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Three Basic HR Best Practises You Should Never Ignore

Human Resources may not be the easiest department to work for in a company. During any given week, HR professionals are often known to break the good news with the bad; hiring a key candidate or turning one down; organizing certain roles during restructuring;  all the while hiring, recruiting and retaining top talent.

Contrary to popular belief among employees (and even HR professionals), the bad doesn’t always outweigh the good, and best practices are constantly being established to ensure this.

In an article on recruiter.com, one best practice to always resort to is creating an employee feedback system. Feedback is an effective means of learning more about suggested changes. Perhaps start conducting what recruiter.com calls employee satisfaction services, or create feedback channels to stay current on certain issues within a company and employee’s concerns.

In the same article, it explained that HR professionals should implement special incentives or performance-based bonuses among employees. While a common practice, it always feels good to be rewarded for hard work and when accolades come down from upper management, it not only maintains good morale, but productivity as well.

The topic of recruiting practices can be discussed until eternity, and is a hot topic all its own. To offset some of the challenges of recruiting, creating and maintaining talent pools is essential for any HR pro.

Talent pools are basically a database of potential candidates to resort to in the time of hiring. According to Monster.com, talent pools are “a contingency plan and can result in reducing costs or time and productivity is not affected too much by a skills shortage. According to Monster.com, some effective ways of building a talent pool include:

  • Remember Previous Potential Applicants: Even though a previous candidate didn’t receive that final offer, it doesn’t mean their skills and qualifications are at a loss for future roles. File their resume (and any additional documents) and add them to “your pool” for reference down the road.
  • Network, Network, and Network:  Trade shows, industry conferences, association meetings, to name a few, are all effective ways of meeting and interacting with potential candidates for future hires. Ask for business cards, request a CV, or basic contact information (and adding separate notes) for your data base is a great way to increase references for the future.
  • Online Searches: This day and age networking is not limited to industry functions. Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace and several social networking sites make it so simple to reach out to a potential candidate. This is also something to do when the time allows and always keep their details in a data base.

 

Most of all, Monster.com recommends to keep your talent pool small. It should only contain professionals who will make a difference to your company. Also, the more effort you take to create a solid talent pool, the less work will be required when it comes to the hiring process.

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Four Great Ways Managers Can Relieve Stress for Employees

Your staff stressed at work? They’re not the only ones.

According to Wrike’s United States stress statistics from 2019, 94 percent of American workers reported experiencing stress at their workplace. This means just a mere six percent that were surveyed are content and stress-free. What’s more, as reported by The American Institute of Stress, businesses in the United States lose upwards of $300 billion annually as a result of workplace stress.

Based on these stats, it’s safe to say that stress is more the rule in the workplace than ever before. Having a healthy and happy staff is one of the keys to success. Even though stress may be part of this success, there are ways managers or HR managers can create a less stressful environment.

Data from a national survey of more than 1,000 office employees conducted by Bridge by Instructure, reported that “employers may not be providing the right tools or atmosphere to help employees achieve the work-life balance for full productivity and engagement.”

As a result, Bridge by Instructure recognized the following ways for employees to alleviate stress and a practice that HR managers should encourage among staff.

Here are four key points to consider.

Be More Proactive with Managers

Have your employees communicate more with managers or executives about their needs and career goals. In turn, this can help reduce stress and enable them to achieve greater job satisfaction. It can also help you – as a manager – fulfill more responsibilities.

Take Breaks from the Desk

Sitting for hours can takes its toll more than we realize. So, tell employees to take quick breaks, stand up, grab a coffee, or perhaps exercise with walks or aerobics during lunch. Combined, these actions throughout the work day can reduce stress.

Disconnect

In an age where email and wireless communications reign supreme and 24/7 work cycles are common, employees should take time each day to shut of their phone and other smart device(s) and close their laptop. As a result, this will not only reduce stress, but increase productivity during work hours.

 Take Time Off When Needed

Even though there may never be a good time to take time off or call in sick when needed, encourage your staff to use Paid Time Off (PTO) and use designated sick days when they feel under the weather. Believe it or not, getting away or absences from work increase productivity and improved engagement when they return.

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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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Rejecting a Candidate for a Role? Here’s How to do it the Right Way.

Although a relatively short process, rejecting a candidate from a role after a short while after interview takes some professionalism, courtesy, and diligence. A bad rejection method can result in a negative reputation about your company, its culture, and can even damage your company brand.

