Three Basic Labour Laws to Know Before Hiring a Youth

Part-time employment for youths is a win-win situation. It’s cost effective and productive for a business while providing an opportunity for youths to develop certain skill sets and work habits in “the real world” after school hours.

However, as an employer, before you start hiring and scheduling hours, there are several laws and regulations in accordance to The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) that you are required to know and abide by. While understanding the basic laws of hiring of youths is just a starting point, having a clear understanding will make the hiring process easier and make your employee’s experience more efficient.

Here are just three of the basic laws set out by The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to get you started:

How many hours can youths work?

According to The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) the minimum age for youths to work is 14 with the basic minimum age being 16. In fact, Youth Rules! – a division of The U.S. Department of Labor – states that youths of aged 14 or 15 are limited to hours they are allowed to work. For example, youths may are not permitted to work:

 

  • Outside of school hours.
  • More than three hours on a school day (including Fridays).
  • More than 18 hours per week during the school year.
  • More than eight hours per day when school is not in session
  • More than 40 hours per week when school is not in session
  • Before 7 a.m. or after 7 pm on any day (hours are extended to 9 pm from June 1 to Labor Day)

 

However, while a little restricted for employers, there are no limited work hours for those aged 16 to 17 and can perform “any job that has not been declared hazardous by the Secretary of Labor.” Plus, once a youth reaches 18, “they are no longer subject to the federal child labor provisions.”

Youth Employment Wages

According to the FLSA, the federal minimum wage is $7.25/hour. Yet, for those under 20 years-old (and are eligible to be paid the minimum wage), an employer is entitled to pay as low as $4.25 per hour for the first 90 consecutive calendar days of employment. Following the 90 days, they are then required to pay the full minimum wage.

 

What Type of Businesses Can Youths Work For?

Other than the agricultural space, which entails a whole other set of labor laws and regulations, there are several kinds of employment available (non-manufacturing and non-hazardous jobs) including:

 

  • Various businesses in the retail space
  • Computer programming, tutoring, or the entertainment industry (singing, playing an instrument, etc)
  • Delivery services
  • Yard work (not including the use of power-driven mowers or similar equipment)
  • Loading or unloading objects at worksite including rakes, hand-held clippers, and shovels
  • Gas stations or car detail services.
  • Select restaurant jobs (such as washing dishes, cleaning equipment and limited cooking tasks)

Further, 14 and 15-year-olds who meet certain requirements can perform limited tasks in sawmills and woodshops, while 15-year-olds under certain requirements can work as a lifeguard at public pools or water parks.

By reviewing all the laws and regulations in accordance to the FLSA and that’s outlined by Youth Rules!, you are ensured that you’re meeting the required laws and regulations. Plus, you’re providing a lawful business place for you and your employees!

 

As youth labor laws may vary from state to state, its best to review the limitations and allowances for your area. For more details visit the US Department of Labor at https://www.dol.gov or Youth Rules! at https://www.youthrules.gov.

By signing up with Ninja Gig, companies easily promote openings using online employment applications. Online job applications make it easy for qualified applicants to apply. Sign up now for your free trial and get your online job applications in front of potential candidates now.

How to Keep Top Talent Happy at Your Work Place

High turn-around among employees is challenging for any business. It’s time consuming, cost intensive and can be potentially unproductive when it comes to meeting company goals. It can also hinder a company’s reputation and the ability to keep or even attract top talent.

There are any number reasons for a having a high turnaround of employees. Yet, when it becomes apparent that the front door to your business is more like “a revolving door,” perhaps take a closer look at your work environment to find the cause.

Outside of salary increases and great benefit programs, which are strong incentives to any employee, no business environment is perfect. There’s always politics, that “one employee who creates a headache for everyone” and of course, the common stress-factor. However, establishing and maintaining a harmonious work environment may offset these challenges. In turn, it may provide a more productive, enjoyable experience for your employees, and the ability to hire and keep favorable ones.

