Category Archives: Communication

2019 Workplace Trends

As 2019 gains full speed ahead, some new workplace trends will be popping up in companies across America. We want to highlight a couple of these important trends that will define the workplace over the coming several months.

Centralized Communication

Workplaces need a form of centralized communication to ensure that all employees are on the same page. While some companies have tried instant messaging to help curtail overflowing inboxes, reports show that employees feel pressure to respond to instant messages immediately. This also decreases overall productivity and may lead to employees having difficulty concentrating on tasks. While instant messages and other chat applications will not disappear, we anticipate they will take a backseat, and we will see a shift in overall communication within companies.

Work-Life Balance

With the advent of technology and digital tools, many employees can work remotely and set their schedules. However, the push for work-life balance will be a central theme for employees. Companies need to let their teams know that work-life balance is a priority to them to help boost employee morale. In fact, work-life balance comes in third when employees consider essential job security components, with salary and job security coming in first and second. Companies need to set clear expectations and boundaries, and not expect employees to be readily available for work around the clock to help accomplish this goal.

Fast Paced Environments

Just because employees want a better work-life balance does not mean that the pace at which companies expect their employees to work will slow down. In fact, with today’s collaborative work management platforms, templates, automation and other technology, employees can accomplish more in less time. This year will not be about robots and automation replacing employees, but about how these technological advancements can help improve workflow and increase business productivity.

Mentorships

While we focus so much on technology, the human element of business is not forgotten. Young millennials in the workforce define their success by rapidly growing their careers. However, employees that stay with companies long-term have mentors to help them successfully build their jobs. Businesses that pair up younger employees with experienced workers can help to implement a retention strategy that boosts morale and personal growth.

Gender Equality

A hot button topic last year, gender equality will continue to define workplace culture and personal interactions in 2019. One study conducted by Ernst and Young shows that increasing women in leadership positions by 30% helps to boost company profitability by as much as 15%. We anticipate that 2019 will make more headway implementing requirements and mandates to ensure that gender equality becomes an integral part of company culture.

 

Is your company interested in staying on top of the latest hiring trends for 2019? Ninja Gig offers custom employment applications so you can advertise that your company promotes work-life balance, mentorships, open communication and gender equality. For a flat monthly fee, you can use Ninja Gig to customize UNLIMITED online job applications. Sign up now for your free trial and start getting your online job applications in front of potential candidates this year.

What to Know When Hiring Teens for Restaurant Jobs

The U.S. Department of Labor has a Wage and Hour Division that provides advice and guidance to employers so they can comply with child labor provisions. Many young adults and teens have part-time jobs, but it’s important that employers comply with federal regulations.

Many teens have part-time restaurant jobs. Here are some questions that restaurants need to consider when hiring young adults under the age of 18. If you answer yes to any of these questions, you may be out of compliance.

  1. Will they operate or clean power-driven meat processing machines and slicers?
  2. Will they clean or operate any power-driven equipment, such as bakery machines or dough mixers?
  3. Will they operate, load or unload any compactors or balers?
  4. Will they drive any type of motor vehicle on the job?

Here are some questions that employers need to consider that relate to hiring minors.

Do any workers 16 and younger do any of the following?

