Essential Tips for Retaining Customer Service Positions

For companies to rise above their competition, they need to maintain their customer base and attract new customers. The employers that are entrusted with customer support serve one of the most vital roles in any company – they, are the direct link to the company and their customers.

To help find the best, most talented customer service employees and retain them long-term, Ninja Gig has put together several helpful hiring tips.

  • Personality – It is important to hire the right employee that has a personality that shines. Customer support people represent your company, which means that if customers have problems, these are the people they turn to resolve any issues. An applicant needs to have the right personality to positively interact with their clients on a regular basis. Look for an employee that has excellent communication skills and is an effective problem solver.
  • Motivation – Customer service requires patience and a willingness to solve even the most complex issues. An employee should have the motivation to do a good job with every customer. They need to maintain a calm focus, especially when dealing with inpatient or frustrated customers. If an applicant has previous customer service experience, you can ask them how they solved some of the problems they faced at other jobs. You can also present a common customer service problem to applicants and ask how they would respond under pressure. Inquire about how they would handle challenging customers.
  • References – Ask for references and speak with former employers and coworkers about how the person handled different situations in their previous jobs. If the applicant has a natural inclination to work with people, he/she may be a good fit for a customer service position.

If an employee does well in customer sales, chances are another company will likely recruit them. To help offset employee turnover, human resources department need to consider implementing the following:

  • Comprehensive Benefits Package – Offer a comprehensive package that shows employees that companies care. While it may seem obvious, companies that go out of their way to care for their employees have a less frequent turnover.
  • Be Upfront – During the employment interview, it’s important to clearly state the company’s expectations. While you may lose some candidates up front, in the long run, you will hire better, more qualified and loyal employees.
  • Motivation – Never estimate the power of motivation. Motivating your employees can keep them challenged and let them know they are appreciated.
  • Goals – Always establish clear, individual goals to help encourage a creative thought process. This can help develop a thriving work environment that promotes long-term company benefits.

Ninja Gig specializes in accepting online job applications, which makes it easy to ask potential customer service employees about their job histories, qualifications and much more.

The Benefits of Tracking Turnover in the Food Service Industry

The food service industry experiences a sky-high turnover rate, resting around 72.1-percent in 2015. To help combat this high turnover, Ninja Gig has analyzed some practical tools for tackling this high turnover rate.

Restaurants should have interview guides for each food service position, which includes a variety of questions about employee’s knowledge, skills, availability, previous experience, job accomplishments and personal attributes. Interviewers should take thorough notes when interviewing applicants and pay special attention to applicants’ personality traits, which includes their communication skills and their enthusiasm for the job.

Applicants should also be given a clear job description, so they know what is expected from them. Consider adding these questions to your online job application and in-person interviews:

  1. What do you consider a significant project or accomplishment in your career? This is a great way to start a conversation with an applicant. Remember to ask specific questions as the candidate talks, focusing on how he/she interacts with others and his/her work habits.
  2. If you are offered this job, and you accept it, you are happy with the position and your salary, what type of offer from another company would make you consider leaving? Employee loyalty is vital, especially since the food service industry has such a high turnover rate. This question gives employers insight into what is important to employees – self-satisfaction, happiness or money.
  3. What tasks do you not like? Providing insight into a candidate’s personality, employers should look for tasks that are part of the job description. This will help eliminate potential candidates that are likely to leave and find new employment.
  4. Tell me about something that occurred at work that didn’t go the way you wanted? Responses generally fall into three categories: the opportunity for growth, blame or self-deprecation. If prospective employees point fingers or respond indignantly, it’s best to think twice before extending an employment offer.
  5. If we offer you the job and in a year, we are sitting here celebrating, what did we work to achieve together? This question will highlight if the applicant has done his/her homework about your company and if he/she understands the available position.
  6. Why have you had so many jobs over the last several years? Moving beyond employment dates can help uncover a candidate’s career progression, why he/she changes employers and what can motivate him/her to stay long-term.
  7. What is the most effective way to manage you? This will show if a candidate understands the essential keys to his/her success. It will also highlight the amount of supervision he/she requires, communication styles and effective rewards, which allows you to determine if he/she is a good fit for your existing team.

Ninja Gig features the ease of online job applications, which can help streamline traditional paperwork within the food service industry. Applicants can quickly complete online employment applications and employers can manage these applications during the employment process.

Why does the tech industry have low retention rates?