Here are three aspects to make your work environment more enticing:

1. Minimize Stress:  Distribute Work Evenly and “Recognize Weak Links”

There’s a long list of things that can cause stress in the work place and too much work is at the top of that list. Having the luxury of a large department to handle major projects is not always feasible for many businesses. Yet, by dividing responsibilities fairly among a team will alleviate some stress, especially when it comes to meeting deadlines. Plus, realizing all your employee’s strengths and weaknesses during a project and placing them in more appropriate roles can further reduce stress, plus provide a more relaxing atmosphere for “the performers.”

2. Address Employee-to-Employee Issues Immediately

There are several reasons for less-than-desirable relations between co-workers and can be a good reason for any good employee(s) to resign. This is an issue that always needs to be addressed and it’s pertinent to realize that a problem exists, determine the root cause and then find a resolution immediately for both parties. In the end, it may create a more positive atmosphere for everyone involved without the issue escalating into larger problems.

 3. Recognize Achievement Where it’s Due

There’s an old saying that “good work is always rewarded with more work.” This can become a burden for any top performer. It can make them feel they are being taken advantage of or not being properly recognized for achievements and as result, become disgruntled. While many large companies offer attractive bonus structures or other monetary incentives to recognize achievements, sometimes a heartfelt thank-you or other means of recognition is all takes to make an employee feel appreciated. In fact, according to The Young Entrepreneur Council, recognition programs, implement peer-to-peer recognition, or even arranging a small celebration off-site is all that is needed to boost morale. Although some employers just don’t have it in their hearts to acknowledge good, solid work, these are all positive incentives to consider. The results may be surprising.

By signing up with Ninja Gig, companies easily promote openings using online employment applications. Online job applications make it easy for qualified applicants to apply. Sign up now for your free trial and get your online job applications in front of potential candidates now.

3 Things to Know Before Hiring a Summer Intern

School is out. The days are long. And thousands of high school and college-age students are looking for summer internships.  If your company is looking to hire an intern, here’s what you need to know.

  1. Don’t Hire an Intern Just to Fetch Coffee

It can be tempting for a company to view an intern role as nothing more than inexpensive labor there to assist with grunt work and coffee runs. Don’t be one of these companies.

Your company culture should inspire internships that allow interns to make a dent while learning from your experienced staff. Many of us have bad memories of being interns for ungrateful organizations when we were younger, so have some empathy and create internship positions that matter. This will attract talented candidates hungry to prove their value, and word will quickly spread that your organization has the hottest internship position in town.

  1. Use the Intern Role to Fill Gaps in Your Organization

Is your marketing team swamped? Is accounting constantly playing catchup? Use an internship position strategically to help fill gaps in your organization.

Hiring an intern to pick up slack in the company is a quick and easy way to jolt bottom line performance. Let’s pretend your summer intern joins a team of five full-time staff and works 40 hours a week. The 40 hours the intern works were previously split among the full-time staff, meaning each staff member is getting 8 hours (40 ÷ 5) added back to their availability every week.

What would you get done with an entire day freed up each week?

  1. Use Your Intern as a Swiss Army Knife

Interns can bring new skill sets and fresh vantage points not found anywhere else in your organization. Don’t be afraid to unleash this fact to your advantage and craft a flexible job position. For example, maybe the new HR intern has been taking courses in videography and filming things in her leisure time. If you have a need for a new company video, let her help the marketing team. She might spot something they overlook.

Or maybe your new accounting intern is skilled in the latest social media tools and practices. Let him meet with the social media team for a day. These interactions can be mutually beneficial and they’ll lead to a more well-rounded internship experience.

By signing up with Ninja Gig, companies easily promote openings using online employment applications. Online job applications make it easy for qualified applicants to apply. Sign up now for your free trial and get your online job applications in front of potential candidates now.

Is Unlimited Vacation a Good Idea?

