Why You Need to Use Employment Applications

Using an employment application is no longer optional. Employment applications let employers efficiently gather consistent data about prospective applicants. Resume and cover formats vary from person-to-person, but a having a consistent employment application ensures that employers can quickly sort and view necessary information.

Most employers have moved away from print applications and are using online employment applications that let them track potential applicants, searching data for specific keywords, employment history and even degrees. This helps employers easily pre-screen and pre-qualify applicants.

These are the top reasons why you need to start using employment applications in your business.

  1. Not only do online job applications help you consistently gather data in the same format, but you can also easily standardize your applications, which makes it simple to compare candidates’ skills and credentials.
  2. Applications allow you to gather credentials that candidates usually do not include in their resumes or cover letters. For example, you can ask if the applicant has any felonies or misdemeanor criminal convictions, why they left their previous employers, names and contact information for immediate supervisors and references. It is important that you check with local and state laws, as some areas have laws that prohibit employers from using certain background information obtained in the application for employment decisions.
  3. Make sure that you obtain the applicant’s signature or digital signature stating that all the information they provided on the employment application is true. If you determine the applicant provided false information, you have legal grounds for not pursuing employment. Statements should include language to this effect: “The applicant’s signature attests that all statements on the employment application and resume are true.” Employers can verify the data on the application. Fraudulent claims and information provided on employment applications is increasing, which includes applicants lying about degrees, exaggerating their job duties, providing false dates of employment, etc.
  4. If your state offers at-will employment or if you are an at-will employer, make sure that this is stated in the application, as well as that you are an equal opportunity, non-discriminating employer. If you have a drug test policy, make sure that you include information about this in the application as well.
  5. If you require any background checks, criminal history, creditworthiness, driving records, etc., for a position, make sure that you obtain the applicant’s signature.

As with any legal document, it is essential that you review the wording with your legal department or an attorney. Your application should have proper legal wording, be easy for potential candidates to complete and help you better comply with necessary paperwork laws.

Ninja Gig makes accepting job applications online a breeze. Sign up today for a 30-day free trial, and see how simple the application process can be!

 

Human Resources Trends to Follow in 2018 Part 2 of 2

As a Human Resources professional, it is essential that you stay up-to-date on the latest trends. Having a company that is competitive and treats employees well means that you’ll attract more qualified candidates.

In our last article, we highlighted the importance of offering continuous feedback, digital training, unique benefits and wellness programs. Now, we’ll continue our list and highlight some other significant trends that will emerge in 2018.

Robots

Large companies that already use online job applications will begin using more bot commands to help manage their resumes and other important HR documents. Large companies could easily have thousands of resumes and paperwork on hand, which can be very time consuming to manage. More companies will start archiving these documents, which will make searching for past applicants and resumes much simpler.

Scientific Hiring

Corporations are beginning to explore hiring as a scientific process. Using both gamification and video interviews, outsourced companies rely on psychologists to deliver custom assessments about candidates’ qualifications. While the price point isn’t practical for hourly candidates, it can be exceptionally helpful when hiring management.

So how does this process work? Companies work to create a specific set of questions that elicit responses that predict job success. This helps them to find candidates that exhibit the right behaviors. Candidates are then scored based on a model that has an ideal response. In theory, this should predict job success.

Flexible Working Arrangements

In our last article, we briefly touched on unique benefits. Companies that offer flexible working arrangements, such as letting employees work from home or choose a location that is closer to home, have more productive employees. Flexible working arrangements boost employee morale, engagement and loyalty. If it isn’t practical to have virtual employees, consider letting them choose their work location one day a week or offer flexible working hours to help offset long commutes.

Let Students Take the Reigns

More companies realize that the younger generation will lead the tech industry. For tech companies, the trend will be to have college students in their organization as it helps teach them the latest trends and stay up-to-date with the newest technology. If your company isn’t near a college, consider setting up a virtual or remote location that is near a college. As a bonus, you can increase your pool of qualified applicants when students graduate from college.