Many people say they dream of working for the big tech companies, such as Google and Amazon. But is working for tech companies all it cracks up to be?

Tech companies are famous for their perks, which are even featured in the 2013 movie, “The Internship” that highlights Google’s employee benefits. Some of their best perks include free gourmet food and snacks, bringing dogs to work, free rides to and from work, death benefits, fitness classes and gyms and more. So who wouldn’t want to work for a tech company that offers these amazing benefits?

While it could be that the tech industry is high stress, most people know this before embarking into the tech industry. Tech employees have highly marketable skills, and Millennials do not define employer loyalty. While employees may be drawn to the benefits that big companies offer, if they get bored or receive a better employment offer, don’t be surprised if they jump ship.

Even if you’re a small tech company, you can benefit from taking notice from larger conglomerates. Some studies show that the average employee is only at their tech job for five years. This means that your company will spend a lot of money rehiring and retraining new employees.

Instead of tech companies accepting job-hopping as the norm, tech companies should delve into why turnover is frequent. A couple of tips to determine why new employees are applying is to have an online job application that asks applicants why they are seeking new employment. Additionally, human resources professionals can conduct exit interviews to obtain insight into specifics about why employees are leaving.

This information can be combined, and an employment retention plan can be put into place. This will help decrease future hiring costs and boost company morale, helping to retain current employees.

Ninja Gig offers customizable online employment application. Tech companies can easily manage these online applications, learn additional information about potential employees and easily retain applications for future reference. Sign up today for a free trial!

Medical Crisis: Registered Nurse Turnover

A little-known fact that lies in our medical communities is that registered nurse turnover is surprisingly high. In fact, according to the Survey of Newly-Licensed Registered Nurses, one in five newly registered nurses (RNs) leaves their first job within a year and one in three within the first two years.

The overall turnover for hospitals is lower than at other health care settings, but the overall cost of RNs leaving affects the quality of care and is expensive for hospitals. For example, organizational costs alone can be as high as $6.4 million for large acute care hospitals that offer emergency trauma services. In fact, turnover among healthcare providers directly associates with an increase in patient falls, pressure ulcers and the use of physical restraints.

Voluntary termination accounts for approximately 91-percent of turnover. Participants in the 2016 National Healthcare Retention & RN Staffing Report, identified why RNs left their employment. While relocation, personal reasons, salary, retirement and career advancement are dominating factors, additional reasons for departure include immediate management issues, education, commute, scheduling and workload to staffing ratios. According to The University of New Mexico, the following are the six top reasons why nurses leave their jobs:

  1. Moving
  2. Personal Matters
  3. Promotion
  4. Salary
  5. Retirement
  6. Burnout

For a couple of years, it seemed as though the RN vacancy rate was decreasing, but this latest report shows that the rate is increasing. The report also shows that a third of hospitals have a 10-percent or higher vacancy rate for RNs. This is an increase of 4.8-percent from 2012.

When the number of RNs in a hospital declines, the traditional approach has been to spend more money on overtime, travel nurses or agency staff to fill vacancies. These are costly strategies that can affect overall patient care.

The RN Recruitment Difficult Index (RDI-RN) estimates that it takes 54 to 109 days to recruit an experienced RN (not counting RN specialties, such as ICU, labor and delivery, etc.). Specialty positions can take as long as 80 to 109 days to fill.

The report also shows that the average turnover for RNs costs from $37,700 to $58,400. This means that hospitals can lose $5.2 million to $8.1 million annually from turnover alone.

The costs associated with filling these vacancies can include:

  • Job postings
  • Employing in-house recruiters
  • Hiring third-party staffing firms
  • Applicant tracking systems

The number one preventable reason for nurses leaving is burnout. In this century, the number of nurses that cite burnout has substantially increased. The addition of documentation, new technology and electronic medical records has added even more stress to this pressure-induced occupation. Some of the reasons nurses experience burnout can include:

  • Chaotic job atmosphere
  • Lack of social support
  • Inability to control assignments or schedules
  • Imbalanced work and job life

Healthcare organizations can combat burnout by implementing:

 

  • Self-scheduling
  • Reducing overtime
  • Mentorship programs

 

Nurses that work 12 hours or more in a single shift and more than 40 hours per week are more likely to leave the workforce within a year. Medical organizations should note that overtime should not be commonplace and nurses should not be pushed to work extra hours.

 

Creating programs and incentives for nurses will help alleviate turnover. This can include scholarships, tuition reimbursement, competitive salaries and benefits and even monetary incentives.

