Category Archives: Employee Retention

How to Train Your Cleaning Service Employees – Part 1 of 2

Summertime is in full swing and chances are that your housecleaning company is in need of new hires. Perhaps you’re stumped writing help wanted ads, or you’re looking for a better way to attract prospective employees. Ninja Gig is here to offer you helpful tips on how to attract and train your cleaning service employees.

First, college students are great for summertime employees, and many may be willing to switch to evening or night shifts when school resumes in the fall. Additionally, if you can recruit college students part-time in their freshmen or sophomore years, you may be able to have part-time employees for the next four years of school, which is a bonus. Many mothers that have children are looking for part-time work year-round, which makes flexible residential cleaning shifts appealing.

You can also explore hiring temporary help or use an employment agency to find qualified employees. However, employment agencies may charge a substantial fee, which makes them less appealing for lower-wage jobs.

It’s vital that housecleaning companies are very particular about who they hire. Remember only to hire employees that you would trust in your home because your clients are trusting you to choose qualified people to clean their homes and offices.

When hiring applicants, make sure to use an online job application, which will simplify the process. Additionally, you can ask questions, request background check information and references via an online employment application. This will save you valuable time and money when advertising positions online and on your social media channels.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this article, which will highlight training your new employees so you can rest assured that you are setting your employees up for long-term success, which is beneficial to your organization.

Ninja Gig offers an affordable solution for online job applications. You can easily customize these applications, and since most housekeeping jobs are applied for online, you’ll be staying with today’s modern times and attracting the talent you deserve in your organization. Sign up today for a free, no obligation 30-day trial of our applicant tracking system and see how easy receiving and managing employment applications online can be.

Is legal weed making it difficult for restaurants to retain employees?

Colorado has a food crisis. It’s not a food or crop shortage, but an employment scarcity. Local restaurants are having a difficult time hiring and retaining restaurant staff, and the reason is clear: pot shops pay double the hourly wage to care for marijuana plants.

While the government doesn’t have hard data and facts to back up Colorado’s claims, many in the Centennial State strongly believe that the reason Denver’s restaurant owners and chefs are having a difficult time hiring is that legal weed is a culprit in their lack of rising restaurant talent.

Marijuana growers pay entry-level employees between $12 to $15 an hour to cut, trim and care for their plants. That compares to a mere average $12.83 an hour line and prep cooks receive, which is still above Colorado’s minimum wage. Kitchen work does have physical demands and often requires constant juggling acts and multi-tasking in windowless, 90-degree rooms.

Instead, pot growers allow their employees to sit indoors in air-conditioned spaces while listening to music. Additionally, employees that are speedy and trim the pot plants in a timely fashion can earn upwards of $20 per hour.

As the need for legal weed grows in Colorado, restaurateurs are feeling the biting heat in their kitchens – delaying openings because they can’t find enough people to man the kitchens.

The National Restaurant Association confirms that prep cooks, line cooks and dishwashers are among the most challenging restaurant positions to fill. At the same time, Colorado is one of the top growing states for restaurant and food service positions over the next 10 years.

Servers that work at higher-end restaurants can make well above minimum wage, but because line and prep cooks don’t usually share in these profits, it’s leaving them longing for higher salaries and cashier jobs.

In 2010 alone, Colorado restaurants reported more than $8 billion sales with that number climbing to  $12 billion in 2017. This gave Colorado’s restaurants one of the highest year-over-year increases in the entire U.S.

While Colorado is seeing a massive housing boom and thousands of people are rushing to the state, it doesn’t appear they are going to work in the kitchens. Denver’s turnover rates are above the national average, which hovers at 28.4% and Denver is at 33.8% for kitchen staff. Whether this is just because of inexperienced or new personnel not working out or more people are embarking on pot growing careers, is speculation.

One way that Colorado restaurants can attract and retain top kitchen talent is to pay more than minimum wage. Additionally, offering on-the-job training is a great way to support employees having a long-term restaurant career.

If your restaurant is looking to hire top kitchen talent, consider using Ninja Gig’s online job application. Online employment applications streamline efficiencies and allow interested personnel to apply via your website or social media pages. Additionally, once they submit the information you can easily retain resumes and stay in compliance with federal and state laws.  Ready to give it a try?  Sign up for our 30-day free trial today!

