Category Archives: Firing Employees

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!

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!

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!

Policies for Employee Resignations

A common question that some employers have is once an employee resigns and if they leave under less than ideal circumstances, can you request that current employees not socialize with them?

While you can’t ask employees not to socialize with former employees, it is a good idea to institute some policies that pertain to employee resignations.

  1. Guest Policy – A good general policy for businesses, work environments require some structure. Consider implementing a policy about guests visiting. This can include friends, family and former employees.
  2. Avoid Choosing Sides – Whether an employee leaves involuntarily or voluntarily, they can still maintain friendships within the company. Take the high road and don’t make employees choose between their jobs and the company and a former co-worker. Employees need to be treated as adults and held accountable for maintaining a professional behavior.
  3. Follow-Up – If an employee doesn’t show up or call, try reaching out. While you can interpret this as a resignation, they could have also been involved in an accident or had an emergency arise.
  4. Well Wishing – If an employee resigns, always wish them well. Even if the employee had a terrible work ethic and was not a good fit for the company, it’s still best to exercise dignity and respect in these situations.
  5. Discuss Goals – If an employee gives his two-week notice to resign, take that time to discuss current projects and transitions. You want to make sure that the transition is as smooth as possible for the company.
  6. Offboarding – Always answer questions about what happens to employee’s benefits if they are leaving. They may have questions about their medical, vacation balance and 401(k), etc.
  7. Exit Interview – Conduct an exit interview. Whether your organization conducts them before or after the employee leaves, encourage open conversation and honesty to facilitate a better, improved work environment for current and future employees.
  8. Workload Discussions – Look into how the company will absorb the workload if you don’t hire a replacement before the employee departs. Whether companies pay additional overtime to current employees, hire a freelancer or temp or look at other options, it’s important to explore these early on.
  9. Employment Attorney – Never hesitate to contact legal counsel if you have any questions about how to handle employee resignations.

Ninja Gig offers the convenience of online job applications, which makes it simple for employers to comply with necessary paperwork regulations, while also hiring the most qualified applicants for their organization.  Sign up today for a 30-day free trial!

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.

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.

12 Human Resources Hot Buttons

Today’s job market has some fierce competition, which is why employees need to stand out more than ever.

Ninja Gig highlights the latest 12 hot button subjects for human resources’ departments to incorporate into their interview questions.

  1. Results – The bottom line is any interview is to determine what the applicant has accomplished. Listen to action and buzz words, such as: initiated, developed, led or increased.
  2. Figures and Numbers – Don’t settle for vague assertions. Ask questions so applicants deliver concrete statistics, numbers and figures. Did they help decrease spending or increase revenue? Ask the hard questions to get the best and brightest employees.
  3. Awards – Make sure that applicants highlight their accolades and awards.
  4. Staying Power – You want to see an employee that has the staying power your company needs to succeed. Look for employees that have stayed at companies for several years and received promotions before moving on. These are signs of candidates that will help reduce your turnover and build your business.
  5. Website or Blog – Blogging and personal websites have become very popular. Reading someone’s grammar and writing style can also highlight good communication skills. This is also an opportune time to see if the potential applicant shared too much about his/her personal life or details about past jobs.
  6. Skills and Education – If your company requires specific certifications, make sure that applicants have kept up with any requirements or necessary education. An applicant that stays up-to-date on the latest technology and industry trends is someone that wants to succeed.
  7. Attitude – You want employees that are flexible, positive and enthusiastic. Avoid hiring applicants that criticize current or past employers or co-workers. Remember that a positive attitude is contagious in the workplace.
  8. Leadership Skills – Many companies think that leadership skills are only reserved for management positions. However, you need to think again. New employees that demonstrate leadership skills can help influence your company and have room for growth. Look for potential leadership by listening to how candidates improved a product or process, came up with solutions to problems or contributed ideas to their workplaces.
  9. Initiative and Ideas – Listen for applicants to tell you solutions and ideas that can solve your business’ current problems. Not only will you be more interested in hearing their proactive solutions, but chances are you’re looking for a candidate that has the potential to hit the ground running.
  10. Growth Potential – You want people that don’t just commit to their job descriptions, but are willing to go above and beyond to ensure your company’s success. Ask candidates about their past experiences where they have operated outside their comfort zones.
  11. Hobbies – You know that all candidates have interests outside of work so why not ask them about their passions. Someone that is devoted to hobbies or has special interests shows he/she is committed to success.
  12. Creativity – You want to hire employees that are creative problem solvers that can easily think outside the box. See if the candidate has a track record for solving problems using innovative solutions.

Ninja Gig can help companies implement a reliable online job application system. You can quickly and efficiently target advertising to potential online candidates and then search through their online job applications. Once you have a narrow list of potential candidates, you can focus on interviewing, asking the right questions and hiring the employee that will help your company succeed.  Sign up today for your free trial and you can make your life so much easier.  Start accepting applications within minutes!

Hiring the Best Restaurant Employees

The restaurant business is not for the faint of heart. Whether you’re a greasy spoon diner looking to build up clientele or you’re struggling to earn your first Michelin Star, it’s important that you hire the right employees to boost your restaurant.

