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Insight into Cashier Turnover

Cashiers are responsible for ringing up purchases in convenience stores, grocery stores and other establishments using cash registers and electronic scanners. In 2014, there were approximately 3.5 million cashiers in the U.S., making this the second largest occupation behind retail salespeople.

This entry-level position does not require any formal education or work experience, and the employer provides most training on the job. The pay for cashiers is low as it is generally minimum wage. Due to the volume of cash transactions, applicants may be required to pass drug screens and background checks. Cashier jobs may be full-time, part-time and seasonal or offer flexible hours.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that cashier employment will increase two-percent from 2014 to 2024, which equates to approximately 67,000 new jobs. Because the job description requires good customer service but offers low pay, the turnover rate is high.

More reports show that companies are desperate to keep their minimum-wage workers. Within the last couple of years, companies such as Walmart, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, IKEA, Starbucks and Gap have committed to increasing the wages of low-paid workers. While this has sparked concern among investors, there are reasons why companies are willing to fork out more money for long-term retention in these jobs.

  • The average cashier earns a full-time salary of between $20,026 and $25,400.
  • The cost of replacing an employee that earns a lower income is approximately 16% of their annual wage according to the Center for American Progress.
  • This equates to $3,204.16 to $4,064. Every time a cashier quits, it costs a company this amount to train a new hire, which adds up – especially for larger retail companies.

If you equate this 16-percent number with Walmart’s 500,000 low-wage employees, the total cost is approximately $1 billion. While boosting cashier’s wages will not solve the turnover dilemma, it can help reduce the overall costs associated with training and recruiting new employees.

Costco implemented a long-term strategy to retain good employees. The average hourly worker starts at $11.50 per hour and those employees that stay more than five years can easily earn upwards of $20 per hour. “This is not altruistic,” Costco co-founder Jim Sinegal said of his company’s pay practices. “This is good business.”

Some retailers, such as Target, have made it clear they will not conform to higher wages. If these employers want to decrease their turnover rates without increasing hourly pay, their profitability may lie in predictable scheduling, such as giving cashiers their hours several weeks in advance.

If your company is looking to reduce cashier turnover, the first step is hiring employees that want to work long-term. You can accomplish this by including specific questions in Ninja Gig’s online job applications, which makes it easier to identify good applicants. Second, your organization will need to consider polling employees or looking at the general city and area to see if higher wages or more flexible schedules appeal to applicants.  Sign up today to start accepting employment applications online immediately!

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A Guide to Rewarding Employees

Cash is a short-time employee motivator. Don’t get us wrong; it’s still important to show your employees you value their performance by paying them a competitive salary and offering benefits, but there are other ways to appreciate your employees throughout the year.

We have compiled a list of our favorite ways to reward employees and best of all, they’re not expensive.

  • Flexible Hours – More employees report that working flexible hours is worth more to them than extra money. This is because many people can save their valuable time and money by not commuting during peak traffic hours, arranging alternative child care services, etc.
  • Day Off Pass – Let each employee select his or her special holiday every year. You simply give them a day off with pay.
  • Thank You Notes – In an electronic era, the value of handwritten thank you notes is underestimated. Bosses can write a thank you card to employees. Managers can be selective, yet authentic when writing these notes, which will let employees know they are valued.
  • Parking – Consider offering top employees excellent parking. Not only is this motivation for other employees, but also it makes good employees shine at work.
  • Cake and Pizza Parties – Offer office parties to reward employees. Whether it’s for birthdays, milestones or achievements, small and short gatherings help increase employee morale.
  • Gourmet Coffee – Instead of the run of the mill burnt coffee, consider upgrading the coffee station with a gourmet makeover. Small attention to details can make a significant difference at work.
  • Tours – If your business works with many vendors or suppliers, consider asking those companies if you can schedule a tour for your employees. This can help employees become better acquainted with products and services, while also giving them a fun field trip out of the office.
  • Adult Education – Consider paying for one adult education class per quarter or year. Let employees choose the class that interests them, whether it’s crafting, cooking, woodworking or even yoga.
  • New Chairs – Employees sit at their desk for an average of eight hours a day. Consider allowing them to pick out a new, comfortable and ergonomic chair to help make their days a little easier.
  • Pets – More businesses are recognizing the importance of pets in the workplace. Consider allowing your employees to bring their pets to work with them, provided they also bring a crate or cage, so pets don’t disturb others.
  • Employee of the Month – Reward an employee of the month with a special parking space, longer lunch or flexible hours.
  • Special Causes – Have a designated area where employees can post cards, forms, flyers or photos about special causes or groups they support.

