Category Archives: Workplace Discrimination

Why Your Organization Needs to Create Employee Personas ASAP

Your marketing department has created detailed customer personas. They know your organization’s target audience better than they know themselves. They know exactly who they are marketing your product or service to, and, just as importantly, who they are not trying to reach.

This level of detail and clarity guides your organization’s communication strategy at the highest level and impacts the bottom line in the most profound ways. But unfortunately for the majority of companies, they don’t go to the same length internally when it’s time to hire.

And this is a shortcoming of the highest magnitude.

The standard practice for hiring companies is to create job postings stating what the open positions are, the requirements to be considered for the role, and the responsibilities expected on a daily basis. These job postings are necessary for organizing the scope of the search to one detailed page, but they are not enough on their own.

Your company’s hiring managers should also be armed with employee personas to guide their search; much like the marketing department has customer personas to guide every campaign. Here’s why this is important:

Ensure Cultural Fit
Skills and talents are obviously important in candidates, but so is their cultural fit in your organization. A highly talented but difficult to work with individual won’t add as much value to the team as you’re looking for. In fact, they could be a net-zero addition or even a detraction to the company.

This is why you need a clear persona in place that can provide guidance on the cultural aptitudes needed to fit within the organization. For example, is your company’s culture quirky, collaborative and close-knit? Put that down on paper as part of the persona. A reclusive, hyper-competitive person likely isn’t going to fit well here, regardless of how talented they are.

Separate Passions From Employment Record
It can be tempting to only rely on a candidate’s resume and cover letter, but many people aren’t truly passionate about what they’ve built their careers around. It’s possible to have a long resume without actually ever viewing a job as anything more than collecting a paycheck.

If it’s important to have a passionate workforce, make sure your employee personas capture this. For example, the persona could read “Our employees are passionate about XYZ and exemplify this even outside the workplace.” Not including passions in the persona will lead to an incomplete picture of your ideal hire, making it harder to peg the right person during the interview process.

Hire the Right Strengths, Not Just the Right Experience
Does your org chart operate with an employee strength tracking system in mind, such as CliftonStrengths? If so, include the exact metrics in your personas. Two candidates may have nearly identical resumes and experience, but their strengths could be total opposites. For example, if it’s important for a new hire to rate high in strategic thinking, you can use the strengths assessment to help determine this.

Hiring without employee personas is akin to playing billiards blindfolded. Sure, you know your way around the table well enough to hit a few good shots but the entire process is shrouded in mystery. Take the blindfold off. Get detailed.

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.

The Latest in HR Trends

Every year seems to have a different focus on the HR industry, so what trends are going to be present throughout 2019? Ninja Gig weighs in with what they are seeing kick off this new year.

Personalization

In the past, many companies have focused on a “one-size-fits-all” approach to standardizing businesses. Employees have different work styles, and some employees work better in a collaborative work environment, while others prefer more isolation and silence. Tailoring specific office design settings to employees’ work styles helps to produce more productive employees and a personalized work environment.

Trust

Trust is a big one. Do people trust the companies that employ them? If not, then it makes it difficult for employees to be loyal and stay with a company long-term. I mean if someone doesn’t trust their employer, why do they still work there? If a company says they’re going to do something, they should try their best to do it. Broken promises and smoke and mirrors all contribute to a poor work environment, which leads to higher turnover rates.

Paternalism

While traditionally companies have been taught that leaders and managers should be good coaches, this isn’t necessarily true. In reality, many managers aren’t good, motivating coaches. It’s essential that managers undergo training to help them understand the process of becoming a good coach. If you invest in helping managers to become good coaches and teach them how to enjoy their jobs more, you’ll have long-term employees that are more productive and happy.

Doing Less

Management needs to make an impact by doing less because it produces more significant results in the workplace. If there are an overwhelming number of rules and regulations, work can feel more like going into court than a positive working environment.

Focusing on People

Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in semantics, but in the end, all employees are people. Sometimes the expectations of the workforce can be too high. Understanding the psychology of people, what motivates them and how they are driven to succeed will significantly help to improve company 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.

Employment Screening Trends

More employers are starting to use social media screening for applicants, combined with real-time employee monitoring. With more job openings than employees to fill positions, employers are beginning to consider applicants with criminal records.

Social Media

This year, more employers will use background check providers to search for candidates online and in their social media profiles. However, employers need to make sure these searches do not violate the Fair Credit Reporting Act or Equal Employment Opportunity Commission standards.

