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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!

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If job applicants face the challenge of using out-of-date online job application interfaces that are difficult to navigate and require a lot of information, they may forgo applying and move onto the next opportunity. This means that you could be missing out on qualified candidates for your organization.

To ensure that you’re not turning off potential applicants, you need to have an efficient online job application process that is mobile friendly.

If you don’t know if your website has a friendly job application process, check out your site analytics to see the percentage of applicants abandon the application process before reaching the “apply” point. This is the same concept that retailers use when reviewing “abandoned shopping cart” statistics.

Other issues can also turn off applicants, which we highlight below.

  • A lengthy pre-interview process is a turn off for job seekers. If applicants have already undergone a detailed, time-consuming application process, they are less likely to want to go through documentation requests, personality tests or cultural-fit assessments, prescreening interviews with external recruiters and phone interviews with internal recruiters.
  • Unprofessional behavior during interviews, including unfriendly staff are turn offs to potential applicants. While it’s important for companies to balance their negotiator face during interviews, appearing less than friendly will steer qualified applicants away from companies.
  • Post interviews also give employers the opportunity to make a lasting negative impression. If companies fail to follow up, applicants will remember this in the future, avoid applying and also spread the word amongst their friends.
  • Discrepancies among interviewers about the job’s duties are also cause for alarm with potential candidates. This raises red flags that perhaps the company doesn’t operate as well – and as seamlessly – as they should.
  • A long hiring process that is too drawn out is also a turn-off, as strong candidates will probably have other opportunities arise, which they will pursue.

Ninja Gig offers online job applications that are quick and – which means that qualified applicants won’t abandon your site frustrated and not applying for open positions. Because open position translates to higher overhead costs, it’s important to use a job application provider that has experience understanding the importance of keeping applications simple and easy to use.  Sign up today for a 30-day free trial and start accepting employment applications immediately!

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In today’s competitive job market, candidates are well educated about salary rates based on their industry and location. For companies to stay competitive and attract the best and brightest talent, they need to stay a step ahead of their competition. Developing a solid, yet competitive pay practice that is based on accurate salary data is crucial.

Here are some tips to help your organization develop a competitive compensation strategy that attracts and retains employees.

  • Market Pulse – Wages declined in 2009 and 2010; however, many industries are seeing a steady increase in salaries. If your company has a compensation plan that is based on these declining years, it’s time to put together a new strategy or you risk, losing top employees to competitors.
  • Benchmark Positions – Engage in once-per-year salary benchmarking to identify employees that are at a higher risk of turnover. This will help employers find ways to reallocate their labor budget and make smart decisions before facing employee vacancies.
  • Compensation Plan – Developing a compensation plan is a cost-effective way to help companies structure their pay decisions in a way that aligns with company goals. While some companies skip this plan in favor of less structure and fewer rules, it can be their demise as top employees will eventually leave for better offers that come their way.
  • Pay Inequities – A formalized compensation plan helps companies identify internal pay inequities. A significant wage gap for employees that do the same position can increase company turnover, even contribute to overpayment and costly litigation expenses. Race and gender have no business influencing compensation.
  • Communicate – If you’ve gone through the process to create a detailed compensation plan, let your employees know. Compensation strategies exist to support your business goals. Communicate to employees and let them know that your company is investing in them and their talent. Employees appreciate feeling needed, and companies will see a measurable boost in employee morale.

Ninja Gig specializes in offering online job applications. These employment applications make it easy for employers to identify qualified candidates for their organization. Additionally, by eliminating much of the paper involved in the initial application process, employers can effectively store resumes in digital archives, complying with all government data regulations.  Sign up today for your 30-day free trial of our applicant tracking system, and start accepting job applications immediately!

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You cannot turn on the news without hearing about a school shooting, bombing or violent act. Many of these relate to bullies. But, what can your company do in today’s world to help protect employees from the mental and emotional, and even physical threats of violence perpetrated by bullies?