Ninja Gig allows employers to accept job applications online. This helps keep HR departments organized, giving them the ability to archive applications for future reference.  Ready to make your life easier?  Sign up now for your 30-day free trial!

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Ninja Gig Predicts What a Trump Presidency Means for HR

Over the last one-and-a-half years, we have done a lot of research on the presidential candidates and their impact on human resources. Now that our country is going to have a Trump presidency starting January 20, 2017, we have gathered a list of what HR items we think President-elect Trump will tackle his first 100 days in office.

  • Overtime – The Department of Labor (DOL) changed the overtime exemption rule. This new rule could increase the exempt salary threshold to $47,476 per year. However, we believe that the Trump Administration will decide not to offer federal funding to defend this position, which means this new rule, will simply die. However, employers should work towards compliance because one never knows how Trump’s Administration will handle the enforcement of this new rule.
  • Affordable Care Act – While Trump has promised to repeal and replace Obamacare, this likely will not happen overnight. Chances are repealing everything and not offering an alternative would shift the healthcare industry immediately into chaos. The Trump Administration will likely offer a slow phase-out of the original Obamacare plan, simply offering reforms and replacement options. Employers must still abide by current laws, as Trump’s Administration cannot make these changes overnight.
  • Leave and Wages – Expanding the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and sick leave requirements for employers were not at the top of Trump’s campaign list. If he does address these issues, chances are it will be late in his first term. However, employers should check with state and local laws for additional sick or medical leave issues that passed in November 2016.
  • Labor Movement – President Obama was a pro-union president. President-elect Trump will likely appoint members to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that are more employer-friendly. This goes along with Trump’s ideologies about rebuilding businesses and the economy.
  • Immigrant Workers – Trump will mandate that E-Verify is regularly used by employers to check the employment status of every person working in the U.S. We anticipate there will be an increase in raids conducted by the U.S. Immigration and Customers Enforcement (ICE) agency and more I-9 audits. Make sure that all company-related documents are in order. Also, remember that there is a new I-9 form, which all employers are required to start using effective January 22, 2017.

These are simply the predictions of Ninja Gig and only President-elect Trump’s first 100 days in office will confirm if these come to fruition. Ninja Gig allows employers to easily accept job applications online, helping increase productivity and workflow within human resources’ departments.

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Recordkeeping Rules for Job Applications

Ninja Gig provides software that specializes in accepting job applications, which helps to streamline Human Resources’ job. However, the federal government still has requirements about keeping job applications, whether they are received in-person or online. Outlined below are the specific federal regulations and their stipulations for maintaining copies of job applications.

  • Age Discrimination – Under this federal act, employment applications must be retained for one-year; however, if anything on the application indicates that an applicant may be over 40 years of age, all necessary paperwork is to be retained for two years. Some states that have adopted the 40 years and older rule for age discrimination, while others have rules about age discrimination starting at 18 years of age. It is best to check with each individual state.
  • Americans with Disabilities Act – This requires that applications be kept a minimum of one-year and a maximum of two years.
  • Civil Rights Act of 1964 – Employers must keep job applications and other necessary employment records for one-year.
  • Executive Order 11246 – This is a more complicated rule and applies to government contractors that have less than 150 employees, or a contract of at least $150,000. If the two aforementioned conditions are met, employers must maintain records for a minimum of two years. If a previous resume is reconsidered for a new position, the date of time to retain the document restarts.