Additionally, many people post about problems with their jobs online, which can give employers insight into why applicants are really leaving their current positions. While many employers may think that they’re legally screening online for candidates, in many ways, it’s best to leave social media screening to background check companies to ensure there is no discrimination. If an employer makes a decision about an employee’s post that relates to race, color, religion, sex or national origin, that’s when legal problems abound. Companies that specialize in these types of checks won’t leak information about someone’s sexual orientation veteran status or race, which helps offer employers necessary protection should any discrimination claims arise.

Ongoing Monitoring

Continuous monitoring is also important and is rapidly becoming a new employer trend. Monitoring existing employees for illegal behavior is just as important after the hiring process. It can indicate illicit drug use, embezzlement or illegal activities. This also includes looking for court records, which is important for companies that rely on employees to drive for business. As long as new information notifies the employee that a full background check is triggered, it’s legal to have companies subscribe to services that provide ongoing monitoring.

Criminal Records

Many employers find a minimal difference in the quality between hiring applicants with and without criminal records. With the current labor shortage, many employers have turned to an underutilized source of labor: former inmates and ex-offenders, which compromise nearly 20 million Americans.

Criminal records, such as misdemeanors, or people that have served their time and are rehabilitated, can give people a second chance at a career or job. Industries that may consider hiring those with past criminal records include warehousing, transportation, construction, manufacturing, retail and call centers.

Ninja Gig makes it simple for companies to manage their online employment applications. Additionally, Ninja Gig posts to a range of job search sites, making sure that companies get the necessary exposure needed to help attract top quality candidates. Sign up now for your free trial and get your online job applications in front of potential candidates now.

How to Create a Dynamic Work Schedule

Movie theaters, restaurants and other hourly positions, need to have management create a dynamic work schedule so that companies run flawlessly and efficiently. Without having open communication, work schedules can easily fall apart, leaving companies scattered, unorganized and scrambling to fill shifts.

Here are some excellent tips for creating a work schedule for hourly shifts.

Advance Scheduling

Employees have schedules outside of work, and it’s hard for people to find out their work schedule just hours or a day or two in advance. That’s why it’s essential to schedule shifts in advance so employees can plan. Emergencies happen, such as illness and deaths, but having a schedule published in advance can help minimize shift cancellations and streamline communication among the team.

Know Your Team

If you have team members that prefer morning shifts and others that prefer late night shifts, try to accommodate team members’ preferences and strengths. Not everyone is suited for the busy morning shift, and the same can be true for the late night hustle and bustle.

Respect Requests

Whether someone has a doctor’s appointment, needs to be at the bus stop by a particular time or prefers not to work on Sundays for religious reasons, it’s important to attempt to accommodate these types of requests when scheduling shifts. Request that employees submit their vacation requests as far in advance as possible to help accommodate any necessary requests. There may be times when employers cannot honor these requests, such as during busy holiday seasons, but it’s important to attempt to try to work around employees’ schedules as much as possible.

Shift Swapping

Having a policy that permits shift swapping is a great way to make sure that shifts are covered in advance and at the last minute. Have a clear process about shift-swapping in place to help avoid confusion, so all shifts are covered in advance. If employers don’t spell out a policy, they likely won’t know when employees change their shift schedules, which can cause abundant confusion and strife.

Busy Times

Customer demands play a central role in how employers schedule employees. Maybe weekends are peak busy times, which means that business may need to schedule extra employees for those shift schedules. When businesses identify busy times, it’s important to relay this to the employees, so they know that all extra shifts during peak hours need coverage.

Ninja Gig offers an excellent solution for businesses looking to use online job applications to attract the best, brightest talent. Many movie theaters and restaurants can advertise online job applications on websites and via social media. Sign up now for your free trial and see how Ninja Gig can help you streamline your online employment application process.

Interview Questions for a Movie Theater Manager

Most movie theater employees are teens with first-time jobs, which means it’s essential to have a responsible movie theater manager that has the necessary skills to lead and teach employees.

Below are some questions to consider incorporating into regular rotation when interviewing for a movie theater manager.