Remember, a candidate is part of your industry and word of mouth spreads quickly, especially if they didn’t take the rejection well. Plus, it’s always important to maintain a relationship with a skilled candidate for a future hire. Just because they were turned down for one role, doesn’t mean you can’t contact them in the future for a more suitable one.

So, when the time comes to reject a candidate be courteous, diplomatic, and responsive.

According to theundercoverrecruiter.com, when the call comes from a client or an executive naming their choice for a role, let the candidate (s) know as soon as possible. After all, it can be stressful process with hopes of a new role on the horizon. Informing them that they didn’t get the role means they can simply move on to other endeavors.  Also, in some cases, it’s more appropriate and professional to take a few minutes do it over the phone, especially if it was a long multi-interview process.  Be respectful, talk to them, and break the news in a gracious way.

Even though hiring managers receive dozens of resumes for one position, they should be as courteous as possible to all applicants before moving to the next round of interviews. This means reaching out those who were not selected. A common practice is a rejection email template. These not only save time, but it also lets the applicant know that they were not selected for the position.

In fact, according to a survey conducted by Indeed, “44 percent of candidates said they waited up to two weeks for a response, while 15 percent waited months. Additionally, “55 percent revealed the digital hiring process has made the experience more inefficient and their resume seems to disappear.”

Choosing your words carefully and being kind and considerate is always essential to ensure the applicant will still have a positive perception of your company. Indeed suggests some of the following tips to create an effective, yet positive rejection email template:

  • Be Polite
    First off, always being polite. Saying “thank-you for their interest in your company, the time they spent completing an application, and the efforts made for the interview (if applicable) is always important.  While courteous, it also demonstrates that you value an applicant’s time.

 

  • Make it More Personal
    It’s true that a rejection email template can be a little cold or too general. So, Indeed suggests including the applicant’s name, the title of position they applied, a note relating to a previous conversation, and mention a specific positive attributes (s) to their skills.

 

  • Suggest Applying for Another Role in the Company
    In the event a candidate was turned down for the desired role, yet they would have been a good fit for the company with their skills, let them know in a simple sentence. There are many reasons why an applicant doesn’t get hired. So, you may want to encourage them to apply for other opportunities in the future and keep their resume and contact information in your data base.

Rejecting an applicant doesn’t have to be a difficult or pessimistic experience. Regardless of the method you do choose, being courteous, diligent and professional is the best way to avoid any hardship or resentment towards you and your company.

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Five Unique Questions that are Illegal to Ask in an Interview

There’s a long list of labor laws that hiring managers need abide by and the last thing you want to do is ask one that leads to discrimination. While recounting every labor regulation in the law book is hard for even the most ardent attorney, hiring managers and HR professionals need to be extra diligent when it comes asking certain specific questions during an interview.

According to Monster, there are a series of ones to avoid, which are considered discriminating (and vary from state to state). Asking about age, religion beliefs, nationality, or kids (or planning on having kids) are all well-known questions to avoid. Yet, there are a series of questions and topics that are lesser known. Here are just a few that are most likely illegal in every state:

  1. Bankruptcy Filing

Asking if a candidate has ever filed for bankruptcy is big a no-no, along with asking about loans, wage attachments, and overall financial status. However, you can ask for certain financial information related to benefits of compensation after they have been hired.

  1. Military Discharge Status

While it’s fine to ask if an applicant is a veteran or they have any job-related experience from the military, always avoid asking their discharge status.

  1. Asking About Nearest Relatives or Next of Kin

This is another question that is off limits, yet it’s legal to ask an applicant about a nearest relative or next of kin for emergency contacts once after they have been hired.

  1. History of Belonging to a Union

Raising a question about previous roles and affiliation within a union is another one to avoid. However, you can make reference about the union status of your workplace.

  1. Disabilities

Whether a disability is apparent or not, this is very much illegal  under The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which “provides protections for disabled employees and job applicants.” When a candidate’s disability is obvious (or has disclosed their disability), it’s suggested to ask about any necessary (or reasonable) accommodations they may need for the position.

Interviewing can be a long process and it’s wise to make special note of the more unique questions. Even though you may not realize that some questions are in fact illegal, it’s always best to do further research to avoid any type of discrimination.

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Three Red Flags to Look for when Interviewing an Applicant

Realizing an employee is not an ideal fit for your company or doesn’t perform up to certain standards – after they have been hired – is frustrating for any hiring manager. After all, the interview process can be long, often challenging, and provides added cost for your company.

Short of predicting the future with a crystal ball, the process of screening resumes and interviewing is crucial. While hiring managers or HR professionals can learn only so much from a candidate from resume and series of interviews, there are certain indicators to realize well before the interview is over.

