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How to Take a Kinder Approach to Firing Employees

As an HR professional, if you’ve ever had to fire someone, you know this is one of the hardest parts of the job. However, every good business leader knows that sometimes the best decision for a company is to dismiss an employee. In fact, according to a Harris poll, nearly 40 percent of Americans have lost their job before. 

Employees report that being treated with respect is something they need and want from their employer. In fact, employees say that appreciation and recognition, as well as the opportunity for development, learning and growth, are less important than their need for respect. 

Even if an employee isn’t working out, it’s essential to treat them with respect. Here are some tips for terminating an employee with integrity and compassion.

Opportunities for Improvement

Companies should have two different types of employee termination: attitude-based and performance-based. If an employee is failing to meet clear job criteria, management and HR must set employees up for success. Employees need to be aware of any performance issues, and management needs to help set expectations for a solution. 

Employees need a clear timeline to improve performance – between 30 to 90 days – and management should regularly check-in to gauge their performance. Break down goals into more manageable milestones. However, if an employee has shown no improvement by the end of the probationary period, it’s acceptable to have a hard termination conversation. 

If an employee has a poor attitude, this can quickly evolve into a toxic workplace for other employees. One bad employee that has a negative attitude can soon corrupt and poison an entire team. Management can still be respectful and say, “Is there something going on? When you act this way, your attitude impacts our entire company and your coworkers.” 

Consider Alternatives

If someone is unhappy, see if they would be happier somewhere else in the company. Sometimes an employee is burned out and would prefer a new career. If an employee has a strong skill set, this might be an excellent option. 

No matter what happens, HR and managers must document everything to ensure they are complying with termination laws. You may also have to prove later that employees weren’t working out, and other steps were taken before terminating their employment. Teach management to take detailed notes about problem employees, listing specific attitude or performance issues in writing. Remember to document all behavior and performance issues, as these are needed to help minimize potential legal risks.

Ensure Termination is Handled Correctly 

Before management fires an employee, make sure they consult with HR. A termination plan must be in place to help ensure that the company is following all procedures and legal requirements when terminating an employee. 

Be Transparent

If a company exhausts all their options, and they need to let an employee go, it’s best to be detailed and precise. Explain when they will receive their final paycheck, severance pay, returning company property and how benefits will be terminated. Stand firm and don’t give them the impression you may change your mind. Transparency is a critical component when it comes to terminating an employee.


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A Business Guide to Surviving COVID-19

Throughout the nation, businesses of all sizes are struggling to reinvent themselves and survive during COVID-19. However, the real economic effects of this harmful virus will take years to understand fully. Businesses that employ fewer than 500 employees make up nearly 48 percent of the American workforce. Still, smaller companies are often more fragile financially, giving them little protection to weather this financial shock. 

Small businesses are the backbone of our nation’s economy, accounting for 43.5 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP). Small businesses must follow these recommendations to help navigate the effects of the current coronavirus crisis.

Make Plans, But Don’t Rush

Small businesses need to start making plans, but it’s essential they don’t rush everything, as this can cause mistakes. While you may feel pressured – and even tempted – to run out and make decisions immediately, you need to be well informed and seek the outside opinion of a third-party to help validate any decisions you make. For example, talk to a financial adviser, trusted friend, colleague or family member before making any quick decisions. 

Focus on making contingency plans and document the steps you need to take. For example:

  1. Call landlord to discuss lease terms
  2. Sign up for government grants
  3. Sign up for government or bank loans

Breaking down your ultimate goal – saving your business – into small, digestible steps will make it easier to execute your overall plan. 

Paycheck Protection Program 

The CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) offers more than $349 billion in loan support, specifically for small businesses. This loan will be forgiven if all employees remain on the company’s payroll for eight weeks and the loan money is used for rent, mortgage interest, payroll and utilities.

Determine Customers’ Changing Needs

The entire world has been turned upside down due to COVID-19, and your customers’ lives are likely very different than they were a couple of months ago. In fact, some people’s lives will be forever changed by this pandemic. Your company’s long-term viability depends on you adapting to your customers’ needs when the pandemic is over. For example, retailers need to begin focusing on online experiences. People are creating new habits right now, and even when COVID passes, some new habits will remain. 

Consider how the post-COVID world will change your current business model, and consider bringing valuable customers into the planning process. While some people will have less money, many will be eager to get out in public again once it’s safe. Send surveys and reach out to customers to ask them what they look most forward to when the pandemic has passed. 

