Monthly Archives: January 2013

Onboarding New Hires in the Hospitality Industry

Onboarding new hires involves performing background checks and delivering new hire paperwork like W-4, I-9, Direct Deposit forms, employee handbooks and other information, restaurant workers, new hiresIf you are in the restaurant, nightclub, bar or hotel/resort business, you are in the hospitality business. It is an exciting, people-centric and time-demanding business that is not for the faint of heart. It can also be one of the most “fun-centric” industries as well, since your customer is usually in the leisure mode when you see them, either eating, drinking, traveling or kicking back.

Most jobs below owner/management level are semi-skilled, typically low paid, tip-dependent and attract a younger worker. Oh, by the way, the work is hard. A big challenge in the hospitality business is the revolving door of workers. It is logical that turnover is great because of the age and demographics of the workforce. Young people change directions with the wind and hospitality workers generally aren’t in for a career. In fact, your training model becomes a key indicator of your company’s success since it is constantly in use.

A company’s culture is perhaps the most under emphasized component of small to medium sized businesses. A company’s culture is the assumptions and behaviors that the people in an organization use in engaging with each other and with the customer. The culture typically evolves on its own in a small business from the top down, for good or for bad. Large companies invest heavily in their culture since a good culture makes a business operate smoothly and affects the customer’s perception of the business.

The Four Seasons chain of hotels and the Nordstrom department stores are often used as examples of companies with culture built around an excellent customer experience. That is a great premise for an industry that must please a lot of people with different levels of satisfaction. Part of the instilling of a culture in an employee is providing a good experience when they join the organization. This experience is called the onboarding of a new employee and can set the tone for the relationship; again for good or for bad.

The key to a good onboarding experience is completeness, friendliness and consistency. In small business, onboarding begins with the delivery of new hire paperwork and the general instructions and expectations to the new hire. Believe it or not, businesses have a difficult time delivering complete and timely new hire paperwork since most have a rather harried environment and operate with a sense of urgency.

Every employee must fill out certain paperwork to comply with the law and to set up for payroll. This includes completing an I-9, a W-4 as well as various forms like basic employee data forms, and direct deposit forms. All this, plus the time an employee handbook is delivered, benefits information is made available to the employee and perhaps a welcome letter from the owner rounds out the batch of paperwork the new hire receives.

The job of collecting the information usually falls on the operations manager or human resources department if one exists. In the hospitality industry, people aren’t usually hired until they are needed so, the sooner they can be put to work, the better.

The proper completion of some forms requires verification of identification documents or submission of banking info for direct deposit. Inevitably,  new employees arrive without identification or some other documentation. This often results in starting the employee off without a complete enrollment and often the follow-up falls short. Not a smooth transition for either the employee or the employer.

Providing new hire paperwork electronically to the employee before they show up for work through either an email or a link to the documents can take some of the strain off of the first day and allow the employee to complete the paperwork in a more leisurely manner. The employee simply shows up with the forms completed and identification in hand for verification.

Ovation provides such an electronic new hire onboarding tool with its hiring and background screening tools in an affordable, easy to use, and effective one stop platform. The platform was designed specifically with the small business in mind and is a great resource for the hospitality industry where, time and first impressions are all important.


Using Ovation with All Job Boards

Ovation allows you to create job postings from scratch, use past postings, or access editable job descriptions from the Ovation library. You can also set up your own library of company specific job postings.  job postings. job posting sites, job boards, Ovation allows a user to manage job postings to any job board. When a user creates a job posting in Ovation, either from scratch or from the Ovation template library of job descriptions, Ovation  creates a unique web link to the new posting.

A job applicant clicks on the web link within the job description to complete the job application or to upload their resume to be ranked against other applicants with Ovation’s system to rank candidates according to best suited for the job.

While Ovation allows  direct posting to Indeed, Simplyhired, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and others, here is how you can use Ovation with any job board, even niche boards:

Create a job posting in Ovation

It is important to create an appealing and comprehensive job description.

Here a sample of a job posting ready to be published

A professional job post will include specific responsibilities and skills or other requirements that the job seeker must have to be best suited for the job.Notice the Job Posting Details2This web link will take the job applicant directly to the Ovation application which they can complete or upload their resume. Once they do, it will be ranked by Ovation and shown with other applicants’ submissions for the Ovation user’s review. When posting to a job board not directly supported by Ovation, the user can simply highlight and copy the job description on the Ovation Job Posting Details page,

Job Posting Details3

drop it into any job board’s job description page and add the  Link to job description and application. Job boards post job descriptions for job seekers to identify opportunities..