 

Ninja Gig can help hospitals find qualified, registered nurses. Our online job applications allow hospitals to customize questions, which helps identify the most qualified candidates.  Sign up now and take advantage of our 30-day free trial.

Insight into Cashier Turnover

Cashiers are responsible for ringing up purchases in convenience stores, grocery stores and other establishments using cash registers and electronic scanners. In 2014, there were approximately 3.5 million cashiers in the U.S., making this the second largest occupation behind retail salespeople.

This entry-level position does not require any formal education or work experience, and the employer provides most training on the job. The pay for cashiers is low as it is generally minimum wage. Due to the volume of cash transactions, applicants may be required to pass drug screens and background checks. Cashier jobs may be full-time, part-time and seasonal or offer flexible hours.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that cashier employment will increase two-percent from 2014 to 2024, which equates to approximately 67,000 new jobs. Because the job description requires good customer service but offers low pay, the turnover rate is high.

More reports show that companies are desperate to keep their minimum-wage workers. Within the last couple of years, companies such as Walmart, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, IKEA, Starbucks and Gap have committed to increasing the wages of low-paid workers. While this has sparked concern among investors, there are reasons why companies are willing to fork out more money for long-term retention in these jobs.

  • The average cashier earns a full-time salary of between $20,026 and $25,400.
  • The cost of replacing an employee that earns a lower income is approximately 16% of their annual wage according to the Center for American Progress.
  • This equates to $3,204.16 to $4,064. Every time a cashier quits, it costs a company this amount to train a new hire, which adds up – especially for larger retail companies.

If you equate this 16-percent number with Walmart’s 500,000 low-wage employees, the total cost is approximately $1 billion. While boosting cashier’s wages will not solve the turnover dilemma, it can help reduce the overall costs associated with training and recruiting new employees.

Costco implemented a long-term strategy to retain good employees. The average hourly worker starts at $11.50 per hour and those employees that stay more than five years can easily earn upwards of $20 per hour. “This is not altruistic,” Costco co-founder Jim Sinegal said of his company’s pay practices. “This is good business.”

Some retailers, such as Target, have made it clear they will not conform to higher wages. If these employers want to decrease their turnover rates without increasing hourly pay, their profitability may lie in predictable scheduling, such as giving cashiers their hours several weeks in advance.

If your company is looking to reduce cashier turnover, the first step is hiring employees that want to work long-term. You can accomplish this by including specific questions in Ninja Gig’s online job applications, which makes it easier to identify good applicants. Second, your organization will need to consider polling employees or looking at the general city and area to see if higher wages or more flexible schedules appeal to applicants.  Sign up today to start accepting employment applications online immediately!

Cleaning Industry Turnover: A Guide to Prevention and Retention

Reducing employee turnover in the cleaning industry can be challenging. Due to the nature of the work, cleaning requires odd hours and generally does not earn societal respect by clients and other employees. It is important to create a work atmosphere that is positive and values good employees. This will help maintain personnel and not have them view their jobs as trivial tasks but as a potentially rewarding and long-term career. Consider practicing the following:

  • Hire employees that want to clean. It’s that simple. Do not interview for cleaning jobs as temporary positions, but look for employees that want to learn and grow within your organization. The cleaning industry may not be glamorous, but make sure potential employees know it’s steady work that can offer future advancement.
  • Provide training to new employees. Employees that understand and are comfortable with their job tasks perform more efficiently and effectively. They also have more pride in their work. Create hands-on training sessions, a training manual and provide cross-training opportunities so employees can learn new skills and continue to grow.
  • Reward employees and create a sense of family. Sometimes employee retention can be as simple as employees feeling appreciated. Create a sense of comradery so appreciated employees know you value their hard work. This can be as simple as having a day out at a baseball game, a staff party or even a family bowling night.
  • Conduct yearly reviews and offer praise. Employees need to feel valued. Encourage employees to go above and beyond their routine job tasks. Recognize employees in annual reviews and praise their performance if they volunteer for overtime, respond to emergency jobs, volunteer to work overnight shifts or tackle tough cleaning jobs. It is important that any criticism is constructive, so employees do not feel discouraged. Offer additional counseling or training to help employees learn from their mistakes, as this will help avoid future repeat mishaps.
  • Implement a workplace survey. To help your cleaning company improve, you need to gain insightful feedback. Ask employees to provide anonymous feedback about training opportunities, shifts, cleaning assignments, management and paid benefits. You can use this information to make changes in your workplace, including adding more rotating shifts, offering a wellness program or including more opportunities for advancement.