Summer is the busiest travel season of the year. With kids on summer vacation and warm weather nationwide, hundreds of thousands of employees are taking time off to visit new places.

Despite so many people taking off work at once, the economy never collapses and organizations keep humming along. Which got us thinking about one of the newest crazes in company perks: unlimited vacation policies.

Are they a good idea? Or is the old model of 2-3 week restrictions still ideal? Read on to find out.

Pro #1: It Increases Employee Happiness

A 2017 report from Gallup showed that 53 percent of employees rank having a job that allows them greater work-life balance and personal well-being as “very important.” Giving employees complete flexibility over vacation schedules is the quickest way to appease this wish.

Con #1: Employees May Abuse the System…Or Get Abused by It

The verdict is still out on what type of companies truly benefit from unlimited vacation policies. Some employees can’t handle the unlimited time-off and abuse too much of a good thing. This leads to lost production hours for the company.

And on the flip side, many company cultures are so cutthroat that flex time is viewed as a weakness that sets careers back, so employees actually take less time off than they would if prescribed a set amount of days.

Pro #2: It Can Cut Costs

Traditional vacation policies result in accrued unused days off at the end of each year. And when an employee quits, gets laid off or retires, the company has to pay out these unused vacation days. Contrast this to companies with unlimited vacation policies that don’t have to carry any liability on their books for unused time off, and the difference is staggering. According to the U.S. Travel Association, this has the potential to save companies $1,898 per employee.

Con #2: Vacation Days Can No Longer Be Used as a Reward

Long-tenured employees may not take a liking to unlimited vacation policies. They spent years, and sometimes even decades, working hard to build up extra vacation days, and they viewed their surplus as a badge of honor. When the playing field is leveled and new employees are granted the same number of days off (unlimited) as everyone else, morale can take a hit.

And if companies can no longer offer an extra week of vacation in exchange for continued employment, there is one less negotiating chip on the table when an employee considers leaving for a new opportunity.

Pro #3: It Can Help Attract the Best Talent

According to a brand new survey from MetLife, the Los Angeles Times reports that unlimited vacation is now the #1 benefit workers want. Your company can use this insight to their advantage when recruiting talent. In fact, research from Glassdoor shows that nearly 80 percent of workers prefer additional benefits over income increases. That figure grows to 90 percent with millennials.

 

Con #3: You Have to Trust Employees to Manage Their Projects Accordingly

Offering unlimited vacation can backfire if you don’t have policies and procedures in place. Without structure, companies open themselves up to being burned during the busiest times of the year. When vacation days are capped, there is a safeguard in place to protect against people being out too often. Managers will need to communicate more heavily and set clearer expectations when the safeguard is removed.

 

 

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Fire Them Before You Hire Them: Why Your Hiring Team Should Perform Premortems

About to extend an offer to a candidate? Maybe you should fire them first.

Premortems—the hypothetical opposite of a postmortem—have been popularized in business media the past decade and a half. Made famous by Harvard Business Review (HBR) and Amazon, premortems are performed before a project starts and operate on the assumption that the project has failed. So, the purpose is to ask what did go wrong instead of what might go wrong.

The intention of this reframe is to get your mind thinking about concrete threats to success before the project begins, rather than trying to brainstorm hypotheticals from scratch. And studies show “prospective hindsight—imagining that an event has already occurred—increases the ability to correctly identify reasons for future outcomes by 30%” according to HBR.

But these exercises are typically performed in project management circles, not personnel or HR decisions.

Until now. Here’s why your company should perform a premortem firing before hiring your next candidate.