  1. Cook? If yes, 14 and 15-year-olds may not cook over an open flame, but only over an electric or gas grill. They may not use pressurized fryers.
  2. Bake? Minors 16 and younger may not perform any baking duties, including weighing, mixing or assembling ingredients or operating convection or pizza ovens.
  3. Handle hot grease or oil or clean cooking equipment? If yes, 14 and 15-year-olds may do these tasks, but they cannot repair power-driven equipment. They may only perform these cleaning tasks if the equipment or liquids are below 100°F.
  4. Load or unload items from a conveyor or truck? If yes, 14 and 15-year-olds may not load or unload items from trucks, tanks, railroad cars, conveyors, boats, planes or any other types of transportation. They may, however, load into motor vehicles items that are light, non-power-driven and are personal related items, such as jackets for job sites.
  5. Working inside a meat cooler or freezer? 14 and 15-years-olds may not work in meat coolers or freezers, but they may momentarily retrieve items from them.
  6. Operate power-driven equipment? Minors may not operate, adjust, setup, repair or clean any power-driven equipment, which may include bread slicers, bagel slicers, lawnmowers, golf carts, trimmers, weed-whackers, etc. They may operate vacuum cleaners, basic office machinery, and devices that relate to serving food, such as dishwashers, popcorn poppers, toasters, coffee grinders and milkshake blenders.
  7. Work on or from ladders? Minors may not perform any work that requires scaffolds, ladders or window washing that requires working from windowsills.
  8. Work during school hours? Minors cannot work during school hours, which are determined by public schools in the area. Even if the minor is homeschooled or attends private school, they cannot be employed during the times when public school is in session. Outside of school hours is acceptable and is defined as before or after those hours, summer vacations, holidays, Saturdays or Sundays. They however, cannot be employed before 7:00 AM on any day.

The U.S. Department has many more requirements that restaurants must comply with when hiring minors and children under the age of 18 to work part-time. An excellent reference, complete with specific tests and requirements is located at https://www.youthrules.gov/for-employers/compliance/restaurant/

 

Ninja Gig is a convenient way to offer online employment applications to help reach teens, especially on social media sites. Most of today’s youth have Smartphones and having online job applications is a great way for restaurants to reach part-time workers.  Sign up now for a 30-day free trial of our applicant tracking system, and see just how easy our software makes the process.

How Small Companies Can Attract Top Talent

Big business, such as Amazon, Microsoft and Google woo job candidates with remarkable benefits, perks and brand-name recognition. How can smaller employees compete with corporations for top talent?

 

Instead of having corporation envy, let’s consider all the things that small businesses have that corporations don’t, which will help you put together a plan of attack to recruit the top talent for your organization.

  • Small business is less bureaucratic than corporations, which means there’s more one-on-one interaction with management.
  • Employees have broader job descriptions in small organizations because larger companies define roles that are more specialized.
  • Entrepreneurs treat employees as if they’re an extension of a large family, instead of just a documented number.
  • Flexibility is paramount in small companies, which is something that some employees strongly desire.
  • Smaller companies can tailor positions to candidate’s strengths, especially if they see the potential for growth in someone.

When posting positions, appeal to these traits to attract people that want to work for smaller companies.

  1. Executives will want equity in exchange for the risk of coming on board a smaller company. Consider profit and revenue sharing plans.
  2. For mid-level management, explain that the company has staying power and they have more ability to influence their team.
  3. Entry-level workers will want an opportunity for growth.
  4. Remember to highlight how individual employee’s skills contribute to the success of the business overall.

Ninja Gig makes it easy for companies of all sizes to manage their online job applications. A unique feature of Ninja Gig is that companies can sign up and pause their contract at any time, which makes it an ideal advertising vessel for small companies to use to post online employment applications. Don’t wait, sign up now for your free trial and get your online job applications in front of potential candidates now.

Improve Your Recruiting Process NOW

It’s a New Year, which means it’s an ideal time to evaluate your current recruiting process. Many companies struggle to find qualified candidates and then retain them, and while some of this is attributed to a buzzing job market, there are ways companies can improve their chances of keeping candidates long-term.

Job Postings

Your job posting is the first step in the recruiting process. Companies need to explain the position to attract qualified candidates. Instead of only listing experience, training and education, highlight day-to-day activities of the positions, including setting forth 90-day goals for new hires. This will help attract and retain the right fit for the position. Instead of being vague, include the exact types of experience needed to grow in the job successfully.

Get Several Opinions

Instead of only relying on one opinion for a candidate, ask several different key players in the company to weigh in. First, ask them to review the job description and when interviewing the top candidates, ask them to actively participate. The more opinions, the better able each person can under the candidate and see if they are a match for the position.