Education Is Key: Modern Day Job Application Statistics

You want to hire the best, brightest talent available, which is why Ninja Gig has compiled some interesting statistics to help you find the best applicants for your organization.

  • 79% of job seekers are using social media to conduct a job search. For Millennials, this number increases to 86%.
  • Nearly 75% of people say their employer does not use social media to promote their brand or job openings.
  • 45% of job seekers use mobile devices to search for employment once daily.
  • Job seekers generally look at these five things when applying for a position: salary and compensation, career growth opportunities, work-life balance offerings, location and commute and company culture and values.
  • When advertising sales positions, 94% of sales professionals say that the offered base salary is more important than the commission structure.
  • Millennials cite these three important factors when applying for jobs: growth opportunities, retirement benefits and work culture.
  • 46% of Millennials left their last job because they felt there was no potential for career growth. This means that Millennials are more skeptical about employers’ claims about supporting advancement.
  • 64% of Millennials would be comfortable making $40,000 a year at a job they love than making upwards of $100,000 a year at a job they don’t find challenging. This means that 80% of Millennials look at a company’s culture fit and the people first, with career potential coming in second.
  • 69% of job seekers say that they would rather be unemployed than accept employment with a company that has a bad reputation. On the flip side, 84% of Millennials would leave their current job if a company with an excellent reputation offered them a position.
  • Companies that increase their employee engagement investments by as little as 10% can increase employee productivity by $2,400. Additionally, 70% of employees that do not have faith or confidence in their senior management do not fully engage at work.

Ninja Gig makes it easy for employers’ online job applications to get noticed on social media. Fully customizable, these job applications are a great way to comply with today’s necessary electronic recordkeeping requirements while making it quick and simple for applicants to apply for open positions.  Sign up for your 30-day free trial and see what our amazing software can do to help improve your hiring processes!

Double Check Yourself: Do your words detour female candidate?

Research shows that if companies use the wrong words in a job description, it may detour highly qualified female candidates from applying.

It’s important that companies write job descriptions and applications in a gender-neutral tone. For example, remove all feminine or masculine vocabulary to help increase the likelihood of qualified men and women applying for positions.

For example, studies show that male applicants prefer applications that use the word “exhaustive,” while female applicants respond better to the phrase “loves learning.” Additionally, men are more likely to apply with stereotypical phrases such as “competitive salary” or “best of the best.”

Additional words that may turn off female applicants include:

  • Ambitious
  • Analytical
  • Assertive
  • Autonomous
  • Boastful
  • Chairman
  • Dominate
  • Foosball
  • Ninja
  • Hierarchical
  • Rigid
  • Stock options
  • Strong
  • Takes risks
  • Workforce

While it’s acceptable to use some masculine-skewed terms in a job description, it’s important that companies balance these out with gender-neutral or feminine terms.

It’s not that one term can necessarily turn women off from applying to jobs. It’s when companies scatter several of these hot-button words and terms into a description that it may raise subconscious red flags to women not to apply.

On the flip side, these are words that may help attract more female applicants.

  • Adaptable
  • Choose
  • Collaborate
  • Creative
  • Curious
  • Excellent
  • Flexible schedule
  • Multitaking
  • Health
  • Imaginative
  • Intuitive
  • Plans for the future
  • Resilient
  • Self-aware
  • Socially responsible
  • Thoughtful
  • Trustworthy
  • Up-to-date
  • Wellness program

It’s important that companies use gender-neutral words when creating job descriptions. While solving the gender diversity puzzle is not straightforward or simple, this small step can help companies potentially attract better-qualified candidates.

Ninja Gig offers online job applications that are easy to customize so your organization can focus on gender-neutral wording.  Ready to start?  Sign up for your free trial now and see how easy our software is to use!

Developing a Competitive Pay Practice

In today’s competitive job market, candidates are well educated about salary rates based on their industry and location. For companies to stay competitive and attract the best and brightest talent, they need to stay a step ahead of their competition. Developing a solid, yet competitive pay practice that is based on accurate salary data is crucial.

Here are some tips to help your organization develop a competitive compensation strategy that attracts and retains employees.