First, it’s important to recognize the signs of a bully early-on, such as during the interview process. Workplace bullying is responsible for a wide myriad of effects on companies, including:

  • Reduced efficiency, productivity and profitability
  • Higher rates of absenteeism, sick time and employee turnover
  • Decreased loyalty and morale
  • Increased costs for recruiting and retraining new hires
  • Workers comp claims
  • Negative effects on the company’s reputation
  • Time spent dealing with bullies
  • Potential fines by government entities, such as occupational health laws
  • Legal costs from employees
  • Increases to worker’s comp and insurance premiums for turnover

When interviewing candidates, look for the signs of these types of bullies.

  • The Screamer – If someone is loud, obnoxious and abusive in an attempt to humiliate and berate people, chances are they expect to rule through fear.
  • The Snake – The passive-aggressive employee that pretends to be friends with a coworker to gain information and then turns around to purposefully destroy his/her reputation or take credit for work.
  • The Critic – The critic is someone who constantly criticizes people to tear down their confidence. The criticism is often unwarranted, as they just want to break someone down.
  • The Class Clown – The attention seeker needs to be the center of attention at all times. They will flatter their bosses, be helpful to their peers, but if co-workers don’t give them the amount of attention they desire, things can quickly get ugly.
  • The Gatekeeper – This is someone that thinks their position is so important that they can deny other employees the necessary resources, information or time to effectively do their jobs.
  • The Know-It-All – Gurus likes to consider themselves superior to other employees. They can’t understand how their hurtful actions affect others and don’t want to accept responsibility for their actions. They don’t like to follow the same rules as other employees, thinking they are above them.
  • The Wannabe – Employees that typically aren’t very good at their jobs, but loves to complain about everyone else. They want everything to be done their way, even if there is a better way to accomplish a task. They go to great lengths to oppose other employee’s ideas and hate changes in the workplace.
  • The Sociopath – The charming, intelligent, charismatic and well-spoken employee that has no empathy for other employees and loves to manipulate everyone around him/her.

Look out for problems that may point to these types of bullying personalities in interviews. Selecting a good team that is bully-free will help companies succeed.

Ninja Gig offers online job applications to a wide variety of companies. See how online applications can help your company effectively attract talented employees while helping comply with government regulations.  Sign up now for our free trial, and see how easy it can be to accept job applications online and weed out those bullies!

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Many state and local legislatures are creating a new ban: one that prohibits employers from asking candidates about their past pay. This will forever change salary negotiations.

For as long as companies and applicants can remember, the most common initial hiring question is past salary. These numbers gave companies insight into determining who made more than the position offered, helping eliminate them from further screening, and offering less money to those candidates that have lower salary histories.

However, policymakers are rethinking this question, believing that it may be helping perpetuate both gender and racial disparities that are present in today’s compensation scale.

Even in 2018, the gender pay gap remains wide, with women only earning around 80 centers to men’s one dollar. Of these women, Black and Latinas see the most significant discrepancy, making approximately 55 to 60 cents for every dollar earned by white men.

This has prompted several states, including New York and California, to move towards banning salary questions in the interview process.

The reviews on whether this will help narrow the gap and create equal pay are mixed. Some companies say that it will improve, while others say that it will have minimum impact on pay equity.

While more states and localities are joining the nationwide trend to ban salary questions, it’s a good time for companies to reevaluate their practice of inquiring about candidates past pay. Consider revisiting company compensation strategies and hiring practices. Rely on the market data to help set the pay rates for positions, which gives companies time to focus on the candidate’s qualifications.

Fines for violating this law vary. For example, Delaware’s law outlines civil penalties that may go up to $10,000 for each offense. New York City is proposing stricter penalties that may go up to $250,000.

To help make sure that your company complies with changing times, check to see if your state or local district has enacted any laws that pertain to restricting questions about salary history. It’s always important that Human Resources departments and company managers know the law.