  1. Many people are reluctant to speak up with their reservations and true feelings during the hiring phase. A faux firing of candidates highlighting how and why they failed makes it safe for dissenters who otherwise may be too worried to speak up with doubts. After all, anything said in a premortem is entirely hypothetical.
  2. Engaging in a premortem firing session will bring creative ideas to the table. Maybe there is one area of doubt you are feeling about a candidate but you can’t find the words to articulate it. Having an entire team use their imaginations to find reasons why the candidate didn’t succeed will more fully flesh out your thoughts.
  3. You’ll make better hires and continually improve at it. If prospective hindsight increases our ability to correctly identify reasons for future outcomes by 30%, your team will weed out the wrong candidates with 30% more efficiency. Apply this to your next 10 hires and you can start to see how big of a difference this practice can make in your organization.

By signing up with Ninja Gig, companies easily promote openings using online employment applications. Online job applications make it easy for qualified applicants to apply. Sign up now for your free trial and get your online job applications in front of potential candidates now.

Why Your Organization Needs to Create Employee Personas ASAP

Your marketing department has created detailed customer personas. They know your organization’s target audience better than they know themselves. They know exactly who they are marketing your product or service to, and, just as importantly, who they are not trying to reach.

This level of detail and clarity guides your organization’s communication strategy at the highest level and impacts the bottom line in the most profound ways. But unfortunately for the majority of companies, they don’t go to the same length internally when it’s time to hire.

And this is a shortcoming of the highest magnitude.

The standard practice for hiring companies is to create job postings stating what the open positions are, the requirements to be considered for the role, and the responsibilities expected on a daily basis. These job postings are necessary for organizing the scope of the search to one detailed page, but they are not enough on their own.

Your company’s hiring managers should also be armed with employee personas to guide their search; much like the marketing department has customer personas to guide every campaign. Here’s why this is important:

Ensure Cultural Fit
Skills and talents are obviously important in candidates, but so is their cultural fit in your organization. A highly talented but difficult to work with individual won’t add as much value to the team as you’re looking for. In fact, they could be a net-zero addition or even a detraction to the company.

This is why you need a clear persona in place that can provide guidance on the cultural aptitudes needed to fit within the organization. For example, is your company’s culture quirky, collaborative and close-knit? Put that down on paper as part of the persona. A reclusive, hyper-competitive person likely isn’t going to fit well here, regardless of how talented they are.

Separate Passions From Employment Record
It can be tempting to only rely on a candidate’s resume and cover letter, but many people aren’t truly passionate about what they’ve built their careers around. It’s possible to have a long resume without actually ever viewing a job as anything more than collecting a paycheck.

If it’s important to have a passionate workforce, make sure your employee personas capture this. For example, the persona could read “Our employees are passionate about XYZ and exemplify this even outside the workplace.” Not including passions in the persona will lead to an incomplete picture of your ideal hire, making it harder to peg the right person during the interview process.

Hire the Right Strengths, Not Just the Right Experience
Does your org chart operate with an employee strength tracking system in mind, such as CliftonStrengths? If so, include the exact metrics in your personas. Two candidates may have nearly identical resumes and experience, but their strengths could be total opposites. For example, if it’s important for a new hire to rate high in strategic thinking, you can use the strengths assessment to help determine this.

Hiring without employee personas is akin to playing billiards blindfolded. Sure, you know your way around the table well enough to hit a few good shots but the entire process is shrouded in mystery. Take the blindfold off. Get detailed.

By signing up with Ninja Gig, companies easily promote openings using online employment applications. Online job applications make it easy for qualified applicants to apply. Sign up now for your free trial and get your online job applications in front of potential candidates now.

Are Your Job Descriptions Meaningful Enough?

Spend five minutes browsing any job board in the world.

I’ll wait.

Notice anything? It’s almost as if there were one person—or robot—out there writing every job description for every company.

They’re all painfully dry and repetitive.

Why?

Shouldn’t companies be more excited and proud of their openings? Most of these descriptions make it sound like they’re trying to lure someone from a job they’re unhappy with into one that they’ll eventually feel the same way about in a year.

And this is a big miss.

Companies should invest in writing more meaningful job openings and descriptions. Jazz them up. Get people excited for the opportunity to apply! If that means hiring a copywriter, so be it.