There are some exceptions to the above rules. For example, if a company is facing an unlawful employment practice or discrimination charge, an employment application must be retained until all legal issues are resolved.

Many employers opt to save applications and resumes online, which makes it easier to save and later destroy these documents. To be on the safe side, it is recommended that employers retain job applications and resumes for two years.

The beautiful thing about using online application software like Ninja Gig is that long-term storage becomes a breeze, as we keep all applicant data stored securely, indefinitely!  Even if you choose to “delete” an applicant, we keep that data archived and can easily recover the application.

This, and many more reasons, are why you should be accepting employment applications online!  You can use our job application template or create your own custom job application, and start receiving applications immediately.  Sign-up for our 30-day free trial of our software and see how simple the hiring process can become.

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When You Think Your Employee May Be Incompetent

Once employers begin to contemplate the competency of their employees’ abilities, everything goes downhill. It is like witnessing a terrible landslide.

When hiring an accounting professional, it is important to ask accounting-related questions. The best option is to institute a basic math proficiency test. Basic budgeting should be a requirement, as well knowing the answer to 2+2=4. If the candidate requires a calculator or their SmartPhone to complete the quiz, he/she is likely not a suitable candidate for an accounting position.

It is also a great idea to complete a background check, as well as a credit check on any serious potential candidates. This gives an idea about how candidates spend their own money.

For example, I was speaking to a controller this week that wanted to spend $200K on a land lot for her house, but failed to consider the actual home building costs. When I attempted to explain the basic math behind backwards budgeting, which involves figuring out the total amount of the home loan, subtracting the land costs, utilities, excavation, etc., I was still met with a blank look. I literally had to explain backwards budgeting to a controller with a Master’s Degree in Accounting.

Were red flags flying across my field of vision? Definitely. Would I ever hire her for an accounting position? That answer is laughable.

The bottom line is that employers can save substantial money by investing in employment software, such as Ninja Gig. This allows employers to ask questions that relate to necessary qualifications for jobs, such as accounting backgrounds, submitting to background and credit checks and much more.

Screening candidates and ensuring they have the necessary knowledge to complete their jobs is vital to helping companies workflow.  Sign-up for a free trial of our service and create your own custom job application, or use our template, and start accepting job applications online today!

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Thanksgiving Leftovers

Thanksgiving dinner is over, but there is plenty of food left.  Personally, in my opinion, the leftovers are the best part about Thanksgiving, or any meal, for that matter.  As I sat Sunday night over an extra-large helping of stuffing, I reflected over my past hiring experiences, and I found a connection between Thanksgiving leftovers and hiring (yes, ok, maybe a stretch, but here you go).

When interviewing and hiring, I think it is important to save the leftovers, those candidates you didn’t hire, but are qualified.  You can’t hire everyone, right?  This pool of qualified, yet unselected, candidates may prove to be the very source from which you do your next hiring, but only if you save them for the future.  And, who knows, maybe the person you hired turns out to be a loon and you need to hire sooner than you anticipated?  But, that never happens, right?

In the sector of technology, especially software development, finding qualified (and interested) candidates is a very difficult task.  There are more jobs than there are qualified candidates, and hiring can be a tough, drawn-out process!  Also, unfortunate, but true, there are flakes out there that quit after a month or less.  Saving those candidates you passed on the first time, and hopefully maintaining contact with them, will help you hire quickly, should your needs change in the future.

This may sound like very simple advice, but it is surprising to me how companies churn through candidates, only to quickly lose track of good candidates once an initial decision has been reached.  This is unfortunate to both the candidate, and the hiring company.  Just because you passed on them the first time doesn’t necessarily mean they wouldn’t make a good addition to the team, and maybe it is worth reconsidering their candidacy.