Analyze Numbers

To thrive in a post-pandemic world, you may need to reinvent your business and search for creative solutions. Analyze your cash flow, fixed expenses and then review what you can decrease to save valuable money. Sometimes cutting flexible costs early can ensure that you have enough funds to pay more necessary expenses in the near future. Analyze what expenses will accept delayed payments and prioritize what you need to pay.

Retain Good Employees

Good employees are your most valuable asset. Losing good employees during COVID can make it difficult to rebuild your company when the economy starts up again. Even if you’ve been forced to cut your labor costs during the COVID-19 crisis dramatically, you want to rehire your best employees when your company reopens. Focus on the long-term and remember that we are all humans dealing with this crisis. 

Ninja Gig offers a robust online job application software, making it straightforward and easy for recruiters and employers to post legally compliant job applications quickly. If your company needs assistance in hiring new employees when the economy opens up, try our highly advanced applicant tracking software system. Sign up today and try our free trial and experience the simplicity of automated hiring software.

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What Industries Will Flourish Post COVID-19

Over the last several months, Coronavirus has dominated the news, panicked the stock market and created murmurings of a recession. As the U.S. is forced to pull back from regular economic activity, hiring in the immediate future will be slower. Still, long-term a post-COVID-19 world will likely reshape our manufacturing industry. 

One important lesson learned from COVID-19 is having a dependence on a foreign country is not productive and can create hardship in difficult times. For example, China manufactures nearly 50 percent of all toys and appliances, 70 percent of shoes and 90% of some antibiotics

There are alternate manufacturing countries, such as Vietnam, India and Mexico, but they don’t have the ability or capacity to produce as much as China. Over the years, manufacturing costs in China have been increasing too. In light of recent world events, many companies will have little choice but to return manufacturing to the U.S. and produce goods at home, incorporating automation to help keep costs affordable.

Unfortunately, many of the fields with vast layoffs – particularly the restaurant and hospitality industries – don’t have the necessary skills to enter and transition to manufacturing quickly. Our shrinking – and aging – domestic manufacturing workforce, coupled with a declining birth rate, may pose future constraints on this market. Increasing the manufacturing labor workforce won’t be an easy task, and companies will likely have to educate employees, teaching them new skills to join this budding labor force. 

Ninja Gig features an online job application software that makes it simple for employers and recruiters to post legally compliant job applications. If you need assistance posting manufacturing jobs or other seasonal employment applications, try our advanced applicant tracking system software. Sign up today for a free trial and try our automated hiring software. 

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Short Term vs. Long Term Hiring Strategies

Hiring can be a complicated process. Typically companies have immediate needs, and then they have long term goals to help them succeed in building a profitable future. Hiring is no exception, which is why companies should employ two main types of strategies: short term and long term. 

Short Term Hiring Strategies

Most employers classify short-term hiring strategies as those that fulfill an immediate need. This need may or may not exist long-term, but the current demand for a solution requires immediate hiring. Examples of this may include:

Seasonal Employees

Write job descriptions to source candidates that only want seasonal work. Giving preference to “same time, next year,” candidates can help reduce training requirements and also offers customers the opportunity to interact with familiar faces.

Temp-to-Hire

Evaluate potential employees through temporary work before extending a full-time offer that commits employers to benefits. This can save employers valuable time, money and the HR headaches of temporarily employing a lousy hire.

Long Term Hiring Strategies

Long-term hiring strategies are a critical component of a company’s success. Whether it’s replacing an employee or creating a new position, having a plan in place is necessary to building a strong company culture and foundation. 

Corporate Strategy

A long-term recruiting strategy should coincide with a company’s corporate strategy. Hiring employees that fit your company goals and culture are essential. Review your business strategies and plan and hire employees that match those long-term goals.

Company Brand

Having a strong company brand will not only help you create a long-term recruitment strategy, but it will have a direct impact on employee retention. When developing a company brand, consider the following:

  • What are the company’s core values?
  • What is the company’s structure?
  • How do you recognize or reward employees?
  • Do you offer career advancement?
  • What type of work/life balance do you offer employees?

Once you have created your corporate strategy, advertise it everywhere – from offer letters, marketing materials and welcome emails. 

Social Media

Using social media to foster a talented pool of potential job applicants is also critical. It’s more than just posting jobs; it’s about fostering engagement. Turn the people that like your page into those that want to work for you! 