Test Candidates

Instead of only relying on resumes, test candidates for technical skills. For example, if interviewing for a copywriter, ask them to write a press release or article about a specific topic or if the test is for a salesperson, set up a quick mock sales call. If the test is spontaneous, you can easily see and measure who responds quickly, and who delivers under real-world pressure.

Consistency

Every candidate needs to experience the same recruiting process to avoid discrimination claims. While candidates can undergo different phases of the recruiting process, like only conducting tests or in-person interviews for highly qualified applicants, it’s best to make sure that everyone goes through the process. For example, one applicant shouldn’t have an in-person interview that focuses on work-related questions, while another focuses on personal questions. Consistency is critical when trying to find the right fit for your company.

Growth and Development

It is essential to be open-minded during the recruiting process, as someone can look excellent on paper, but another candidate could have the potential for more growth and development, which would make them a more viable long-term candidate.

 

Ninja Gig can help your business grow by attracting the best talent for your organization. If you’re looking to hire and implement a thorough recruiting process, check out Ninja Gig’s customizable online employment applications. For an all-inclusive flat monthly fee, you can use Ninja Gig to customize unlimited online job applications, which makes it easy to post on popular job boards, on websites and social media sites. Sign up now for your free trial and start getting your online job applications in front of potential candidates now.

2019 Trends to Watch

It’s incredible to think that 2019 is right around the corner, but as we count down the last few days of December, Ninja Gig wants to highlight the top business trends that we anticipate will make a lasting impression this upcoming New Year.

  • Well-being at Work – Today’s overworked and overstressed employees can significantly benefit from coping skills, including wellness programs, creative workspace concepts and transformative technologies that can help monitor employee behavior.
  • The Future of Work – We are in the age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which will create more human job loss with advances in automation and artificial intelligence (AI). Our society’s future will combine workforces with humans and machines working side-by-side. This transition may be difficult, and some companies may face a daunting learning process, but by providing employees with the necessary guidance and support, they can rest assured of their critical roles in the future. (An excellent example is Pizza Hut’s new move towards AI.)
  • Internet of Things – You may have heard this buzzword recently popping up online and in news stories and the Internet of Things (IoT) effects the workplace differently than our personal lives, which are abuzz with smart lights, connected kitchens and thermostats. At work, we will start to see smart work apps that recognize when praise is needed, wearable devices that indicate stress and stressors and even smart meeting spaces.

Human Resources departments play a critical role in watching modern trends and implementing them (or exercising caution) in the workplace. Today’s over-connected business world can seem daunting, but with certain technologies, such as Ninja Gig, companies can utilize unlimited online job applications and help streamline the hiring process. Sign up now for your free trial today and start getting your online job applications in front of potential candidates now in time for the New Year.

What Every Company Should Do to Prepare for the New Year

December is always a hectic month for companies, but it affords the opportunity to learn from past mistakes and focus on a bright, upcoming New Year.

Here are four ways you can whip your Human Resources department in shape and be prepared to tackle the New Year.

  1. Top Performers – Stay connected and make sure that the company’s top performers and best employees are happy. Connect with employees and see what is working for them, what’s not and what could improve to help make their work environment better. Additionally, see if more lifestyle benefits, such as flexible hours or additional vacation time would ease frustrations. Don’t focus on just gaining feedback during exit interviews, but incorporate regular interviews to guarantee employee satisfaction is high, which can help reduce turnover.
  2. Policy Changes – Many state and federal laws are passed at the end of each year and become effective on January 1. Stay up to date on any upcoming changes and make sure to get everything in place to implement them starting in the New Year to avoid penalties. Your state’s Department of Labor website should list any upcoming regulation changes that may affect your business.
  3. Communicate with Management – Schedule informal meetings with managers and executives to understand the company’s big picture, which will help facilitate making sure that all departments are going in the same direction and share the same long-term goals.
  4. Performance Management – Performance reviews need to be done, and all necessary documentation should be in order. Whether your company does reviews informally on paper or files them electronically, it’s important that managers have personnel files reviewed on an annual basis to make sure nothing is missing.

