of preliminary application.

Finally, not every great employee looks great on paper or has access to a computer: don’t force people to apply online. If they prefer to bring their resume and cover letter – or to even fill out a paper application in your office – let them!

  1. Keep that interview process humming!

For the love of everything you find precious, don’t bog down the interview process! In this candidate-driven market, your applicants are busy people (busy interviewing at your competitors)! Require that they go through too many interviews before extending an offer and you’ll lose them. How many interviews is enough? One or two, tops: a preliminary screening chat and the interview with the hiring manager.

  1. Be available and communicate with your candidates.

If they have more questions after the interview, answer the phone and talk to them (or e-mail them a response to their query). Tell them upfront what your hiring timeline is and make every effort to meet your self-imposed decision deadline. (Make your decision no more than a few days after interviewing/checking references.) Let candidates know if you’re not interested in them as soon as you know so. Thank them for interviewing, sincerely wish them well and tell them a little bit as to what they were lacking: “We needed five years’ experience and the person we chose had eight.”

  1. Ask for help.

You hire employees to scale your business and get more done more quickly, so why not scale your recruiting process with the help of staffing professionals? Having a staffing firm do the preliminary leg work (source, vet, first interview, etc.) can save a considerable amount of time, allowing you to concentrate on your own work, spending time interviewing and hiring only after the top candidates have been identified.

Helpmates has been helping Los Angeles and Orange County employers find great talent for 45 years: we know where the good guys are! Contact us to learn more about our recruiting services.

To Fight Unemployment Claims – or Not

As an owner (or HR manager) of a small – or even large – Los Angeles or Orange County business, one of your main focuses probably is on keeping unemployment claims down. After all, you don’t want to have to pay an unemployment claim if it’s fraudulent:

  • The more unemployment claims you pay, the higher your unemployment tax rate. (Your rate depends on how many ex-employees collect unemployment after leaving your company.)
  • However, paying the claim –even if it’s “iffy” — could mean your company steers clear of a discrimination or wrongful discharge lawsuit, therefore saving time and money dealing with the suit. What’s more, paying unemployment also could raise your chances of winning a discrimination/wrongful discharge suit.

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So it’s a sticky wicket: pay every claim in order in order to possibly avoid a lawsuit but risk the chance you potentially increase your unemployment taxes considerably.

There are some very good reasons not to contest any claim. Here are two:

  • Let someone go – for whatever reason – and he likely is to be very angry. If you fired him, there was a good reason you didn’t want him around anymore. Do you really want to spend time – and lots of money – dealing with him again? Probably not.
  • What’s more, as Talent Management and HR (EREMedia.com) put it recently, “it’s your fault if someone is fired,” because there almost always are indications that a candidate will be trouble. So if you hired the individual anyway, you need to take some responsibility for it.

Does this just stick in your craw? After all, not contesting an unemployment claim when someone was fired for legitimate misconduct!? What planet are we living on!?

And we understand. Truly. Too many people file fraudulent unemployment claims as it is, so to not contest it feels as if we’re condoning such behavior!

When should you contest an unemployment claim?

When you fired an employee for legitimate misconduct and you have solid documentation. After all, no one filing an illegitimate claim is going to admit to doing so. So you need solid proof, which includes documentation and or witnesses (and remember to create the documentation before you fire the employee).

Let us take on the burden of unemployment insurance.

Helpmates can become your workers’ employer of record (EOR), thus becoming your now-employees’ legal employer. We therefore take on all related employer responsibilities, including unemployment insurance claims. We would handle – and pay for – all unemployment insurance claims. In other words, if we feel a claim is fraudulent, we make the decision whether to contest it and reap – for good or bad – all the consequences of the ruling.

For more information on our EOR services, contact the Helpmates office nearest you and ask to speak to the branch manager.

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