Job Postings and Descriptions

Make sure that your corporate strategy and goals are on your website and that your career page highlights your company’s mission and culture. Job descriptions should be more than just bullet points and skills. They should reflect the company’s culture and brand while describing what the job actually entails. 

If you implement balanced short-term and long-term hiring and recruitment goals for your company, you’ll find it easier to maintain any job turnover and that you’ll attract some of the best, brightest talent around. 


Ninja Gig allows companies of all sizes to develop an automated hiring process for online recruitment. Our easy-to-use online job application software allows companies to create legally compliant job applications. Not only can companies accept job applications online, but our applicant tracking system makes it easy to evaluate talent, highlight promising applicants and contact them for interviews. If you want to learn more about Ninja Gig, sign up today for a free trial and experience how our advanced software can simplify your hiring process.

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Human Resources Compliance Roles

The function of Human Resources within companies is generally to help businesses identify, hire and retain qualified people. The government has several regulations and laws that govern organizations to ensure that they treat their employees fairly, and imposes costly fines and penalties for businesses that violate these conditions. Whether it’s the Fair Labor Standards Act or the Family and Medical Leave Act, HR departments must create and execute compliance.

What Goes Into HR Compliance?

For companies to be successful, they need to have HR compliance. HR can’t merely have compliance policies written, but needs to ensure that they are enforced and communicated throughout the organization by management. 

Once HR compliance is in place, leadership must take action to ensure that all employees understand these compliance issues. Businesses need to institute the following to help minimize legalities and maximize HR compliance.

  1. Hiring the Right Employees – Having the right employee talent in place is crucial for a company’s success. HR professionals must have the experience, skills and knowledge to avoid potential liabilities, which includes making sure that employees understand hiring practices, compensation, talent management, legal requirements, employee benefits or handling employee-related issues, 
  2. Education and Training – HR employees must understand regulatory and legal requirements, as well as employment law. Employees must undergo regular training and education since these requirements and regulations are everchanging. It’s also necessary that as laws change that any employee handbooks or company policies receive regular updates.
  3. Employee Handbook – Simply having an employee handbook isn’t enough, as it needs to be updated regularly to include any new legal policies or procedures.
  4. Schedule HR Compliance Audits – Most HR departments are overworked and understaffed. Non-compliance can be costly, putting companies at risk for hefty fines, penalties or even lawsuits. Conducting regularly scheduled HR compliance can help avoid legal liabilities.
  5. Open Communication – Regular and open communication is critical for compliance. All HR function leaders, including executives of companies, need to be up-to-date on the latest HR regulations and compliance risks, helping ensure there are internal checks and balances to avoid costly legal issues.

By implementing these necessary steps, companies can help ensure that HR functions work towards achieving their goals – assisting companies to avoid costly liabilities while maintaining a healthy, profitable organization.


Ninja Gig is an ideal solution for HR hiring and job advertising compliance. Incorporating a proven applicant tracking system that helps make online recruitment easy, Ninja Gig focuses on creating legally compliant job applications. HR teams can easily track and accept job applications online, which makes this automated hiring process easy to implement and incorporate into HR procedures. Companies that are interested in an easy, cost-effective applicant tracking system can sign up today for a free Ninja Gig trial. See how Ninja Gig can help automate and improve your company’s hiring practices.

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How Automation Will Transform the HR Industry in 2020

Attention-grabbing headlines, such as “Robots conduct job interviews,” sparks panic in today’s job seekers. Artificial intelligence (AI) is on the rise, and we are moving towards a more automated hiring process and future, which is destined to transform the workplace. 

HR needs to stay one step ahead, and leverage automation to further streamline tasks, freeing up valuable time for strategic thinking and product creation. Whether using automation for payroll, time tracking or an online applicant tracking system, today’s automated technologies can help improve outcomes, reduce redundancy and minimize human errors.  

The following offer some great starting points for businesses in 2020.

Performance Management

While large corporations employ more standardized tracking processes, many small and medium-sized companies often have informal processes, which means that the conversations only occur after employees miss performance benchmarks. Some companies don’t have any formal benchmarks, which makes it challenging to objectively assess performance, including what employees may need additional support or training. If managers could receive automatic alerts as soon as employees falter, they could better reach out and help them get back on track quickly. Having automated performance management would minimize potential losses when it comes to employee turnover.