If your state prohibits discussing salary histories, make sure to update all paperwork that may ask these types of questions.

Here’s a quick list of states that have or are going to be instituting salary history bans: California, Delaware, Massachusetts, Oregon, Puerto Rico, New York City and San Francisco.

Ninja Gig offers affordable solutions for traditional job applications. With their online employment applications, employers can quickly alter forms to best apply to local and state laws.  Sign up now to start accepting job applications online immediately!

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Successful restaurateurs have key processes in place to help their business achieve consistency. The dilemma is that many of these processes revolve around recipes, cleanliness, food safety, customer greetings, etc. Some restaurants have policies for scheduling and conflict resolution tactics, which managers can implement. However, far too many restaurants do not have structured recruitment and hiring processes in place, which leads to bad hiring decisions, high turnover and an overall poor employment brand.

Restaurateurs can change their culture and implement effective recruiting practices, which will help build a strong brand.

  1. Attract the Right Candidates – Restaurants can easily tap into their customer base to discover potential candidates. They can utilize social media, online newspapers and even post “Now Hiring” notices in their restaurant. To attract several qualified candidates and make it easy for staff to conduct interviews, many restaurants set aside all-day interview sessions or even participate in local job fairs to talk to qualified culinary candidates. However, the drawback to open interviews is that restaurants spend a lot of time interviewing candidates that would not pass their basic screening process. While many restaurants use these techniques to solve high-volume hiring seasons, it does not always attract the best candidates. By leveraging employment application software for job applications, restaurants can narrow down their applicant pool and select only those that are qualified for positions. This time-savings approach allows restaurants to reduce costs associated with interviewing and hiring qualified candidates.
  2. Identifying the Best Applicants – Restaurants want to hire the best, brightest and most talented employees. Great staff results in better dining experiences for customers, which translates into more return business. Bad hires can leave lasting negative impressions on customers and cost restaurants revenue. Restaurants should require that applicants complete applications. Custom online job applications can pre-screen applicants while ensuring consistency in answers, give a glimpse into personality and aptitude.
  3. Evaluating Top Talent – Once a restaurant has a solid screening and interviewing process in place, they can focus on finding candidates that are good fits for their company culture and jobs. Equally crucial to skills is evaluating their communication styles, personalities and what motivates them to succeed. Developing a specific set of criteria that includes standardized interview questions will help management better select strong long-term candidates. Once management has found a reliable interview routine, it should be built into a repeatable system. Applicant Tracking Software is valuable, helping restaurants manage consistency during the interview process.

Ninja Gig can help your restaurant succeed and hire qualified employees. Our online employment applications make it easy for you to customize questions, advertise your open positions and attract qualified candidates.  Sign up today for a 30-day free trial!

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In an ideal world, recruitment would involve posting the job, filling the position and then celebrating by going to happy hour because you now have a complete workforce. However, in the real world, measuring recruitment success is far from this simple. Here are the top five recruitment metrics that you need to know and should start measuring today.

Retention Rate

It can cost anywhere between 30 to 400% of an employee’s salary to replace him/her. Once you place a qualified employee in the role and they are happy, you know the position is a good fit. Regularly evaluate and measure company-wide retention. Employees should stay at least one-year or longer at positions.

Qualified Candidates per Opening

The number of total applicants that move to the second stage of your company’s recruitment process, such as an in-person interview, for a specific job opening.  If you receive hundreds of job applications, but only select 10 people to interview over the phone, these are your qualified candidates. Tracking qualified candidates instead of just total hires is important. Keep track of the source of applicants, whether it’s personal referrals, job fairs, social media, website hits, etc. This will help you better concentrate your recruitment efforts.

Days to Offer

The total number of days from when an applicant applies for a position to when he/she accepts or rejects your employment offer.  This will show how long it takes for a qualified applicant to complete the employment process once they’ve applied. If you’re losing top talent, consider tightening that window.