Now, all potential job candidates will be directed to the Ovation job application webpage to complete the job application and their application will join those of candidates who responded to similar posts on other job boards.

For more information about posting jobs within Ovation see the Help Section.

Are Employees Happy in Their Current Job?

Current employees looking for jobs, employment, find employees, job search, job fit, employee satisfactionOne half of existing employees will consider looking for a new job if the economy improves according to the Fourth Quarter 2012 Glassdoor Employment Confidence Survey. This may prompt employers to take a look at their retention efforts. Employees don’t search for new job opportunities merely when they are unhappy. Many people are constantly evaluating their options in an effort to improve their job situation and to advance their career.

According to the survey, forty percent of all employees expect to get a pay raise in the next 12 months which means that most employees either don’t expect a raise or just don’t know.

Employee expectations of re-hire are about 41%. Of course, currently employed people typically stand a better chance of being hired than do unemployed individuals. Unemployed individuals surveyed had a slightly lower (37%) expectation of being hired in the first quarter of 2013.

What Should Employers Do to Increase Employee Satisfaction and Retention?

There are several positive actions employers can take to improve retention including

1. Award non-compensation perks such as

  • Option for employees to work remotely
  • Casual dress codes
  • Flexible work hours

2. Other compensation options such as:

  • Restore previously eliminated benefits like 401k matching, health and dental
  • Stock awards
  • Salary increases that consider recession year omissions

In addition to retention programs, companies can put recruiting and hiring programs in place to prepare for business needs. Establishing relationships with vendors such as Ovation, Taleo, and direct recruiting firms like Robert Half can provide a candidate pool that can be tapped at a moment’s notice.  Having job posts constantly running can cast a wide net to improve the quality of a company’s workforce.  “Top performers are instrumental in helping organizations grow,” Phil Sheridan, managing director, Robert Half UK, said in a news release. “However, it is all too common for companies to wait until they receive resignations in order to enhance their retention efforts, but by then it is often too late to keep those key staff.”

What Signs Might Indicate that a Valued Employee May Quit?

In the environment described, key employees may look for greener pastures. According to Robert Half, an international recruiting firm, these are some major signs that current employees might be looking for other opportunities:

  • A change in attitude in the employee while performing their job
  • Long lunch breaks or frequent absences
  • The employee is dressing in more professional attire
  • The employee is exhibiting a noticeable drop in productivity

If an employer suspects a valued employee might quit, they should consider meeting with the employee and asking them if they are looking and emphasize the value that they represent to the company. Often, employees feel under-appreciated and need reinforcement. Even offering an incentive to stay is appropriate as this is not a time to resent an employee’s loyalty to the firm.

Cinco razones por las que debe revisar sus antecedentes

h ¿Ha buscado su propio nombre en Google? ¿Le sorprendió de lo que encontró?

Lo mismo puede decirse de las revisiones de antecedentes; es esencial saber lo que otros dicen acerca de usted— antes de que un posible empleador lo encuentre.

Aproximadamente un 70 por ciento de los empleadores realizan revisiones de antecedentes a los nuevos empleados. Además, rutinariamente se hacen revisiones de antecedentes a voluntarios de casi todo tipo de organización. “No hay problema”, dirá usted.  Si no hay nada que ocultar, ¿por qué revisar sus propios antecedentes?

Considere esto…

National Consumer Law Center reporta que miles de personas pierden oportunidades debido a información incorrecta usada para tomar decisiones importantes, como emplear a alguien. Más de la mitad de los tribunales de justicia de EE.UU. publican antecedentes penales en sus sitios de internet. Esto significa que las actividades delictivas—válidas o no—posiblemente aparezcan en una búsqueda sencilla, como una básica con el buscador Google. Los errores pueden propagarse rápidamente por toda la red informática, mucho antes de que usted se entere.

Los cinco errores más comunes encontrados en revisiones de antecedentes:

1. Usurpación de Identidad

Con más y más personas conectadas a la internet, la usurpación de identidad es una preocupación creciente. Según el Departamento de Justicia de EE.UU., más de 8.5 millones de personas fueron víctimas de usurpación de identidad en 2010. Las identidades usurpadas son frecuentemente usadas para cometer delitos. Al ser arrestados, los usurpadores de identidad a menudo continúan su farsa ante las autoridades. ¿En los antecedentes de quién cree usted que aparece registrado el delito?  Eso es, ¡en los de la víctima de usurpación de identidad!

