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The Age of the Gig Worker

Maybe some of you have heard of the “gig economy” and the “gig worker,” while others may be wondering if this is some computer storage solution. Once associated with musicians that played “gigs,” today’s gig economy is a rapidly growing segment of the worldwide labor market that often encompasses freelancers.

Modern Technology Fuels Gigs

Fueled by modern technology, many employees can now work remotely without having to show up at a traditional job site. 

Gig employment may include:

  • Driving for Uber or Lyft
  • Selling products or merchandise on eBay or Etsy
  • Working as a freelance web designer, writer, developer or even musician
  • Work for pay apps, such as TaskRabbit
  • Selling products such as Mary Kay or Pampered Chef 
  • Renting space in your home with Airbnb
  • Bloggers
  • Any task-based jobs

In the U.S. alone, nearly 25% of Americans over the age of 18 earn some form of income by working a gig. 

How the Gig Economy Works

A gig worker can opt for a certain number of hours or take on projects on a task-based system. Once the project is complete, they move on to work another gig. It might be another position or task within the same company, or it might be an entirely different company.

The shifts or projects that gig workers take on are flexible and very much unlike a traditional 9-to-5 job. Some people work side gigs after their full-time jobs, while other people work several gigs to make a full-time income. Usually, there are no set hours that define a gig worker’s schedule. Some opt to have more traditional schedules, while others prefer alternative, flexible scheduling. In all cases, gig workers are not traditional employees, but freelance, independent contractors. 


Ninja Gig offers online job application software that makes it easy for companies to attract gig talent. Easily create and accept job applications online. The automated hiring process and applicant tracking system makes it easy to correspond with and schedule interviews with freelance gig applicants. Sign up today and see how Ninja Gig can help your company attract top-rated freelancers.

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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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7 Top Human Resources Tasks That Companies Should Automate

Human Resources is one of the most overworked and understaffed company departments and often faces managing new hires, answering benefit-related questions and coordinating an endless mountain of paperwork. Enter modern-day HR automation, which can make management more affordable and accessible.

  1. Payroll – When payroll is automated, it reduces the possibilities of human error and makes it easier to provide more accurate calculations, payroll records and better time management since programs automatically track time-off requests, vacation and sick leave.
  2. Time Sheets – Digital time tracking software helps reduce manual tracking errors and employee time fraud, making it easier to compile hours and data for payroll.
  3. Onboarding and Recruitment – When you hire a new employee, have all new hire paperwork, including applications and tax forms, automatically emailed.
  4. Records Management – Keep all necessary company paperwork in electronic format so you can easily search for items in the future, which is much easier than sifting through boxes of paper.
  5. Benefits – Employee benefits can be difficult to track manually. Companies should automate the benefit eligibility process, allow employees to quickly make online modifications to their plans and automatically have emails sent to employees to help manage open enrollment periods.
  6. Evaluations – When companies only conduct annual reviews, they often forget about an employee’s performance during the first part of the year. Having a streamlined, automated process that evaluates employees’ work performance throughout the year and allowing for clear communication between employees and supervisors can dramatically help reduce turnover while promoting collaboration.
  7. Tax Documents and Forms – Automating tax documents helps ensure that you always use the correct tax forms, and that information is still up-to-date.

Your Human Resources department needs the necessary automation to hire talented employees, while dramatically reducing paperwork. Ninja Gig makes it easy for companies to accept job applications online via their cost-effective and innovative applicant tracking system. By having an automated hiring process, HR departments can use online recruitment techniques and produce legally compliant job applications online in minutes.

Sign up today for a free Ninja Gig trial and let us help you automate your company’s hiring practices.

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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.

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 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.

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 You Should Your Company Use Independent Contractors?

As the hiring of contract employees is on the rise among corporations, are the days of the golden handshake, class A office space, and water cooler gossip a thing of the past? Not quite and there’s no need to worry about losing your cozy, corner office just yet.

Even though full-time still reigns supreme among America’s employed, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in May 2017 that of the four alternate work arrangements, independent contract employment accounts for a leading 6.7 percent for total employment. On-call workers were a distant 1.7 percent, temp agencies were 0.9 percent and contract firms had a total 0.6 percent.

The big question is: why is contract employment so popular? You might be surprised with the many reasons, and just as many of the benefits. Here are four of them:

Cost savings

According to Nolo.com, having a full-time employee increases payroll expenses. Benefits, dedicated office space, plus contributions to social security, unemployment compensation insurance, etc. can inflate a business’s payroll by approximately 20 to 30 percent. Whereas recruiting a contract employee eliminates most – if not all – of these expenses.