In today’s climate, candidates no longer want to simply settle for a paycheck. Millennials and Gen Z are looking for meaning. For a chance to be a part of something bigger than themselves.

If your company has a unique product or mission, own it! Write your job descriptions with your company’s own unique tone of voice. Don’t settle for the repetitive droning you’ve seen everywhere else all your life.

Writing job descriptions that stand out will do the following:

● Generate more candidates.
● Create a more competitive applicant field. Rather than receiving generic, form cover letters and resumes, applicants will take the time to try and impress you. They’ll tailor their resume for your eyes only. They’ll write individualized and engaging cover letters. They’ll reveal themselves more fully all because they want to impress you more than anything in the world.
● Subliminally communicate your company’s culture. If your company is a quirky and fun place to work, writing your job descriptions in a matching tone of voice will help weed out people turned off by such cultures, saving you precious time having to do this yourself during the hiring process.

Don’t be afraid to turn job descriptions into creative writing projects. You’ll strengthen your applicant field and make your company stand out amidst a sea of sameness.

And you’ll have more fun along the way.

By signing up with Ninja Gig, companies easily promote openings using online employment applications. Online job applications make it easy for qualified applicants to apply. Sign up now for your free trial and get your online job applications in front of potential candidates now.

3 Hiring Mistakes You Must Avoid

What’s the number one warning issued to growing companies by business owners, CEO’s, and managers the world over?

Hire carefully.

It’s been said that one bad hire added to a small or growing team can be enough to sink the ship. If not handled smartly, hiring could be the kiss of death for your organization. So to help you stay safe from this pitfall, we have uncovered the three biggest mistakes to avoid.

  1. Not Assessing Strengths During the Interview Process

It is entirely possible to have two candidates with nearly identical resumes and experiences who have wildly different strengths and weaknesses. And unfortunately it is extremely difficult to get to the bottom of this with cliche interview questions like “what are your biggest strengths/weaknesses?”

Instead, incorporate a strengths assessment into the hiring process. These tests have been scientifically validated over many decades, making them a more reliable and quantifiable indicator than an interviewer’s notes. There are a ton of strengths assessment tests available online for little to no cost, so the barrier to implementing this step immediately is virtually nonexistent.

  1. Hiring Too Fast

Slow. Your. Role.

Growing companies are eager to add to their workforce so they can continue growing. But if you’re hiring too fast you’re bound to make mistakes and add a few bad apples to the team. Make sure, no matter how tempting to complete the hire and move on, you do your due diligence. This means going beyond reference and background checks. Screen their social media profiles, have them meet the people they’d be working with, give them test projects or even hire for a 30 day trial period before offering a full-time job.

The costs of bad hires are simply too high to risk moving fast.

  1. Poorly Written Job Descriptions

If your job description is written haphazardly or someone in HR is responsible for drafting one outside of their expertise, you are bound to attract the wrong applicants. Too many companies don’t think about this, so they end up with an HR professional writing job descriptions and screening applicants without any domain knowledge. For example, if you’re hiring a Public Relations and Social Media Marketing Specialist, you better have someone from PR and Marketing owning the search in its entirety. Otherwise, how is an HR professional supposed to know the lingo, skills and experiences that actually matter?

By signing up with Ninja Gig, companies easily promote openings using online employment applications. Online job applications make it easy for qualified applicants to apply. Sign up now for your free trial and get your online job applications in front of potential candidates now.

Individualize Your Hiring Process With Ninja Gig

Your organization is unique. It’s different than the competition. Shouldn’t your hiring process reflect this?

Unfortunately for many HR professionals and business owners, the start of their hiring process looks exactly like the competition’s in the eyes of the applicants. And if making a great first impression is the first step to landing a great candidate, it’s time to differentiate your process.

Read on to learn how Ninja Gig makes it easy to create an individualized hiring process with customized tools to meet your needs.