Offer Acceptance Rate

If you send out 15 job offers to get one acceptance, you should probably consider evaluating your recruitment process because it’s not enticing qualified candidates. This rate shows the strength of the applicant pool you attract and whether or not candidates want to work with your organization. If you have many rejections, try to gain feedback to find out how to improve your current system.

Hires to Goal

The total number of hires needed to meet your company’s predetermined goal within a specific period.  If your company isn’t meeting hiring goals, knowing your metrics can help you gain insight into how to fix your current recruitment process.

Ninja Gig offers online job applications, which makes it easy for you to track the number of qualified applicants that apply to your company. Stay up-to-date on the latest metrics, so you know how to alter your recruitment strategies.  Sign up today to start accepting employment applications online.

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Ever wonder what should and shouldn’t be kept in employee personnel files? Ninja Gig will give you the low-down on how to spring clean your HR department.

What should be in personnel files?

Personnel files should contain objective information that relates to hiring, promotions, demotions, compensation, discipline or employee discharge. Type of documents that should appear in employment files include, but are not limited to:

  • Employment Application
  • Resume
  • Offer letters
  • Performance reviews
  • Disciplinary notices
  • Resignation/Termination letters
  • Compensation and deductions
  • Non-Compete or Confidentiality Agreements
  • Handbook acknowledgements
  • Attendance records
  • Vacation and personal leave
  • Changes in name, address, telephone or contact information
  • Emergency contacts
  • Beneficiaries for insurance policies
  • Training records
What should not be in personnel files?

Subjective information should never be in personnel files. This includes:

  • Notes about the employee during interviews or on their employment applications
  • Letters of recommendation or reference checks
  • Documents about employee criminal investigations
  • Credit reports
  • I-9 Forms
  • Medical files or anything relating to a medical condition
  • Photos of the employee or even copies of his/her driver’s license
Where should employers keep personnel files?

Personnel files should remain with Human Resources departments, but if companies are too small to have an entire department, they should reside with the employee’s manager. Personnel files should always be stored in a locked room or cabinet.

Who has access to personnel files?

Only the immediate supervisor and human resources’ department should have access to employees’ personnel files. While not required, it’s a good idea for companies to have a system in place that tracks every time a personnel file is viewed by whom.

Where should I-9 Forms be stored?

A separate I-9 folder for each employee is not necessary. Many companies have two binders – one for current employees’ I-9 forms and one for past employees. According to the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), employers must retain I-9 forms for a minimum of three (3) years from the date of hire or one (1) year after the employee’s date of employment ends, whichever is later.

How is medical information stored?

Medical information, such as worker’s compensation issues, disability issues, sick leave or FMLA should be stored separately in a locked drawer and have limited access.

Ninja Gig offers customizable online employment applications. These applications are easy to store digitally online, so companies can recall the information when needed, reducing the amount of paper filing. These online job applications also help companies target experienced candidates.  Sign up now for a no-obligation, free trial of our amazing software.

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Right now, our nation is being slammed by daily reports of companies and individuals that are receiving new sexual harassment claims. Thanks to Harvey Weinstein blowing the lid off the top of the entertainment industry’s harassment scandal, victims everywhere are making a stand, demanding to be heard.

Here’s what HR departments can do to help protect companies against harassment claims and to minimize the potential for employees becoming harassment victims.