2. Cargos Desestimados

Los cargos desestimados no deben aparecer en una revisión de antecedentes penales legítima. Sin embargo, no todas las autoridades usan el mismo método para suprimir los casos desestimados; muchos se escurren por las grietas del sistema, y aparecen una y otra vez en las revisiones de antecedentes.

3. Nombres Comunes o Similares

Muchas personas tienen nombres similares o exactamente iguales a otras personas. Si una empresa obtiene los antecedentes de otra persona por error, nadie sabe lo que pueden encontrar.

4. Clasificación Errónea de Delitos Menores como Delitos Mayores

La diferencia entre los delitos menores y los delitos mayores puede ser considerablemente pequeña, especialmente en cuanto a cargos de posesión y tráfico de estupefacientes.

5. Antecedentes Se Suponían Cerrados–Pero No Lo Estaban

El procedimiento para cerrar los antecedentes penales varía en las diferentes jurisdicciones. Una vez que un registro sea cerrado, se supone que es como si nunca hubiera existido. No obstante, si el proceso para cerrar el registro se hiciera de manera incorrecta o incompleta, aún puede aparecer en una revisión de antecedentes.

¿Cómo puede estar seguro de qué muestran sus antecedentes?

La manera más fácil es realizar una revisión de antecedentes usted mismo. Esto es útil no sólo para saber lo que una tercera persona —como un posible empleador—encontrará, sino también que le proveerá la información para corregir los errores. ¿Qué hacer si en verdad encontrara errores en su revisión de antecedentes?  Inmediátamente notifique a las autoridades federales, estatales, y a las autoridades judiciales de su localidad; y haga una petición formal para la corrección de los registros. Además, si un empleador —u otra persona que necesite una revisión de sus antecedentes—le notifica que se realizará una revisión, pida que le entreguen un duplicado del informe. Usted tiene derecho legal a recibir copias o duplicados de cualquier informe de antecedentes usado para tomar una decisión de empleo, precísamente para corregir cualquier información errónea.


English Version

Job Search in 2013? Try Social Networks.

There is no doubt that the job market has changed dramatically in the last couple of years. Traditional means of finding a job – newspapers, sending resumes to a ton of companies, even search firms – have been replaced permanently by job boards and social network postings.

The infographic below shows where job seekers are and which social networks they are using.

What Does Obamacare Mean to My Business?

Obamacare, Business, Employment, Full-time, Health insurance mandate, Insurance,  Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, United States, healthcare reform, small business, lawsWhat is Obamacare and when will it become effective?

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare as it is commonly referred to,  is the most comprehensive overhaul of the healthcare system in history. Over 50 million Americans are currently uninsured. Obamacare intends to attack that number with a vengeance. While 2012 and 2013 have and will bring changes, the big ones become effective in 2014. That is the year employer mandates come into effect and mandates on individuals as well. Many small businesses will become subject to the Obamacare rules.

Do I have to provide health insurance to my employees?

In 2014, under the employer mandate, employers are required to offer a minimum level of health insurance to full-time employees, or pay a penalty. This requirement is for employers with at least 50 full-time employees with full-time defined as at least 30 hours per week.

  • Failure to offer coverage to eligible employees will result in a $2,000 per year penalty, per full-time employee in excess of 30 employees,  if at least one employee receives a subsidy amount instead of direct coverage.
  • Failure to offer affordable or minimum level of coverage will result in a $3,000 penalty per year, per full-time employee who declines a company plan and receives a subsidy instead of direct coverage

These penalties are exclusive, but not intended to both apply.

What level of insurance do I have to provide if my business has at least 50 full-time employees?

A business must offer affordable or minimum level of coverage to full-time employees if the business is subject to the coverage rules.

  • Affordable coverage means the employee’s contribution for employee-only coverage must be below 9.5% of his/her W-2 income
  • The minimum level of coverage means the plan must cover at least 60% of covered health expenses

Can I limit worker’s hours in order to fall under the 50 full-time employee minimums?

So far, nothing in the law prohibits adjusting the hours of workers to allow a business to fall under the 50 full-time employee minimum. Bringing the number of full-time employees to fewer than 50 seems to be the most common strategy. This is not to say that further modifications to Obamacare won’t be enacted in the future. Each business must decide what actions to take to balance the welfare of its employees with the realities of running a business for profit.