Ninja Gig offers convenient online employment applications that are fully customizable. Affordable and easy, Ninja Gig also saves Human Resources teams hours of unnecessary time creating applications and tracking applicants. Sign up now for your free trial today and start getting your online job applications in front of potential candidates now.

End of Year Benefit Reminders

One of the best perks employees have are benefits, which is why it’s important for Human Resources’ departments to remind them to make sure they use any key benefits that may expire on an annual basis.

Here is a list of the top FIVE benefits to remind employees about this month.

 

  1. Checkups – Annual exams and other yearly checkups are often covered in full by most medical insurance policies. Send employees reminders to use these benefits before year’s end.
  2. Flexible Spending Accounts – Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) are different from Health Savings Accounts (HSA), which we will discuss below. Flexible Spending Accounts allow pre-tax money to accrue for eligible medical expenses, but they come with a use-it-or-lose-it penalty. However, over the last five years, the IRS has modified that rule and allows up to $500 in unused contributions to be carried over to the following year. The amount is not cumulative, which means it’s important to remind employees about their options for taking advantage of FSA contributions.
  3. Health Savings Account – An HSA is different from an FSA because amounts can transfer over year-after-year. While it’s still tax-free medical dollars at work for employees, it’s an excellent opportunity for employees of all ages to put money towards current or future medical expenses. Remind employees of the upcoming individual and family savings annual contribution amounts and the differences between an HSA and FSA account.
  4. Vacation Benefits – Whether companies have a policy about losing unused vacation at the end of each year or they allow employees to carry over a certain number of hours, it’s important to remind employees how much remaining vacation time they have left in 2018. Additionally, make sure that the paid time off policy complies with all local and state regulations, especially if companies enforce using or losing the accrued time.
  5. Life Events – If employees have a qualifying life event, such as getting married or having a child, after open enrollment season, make sure they have the necessary coverage to support them and their families.

 

Ninja Gig offers online employment applications, which help attract some of the best, brightest talent in the industry. In today’s modern world, employee benefits are significant to job seekers. With more than 80% of people applying for online jobs, your company can’t afford not to check out Ninja Gig this upcoming New Year. For a flat monthly rate, you can use and customize UNLIMITED online job applications. Sign up now for your free trial and start getting your online job applications in front of potential candidates today.

Tips for Hiring Seasonal Employees

The busy holiday rush is just around the corner, and many companies are scrambling to hire seasonal or contract employees. Often this last minute hiring frenzy is stressful and daunting.

Here are some tips to help companies survive this busy time of year:

  • Concise Job Description – When creating a job description for seasonal work, accurately describe the duties and clearly state that the position is seasonal, part-time or contract.
  • Social Media – Having a strong social media presence that is supportive of employees and defines a company’s culture is also essential when trying to attract the best talent. Keep in mind that seasonal positions can help determine an employee’s work habits and value, and could lead to more long-term opportunities for advancement. Today’s teens continuously check their social media pages, which makes it an ideal application to post job openings.
  • Employee Referrals – Implement an employee referral program to help incentivize current employees to help refer potential applicants for seasonal and full-time positions. Whether it’s offering a cash bonus or a gift card reward, employers can disperse the referral incentives after the new hire finishes the season.
  • Job Fair – Job fairs are a great way to find seasonal employees and give employers the opportunity to meet many prospective applicants and communicate with them in a short time frame. If participating in a job fair, begin planning advertising approximately two weeks in advance to maximize the reach and exposure.
  • Vet Candidates – Once companies have a good pool of solid candidates, review each applicant’s resume, references and conduct a background check, if necessary. Remember to ask questions during the interview that focus on different scenarios or situations to find out how the applicants react under pressure.