Ninja Gig can help simplify your online job application process. We allow you to customize your job applications, which make it easier to attract qualified applicants, sort through potential applicants’ qualifications and skill sets and hire the right person for your organization.  Sign up today for a 30-day free trial of our awesome applicant tracking system (ATS) and start accepting employment applications online immediately.

Human Resources Trends to Follow in 2018 Part 1 of 2

Most companies have a noticed a trend – that many qualified candidates are hitting the job market in 2018.

So, what’s the best way for you to find qualified applicants for your company? Do you rely on referrals, mobile apps or job fairs to broadcast your employment opportunities?

Modern-day recruiters primarily rely on social media to find candidates. A staggering 92% of recruiters rely mainly on social media, with 78% saying that personal referrals are still the best way to find good employees. Add this to the fact that there are more than 100 job boards where employers can post jobs and potential employees can hunt down employment.

What’s the best job advertising avenue for your company and what HR trends will dominate 2018? Let’s explore some of the top picks for this year. Share on social media that your company is offering the latest benefits and see how many qualified candidates you’ll attract.

Continuous Feedback

Instead of only holding annual performance reviews, employees prefer receiving constructive feedback at least two times weekly. Ongoing feedback is far more desirable for employees, which helps them constructively learn throughout the week instead of trying to listen to an hour-long performance review that happens once a year. Professionals want career advancement, and with regular constructive feedback, they can help achieve their goals.

Learning

Learning should be continuous, and employees want to improve themselves. More companies will overhaul their learning and development programs for employees. Learning Management Software (LMS) will be a popular choice for many businesses this year. These systems deliver instructor-led training in a virtual environment, offering exams, certifications and even compliance content for employees.

Unique Benefits

Employers that offer unique benefits are sure to stand out this year. More employees are looking for jobs with flex hours and those that allow them to work from home a couple of days a week. However, one benefit that will explode this year is people taking their pets to work. The pet industry is booming, and people spend more than $60 billion on their pets annually. If a company can’t allow flexible pet hours, they should consider offering pet insurance to employees.

Wellness Beyond Walls

Beyond cubicle walls, human resources departments realize that employees that have successful, healthy work-life balance are far more productive than their counterparts. More and more companies are putting policies in place that prohibit employees from checking their work email while outside the office or on PTO. This helps decrease stress. Companies are also instituting more wellness programs, as the cost of having sick or stressed employees is hurting bottom-line budgets.

Stay tuned because next week we will explore more trends that we anticipate will dominate 2018.

Ninja Gig specializes in creating unique job applications. These online applications are ideal for employers that need to quickly sort and identify qualified applicants by their job history, qualifications and skills.  Sign up now for a no-obligation, 30-day free trial of our applicant tracking system, and start accepting job applications online immediately!

Super Bowl: The Best Engagement Tool for Employees

Helping boost employee morale and engagement is a hot button topic for companies and human resources departments. Instead of downplaying the Super Bowl, encourage employees to celebrate this annual event.

You’re probably wondering why you should actively encourage employees to talk about football on the job when reports show that 1.5 million workers call in sick the Monday after the Big Game. Not only that, but studies show that productivity on the job drops the entire week before the Super Bowl.

If your favorite football team is in the Super Bowl this year, be more forgiving towards your employees. You may even consider making schedules the Monday after the event more lax to help accommodate employees that stayed out late partying and celebrating this monumental event.

To encourage employees to celebrate and be more productive on Super Bowl Monday consider incorporating these win/win ideas into your company’s annual schedule.

  • Host a social hour or breakfast on the Monday following the Super Bowl. This allows employees to mingle, discuss Big Game highlights and gives them an excellent outlet for their energy and enthusiasm. Chances are the employees that show up at work will spend at least an hour talking about the game anyway, so you might as well embrace this time and make it fun.
  • If your employees had a game betting pool, announce the winners the Monday after in a fun-filled ceremony. It is important to note that some states do make exceptions for “social gambling,” so this is something that you may need to discuss with your legal department.