However, I think the main reason that great candidates slip through the cracks is tracking.  I think most companies lack the sophistication to track candidates and “save them for later”, and a stack of resumes in a drawer somewhere is not a good tracking system!  Luckily, technology provides many great tracking and storage options, and Ninja Gig has worked to make this a very simple process.  When an applicant applies on Ninja Gig, their application is saved indefinitely, and we give you, the hiring manager, the tools you need to categorize and comment on received applications.  True, some candidates will never work out, and you can easily “archive” them, but our tools give you simple functionalities that make your life much easier.  There is no quicker way to save your pool of candidates for the future than a digital tracking system, and with our sophisticated and simple-to-use software, you can rest easy knowing where your future pool of candidates is.  Sign-up today for our 30-day free trial, and see just how easy we can make the hiring process for your organization.

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Work Hard and Have Good Luck

Thomas Jefferson once (famously) said, “I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.”

March is a month where we talk much of luck, but often, this is just disguised as hard work. When hiring employees, a little time and hard work goes a long way.

Checking references used to be the way to go in seeing if an applicant would be a good fit for your company. Now, it’s almost become a necessity for business owners to do a full background check before hiring anyone.

The costs involved with doing an “official” background check and fingerprinting can be extremely prohibitive, especially if you’re a small business owner. There are many things you CAN do that involve a little hard work, but don’t cost anything. After doing these things, hopefully you’ll end up looking very “lucky” with the caliber of employees you end up with.

First, check and double check the educational information listed on the application. Studies have shown 20 to 30 percent of all applications include exaggerated or falsified educational information. Checking this information can immediately rule out some applicants.

Next, contact those former employers! Many employers fail to contact the former employers listed on an application. Doing this legwork can be critical in determining the “real” reasons why an employee left, and can also serve as a great tool to verify dates of employment.

Finally, call those references. Require at least three non-family references and actually call them. Many employers require references, but never utilize them to find out about potential employees.

In addition to these formal methods of looking into applicants’ backgrounds, use social media as much as possible to research into who you “really” are hiring.

Put forth this little bit of hard work and then sit back while others admire your fortunate good luck!

We at Ninja Gig realize the importance of hiring the best, honest, and most capable employees. We offer customizable employment applications that will help capture key data and information which will help you hire the best. With this, and all of our other great features, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and sign up today for a 30-day free trial and see how great, yet simple to use, our software is.

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Application Data Export-CRM Integration

Yes, it’s finally here! You can now export all your applicant data in bulk! Actually, what we built was a mechanism for you to download the data OR use the same URL as a data feed for your favorite CRM product.

So, whether you are an Microsoft Excel aficionado or you use a CRM product like, InfusionSoft, or one of the other CRM products, you can now manage your applicant data much more easily!

The benefits of getting your data in bulk go without saying, but here are a few I came up with:

  1. You can use your data in your system, however you want.
  2. Data mining (need I say more?)
  3. Use your system to track applicant interactions

Already a customer? Log in to your account and click the ‘Export’ link.

Not yet a customer? Sign up for a free trial and check out what you are missing.

Good luck in your hiring adventures, and with great tools, customizable job applications online, and now the ability to download your applicant data, Ninja Gig is the perfect solution to make you super efficient!

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Resume Submission Services – It’s Time to Get Social Instead

Technology in essence has complete control over every aspect of our lives. With its advancement comes the convenience of the most typical of routines. A prime example is the process of looking for a job. A decade ago you found people that hungered for work and would go out of their way to expose their strongest traits in hopes to land a job. Personalities would be a strong fragment as well as the written portion of an application and in most cases providing a resume along with it. The days of submitting resumes are nearing an end as social networks are increasingly becoming more and more popular. With such an easy solution for learning about one’s past experience and qualifications, the idea of a resume is becoming what can be labeled as a ‘memory of yesterday’.

Social media is capitalizing in the area of communication and tracking the professional development of people as a whole. While at one time each development in a professional field would have to be edited into a resume, saved, and then sent out, in this day and age the addition of a vital piece of information can be done with a click and typing the information that could potentially change a person’s chance of securing a job.

While this adjustment of revision seems minimal, it may just be, but multiply the amount of changes and the amount of people doing it and the amount of time saved as a whole becomes a drastic number. Time is a limited commodity that no one has enough of, and by taking advantage of every minute to its maximum potential you create more time for other important matters.