Onboarding

An employee’s first day of work sets the tone for their experience. Many companies don’t have organized onboarding experiences, which means that sometimes employees show up, and they don’t have email credentials, much less a desk or computer. Worse, their new team is in meetings all day, which leaves them sitting there and fending for themselves while trying to track down equipment and get trained. 

To help make sure that employees have a more positive onboarding experience, standardize this process. For example, once a candidate is hired, an offer letter should be automatically sent to the candidate. Once they e-sign, it can trigger HR and the IT team. The IT team can then work on creating network credentials, an email address and setting up a computer for the new hire. The HR team can then send out a welcome kit, and send calendar invites for their first day of work, including any calls or meetings they will need to attend. By automating the onboarding process, companies are setting employees up for success. 

Offboarding

Just as the onboarding process with new employees should be seamless, so too should their last day. A positive exit interview will help set the tone for former employees if they refer people or even if they want to return to work at a later time.

Similar to onboarding, offboarding involves a different set of documents, such as transition paperwork, final meetings and an exit interview. Based on when an employee leaves, it can trigger actionable items for both HR and IT, such as removing network credentials, archiving emails, and changing employee’s benefit status. 


Ninja Gig works with companies of all sizes, allowing them to create the first step in an automated hiring process, which starts with accepting job applications. Online recruitment has never been more straightforward, and when you sign up with Ninja Gig, it’s easy to promote jobs and even easier for qualified applicants to apply. Sign up now for your free trial and start getting your online job applications in front of applicants today.

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Is Your Employee Telling the Truth?

Managing a work environment is no simple task for HR employees. It’s a good assumption that most seasoned HR professionals and managers have heard every complaint, dispute, personal problem, sickness, theft and quite possibly more from employees.

While these are all sensitive issues in a work environment, how can you tell if an employee is in fact not telling the truth to reap inner-office sympathy, a day or two off work, or some of a company’s policy benefits? Short of being a mind reader, there are ways to detect that an employee is lying. An article published at www.experityhealth.com, reveled some unique indicators that just may end up revealing the whole truth and nothing but the truth.  

  • Reading Body Language

This is an interesting one. When a “suspected” employee is questioned about a certain situation, they may exhibit certain defensive or protective body language. This could include covering their mouth with their hands, avoiding eye contact, excessive fidgeting, or “shifting their body away from the questioner.”

  • Understanding Timelines

Resorting to a timeline of events is an effective method. While it all depends on the situation, many issues or concerns may include some sort of timeline. Guilty employees can get confused and lured into the truth if they explain times and dates out of order, are evasive about key details, or just have “a blank look” when asked about certain moments.

  • Change of Voice

Lying can be stressful even among the best of them. The fact that stress can cause the vocal cords to constrict, a lying employee’s voice may crack, have a higher or lower pitch, or they may start clearing their throat. 

Although, HR professionals are not expected to have the training of an interrogator for the FBI, they don’t need to. Yet, it’s important not to be naive and clearly understanding some of these signs. In the end, by setting an example and implementing the consequences will only provide for a more secure and honest work environment. 

By signing up with Ninja Gig, companies easily promote openings using online employment applications. Online job applications make it easy for qualified applicants to apply. Sign up now for your free trial and get your online job applications in front of potential candidates now.

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Is an Employee Underperforming? Here’s What You Can Do

Having a one-on-one with an employee who is not meeting their expectations in their role can be a challenge among HR professionals and managers. Whether it addressed during a performance review or a separate meeting, it should hopefully serve as a productive means of improving their focus, skills and overall competence.

Being properly prepared with the specific details of their performance and expectations are essential to a productive meeting. The topic of conversation may not be the most optimistic at first, but by clearly understanding where an employee could improve and following certain guidelines, you can turn a negative situation hopefully into a positive one.  

  • Talk to the Them ASAP

It’s not difficult for any seasoned manager to recognize an employee is struggling in their role. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) suggests its best to arrange a meeting with the employee much sooner than later. In some cases, an employee may be aware of their underperformance, and are possibly expecting such a meeting to take place. So, by delaying the meeting, they could possibly use that to their advantage and allege an unlawful action through a lawyer. In the event the discussion needs be delayed, document the planned meeting and include what is involved, and why it had to be postponed. 

  • Hear Them Out 

No one likes to hear bad news about their work performance. Nonetheless, they may have good reason for not meeting their responsibilities, and perhaps a sound solution can be made moving forward. So, be sure to hear them out or find the source of the problem.