  • Market Pulse – Wages declined in 2009 and 2010; however, many industries are seeing a steady increase in salaries. If your company has a compensation plan that is based on these declining years, it’s time to put together a new strategy or you risk, losing top employees to competitors.
  • Benchmark Positions – Engage in once-per-year salary benchmarking to identify employees that are at a higher risk of turnover. This will help employers find ways to reallocate their labor budget and make smart decisions before facing employee vacancies.
  • Compensation Plan – Developing a compensation plan is a cost-effective way to help companies structure their pay decisions in a way that aligns with company goals. While some companies skip this plan in favor of less structure and fewer rules, it can be their demise as top employees will eventually leave for better offers that come their way.
  • Pay Inequities – A formalized compensation plan helps companies identify internal pay inequities. A significant wage gap for employees that do the same position can increase company turnover, even contribute to overpayment and costly litigation expenses. Race and gender have no business influencing compensation.
  • Communicate – If you’ve gone through the process to create a detailed compensation plan, let your employees know. Compensation strategies exist to support your business goals. Communicate to employees and let them know that your company is investing in them and their talent. Employees appreciate feeling needed, and companies will see a measurable boost in employee morale.

Ninja Gig specializes in offering online job applications. These employment applications make it easy for employers to identify qualified candidates for their organization. Additionally, by eliminating much of the paper involved in the initial application process, employers can effectively store resumes in digital archives, complying with all government data regulations.  Sign up today for your 30-day free trial of our applicant tracking system, and start accepting job applications immediately!

Workplace Bullies

You cannot turn on the news without hearing about a school shooting, bombing or violent act. Many of these relate to bullies. But, what can your company do in today’s world to help protect employees from the mental and emotional, and even physical threats of violence perpetrated by bullies?

First, it’s important to recognize the signs of a bully early-on, such as during the interview process. Workplace bullying is responsible for a wide myriad of effects on companies, including:

 

  • Reduced efficiency, productivity and profitability
  • Higher rates of absenteeism, sick time and employee turnover
  • Decreased loyalty and morale
  • Increased costs for recruiting and retraining new hires
  • Workers comp claims
  • Negative effects on the company’s reputation
  • Time spent dealing with bullies
  • Potential fines by government entities, such as occupational health laws
  • Legal costs from employees
  • Increases to worker’s comp and insurance premiums for turnover

 

When interviewing candidates, look for the signs of these types of bullies.

 

  • The Screamer – If someone is loud, obnoxious and abusive in an attempt to humiliate and berate people, chances are they expect to rule through fear.
  • The Snake – The passive-aggressive employee that pretends to be friends with a coworker to gain information and then turns around to purposefully destroy his/her reputation or take credit for work.
  • The Critic – The critic is someone who constantly criticizes people to tear down their confidence. The criticism is often unwarranted, as they just want to break someone down.
  • The Class Clown – The attention seeker needs to be the center of attention at all times. They will flatter their bosses, be helpful to their peers, but if co-workers don’t give them the amount of attention they desire, things can quickly get ugly.
  • The Gatekeeper – This is someone that thinks their position is so important that they can deny other employees the necessary resources, information or time to effectively do their jobs.
  • The Know-It-All – Gurus likes to consider themselves superior to other employees. They can’t understand how their hurtful actions affect others and don’t want to accept responsibility for their actions. They don’t like to follow the same rules as other employees, thinking they are above them.
  • The Wannabe – Employees that typically aren’t very good at their jobs, but loves to complain about everyone else. They want everything to be done their way, even if there is a better way to accomplish a task. They go to great lengths to oppose other employee’s ideas and hate changes in the workplace.
  • The Sociopath – The charming, intelligent, charismatic and well-spoken employee that has no empathy for other employees and loves to manipulate everyone around him/her.

 

Look out for problems that may point to these types of bullying personalities in interviews. Selecting a good team that is bully-free will help companies succeed.

 

Ninja Gig offers online job applications to a wide variety of companies. See how online applications can help your company effectively attract talented employees while helping comply with government regulations.  Sign up now for our free trial, and see how easy it can be to accept job applications online and weed out those bullies!

Reshaping Negotiations: How Salary History Bans Affect Your Company

Many state and local legislatures are creating a new ban: one that prohibits employers from asking candidates about their past pay. This will forever change salary negotiations.

For as long as companies and applicants can remember, the most common initial hiring question is past salary. These numbers gave companies insight into determining who made more than the position offered, helping eliminate them from further screening, and offering less money to those candidates that have lower salary histories.

However, policymakers are rethinking this question, believing that it may be helping perpetuate both gender and racial disparities that are present in today’s compensation scale.