 Flexibility

Nolo.com also states that many businesses experience fluctuating work flow levels throughout the year. Rather than pay a full-time salary (or salaries) – even during less busier times – the cost of a contractor is discontinued when the project is completed. Additionally, any legal compensation in the event of layoffs is – in most cases – usually not required for contractors.

Specific skillsets

It’s common knowledge that “bringing someone in” for a project will be trained specifically for a particular project. This eliminates time, effort and costs in training. Plus, having “a hired gun” for a specific project allows existing full-time employees to concentrate on other business growth.

There’s always a good time to hire an independent contractor

In a recent article from The Balance Small Business, hiring an independent contractor is ideal for when a large project is not part of a core business, which in turn, allows the opportunity for a company to generate revenue from another business sector. Additionally, the project can be executed by a professional with little supervision. Also, as contract employment is sometimes only for short periods, the project will be completed and scheduled in an allotted set period of time.

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 Unlimited Vacation a Good Idea?

Summer is the busiest travel season of the year. With kids on summer vacation and warm weather nationwide, hundreds of thousands of employees are taking time off to visit new places.

Despite so many people taking off work at once, the economy never collapses and organizations keep humming along. Which got us thinking about one of the newest crazes in company perks: unlimited vacation policies.

Are they a good idea? Or is the old model of 2-3 week restrictions still ideal? Read on to find out.

Pro #1: It Increases Employee Happiness

A 2017 report from Gallup showed that 53 percent of employees rank having a job that allows them greater work-life balance and personal well-being as “very important.” Giving employees complete flexibility over vacation schedules is the quickest way to appease this wish.

Con #1: Employees May Abuse the System…Or Get Abused by It

The verdict is still out on what type of companies truly benefit from unlimited vacation policies. Some employees can’t handle the unlimited time-off and abuse too much of a good thing. This leads to lost production hours for the company.

And on the flip side, many company cultures are so cutthroat that flex time is viewed as a weakness that sets careers back, so employees actually take less time off than they would if prescribed a set amount of days.

Pro #2: It Can Cut Costs

Traditional vacation policies result in accrued unused days off at the end of each year. And when an employee quits, gets laid off or retires, the company has to pay out these unused vacation days. Contrast this to companies with unlimited vacation policies that don’t have to carry any liability on their books for unused time off, and the difference is staggering. According to the U.S. Travel Association, this has the potential to save companies $1,898 per employee.

Con #2: Vacation Days Can No Longer Be Used as a Reward

Long-tenured employees may not take a liking to unlimited vacation policies. They spent years, and sometimes even decades, working hard to build up extra vacation days, and they viewed their surplus as a badge of honor. When the playing field is leveled and new employees are granted the same number of days off (unlimited) as everyone else, morale can take a hit.

And if companies can no longer offer an extra week of vacation in exchange for continued employment, there is one less negotiating chip on the table when an employee considers leaving for a new opportunity.

Pro #3: It Can Help Attract the Best Talent

According to a brand new survey from MetLife, the Los Angeles Times reports that unlimited vacation is now the #1 benefit workers want. Your company can use this insight to their advantage when recruiting talent. In fact, research from Glassdoor shows that nearly 80 percent of workers prefer additional benefits over income increases. That figure grows to 90 percent with millennials.

 

Con #3: You Have to Trust Employees to Manage Their Projects Accordingly

Offering unlimited vacation can backfire if you don’t have policies and procedures in place. Without structure, companies open themselves up to being burned during the busiest times of the year. When vacation days are capped, there is a safeguard in place to protect against people being out too often. Managers will need to communicate more heavily and set clearer expectations when the safeguard is removed.

 

 

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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Pros and Cons of Working From Home

We’ve all heard the cliches about what it’s like to work from home. You wear pajamas, sit on the couch and watch TV while periodically checking your email to make sure your boss isn’t pestering you.

While the pantless, pejorative view of working from home may ring true for some, let’s take a look at the real pros and cons of substituting your kitchen for the conference room.

PROS

  1.   No commute. A recent survey result taken across 28 major U.S. cities found that 23% of workers have quit a job because of a bad commute. That means nearly 1 in 4 Americans are leaving their employers because they’re working too far from their home.

    But when you work from home this is never an issue! Not only does this add up to more “you time” in your day (the average American spends over 4.3 hours per week commuting to and from work) but it also saves you a lot of money on car maintenance and gas.