Ninja Gig can help reduce your employee turnover by offering detailed job applications. These online employment applications are easy to customize so companies can target long-term employees.  Start accepting job applications online today with our 30-day free trial.  Sign up now!

Combat Restaurant Turnover Now Part 2 of 2

Our last article highlighted the first three ways you can combat restaurant turnover: implement a solid hiring process, provide employees with adequate training and reward and recognition for standout employees.

This article will explore an additional two ways that restaurants can help boost their employee retention rates.

  • Advancement Opportunities – If you want employees to stay with you long-term, it’s vital to make sure that top performers have the opportunity to advance within the company. Employees need to visualize a future with a restaurant to want to stay working there. Identify top performers and consider giving them the following responsibilities:
    • Training – If an employee stands out as a born leader, let him/her train new employees.
    • Filling In – Top performers can easily fill in if the manager is absent. They could also be promoted to shift manager or head trainer.
    • Second Locations – Stand out employees can help start and manage new locations. Consider rewarding an employee that is a strong team player and has a positive attitude.

Don’t just show employees that hard work pays off, show them that their efforts do not go unnoticed.

  • Investigate Turnover – Instead of assuming a restaurant’s turnover is for one specific reason, it is better to investigate and find out more detailed information.
    • Exit Interview – For example, interview departing employees in an exit interview and ask them about their working experience and also where the restaurant has room for improvement. This information can prove very insightful.
    • POS Reports – Analyze Employee Shift Reports to determine if employees receive too few or too many hours. Too few means you can probably consider decreasing the size of your staff. Too many and you need to hire additional employees to avoid burnout.

By implementing the five points discussed in articles one and two, you can help turn your restaurant around and avoid costly high turnover rates.

Ninja Gig works with the restaurant industry and provides online job applications. Restaurants can easily manage employment application questions and data.  Take advantage of our 30-day free trial to start accepting job applications online, which is one way to make handling turnover even easier!  Sign up now!

Combat Restaurant Turnover Now Part 1 of 2

We understand that high restaurant turnover rates are stressful. Estimates show that in 2015, restaurant staff turnover rates were at 72-percent. Restaurants face an evolving door, losing money every time an employee leaves. Time and training new hires can be expensive, which is why we have five helpful tips to combat restaurant turnover.

  • Solid Hiring Process – Restaurant employees can make or break customers’ experiences, making people return or causing them never to come back. It is vital that restaurants implement a solid hiring process to help find the right candidates to create a good team. Start practicing these HR tips when hiring:
    • Job Postings – Create specific, informative job postings to attract the best, most well-qualified candidates.
    • Interview Questions – Create a set of open-ended interview questions, so candidates’ personalities and answers shine.
    • Body Language – Note candidates’ body language, as this is something customers pick up on.
    • References – Always check references.
    • Interview System – Create a buddy interview system where another senior employee participates in interviews.
  • Adequate Training – Many restaurants often overlook this simple hiring practice – have a good, solid training program in place to help eliminate miscommunications, staff errors, etc. Because the restaurant industry is fast-paced, it’s important to have a quick, yet effective training program. Consider educating new staff about the following:
    • POS – The POS system can be overwhelming, which is why it’s important to have staff training. Ask your POS company if they can provide in-depth training.
    • Menu Knowledge – New employees should be able to answer menu questions for customers.
    • Customer Service Standards – While this may seem like a no-brainer, it’s important for employees to understand their customer service expectations.
  • Reward and Recognize – Studies show that there are direct correlations between turnover rates and staff dissatisfaction. Low morale can create a negative atmosphere. To help turn this around, add the following:
    • Employee of the Month – Consider having a regular Employee of the Month contest to honor your best, hardworking and most committed employees. This will also help motivate low performers.
    • Team Building – Add a team-building contest to get staff working together, which can boost efficiency.

Just adding these programs with small rewards, such as a gift certificate, free meal, parking space, etc., can make a big difference in employee morale.  Stay tuned, and in our next article, we’ll feature the remaining two tips to help combat high turnover.

Ninja Gig specializes in providing online job applications for the restaurant industry. We help simplify your employment application and record-keeping process.  While we can’t solve your turnover issues, we can help you with your hiring needs by providing you with the software and job board integrations to make your life much easier!  Sign up today for a 30-day free trial.