Even in 2018, the gender pay gap remains wide, with women only earning around 80 centers to men’s one dollar. Of these women, Black and Latinas see the most significant discrepancy, making approximately 55 to 60 cents for every dollar earned by white men.

This has prompted several states, including New York and California, to move towards banning salary questions in the interview process.

The reviews on whether this will help narrow the gap and create equal pay are mixed. Some companies say that it will improve, while others say that it will have minimum impact on pay equity.

While more states and localities are joining the nationwide trend to ban salary questions, it’s a good time for companies to reevaluate their practice of inquiring about candidates past pay. Consider revisiting company compensation strategies and hiring practices. Rely on the market data to help set the pay rates for positions, which gives companies time to focus on the candidate’s qualifications.

Fines for violating this law vary. For example, Delaware’s law outlines civil penalties that may go up to $10,000 for each offense. New York City is proposing stricter penalties that may go up to $250,000.

To help make sure that your company complies with changing times, check to see if your state or local district has enacted any laws that pertain to restricting questions about salary history. It’s always important that Human Resources departments and company managers know the law.

If your state prohibits discussing salary histories, make sure to update all paperwork that may ask these types of questions.

Here’s a quick list of states that have or are going to be instituting salary history bans: California, Delaware, Massachusetts, Oregon, Puerto Rico, New York City and San Francisco.

Ninja Gig offers affordable solutions for traditional job applications. With their online employment applications, employers can quickly alter forms to best apply to local and state laws.  Sign up now to start accepting job applications online immediately!

Restaurant Recruitment Tips

Successful restaurateurs have key processes in place to help their business achieve consistency. The dilemma is that many of these processes revolve around recipes, cleanliness, food safety, customer greetings, etc. Some restaurants have policies for scheduling and conflict resolution tactics, which managers can implement. However, far too many restaurants do not have structured recruitment and hiring processes in place, which leads to bad hiring decisions, high turnover and an overall poor employment brand.

Restaurateurs can change their culture and implement effective recruiting practices, which will help build a strong brand.

  1. Attract the Right Candidates – Restaurants can easily tap into their customer base to discover potential candidates. They can utilize social media, online newspapers and even post “Now Hiring” notices in their restaurant. To attract several qualified candidates and make it easy for staff to conduct interviews, many restaurants set aside all-day interview sessions or even participate in local job fairs to talk to qualified culinary candidates. However, the drawback to open interviews is that restaurants spend a lot of time interviewing candidates that would not pass their basic screening process. While many restaurants use these techniques to solve high-volume hiring seasons, it does not always attract the best candidates. By leveraging employment application software for job applications, restaurants can narrow down their applicant pool and select only those that are qualified for positions. This time-savings approach allows restaurants to reduce costs associated with interviewing and hiring qualified candidates.
  2. Identifying the Best Applicants – Restaurants want to hire the best, brightest and most talented employees. Great staff results in better dining experiences for customers, which translates into more return business. Bad hires can leave lasting negative impressions on customers and cost restaurants revenue. Restaurants should require that applicants complete applications. Custom online job applications can pre-screen applicants while ensuring consistency in answers, give a glimpse into personality and aptitude.
  3. Evaluating Top Talent – Once a restaurant has a solid screening and interviewing process in place, they can focus on finding candidates that are good fits for their company culture and jobs. Equally crucial to skills is evaluating their communication styles, personalities and what motivates them to succeed. Developing a specific set of criteria that includes standardized interview questions will help management better select strong long-term candidates. Once management has found a reliable interview routine, it should be built into a repeatable system. Applicant Tracking Software is valuable, helping restaurants manage consistency during the interview process.

Ninja Gig can help your restaurant succeed and hire qualified employees. Our online employment applications make it easy for you to customize questions, advertise your open positions and attract qualified candidates.  Sign up today for a 30-day free trial!

HR Spring Cleaning

Ever wonder what should and shouldn’t be kept in employee personnel files? Ninja Gig will give you the low-down on how to spring clean your HR department.

What should be in personnel files?

Personnel files should contain objective information that relates to hiring, promotions, demotions, compensation, discipline or employee discharge. Type of documents that should appear in employment files include, but are not limited to:

  • Employment Application
  • Resume
  • Offer letters
  • Performance reviews
  • Disciplinary notices
  • Resignation/Termination letters
  • Compensation and deductions
  • Non-Compete or Confidentiality Agreements
  • Handbook acknowledgements
  • Attendance records
  • Vacation and personal leave
  • Changes in name, address, telephone or contact information
  • Emergency contacts
  • Beneficiaries for insurance policies
  • Training records

What should not be in personnel files?