Celebrating what is important to your employees will help to increase your employees’ overall productivity and morale.

Ninja Gig offers online job applications, which makes it easy for you to keep track of and attract qualified applicants.  Sign up today for a 30-day free trial of our applicant tracking system and start accepting job applications today!

Get the Gift: Applicant Tracking Systems

The statistics are conclusive: nearly 50% of applicants are not qualified for the jobs they pursue. This creates a borage of seemingly endless resumes. Then you’re faced with the mounting task of reviewing and sorting the hills of paper and mountain of emails.

Introducing the Applicant Tracking System

An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) scans job applications for keywords, employment history and even college records to help identify the most qualified candidates for your organization.

There are many benefits to using an ATS, including:

  • Your human resources’ department will decrease the amount of time they spend organizing resumes, as they can automate job postings, prescreen candidates and review resume submissions.
  • These systems help to manage an active pipeline of successful applicants.
  • Your company can standardize their hiring process, which helps save valuable time.
  • Allows businesses to hire better screened and more qualified candidates, which helps boost long-term employee retention.
  • Tracking systems allow hiring managers and human resources departments to always stay in the loop.
  • These programs are fully customizable, which means that companies can track what skill sets are most important to them.

There are also financial benefits to instituting an ATS. These systems are automated which will help ease the workload of recruiters. Instead of manually going through resumes, online job postings and interviewing every applicant, recruiters can direct more of their time towards the hiring process instead of recruitment.

These types of systems also reduce overall administrative personnel costs. Hiring departments no longer have to manually enter data, call or email candidates, weed through piles of paperwork or waste time. By using an automated recruitment software, employees can focus on more important tasks.

Ninja Gig offers online job applications, which are easy for companies to customize. You can start focusing your efforts on hiring qualified candidates that benefit your organization instead of wasting time sorting through paper resumes.  Sign up today for a free trial and see how simple your life can be with our applicant tracking system.

Employer Alert: Why You Should Never Ask for Personal Information Online or in Emails

Human resources departments shouldn’t ask for social security numbers or personal information online or in emails. If you do and your system is not secure, you could be opening the company to an unnecessary lawsuit.

There’s a world of hackers and identity thieves out there just waiting to gain access to information that they can exploit and use to their benefit. A security consultant that specializes in scams and identity theft stated before Congress, “Social security numbers are more susceptible and valuable than ever.” Over the last several years, many companies have adopted the convenience of having employees and potential applicants email their social security numbers and birth dates. However, while it is legal to ask for this information from a qualified candidate, you should always have him/her fill out the information in person and avoid submitting anything electronically.

Additionally, 12 states ban social security numbers from being printed on documents that are mailed. This includes tax forms, etc. Some states have exceptions for medical services, insurance, fraud prevention or law enforcement. However, it is best to check with your state’s legislature to make sure you can mail tax forms, request social security information or anything else that contains sensitive information.

The states that restrict mailing social security numbers within a mailing envelope are as follows: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas and Vermont.

You can legally ask an applicant for his/her birth date during the job screening process. However, the key to misusing this information is if the company discriminates against someone for his/her age. Age is protected under the Age Discrimination Act of 1967. Employers request date of birth and social security information to facilitate background checks, which is commonplace in the big business world. Background checks usually check commercial, criminal or even financial records depending upon the type of job the applicant is seeking.

Employers, however, cannot ask any age-related questions. Date of birth should only be used for informational purposes.

Ninja Gig makes it easy for employers to accept job applications online. They can simplify their applicant recruitment process, sort through resumes from qualified candidates, manage and track potential applicants.  Sign up today for a 30-day free trial and start accepting employment applications online immediately!