  • Document Everything 

While it’s important to document why the meeting was postponed, it’s ten times as important to document everything that was discussed. In the event that the employee is terminated and a wrongful dismissal lawsuit results, you’ll have the meeting on company record. From using formal guidelines, stating company policies, and explaining expectations, to outlining consequences and getting a signature are just some of the aspects to document.

  • Be Clear on The Company’s Expectations

The SHRM also recommends that the employee is made aware of their expectations, clarify what the problems are, set specific objectives (that may involve some further training) and then arrange a date to discuss progress. On a final note, the meeting should conclude on a positive note, which may provide some added diligence to their role and overall performance. 

By signing up with Ninja Gig, companies easily promote openings using online employment applications. Online job applications make it easy for qualified applicants to apply. Sign up now for your free trial and get your online job applications in front of potential candidates now.

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How to Avoid a Confrontation during a Performance Review

Performance reviews. People love ‘em or hate ‘em. Regardless, they do have a place in any corporation to ensure development and growth, recognition, and even retention. However, not all performance reviews are positive experiences for managers and employees.

For instance, outside of job performance and growth, an employee may have some complaints about other staff members, the overall work environment or other concerns. So, managers should listen carefully, consider how to phrase their comments, be constructive, and provide suggestions on how the issue(s) can be resolved.

According to Hays Specialist Recruitment, there are certain steps managers can take to turn a potential confrontation into easy discussion with ample resolve.

Take “Issues” Head On 

Employees are often provided the chance to raise concerns about problems with other employees, complaints of being treated unfairly, or issues with heavy workloads, etc. If this happens, no matter how big or small the issue, Hays suggests that managers should be astute, take the issue head-on, and try to avoid the employee from dwelling too much on the problem at hand.

Find the Source of the Problem(s)

If some of the employee’s comments are surprising, it’s always best to ask them for some examples. It’s also important to read between the lines, and try to get to the source of the issue. Better yet, ask the employee to try and resolve the issue themselves before providing answers to their problems.

 

Resolve the Issue(s)

One key aspect to remember is it’s not always necessary to decide if the employee is right or wrong. Perhaps try to reach a solution that the employee is happy with. According to the University of Berkley Human Resources, “looking first for needs, rather than solutions, is a powerful tool for generating a win/win option.” This couldn’t further from the truth. Once you understand the advantages of their solutions, you better know their needs and how to meet them.

 

By signing up with Ninja Gig, companies easily promote openings using online employment applications. Online job applications make it easy for qualified applicants to apply. Sign up now for your free trial and get your online job applications in front of potential candidates now.

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Consider These Steps when Terminating an Employee

Terminating an employee is never easy. It is a difficult situation for both the employee and the employer. There’s some criteria to consider when terminating an employee. Yet, despite the grounds, legalities, etc., there are certain criteria to consider that can make the process less strenuous for both parties.

1. Get to the Point

Terminating an employee is always disheartening. It’s best to arrange a meeting with the employee as quickly as possible and inform them right away. Employees easily detect bad news and it’s best to be clear and direct as possible. In fact, according to an article in the Harvard Business Review, by announcing the termination immediately, the employer will get the individual’s attention about what’s coming next. Additionally, it’s suggested to inform the employee directly, then state the reasons(s) clearly so they understand it’s a firm decision that has been determined prior to the meeting.

2. Listen to the Employee

As it’s not difficult to predict the reaction of an employee getting terminated, The Harvard Business Review also suggests that by taking time, seeing their reaction, and listening to what they have to say makes it much easier to clarify the reasons of their dismissal. Plus, rushing through the meeting may seem insensitive, callous and may create unnecessary irritated emotions.

3. Be Organized to Avoid Future Repercussions

Always have the proper documents completed, including a written notice of termination (or similar documents) and details on severance (if applicable). Geneviève Desmarais, the Assistant Vice-President of Legal Affairs for The Business Development Bank of Canada suggests that when an employee disputes their termination, it’s due to the lack of back-up documentation to support it. It then “becomes a question of ‘he said, she said’ and the burden lies on the employer to demonstrate the termination was made for a just and sufficient cause, and was properly conducted.”

Some employees may be surprised by being let go, while others may have predicted their termination by realizing their lack of performance or behavior. Regardless, showing courtesy, respect and overall professionalism can help make the process less strenuous and smoother for both the employee and employer.

By signing up with Ninja Gig, companies easily promote openings using online employment applications. Online job applications make it easy for qualified applicants to apply. Sign up now for your free trial and get your online job applications in front of potential candidates now.