Monthly Archives: December 2013

Resolve To Go Digital

Welcome to the 21st Century! I am constantly amazed that even with all the technological advances in the past few decades, as a society we are still holding on to our paper processes. Just think about how much paper flows through your life on a daily basis: mortgage applications, employee performance reviews, job applications, notes, books, recipes, bills, mail, faxes, handouts, newsletters, newspapers and much more! Isn’t it about time we cut down on the clutter and go digital?

Many of the above examples have digital alternatives, but we need to make the effort to switch over. For example, the job application process has historically been a paper-intensive process. Usually a company will print out hundreds of copies of their paper application, only to throw away a lot of blank applications when the application requires changing. Also, receiving paper applications from potential candidates is a tedious and cumbersome process, nearly impossible to manage and effectively filter out the good from the bad.

Alternatively, using a great company like Ninja Gig enables your company to effectively accept job applications online, not too mention helping you quickly filter and organize potential candidates. With the ability to completely customize the application with questions specific to your company, there’s no reason to stay on the paper application bandwagon. Sign up today to start your free trial and begin de-papering your hiring process.

Holiday Bonus

One of my previous employers didn’t give holiday or year-end bonuses. When I first found out about this, I was a little annoyed, but the more I have thought about this, the more OK I am with no bonus. However, this employer was generous with yearly reviews and merit-based performance increases. When everything is said and done, a one-time bonus is nice, but I would rather have a wage increase. If you think about it, bonuses are one-time, and they are taxed at a much higher rate than normal income. A wage increase, on the other hand, permanently increases your annual income and is taxed lower. Bonuses are nice, but if there’s a choice between a bonus and a wage increase, choose the wage increase.

A different strategy I have used in the past when negotiating bonuses and/or wage increases is to ask for increased paid time off (PTO), rather than more money. PTO costs an employer much less than a bonus or a wage increase, and comes to you tax-free. True, there are times when a wage increase or bonus is needed financially, but if you ever find yourself in a position where your time is more valuable to you than a wage increase, think about negotiating for PTO. Each time I have done this, my employers have been more than willing to make this accommodation, and in one job I managed to negotiate up to 6 weeks PTO per year.