Your 2017 Year-End HR Checklist

If you’re a business owner, you need to start your 2017 year-end HR checklist. This includes a lot of human resources and tax-related responsibilities. Ninja Gig is here to help you prepare for the end of the year so you can start focusing on ringing in 2018.

  • Year-End Payroll Guide – Check with your payroll company and get a year-end guide. You will need to verify employee contact information and addresses for W2s. You will also need to learn more about taxing year-end bonuses, fringe benefits and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) reporting.
  • Update Posters – Workplace posters change every year, so it’s best to confirm that federal and state posters are up-to-date. Check to see if your state requires any new minimum wage notices for 2018.
  • Update State and Federal Forms – Update all state and federal forms. Make sure that I-9 forms are complete for all current employees.
  • OSHA Logs – Some employers are required to maintain logs and records of work-related injuries and illnesses. A Form 300A should be posted in your workplace.
  • Carryover Vacation – If your company allows for vacation and other certain types of paid time off to carry over from year to year, make sure that everything is prepared with payroll to facilitate a smooth carry over.
  • Independent Contractors – If your company has independent contractors, make sure their classification is confirmed on an annual basis. Very specific federal and state tests must be satisfied to ensure that someone is an independent contractor. Evaluate current relationships to see if they have changed over time.
  • Review Policies – Review all current company practices and laws to see if your workplace policies need to be updated. The end of the year is an excellent time to review these policies and see if they comply with current employment laws.
  • Employment Applications – Take the time to review online employment applications. Some states and jurisdictions prohibit employers from asking about criminal history on job applications. Consider checking out the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for recommendations about what questions to avoid on job applications.
  • Job Descriptions – Update all company job descriptions to make sure they reflect the responsibilities and roles of positions in your company.
  • Holiday Calendar – Create a holiday calendar for 2018 and distribute or post it before the end of the year. This is also a good time to remind employees what holidays are considered paid leave or time off.

Ninja Gig makes hiring online easy.  Sign up today for a 30-day free trial.

Tips for Hiring the Right Employee for Your Company

Hiring employees is a tough part of any human resources job. The right employee can take a business to the top, while the wrong employee can wreak havoc by creating a negative work environment. While you can’t please everyone in your company, you can integrate these tips for hiring the right employee.

  • Interview candidates that are committed to their careers. If you find a candidate that is committed to their career, this is an excellent sign. You don’t want to hire people that regularly switch careers or jobs often. If a candidate is not loyal to their career or past companies, this could be a warning flag. Always check references, candidates’ previous job titles and the length of time they stayed at each company. If they have a history of regularly switching jobs, they may not be the right fit for your company.
  • Always check compatibility. Just as importantly as having the right skill set is an employee that fits in with your company’s culture. Excellent candidates should have the necessary social skills to get along with other employees and managers. Consider asking candidates to judge their compatibility skills when it comes to working with employees and clients. If an applicant openly expresses the inability to get along with others, current clients or even previous bosses, these are warning signs that he/she may not be a good fit for your organization.
  • Test for learning and analytical skills. Using different methods to assess learning and analytical skills for candidates is a superb idea. While it is tricky to test candidates, don’t only evaluate them based on their resume, as these can be lined with falsehoods. A candidate should have confidence, the right skill set and the necessary educational or on-the-job work experience to be successful at the position.
  • Continually improve your hiring process. A hiring process is never perfect or foolproof. Always strive to improve your hiring process, which will help you hire the best, brightest and most talented candidates for your company. Incorporate these tips:
    • Avoid asking irrelevant questions. To maximize the interview, focus on questions that highlight the candidates’ knowledge, capabilities, skills, attitude and confidence.
    • Put the right information in job advertisements. When advertising job vacancies, make sure that all necessary job requirements are included in the description. This includes job responsibilities, necessary education, experience, skills and knowledge. This will help evaluate candidates that are more qualified and help attract applicants that will fulfill the requirements.
  • Embrace social media for hiring candidates. More companies are using social media for recruiting. This includes using platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. 45% of Fortune 500 firms use social media to advertise their job openings.