Human Resources Management: Top Essential Skills

Human resources professionals are always interviewing candidates and assessing qualifications and skills. But what does it take to be successful in human resources management? Let us take a closer look.

  • Multitasking – Human resources professionals have to be able to multitask and deal with a wide variety of duties, ranging from FMLA leave questions, employees’ personal issues, developing recruitment strategies, advertising jobs on social media, keeping employees engaged, retaining employees and much more.
  • Organization – Successful human resources managers have to maintain well- organized files and have very strong time management skills. It is important to be able to have excellent files and documentation in place before disciplining or firing employees.
  • Negotiation – Human resources managers need to be able to negotiate, or at least be able to objectively look at two or more opposing viewpoints. It is important for human resources to remain as the middle ground during negotiations.
  • Communication – HR professionals need to communicate with management, potential employees, managers and employees. Whether it is in writing or in-person, it is important that HR managers be caring, believable and convincing.
  • Grey Issues – Sometimes personnel issues are not simple or straightforward. For example, is something considered harassment or discrimination? What is the definition of a “reasonable accommodation?” What is the appropriate way to handle intermittent leave? It is also important that HR professionals realize when a legal issue is beyond their scope and know when to contact an expert or attorney.
  • Dual Focus – While it is important that HR advocates for their specific concerns and issues, it is also necessary to enforce management’s policies. Sometimes it can feel like human resources departments are balancing different tasks, which also includes prioritizing the protection of the organization. Dealing with difficult tasks is part of the job. Employees can misunderstand human resources managers, but in an attempt to explain their actions, they could be compromising confidential data and information.
  • Confidentiality – HR professionals are required to maintain confidentiality for both management and keep track of employees to make sure that regulations and policies are followed. Human resources departments are required to maintain order and be firm. This is not an easy responsible.
  • Problem Solving – Human resources managers have to be able to problem solve and aid in conflict management. People have to work together in a civil manner, and sometimes HR gets involved in employee or manager conflicts. Having excellent problem-solving skills help HR professionals.
  • Roll with Change –Human Resources has to be able to handle states of change, whether it is hiring large groups of employees or managing a major layoff.

Human Resources professionals that can handle these types of tasks will be able to flourish in their careers. It is not a profession for the faint of heart, as there are times when they have to be the bad person and enforce rules and order.

Ninja Gig specializes in online job applications. This enables human resources departments to stay organized, distribute more job notices online and keep track of qualified applicants.  Sign up today for a 30-day free trial to start accepting job applications online.  It’s easy!

Follow this Basic Checklist for an Awesome Job Posting

Social media and online job postings are the new way to attract talented candidates. Human Resources professionals need to have the right points covered in these postings to make a powerful impact.

Incorporate the following key points into every job posting:

  • Company – Describe the company and their brand. Based on this opening introduction, applicants will decide if they want to apply for a job.
  • Benefits – Highlight the benefits that the company offers, including vacation, insurance packages and retirement. Benefits are very important to employees. This is also a good place to highlight unique perks that the company may offer, such as flex-time, working from home, etc.
  • Location – The location of the company is also important. Always include the city and state. The Internet is a powerful resource and people can be searching for jobs worldwide.
  • Job Title – The job title should be clear and concise, so anyone outside the company can clearly understand the position.
  • Job Duties – Provide a description of the day-to-day job duties. It is important to sell the position or companies will not receive qualified candidates’ applications. Highlight long-term benefits, chances for advancement and include detailed descriptions.
  • Skills – List the specific skills required for the position, as this will help human resources departments weed out unqualified candidates.
  • Training and Experience – If a certain type of training, a level of education or work experience is required, include this in the advertisement.
  • Pay Range – The position should clearly highlight a salary range. Studies show that job listings that do not include salary information will result in two-thirds of qualified applicants not applying.
  • Call to Action – Make it very clear what the interested applicant is to do next – whether it’s filled out an online job application, dropping off a resume, emailing human resources, visiting the website, etc.
  • Keywords – Today’s online job searches are directed by keywords, so it is important to include them the job title, job description and skills listings. This can help optimize a company’s search engine marketing.
  • Formatting – Make the job description clear and easy to read. Include bullet points and make a call to action item stand out.
  • Grammar – Always make sure there are no misspellings, excess jargon and that grammar is good.

Follow these basic tips and use Ninja Gig to accept online job applications. We specialize in helping human resources departments simplify job applications, while targeting qualified candidates.  Sign up today for a 30-day, no obligation, free trial!