Ninja Gig can make hiring seasonal employees effortless and painless. Sign up now for your free trial and customize your online job applications to save you valuable time by including sections for resumes, references, background check information and even an area for brief essay questions.

How to Create a Dynamic Work Schedule

Movie theaters, restaurants and other hourly positions, need to have management create a dynamic work schedule so that companies run flawlessly and efficiently. Without having open communication, work schedules can easily fall apart, leaving companies scattered, unorganized and scrambling to fill shifts.

Here are some excellent tips for creating a work schedule for hourly shifts.

Advance Scheduling

Employees have schedules outside of work, and it’s hard for people to find out their work schedule just hours or a day or two in advance. That’s why it’s essential to schedule shifts in advance so employees can plan. Emergencies happen, such as illness and deaths, but having a schedule published in advance can help minimize shift cancellations and streamline communication among the team.

Know Your Team

If you have team members that prefer morning shifts and others that prefer late night shifts, try to accommodate team members’ preferences and strengths. Not everyone is suited for the busy morning shift, and the same can be true for the late night hustle and bustle.

Respect Requests

Whether someone has a doctor’s appointment, needs to be at the bus stop by a particular time or prefers not to work on Sundays for religious reasons, it’s important to attempt to accommodate these types of requests when scheduling shifts. Request that employees submit their vacation requests as far in advance as possible to help accommodate any necessary requests. There may be times when employers cannot honor these requests, such as during busy holiday seasons, but it’s important to attempt to try to work around employees’ schedules as much as possible.

Shift Swapping

Having a policy that permits shift swapping is a great way to make sure that shifts are covered in advance and at the last minute. Have a clear process about shift-swapping in place to help avoid confusion, so all shifts are covered in advance. If employers don’t spell out a policy, they likely won’t know when employees change their shift schedules, which can cause abundant confusion and strife.

Busy Times

Customer demands play a central role in how employers schedule employees. Maybe weekends are peak busy times, which means that business may need to schedule extra employees for those shift schedules. When businesses identify busy times, it’s important to relay this to the employees, so they know that all extra shifts during peak hours need coverage.

Ninja Gig offers an excellent solution for businesses looking to use online job applications to attract the best, brightest talent. Many movie theaters and restaurants can advertise online job applications on websites and via social media. Sign up now for your free trial and see how Ninja Gig can help you streamline your online employment application process.

How to Interview Teens

There are several types of jobs that are perfect for teens and with the upcoming holiday retail season right around the corner, there are many teens that might be looking for seasonal work.

Whether it’s hiring for fast food restaurants, movie theaters, Christmas tree farms, holiday light festivals or ski resorts, teens’ winter schedules make them an excellent fit for seasonal work.

Here are some great questions for managers to ask when interviewing teens for seasonal employment.

  • Why are you interested in this job?
  • When are you available to work winter break or after school hours during the school year?
  • When could you start?
  • How flexible is your schedule?
  • What days and hours are you available each day of the week?
  • Are you willing to work weekends?
  • Do you have any outside activities that might prevent you from working regularly?
  • Do you have plans during school break?
  • What are your long-term academic goals and current grades?
  • Why are you qualified for this position?
  • Do you have related work experience?
  • Tell me about any other jobs you have held and what did you like best and least about them?
    • What did you like best and least about your last job?
  • If your friends, teachers or counselor described you, what would they say?
  • Have you ever had any difficulties with a supervisor or teacher?
  • Tell me why reliability and punctuality are important traits in successful employees.
  • Why should we hire you?
  • Do you have any personal or work references?
  • Do you have any questions about the job?

Ninja Gig offers customizable online job applications, which makes it easy for employers to target teen demographics on social media channels and online, where teens will likely spend more time searching for seasonal jobs. Sign up now for your free trial and start getting your job applications in front of potential candidates today.