Character goes a long way for a candidate, and even further for hiring managers. For instance, before the screening and interview process begins, thebalanacecareers.com suggests some key examples to follow to ensure not all is lost after a hire.

Make Sure Candidates are Familiar with Your Company

Enthusiasm is important in the eyes of hiring managers. So, the more a candidate understands a company’s service or product, the more it says about their preparedness, research skills and how enthusiastic they are for the position. In the event a candidate doesn’t demonstrate all that much knowledge, it simply reflects a lack of enthusiasm, and in turn, little interest in the goals a company wants to achieve.

Request Proof of Experience

This may seem like a no brainer, but according to the balanacecareers.com “nothing is more telling than candidate who can’t provide a detailed answer” of a previous role or accomplishments. A portfolio of work, documented success, specific procedures and responsibilities of a role should all presented and credible. So, it’s recommended to watch for vagueness, evasiveness, or not providing a credible answer at all.

They Don’t Take Responsibility for Past Actions or Mistakes

Not every candidate is perfect. Hiring managers know this. A sure fire red flag, according to thebalanacecareers.com, is when a candidate repeatedly blames coworkers and managers, limited resources, or team members for past mistakes (if requested by the hiring manager).

It can demonstrate how poorly they are at accepting responsibility or can’t effectively solve their own problems. In the event a candidate was fired in a past role, listen to their reasons. If they are blameless, couldn’t admit to errors, or seems they are evading the truth, it may be wise to simply pass on the candidate altogether.  It’s always best to ask for the truth. The right candidate will clearly admit to errors and explained how they resolved them.

 

It’s never easy to find an ideal employee. By following some simple guidelines and using common sense, screening and interviewing an employee will become easier, more efficient and time well spent.

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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Why Employers Should Consider Hiring College Grads

There’s always a certain risk when hiring any employee, regardless of his or her experience. Sure, there might be a greater chance to take with a less-experienced, college grad over a more experienced candidate. Yet, while it all depends on the role, there are substantial benefits in considering those who are fresh out of school and they shouldn’t be entirely disregarded during the hiring process.

The number of college grads looking for their first career job is vast. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, hundreds of thousands graduates graduate every year, ready to take on a new, challenging role in their field of study.

So, should they be considered for a job in your company? Certainly. Here are some reasons why.

Motivation and Dedication

As thousands of grads look for a job in their field every year, achieving an entry-level role can be competitive. According to LinkedIn, this can be a strong motivator to learn, be motivated and develop a deep commitment to a company. An added benefit is that managers can train new grads more easily to company policy and best practices, without dealing with prior work habits they developed from a previous employer.

Grads Have More Experience Than You Think

Even though a college grad may have little professional experience and training may be inevitable, it’s important to realize they have something to offer many companies. This includes being current with the latest software systems, best practices, and even industry trends, regardless of the field. While this may not be equivalent to say, 10 years of experience, a company can save costs, time and effort in training. College grads can even be a great source of new information and bring insightful, fresh ideas to the table.
Develop Talent for the Long-Term

According to LinkedIn, a college grad’s commitment to performance, development and advancement has many benefits for a company. This is good news for college grads as companies recognize these characteristics as valuable qualities. Also, by allowing those to learn and grow into their role could potentially mean future advancement and success – not only for the grad but for a company as well.

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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Should You Use Online Tools to Better Understand Job Applicants?

With all the latest developments in digital recruiting tools, are the days of sifting through resumes, conducting interviews, then making a final offer to a candidate over?
Not quite, but the times and hiring practices are certainly a’ changing.

So, with a plethora of new recruiting tools available to help provide a more selective and efficient hiring process, it never hurts to try new methods. Here a few online tools suggested from Hire by Google to help you better screen candidates and provide a more streamlined approach for your next hire.
1. JobPal
AI or artificial intelligence-powered chatbot-based systems are growing in popularity among hiring managers, especially when it comes to sourcing, screening and nurturing candidates. Tools such JobPal addresses simple questions from potential candidates, collects and screens resumes, recommends qualified candidates, and even schedules interviews. It also can also work across a variety of platforms to include your company’s website, Facebook Messenger, and Skype.

2. Maya
Imagine a tool than can ask an applicant questions right after they’ve applied for a job and move the potential ones through your hiring process? Maya and its AI tech can do this and a lot more. It can also request information about experience, previous or current roles, and even specific questions on topics and skills related to the job description.