Ninja Gig offers employment applications, which makes it easy to link social media job listings to online applications.  Sign up today for a 30-day free trial.

Don’t Do This for Successful Interviews, Part 2

How and what you ask during an interview greatly affects the results and answers you receive from candidates. To help facilitate a better interview process, Ninja Gig has put together a list of Don’ts for employers.

  1. Don’t be aggressive – You want candidates to feel comfortable so start out letting them tell you what they know about your company and describing their current job. It’s best to ease into more difficult questions when candidates are more comfortable.
  2. Don’t go off-the-wall – While one off-the-wall question per interview is acceptable, limit this number because you don’t want to make a candidate feel uncomfortable. If odd questions don’t fit into your company’s culture, forgo asking these altogether.
  3. Don’t be vague – While open-ended questions are excellent, it’s important that candidates also know what types of answers they are expected to give. Provide any clarification if a candidate appears confused.
  4. Don’t ask leading questions – Leading questions are never advisable during interviews. An example of a leading question is, “I assume you’re great at time management, aren’t you?” Ask questions that allow candidates to explain their skills so you can properly assess if the applicant is a good fit for your organization.
  5. Don’t judge – Some candidates are shy and may not shine in interviews, but be excellent at their jobs. Don’t judge immediately based on first impressions.

Interviewing skills develop with lots of practice. New hiring managers might be just as stressed as candidates when conducting interviews. Veterans know that hiring is stressful, time-consuming and often very frustrating. By pre-qualifying candidates and having online employment applications that ask applicants specific questions, you can sort through qualified and unqualified candidates, making the interview process easier.

Ninja Gig offers custom employment applications online. This makes it easy for your company’s website to provide the convenience of mobile job applications, which appeals to most prospective applicants.  Sign up today for a no obligation, 30-day free trial.

Do and Say This for Successful Interviews, Part 1

How you ask questions and even when you ask them during an interview impacts the quality and value of answers you receive from candidates. To gain insight and elicit specific information about the applicant’s past performance and personality, consider implementing these Do’s into your interview process.

 

  1. DO Make Lists – Write down all the questions you want to ask candidates ahead of time. This will help make sure that you don’t get wrapped up in a conversation with them and forget to ask important questions that relate to their work history. Consider sharing the list with other key employees within your organization and see if they have any specific questions to add.
  2. DO Create a Flow – To be a good interviewer, you will need to incorporate a variety of question styles so the candidate doesn’t feel overwhelmed and interrogated. Here is a brief run down on the main types of interview questions:
    1. Open-ended – These types of questions require that the applicant give more thought to their answers. These are great questions to gaining more insight into a candidate’s work ethic, motivations and personality. An example of this type of question is, “Why do you want to work for our company?”
    2. Closed-ended – These are straightforward, simple questions that can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no.” For example, “How many years of accounting experience do you have?”
    3. Hypothetical – These questions allow interviewers to gain insight into how candidates respond to certain situations. For example, “If you were managing an employee that was difficult with poor work performance, how would you address this situation?”
    4. Off-the-wall – More unusual questions can throw candidates off-guard, giving interviewers more insight into their personality and communication styles. For example, “If you were a brand, what would be your motto?”
  3. DO Vary Question Order – Avoid asking too many open-ended or close-ended questions in a row. Alternate easy questions with tough questions, which will help put the candidate more at ease.
  4. DO Ask for Examples – While hypothetical questions are excellent, it’s better to ask employees for specific examples of things they encountered in their past work history. For example, ask them about a time they had a conflict at work and what they did to resolve that conflict.
  5. DO Keep Things Concise – Avoid letting subjects veer too far off track and help keep the interview on track by keeping the conversation on target.

This is a two-part article. Next week we will feature the don’ts for successful interviews. Ninja Gig specializes in developing customized online job applications, which helps employers easily accept and track employment applications.  Sign up today for a 30-day free trial!