  • Can you work with budgets?
    •  What do you find is the most challenging part of the budgeting process?
  • Can you give an example and explain a time when you coached or mentored someone on the job?
    • Did it help boost the person’s skills or job knowledge?
  • Share an experience when you dealt with a difficult person or personality type, and what you did to handle and address the situation.
  • Describe successfully organizing a group of people to accomplish a specific task or goal.
  • Give me some examples of how you organize, plan and prioritize work on a daily basis.
  • Describe an instance when you did something “outside the box” that benefited your employer.
  • Tell me when you monitored or reviewed information and found a problem or discrepancy. How did you respond and what did you do?
  • Give an example when your advice facilitated an improvement for your company.
  • When setting expectations and monitoring subordinates performance, what do you find most useful?
  • Share a time when you successfully coordinated with others on a project.
    • Describe a time when that effort was not successful.
  • In your experience, what is the best way to help monitor the work of others?
  • Describe a time when you had to take corrective action with a subordinate.
  • What do you think is key to developing a good, solid team?
  • What do you think is essential when communicating with the public?
  • Describe a time when you remained calm and dealt with a high-stress situation.
  • Share a time when you took on additional challenges or responsibilities without being asked or directed.
  • Describe a time when you worked in a workplace that was rapidly changing. How did you deal with the change?
  • Share a time when you oversaw or managed the work of someone else. How did you motivate, direct and develop their work?
  • Discuss a time when you identified a problem and came up with a solution. Discuss your decision-making process and how you arrived at a conclusion.

Ninja Gig offers easy to customize online job applications, which makes it simple for movie theaters to advertise jobs and ask specific preliminary questions during the online employment application process. Sign up now for your free trial and see how Ninja Gig can bring streamline your online job applications.

Tips for Hiring Seasonal Restaurant Staff

The holidays are just around the corner, and if you’re like many restaurants, you may find an increased need for seasonal restaurant employees, which can be especially true for ski resorts or restaurants close to retail shopping establishments.

Here are some helpful tips for hiring seasonal restaurant staff:

  1. Last Year’s Staff – Check and see if your seasonal staff from last year has availability to help this upcoming holiday season. By reaching out to employees you have hired in the past, you can help reduce your overhead and training expenses. Refresher courses are far easier than starting from scratch and teaching employees everything. Encourage employees to return next season and stay in touch with them throughout the year.
  2. Promote to Schools – Many colleges offer their students up to four weeks off in the wintertime, and a seasonal job may fit in perfectly with their schedules. Additionally, college students typically don’t demand high salaries and find minimum wage acceptable.
  3. Train Staff – Train all of your seasonal staff at the same time to help reduce the number of company training sessions. Consider instituting a simplified iPad-based point of sale (POS) systems, which require less training than traditional POS systems.
  4. Local Laws and Regulations – Always pay attention to and follow local laws and regulations that relate to hiring seasonal employees. Under federal law, part-time employees still receive some benefits, such as workers’ compensation and social security. Some states also mandate that part-time employees receive unemployment benefits, which may depend on the length and duration of the seasonal employment.

Ninja Gig offers custom online employment applications, which makes it easy for employers to advertise seasonal and part-time positions on their websites and social media pages. Some studies show that nearly 79% of Americans use online information and job applications to apply for jobs. Sign up today for our 30-day free trial and start filling those positions quickly!

How to Earn Employee’s Respect

Building respect is a two-way street – and one that both employees and employers need to reciprocate. Long ago, it was thought that respect was something subordinate employees were forced to give their supervisors. However, respect is a valuable – and necessary – way for employers to help build rapport in the workplace.

How can companies build employee respect? Ninja Gig will walk you through five essential tips.

  1. Authenticity – Practice being an authentic reflection of the company’s principles and values, while simultaneously having transparency and promoting justice.
  2. Ownership – Make employees understand that management values and deeply respects their thoughts and opinions. By doing this, employees tend to take a form of “ownership” and pride in the company.
  3. Potential – Develop employees’ potential and invest in helping them become better employees. By helping employees develop and achieve their performance goals, they will respect companies more and become more dedicated employees.
  4. Energy – Focus on creating an energized work culture that is positive, with energy that focuses on winning versus defending.
  5. Sacrifices – If sacrifices need to be made to contribute to the majority’s success, these options need to be weighed and tough decisions made.

Earning employee respect is the key to empowering employees. Employees that report feeling respected at work have higher satisfaction rates with their jobs, which equates to long-term retention and less turnover.

Ninja Gig offers the ease of online employment applications. Companies can easily comply with state and federal guidelines regarding maintaining job applications, while also being able to advertise on social media, the internet and other modern-day job sites to help attract the best, most qualified applicants for the job. Sign up now for a free 30-day trial and streamline your hiring processes!

Tips for Interviewing and Hiring Cleaning Staff

If you have a cleaning company, chances are that you know the challenges of keeping and maintaining good housekeeping staff. Furthermore, you probably dread the interview process. If you fear a mountain of paper applications and what types of questions you can’t ask, Ninja Gig is here to help you simplify your interview process so you can find the right talent for your company.

Here are some examples of interview questions and how to phrase them.

  • Illegal: How many sick days did you take last year?
  • Legal: How many days of work did you miss last year?

 

  • Illegal: Do you have a vehicle?
  • Legal: How will you get to work?