Create Your Own Website Portal with a Custom URL

When you register with Ninja Gig you will automatically get your own Ninja Gig portal. You choose your own domain name (yourcompany.ninjagig.com) and you will use that link to point applicants in the right direction.

The simplicity of a ninjagig.com domain name makes remembering much easier for your applicants!

Create One-of-a-Kind Application Templates

You’re free to choose to use our default application template if you’d like, but to truly create an individualized hiring process we recommend making your own.

We don’t limit the number of questions you can add to your templates, so you can go into as much detail as you’d like. And unlike other software options out there, we do not limit the number of fields or text characters you can use, so you’re free to let your company’s tone of voice shine!

Manage Everything From One Easy to Use Dashboard

Creating an individualized hiring process doesn’t have to come with more administrative effort. After you’ve created your own website portal with a custom URL, we make it easy to manage all of your applications and job postings while tracking applicants.

Each Ninja Gig user is given a secure login where you can review and organize everything on our software. You can edit and refine all your customized materials in just a few seconds.

Wondering what your peers are saying about Ninja Gig? Check out the testimonials they’ve given here.  

By signing up with Ninja Gig, companies easily promote openings using online employment applications. Online job applications make it easy for qualified applicants to apply. Sign up now for your free trial and get your online job applications in front of potential candidates now.

Pros and Cons of Working From Home

We’ve all heard the cliches about what it’s like to work from home. You wear pajamas, sit on the couch and watch TV while periodically checking your email to make sure your boss isn’t pestering you.

While the pantless, pejorative view of working from home may ring true for some, let’s take a look at the real pros and cons of substituting your kitchen for the conference room.

PROS

  1.   No commute. A recent survey result taken across 28 major U.S. cities found that 23% of workers have quit a job because of a bad commute. That means nearly 1 in 4 Americans are leaving their employers because they’re working too far from their home.

    But when you work from home this is never an issue! Not only does this add up to more “you time” in your day (the average American spends over 4.3 hours per week commuting to and from work) but it also saves you a lot of money on car maintenance and gas.

  1.   More freedom. When you don’t have to report to an office everyday, you have more freedom to choose your work environment. Many people with “work from home” jobs opt for a nearby coffee shop or outdoor cafe instead. The flexibility of working remotely frequently means you can get your work done anywhere with an internet connection. Which, in 2019, is just about anywhere.

  2. Peace and quiet. While the jury is still out on open office environments, one thing is clear about working alone from home: it’s quieter.

    For those who do their best work in a quiet setting without distraction, you can’t beat home sweet home. Offices mean sharing the space with others, and because you can’t control what other people do (or how often they interrupt your work to talk about the latest Game of Thrones episode) it can be hard to work a day without being interrupted at least a couple of times.

    And because it takes nearly 24 minutes to fully recover from an interruption, your productivity can skyrocket when left to your own devices in the confines of your home.

 

CONS

  1.   It can be lonely. The flip side of the “peace and quiet” coin is that it can get too quiet for some. Having other people around to bounce ideas off or collaborate on projects together can be stimulating. And if you’re the type of person who thrives on human interaction and watercooler talk, working from home may be too isolating.

  2.   You are ALWAYS bringing work home with you. Out of sight, out of mind can be a beautiful thing. The physical separation of the home–a place for relaxation and rejuvenation–and the office creates a mental separation as well. When the line blurs and your home becomes your office it can be more difficult to recharge at night because your work is never fully out of sight.

  3. There’s less structure. If you’re the type of person who needs a boss or colleagues to keep you motivated and on track, working from home may not be for you. Instead of reporting to the same cubicle or desk at the same time everyday, you’ll have to decide for yourself when, how and where you do your best work. Without others around to reinforce your behavior, it’s up to you to create good habits and routines.

 

By signing up with Ninja Gig, companies easily promote openings using online employment applications. Online job applications make it easy for qualified applicants to apply. Sign up now for your free trial and get your online job applications in front of potential candidates now.