3. Interview Mocha
Testing skill sets is common for any job candidate. It affords the ability to better examine knowledge and overall qualifications. With its vast range of functions, Interview Mocha has more than 1,000 tests available that cover many industries. Hiring managers or HR professionals can also customize and add questions or even develop new tests altogether with help from its support team.

4. My Ally’s AI assistant
This tool is like having recruiting coordinator, while not actually having one. This smart-assistant tool, again, utilizes AI tech that’s designed to schedule interviews, book conference spaces, reschedule meetings all via email, texting or online chat.

These are just a few of the digital recruiting tools available and are all certainly worthwhile to check out and try. While they cannot replace a face-to-face interview, they can potentially save time, effort, and provide more efficiency to your hiring process.

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How to Offset Some Challenges of Remote Employees

In an age of remote technology and cloud companies, it only seems natural that companies are hiring more remote contractors or employees.  While the thought of working from home may be a dream-job for many employees, with additional benefits for companies and employers, it’s still a relatively new concept that can present some challenges for managers and employers.

From securing a successful hire to ensuring productivity is always consistent, here are few key solutions to make the telecommuting concept work for your company.

1. Look for Experience and “Avoid a Gamble” When Hiring

Trust just might be one of the most important elements to recognize when hiring a remote employee. For instance, during the interview, positive answers to questions like “have you worked remotely before” or “how effective are your time management skills in a remote setting” may not be sufficient enough.

So, by taking a closer look at a candidate’s past roles, experience, and achievements can all help determine their work habits and how effective they can be out of the office. It’s even more positive if they accomplished certain goals in a remote setting. All of these aspects can result in an understanding that they’ll be responsible, won’t take advantage of their independence, and will be productive.

2. The Employer Must Clearly Understand the Job Role

This may sound like a no brainer, but knowing exactly what it takes to complete an assignment is vital to ensure productivity from a remote employee. It can also provide the employer with a clearer understanding of their skillset. For example, if a project is taking too long to complete or assignments are constantly late, they may not be qualified for the position; are not managing their time properly; or they are taking advantage of their independence.

3.       Create Meetings for Idea Sharing
According to workopils.com, employers should arrange random group chats about ongoing projects or company objectives to encourage idea sharing and creativity, which is essentially in lieu of those random chats in an office setting. Many companies use Skype, one of the many group chat apps, or even the age-old teleconferences to hold these sessions. As a result, it’s not only productive, but it further helps meet deadlines and company goals.

According to an article in recuiterbox.com, it’s often best to avoid an employee who wants the position based on the sole fact that it’s a remote position (even though they may have the qualifications).  It’s always best to determine why the candidate initially applied for the role, what interests them about the opportunity, and what ideas they can bring to the table to achieve your company’s goal.

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Why Your Company Should Consider Referrals

In an age where online job postings are king, the age-old “referral method” is overshadowed as a means of finding that right candidate for a role. In fact, more often than not, existing employees can potentially be that key link to a successful hire, providing HR professionals with an efficient process of filling an available opening.

There’s no doubt that the standard hiring process is a tried-and-true practice with great results. However, in an article on Jobvite.com, organizations that use employee referral programs for potential new hires – as well as those using ATS software – reported “that these employees draw a higher volume of high-quality candidates.” Plus, the potential hires are more likely to be a better fit for a company than non-referral candidates.

According to LinkedIn, hiring a referral is also a method that can provide several benefits to a company as a whole including:

  • Time Savings: In a study conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management, the average time it takes to fill a given position is 42 days. A referral can offset this time considerably as the whole process of creating a job posting, screening resumes, and conducting interviews for a shortlist of candidates is often eliminated.
  • Offsetting Internal Costs: There are always several costs that can be endured during the hiring process. Staffing agencies, online Job boards/fairs, advertising, candidate travel fees, background checks, and drug testing are just a few of them. In fact, according to the same study by The Society for Human Resource Management, the average cost-per-hire is approximately $4,129. While it may still take some time and effort when considering a referral, much of these resources – and the costs that go along with them – are often not required.
  • Higher Employee Retention: According to an additional article on Jobvite.com, companies experienced a 46 percent retention rate after one year compared to 33 percent from career sites and 22 percent from job boards. Additionally, employee referrals resulted in a 45 percent retention rate after two years; more than 20 percent from job boards after two years; and 14 percent after three years.

Although the conventional hiring process is still a great way for companies to fill a position with highly experienced candidate, a referral is just one efficient method to consider when trying to hire the right employee for your team and company.

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