 

  • Illegal: Have you ever been arrested?
  • Legal: Have you ever been convicted of theft or fraud?

 

Here are some different, yet insightful questions to ask when interviewing potential applicants.

  • What type of books do you like to read? – This question can help you gauge an applicant’s hobbies and social activities without directly asking.
  • What was the last movie you saw on TV or in the theater? – This gives insight into their personal preferences and hobbies. If they give details about the movie, it shows that they have comprehension skills that may prove valuable when taking directions.
  • Tell me about yourself. – This measures how well an applicant does when put on the spot as well as how detailed they are in answering the question. Avoidant personalities may try to ask, “What would you like to know?” but that is not the question in this exercise.
  • What types of clubs or activities did you do when you were younger? – Children that are involved in activities may grow up to have a better work ethic. In this exercise, you are looking for team sports or groups, such as 4-H Club, etc.

 

Other interview tips include:

  • Telephone Calls – Conduct the initial interview via telephone. This can help eliminate applicants before they even see you face-to-face. Remember that applicants need to earn interviews. Even a three-minute conversation may be enough to ensure that the conversation is understandable and that the applicant is serious about applying for the position.
  • Interviewing in Groups – One benefit to interviewing in groups is that you can conduct your initial interviews in one session, which is excellent for time management. Additionally, followers in groups will chime in, “That’s what I was going to say.” These activities can also establish leaders and followers when identifying potential applicants’ personality types.
  • Meals – Interviewing the final round of applicants over breakfast or lunch is also a good option because you can see their manners and etiquette firsthand.

 

By employing these helpful interview tips into your next recruitment session, you can easily identify qualified housecleaning candidates for your company.

 

Ninja Gig offers online job applications, which makes it easy to avoid a mountain of paper employment applications. Additionally, you can advertise for open housekeeping positions on your website or social media pages, while complying with all state and federal employment requirements. Sign up today for our 30-day free trial and see how easily you can improve your hiring processes.

Is legal weed making it difficult for restaurants to retain employees?

Colorado has a food crisis. It’s not a food or crop shortage, but an employment scarcity. Local restaurants are having a difficult time hiring and retaining restaurant staff, and the reason is clear: pot shops pay double the hourly wage to care for marijuana plants.

While the government doesn’t have hard data and facts to back up Colorado’s claims, many in the Centennial State strongly believe that the reason Denver’s restaurant owners and chefs are having a difficult time hiring is that legal weed is a culprit in their lack of rising restaurant talent.

Marijuana growers pay entry-level employees between $12 to $15 an hour to cut, trim and care for their plants. That compares to a mere average $12.83 an hour line and prep cooks receive, which is still above Colorado’s minimum wage. Kitchen work does have physical demands and often requires constant juggling acts and multi-tasking in windowless, 90-degree rooms.

Instead, pot growers allow their employees to sit indoors in air-conditioned spaces while listening to music. Additionally, employees that are speedy and trim the pot plants in a timely fashion can earn upwards of $20 per hour.

As the need for legal weed grows in Colorado, restaurateurs are feeling the biting heat in their kitchens – delaying openings because they can’t find enough people to man the kitchens.

The National Restaurant Association confirms that prep cooks, line cooks and dishwashers are among the most challenging restaurant positions to fill. At the same time, Colorado is one of the top growing states for restaurant and food service positions over the next 10 years.

Servers that work at higher-end restaurants can make well above minimum wage, but because line and prep cooks don’t usually share in these profits, it’s leaving them longing for higher salaries and cashier jobs.

In 2010 alone, Colorado restaurants reported more than $8 billion sales with that number climbing to  $12 billion in 2017. This gave Colorado’s restaurants one of the highest year-over-year increases in the entire U.S.

While Colorado is seeing a massive housing boom and thousands of people are rushing to the state, it doesn’t appear they are going to work in the kitchens. Denver’s turnover rates are above the national average, which hovers at 28.4% and Denver is at 33.8% for kitchen staff. Whether this is just because of inexperienced or new personnel not working out or more people are embarking on pot growing careers, is speculation.

One way that Colorado restaurants can attract and retain top kitchen talent is to pay more than minimum wage. Additionally, offering on-the-job training is a great way to support employees having a long-term restaurant career.

If your restaurant is looking to hire top kitchen talent, consider using Ninja Gig’s online job application. Online employment applications streamline efficiencies and allow interested personnel to apply via your website or social media pages. Additionally, once they submit the information you can easily retain resumes and stay in compliance with federal and state laws.  Ready to give it a try?  Sign up for our 30-day free trial today!

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!