Subjective information should never be in personnel files. This includes:

  • Notes about the employee during interviews or on their employment applications
  • Letters of recommendation or reference checks
  • Documents about employee criminal investigations
  • Credit reports
  • I-9 Forms
  • Medical files or anything relating to a medical condition
  • Photos of the employee or even copies of his/her driver’s license

Where should employers keep personnel files?

Personnel files should remain with Human Resources departments, but if companies are too small to have an entire department, they should reside with the employee’s manager. Personnel files should always be stored in a locked room or cabinet.

Who has access to personnel files?

Only the immediate supervisor and human resources’ department should have access to employees’ personnel files. While not required, it’s a good idea for companies to have a system in place that tracks every time a personnel file is viewed by whom.

Where should I-9 Forms be stored?

A separate I-9 folder for each employee is not necessary. Many companies have two binders – one for current employees’ I-9 forms and one for past employees. According to the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), employers must retain I-9 forms for a minimum of three (3) years from the date of hire or one (1) year after the employee’s date of employment ends, whichever is later.

How is medical information stored?

Medical information, such as worker’s compensation issues, disability issues, sick leave or FMLA should be stored separately in a locked drawer and have limited access.

Ninja Gig offers customizable online employment applications. These applications are easy to store digitally online, so companies can recall the information when needed, reducing the amount of paper filing. These online job applications also help companies target experienced candidates.  Sign up now for a no-obligation, free trial of our amazing software.

Addressing Sexual Harassment

Right now, our nation is being slammed by daily reports of companies and individuals that are receiving new sexual harassment claims. Thanks to Harvey Weinstein blowing the lid off the top of the entertainment industry’s harassment scandal, victims everywhere are making a stand, demanding to be heard.

Here’s what HR departments can do to help protect companies against harassment claims and to minimize the potential for employees becoming harassment victims.

  1. Hold a Team Meeting – A powerful way to send the message that workplace harassment is not acceptable is to hold a company meeting. Employers need to express that if anyone feels uncomfortable, threatened or demeaned, they need to report this to their supervisor and HR department. Create an open space, so employees know and understand that you have a zero-tolerance policy for harassment and you want it reported immediately. Emphasize that both sexual harassment and assault are criminal offenses and no matter someone’s position in a company, there is no tolerance for this type of criminal behavior.
  2. Shared Definitions – Create definitions of what defines harassment. Many studies show that when harassment is precisely defined, more people will report these criminal incidents. This helps in two ways:
    1. Employees are better able to understand and recognize harassment, which allows them to report any workplace violations.
    2. Employees have greater ownership of the company culture, which makes them feel more positively towards their work environments.
  3. Confidential Reporting System – It’s important to have a confidential reporting system in place so that employees can feel free to report harassment without fear of retaliation. Trauma effects every person differently, which is why it’s essential that a workplace environment offers a confidential reporting system.
  4. Shared Accountability – Every individual in a company needs to be held accountable for their actions, whether it’s the president or a mail clerk. An organization should emphasize a culture where no harassment is tolerated and that all colleagues, managers or executives are called out for their poor behavior.
  5. Cultural Impact – It’s crucial that companies regularly reinforce the zero violence and harassment policy. Here are some practical ways to do this:
    1. Explain – All employees and managers should have a clear understanding of how sexual harassment and assault issues are prioritized by the company, what their roles are in implementing policies and protocols, exactly what accountability for these illegal actions entails and what channels will support victims.
    2. Reinforce – Regularly reinforce a company’s zero harassment policy through newsletters, annual reports, social media, board meetings and one-on-one supervision.
    3. Pulse – Stay up-to-date on what is going on in the office as fear of retaliation can prevent employees from providing feedback. Regularly check-in with employees, conduct performance reviews and send out anonymous culture surveys.

Ninja Gig supports your position to hire the best candidates for your company to help create a zero-tolerance harassment workplace. To attract the best, brightest and most talented candidates for your company, consider using online job applications. These employment applications are easy to customize, which means that HR departments can tailor them to specific job profiles.  Sign up today for a 30-day free trial of this amazing software!