  1.   More freedom. When you don’t have to report to an office everyday, you have more freedom to choose your work environment. Many people with “work from home” jobs opt for a nearby coffee shop or outdoor cafe instead. The flexibility of working remotely frequently means you can get your work done anywhere with an internet connection. Which, in 2019, is just about anywhere.

  2. Peace and quiet. While the jury is still out on open office environments, one thing is clear about working alone from home: it’s quieter.

    For those who do their best work in a quiet setting without distraction, you can’t beat home sweet home. Offices mean sharing the space with others, and because you can’t control what other people do (or how often they interrupt your work to talk about the latest Game of Thrones episode) it can be hard to work a day without being interrupted at least a couple of times.

    And because it takes nearly 24 minutes to fully recover from an interruption, your productivity can skyrocket when left to your own devices in the confines of your home.

 

CONS

  1.   It can be lonely. The flip side of the “peace and quiet” coin is that it can get too quiet for some. Having other people around to bounce ideas off or collaborate on projects together can be stimulating. And if you’re the type of person who thrives on human interaction and watercooler talk, working from home may be too isolating.

  2.   You are ALWAYS bringing work home with you. Out of sight, out of mind can be a beautiful thing. The physical separation of the home–a place for relaxation and rejuvenation–and the office creates a mental separation as well. When the line blurs and your home becomes your office it can be more difficult to recharge at night because your work is never fully out of sight.

  3. There’s less structure. If you’re the type of person who needs a boss or colleagues to keep you motivated and on track, working from home may not be for you. Instead of reporting to the same cubicle or desk at the same time everyday, you’ll have to decide for yourself when, how and where you do your best work. Without others around to reinforce your behavior, it’s up to you to create good habits and routines.

 

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 Ninja Gig Streamlines Your Hiring Process

As a business owner or HR professional, there’s not a better feeling in the world than hiring a talented candidate who propels your organization to the next level.  But as anyone who has ever hired people knows, the process of getting there is never easy.

Until now that is. Thanks to Ninja Gig’s hiring software made easy, you can streamline your hiring process from the start. Here’s how.

 

  • Ninja Gig Removes the Technical Hurdles

 

Ninja Gig’s software is extremely easy to use. As part of your registration, you will automatically get your own Ninja Gig portal. We let you choose your own domain name (yourcompany.ninjagig.com) and you will use that link to point applicants in the right direction.

And we didn’t stop there!

We enabled our software to make accepting employment applications from a mobile device a piece of cake. While some job portals are nightmares to use on mobile devices, your mobile visitors will automatically be redirected to a mobile-friendly website and still enjoy your fully-functional employment application.

 

 

  • It Slashes Your Pre-Screening and Review Time

 

In traditional recruiting there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to review and pre-interview every candidate that crosses your desk. So we created the tools to fix this dilemma.

  • Create custom questions on the application to save you time on the phone later. It takes a lot of time to both schedule and take screening calls with applicants. What if you could combine the application and the screening questions into one step? With Ninja Gig you can add unlimited, customizable screening questions directly into the application. By utilizing this tool on the application, some of our customers have slashed the review and pre-interview time for an applicant from roughly an hour per applicant to only a few minutes.
  • Do away with the time-consuming paperwork. Hiring teams can rank applicants directly in the Ninja Gig portal, saving time when it comes to deciding who to invite to an interview. There’s also an electronic auto-save feature and we offer automatic downloads of each applicant and resume, so you can spend more time hiring and less time dealing with physical paperwork.  

 

 

  • Post Once, Ninja Gig Does the Rest for You

 

There are too many job boards out there to manage posting on them all. With Ninja Gig your jobs are automatically published to many job boards, including Indeed, Google Jobs, Zip Recruiter, and more.

You can turn this feature on and off at will, per job. Not only does this integration save you money on additional advertising costs, but it also saves you a ton of time, as you only have to create your jobs in one place and we do the rest!

 

 

  • Bilingual Applications

 

The world is getting increasingly global. As diversity grows in the workplace, organizations need to be prepared to respond with more diverse hiring processes. With your Ninja Gig website you can easily translate all applications into Spanish, opening the door to many more potential applicants without having to spend the time working on translations.

And no need to stop at Spanish! If you require additional language support, we are happy to add those other languages thanks to Google Translate.

 

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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Double Check Yourself: Do your words detour female candidate?

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

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

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

Additional words that may turn off female applicants include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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