The social media allows a way for people to interact with one another that are in a same common interest and field. It becomes a giant network of candidates and gives employees a chance to bounce ideas off one another and learn from one another; and gives employers the chance to have a vast group of personalities and skills to choose from. Every position of work requires certain identifiable traits, and by using something such as social media, you have the opportunity to have them all in front of you to evaluate and compare at the same time. Whereas resume submission at one time laid out a general idea to you as to who someone was and what their background specialized in, social media goes a step further.

Social media allows you to see the background of a given individual as well as previous education and their hobbies. It also allows you to get a little insight to the individual based on the voice tone they use in their descriptions. You can generally identify the kind of person they are and put together an image to who they really are; as opposed to resumes that only provide a background of job history as well as educational reference. While that can tell you about the person’s success and background to an extent, it doesn’t give you the ability to see who they really are as a person and how they compose themselves.

Social media extends a multitude of paths to follow to really get to the key points of an individual. It also gives you tools to contact the individual and talk a bit further to get a better grasp as to who they are and their real capabilities. As a whole, the social media outlet grants an endless amount of ways to evaluate someone for a job, whereas a resume puts a standard label to ‘x’ individual and it is something that is so limited that it’s facts and nothing more.

The composition of an individual stems beyond facts, and to limit it to only facts, limits the clear evaluation you could have. Job networking relies on several things to pick the right candidate to do a job at their maximum efficiency, in a day and age where you can evaluate to a much closer degree as to what someone is and how someone behaves, why wouldn’t you? It not only guarantees a higher likelihood for an individual’s success but also the success of the company that takes them on board.

Richard McMunn is the founder of How2become, a leading career specialist for public sector careers and; a online jobs service provider in the UK. Richard has a real passion for helping people prepare for and pass tough recruitment processes and assessment centres in order to secure their dream job.

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Top Job Interview and Resume Tips

If you search websites about applying for jobs, applying for jobs online, or resume tips, things start to look the same.

There are many tips out there about performing well in job interviews and having the best resume, but sometimes you can get information overload and do too much.

Here are two basic lists that will cover your bases, but not have you do too much when going to a job interview or creating a resume:

Job Interview Tips

Dress Conservatively.  Wear nice dress pants, dressier shirt, no big jewelry or accessories.

Be Prepared.  Find out about the company beforehand.  Do some background research so you can make conversation.

Be Polite.  Shake the interviewer’s hand.  Don’t sit until you are invited to.  Don’t slouch in your chair.  Don’t use slang words.  Be polite, positive and professional throughout the interview.

Know Your Schedule.  Know what days and times you are available to work.  The employer will ask.  Flexibility is an asset, because the more you are available, the easier it is for them to set a work schedule.  Also, have a plan of how you are going to get to and from work, if you don’t have your own car.

Be on Time.  Arrive at the interview site a few minutes early.  If you’re not sure where to go, get directions ahead of time.

Send a Thank You Note.  Take a few minutes to thank the person who interviewed you. Sending a paper note is always best – tell them thank you for their time and for meeting with you.

Resume Tips

  1.  Make sure you have a lot of                            “white space”                            on your resume.  You don’t want it to be too crowded.
  2. Use bullet points over paragraph-style descriptions.
  3. Never use personal pronouns on a resume (I, me, my).
  4. Use action verbs to describe your duties at past jobs.
  5. Use specific examples of accomplishments and job duties.
  6. Never include personal information such as age and race.
  7. Never list your references on a resume – if people want them, they will ask for them.
  8. Spell chck, spll check, spell check!
  9. A clean design with ONE or TWO fonts is always best.

10. Make sure your social networking doesn’t include anything you don’t want a future boss to see – especially pictures, swearing, and even some of your friends – people do judge you by the company you keep so you may want to “hide” some of your friends on Facebook.

11. Last, but not least, unless you’re a model, never include your picture on, or with your resume.