Turnover is Never Your Friend

The restaurant industry has high turnover rates, which means that it’s inevitable you’ll lose some employees along the way. However, you need to keep a positive outlook and not resign yourself to steady turnover rates. Managers that take their time during the hiring process can eliminate the potential for non-performing employees. By taking the time to interview the right candidates, you can avoid turnover-related personnel issues.

Structure and Standardize Interviews

It’s not uncommon for restaurants to have dozens of job interviews each month. To make sure that you’re making the most out of each interview, create a standardized template and follow a strict set of interview procedures. If applicants don’t provide satisfactory answers, eliminate them from the second round of interviews. Consider implementing a minimum of two interviews before hiring.

Star Performers

Before you get too involved in the hiring process, take a step back and ask what is your ideal employee? To help identify positive traits, look to your current top performers. Whether they work every ticket to the best of their ability or go the extra mile to ensuring customer satisfaction, these employees’ skills are critical to your restaurant’s success. If potential candidates do not possess the skills that your top employees do, nix them and move on.

Always Verify References

Always check references to confirm applicants’ work-related experiences and skills. You may catch some applicants in outright lies about their experience, so it’s better to find these things out during the reference check than later when you hire them. Some restaurants incorporate computerized personality tests to help identify hard-working, competent and honest candidates.

Future Leaders

You need to focus on hiring candidates that are strong leaders. You can’t manage every employee all day, which is why you need to hire employees that are self-starters, motivated and want to better themselves. Whether it’s hiring wait staff, line cooks, sous chefs or kitchen managers, implement a trial-by-fire audition that shows how well employees perform in the real-world.

 

The key positions in your restaurant demand that you hire excellent employees. Using a combination of targeted interview questions and personality tests can help you assess suitable candidates. Your key employees should also be able to perform well under pressure. Hire the right employees for your restaurant and take your business to the next level.

 

Ninja Gig provides online job application solutions. You can quickly post and advertise your job online, receive notification of online applications and sort through applicants to find the most talented employees to interview. This will give you additional time to carefully interview potential candidates, as you can weed out applicants that do not have restaurant or leadership experiences.  Sign up today for your free trial and you can start accepting job applications online within minutes.

How to Hire Employees for Your Cleaning Business

If you run a cleaning company, you know that the saying, “Good help is hard to find,” rings true. Whether you manage a carpet cleaning, housekeeping or janitorial company, it can be difficult to find quality employees that are willing to stick around and help make your business shine.

If you’re looking for suitable candidates, consider the following:

  • Post cleaning jobs online and use Ninja Gig’s convenient online job application to help weed through applicants.
  • Personal referrals are always very helpful so remember to ask business associates and friends if they know anyone trustworthy that may be interested in applying for open positions.
  • Use social media to advertise your current positions. You can link back to online job applications to help make it easier to identify qualified applicants.

When you are going through prospective employees’ information, be sure to prepare detailed questions for your interview and always call references and conduct thorough background checks. If the applicant has a record for stealing, your clients will not be happy if things are amiss in their homes. You want to treat your customers’ valuables with the utmost care, which is why it’s important to check any potential employees thoroughly.

Avoid hiring cleaning employees just because you need to fill open positions. You don’t want to risk cancellation of your cleaning accounts just because an employee is unreliable or waiting for a better job to come along.

When you hire a qualified applicant, make sure to update your Worker’s Compensation Insurance. Your insurance agent can quickly update your policy to reflect any changes.

You may also need to update your surety bond liability to expand your coverage. These bonds are based on the company’s size. A surety bond offers insurance for your outstanding cleaning contracts and dictates client compensation if you are unable to finish a task.

Ninja Gig can help you develop online job applications that are custom to the cleaning industry. You can sort through qualified applicants, keep resumes on file for future hires and comply with federal paperwork maintenance requirements.  Start your free 30-day trial and start accepting job applications online today!  Sign up here

Why does the tech industry have low retention rates?

Many people say they dream of working for the big tech companies, such as Google and Amazon. But is working for tech companies all it cracks up to be?

Tech companies are famous for their perks, which are even featured in the 2013 movie, “The Internship” that highlights Google’s employee benefits. Some of their best perks include free gourmet food and snacks, bringing dogs to work, free rides to and from work, death benefits, fitness classes and gyms and more. So who wouldn’t want to work for a tech company that offers these amazing benefits?

While it could be that the tech industry is high stress, most people know this before embarking into the tech industry. Tech employees have highly marketable skills, and Millennials do not define employer loyalty. While employees may be drawn to the benefits that big companies offer, if they get bored or receive a better employment offer, don’t be surprised if they jump ship.

Even if you’re a small tech company, you can benefit from taking notice from larger conglomerates. Some studies show that the average employee is only at their tech job for five years. This means that your company will spend a lot of money rehiring and retraining new employees.

Instead of tech companies accepting job-hopping as the norm, tech companies should delve into why turnover is frequent. A couple of tips to determine why new employees are applying is to have an online job application that asks applicants why they are seeking new employment. Additionally, human resources professionals can conduct exit interviews to obtain insight into specifics about why employees are leaving.

This information can be combined, and an employment retention plan can be put into place. This will help decrease future hiring costs and boost company morale, helping to retain current employees.

Ninja Gig offers customizable online employment application. Tech companies can easily manage these online applications, learn additional information about potential employees and easily retain applications for future reference. Sign up today for a free trial!