  1. Hold a Team Meeting – A powerful way to send the message that workplace harassment is not acceptable is to hold a company meeting. Employers need to express that if anyone feels uncomfortable, threatened or demeaned, they need to report this to their supervisor and HR department. Create an open space, so employees know and understand that you have a zero-tolerance policy for harassment and you want it reported immediately. Emphasize that both sexual harassment and assault are criminal offenses and no matter someone’s position in a company, there is no tolerance for this type of criminal behavior.
  2. Shared Definitions – Create definitions of what defines harassment. Many studies show that when harassment is precisely defined, more people will report these criminal incidents. This helps in two ways:
    1. Employees are better able to understand and recognize harassment, which allows them to report any workplace violations.
    2. Employees have greater ownership of the company culture, which makes them feel more positively towards their work environments.
  3. Confidential Reporting System – It’s important to have a confidential reporting system in place so that employees can feel free to report harassment without fear of retaliation. Trauma effects every person differently, which is why it’s essential that a workplace environment offers a confidential reporting system.
  4. Shared Accountability – Every individual in a company needs to be held accountable for their actions, whether it’s the president or a mail clerk. An organization should emphasize a culture where no harassment is tolerated and that all colleagues, managers or executives are called out for their poor behavior.
  5. Cultural Impact – It’s crucial that companies regularly reinforce the zero violence and harassment policy. Here are some practical ways to do this:
    1. Explain – All employees and managers should have a clear understanding of how sexual harassment and assault issues are prioritized by the company, what their roles are in implementing policies and protocols, exactly what accountability for these illegal actions entails and what channels will support victims.
    2. Reinforce – Regularly reinforce a company’s zero harassment policy through newsletters, annual reports, social media, board meetings and one-on-one supervision.
    3. Pulse – Stay up-to-date on what is going on in the office as fear of retaliation can prevent employees from providing feedback. Regularly check-in with employees, conduct performance reviews and send out anonymous culture surveys.

Ninja Gig supports your position to hire the best candidates for your company to help create a zero-tolerance harassment workplace. To attract the best, brightest and most talented candidates for your company, consider using online job applications. These employment applications are easy to customize, which means that HR departments can tailor them to specific job profiles.  Sign up today for a 30-day free trial of this amazing software!

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Today’s companies face ever-evolving workforce threats – ranging from cyber breaches, workplace violence to mental health issues and employee well-being – today’s HR professionals must comply with a myriad of laws.

Here are some of the top HR challenges that companies face in 2018.

  1. Harassment – Courtesy of Harvey Weinstein, harassment has plagued America in both the entertainment, political and media industries over the last several months. Employers must have zero tolerance harassment policies, which are in print to protect employees.
  2. Drug Testing and Substance Abuse – Opioid addiction dominated the headlines in 2017. Managing and addressing drug use and testing is a challenging issue many employers face. Employers should implement a drug-free workplace, putting policies in effect that prohibits the use of drugs on work premises and during work hours.
  3. Employee Handbooks – An employee handbook should contain workplace policies, the employer’s mission and goals, and information about discrimination, harassment, leave and paid time off and employee benefits. Handbooks should remain up-to-date at all times, being closely monitored for changes to federal, state and local laws.
  4. Well-Being and Mental Health – To ensure that workers are productive and have low absenteeism rates, physical and mental health needs to be addressed by companies. It is important that HR professionals employ sensitivity, as well as FMLA and ADA rules when it comes to dealing with physical or mental ailments. Employers may also wish to add substance abuse services and behavioral health treatments that extend beyond what medical insurance plans may cover.
  5. Workplace Violence – In a day and age where mass shootings, terrorist attacks and bomb threats are becoming all too common, employers should implement a safety plan to help protect the workplace should one of these unfortunate incidents occur. Additionally, consider requiring background checks on applicants, implementing a zero-tolerance workplace violence policy and not allowing weapons on the premises.
  6. Recruiting – Employment numbers are low, which means that it is an employee’s market for job hunting. This is putting the burden on employers to attract and find the best talent for their organizations. Use online job applications to help manage and organize information for candidates. Additionally, companies can easily post their job openings online and on social media outlets, creating personal job applications that match the skill sets of an ideal candidate.
  7. Cyber Breaches – 2017 saw some major data breaches. As cloud-based systems become more popular, companies will need to ensure that private and confidential information is protected in the event a cyber breach occurs.

Ninja Gig offers customizable online job applications. Sign up today for a 30-day free trial and see how much easier your recruitment efforts can be!

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