Category Archives: Hospitality

Think Employee Lawsuits Can’t Happen to You?

Think again.

Discrimination in hiring can be costly when employees sue.When dealing with hiring issues, “I didn’t know” and “I didn’t mean to do that” are excuses that don’t get too much sympathy in court. Discrimination in hiring and firing are serious issues that can be very costly for your business. When cases go to trial awards can be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars because punitive awards are often tacked onto actual damage amounts. Fortunately, most cases are settled out of court somewhere in the middle of what a claimant asks for and what and employer believes is fair. The real winners are, you guessed it, the lawyers.

 So…what kinds of discrimination are common?

 Discrimination comes in many forms.
  • Age discrimination laws are designed to protect workers over the age of 40.
  • Race and ethnicity discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act requires reasonable accommodation in the workplace of disabled workers if the disability is known to the employer.
  • Several States have passed legislation that prohibits practice of excluding unemployed individuals in advertisements for job vacancies.
  • According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), A blanket refusal to hire workers based on criminal records or credit problems can be illegal if it has a undue impact on racial minorities,

 OK….How do I protect my company from discrimination actions?

Avoiding lawsuits, penalties and fines in employment related matters requires a framework of compliance measures put in place at your business and constant monitoring of your company’s compliance. That is one of the key benefits provided by human resource (HR) professionals.

You can employee in-house HR professionals or you can outsource that function. Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs) provide the HR functions on an “as needed” basis. PEOs can help establish the proper framework including employee handbooks, sensitivity training as well as procedures to deal with discrimination issues as they may develop.

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is an excellent resource for HR professionals to stay abreast of the laws and regulations surrounding the employer/employee relationship. They also have HR certification programs that result in Professional Human Resource (PHR) and Senior Professional Human Resource (SPHR) certificates.

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Even in the best of circumstances, recruiting, hiring and onboarding, the right person can be a challenge. Consider how much worse it would be if after all that, you hire the wrong person.

The cost of a lousy hire is nothing short of incredible!

You may not even be aware of exactly how much a bad hire will set your business back. Here are only a few of the bottom-line costs:

  • Hiring costs (both for a lousy hire and their replacement)
  • Total compensation
  • Employee support costs
  • Lost Productivity
  • Money missing due to neglected sales or business opportunities
  • Loss of clients and reputation

When deciding on a recruiting method for locating and selecting candidates, the sheer number of choices can be overwhelming. In recruitment, failure is never an option since making a poor hiring decision will surely cost your company time and money.

Maybe you are thinking, “How bad could it be?” Consider this; hiring the wrong person could add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. In some cases, the price tag of a poor hire can skyrocket into the millions of dollars!

That is money right off your bottom line.

For example, a second-level manager earning $62,000 per year could cost your business, after 2.5 years, more than $840,000 in associated costs.  The numbers might vary, but the math can apply to employees at every level of an organization.

If lost money and profits aren’t serious enough; add the potential negative impact a unsatisfactory employee can have on your company’s reputation, morale, and productivity. One lousy hire and your business could spend years to recover from the damage!

There is a way to reduce your chances of suffering with a bad hire. Ovation Technologies have all the tools your business needs to engage, screen and hire the best, most-qualified talent. From creating effective and accurate job descriptions to developing a reliable supply of candidates with the right experience, Ovation helps you hire the right person for any type of job.

Ovation even provides pre-hire criminal background checks, as well as driver’s license checks for jobs requiring drivers, truckers and heavy equipment operators.

In a new infographic from Resoomay, a terrible hire doesn’t just cost you time and money. Employees have to work harder to make up the difference, so a lousy hire might just cost your best employees, as well!

The cost of a bad hire far exceeds the cost of a new hire. So, recruit wisely. Use hiring tools such as http://ovationtechnologies.com to rank applicants, perform background screens, and electronically onboard.

Jobseekers – How to Nail a Job Interview

How to Nail a Job Interview, dress neatly, firm handshake, eye contact, be prepared. For a successful job interview, job seekers should be prepared by researching the company and if possible the person who will interview you.Everyone knows that first impressions are the ones that count. But, do you know how to deliver a great first impression at a job interview?

The impression you give on a social level is slightly different than on a job interview. On a social level, your goal is to get a positive acknowledgement that the person you are meeting isn’t weird. Sounds funny but on a personal level, people are initially usually expecting a simple exchange of words and body language to establish normalcy and then look for areas of common interest. If the normalcy bar is reached, the people will invest more of their time establishing a relationship in another. Below the bar (weird level) and people look for the exit.

In a job interview, you are under review and being judged by one with the power to literally change your life. Sounds ominous but not to worry, remember, the other person invited you to interview because they want to hire someone. If you aren’t weird, have the right credentials and present a positive first impression, you have a great chance of nailing it and getting the job.

So let’s look at a few things you can do to better your chances:

(You are on your own with the weird issue)

Do your homework on the company

Job seekers should research potential employers before the job interview. Also, if possible, check out the LinkedIn profile of your interviewer.First, Google the company and explore their website. There are two reasons to research a potential employer. First, make sure the organization is somewhere you want to work. Is the chemistry right for you? If it isn’t, success in landing the job will likely end in a short stint at the company and too many short-term jobs on your resume isn’t good. Second, be prepared to ask and answer questions about the company.

  • If the company has a blog, read it. Look over the website and to get a feel for their products and how they market them. Look at their “In the News” section to be aware of major happenings at the company.
  • If you know someone who works at the company, talk to them about the other people there and the work environment. If you know who will be interviewing you, Google them and also check out their LinkedIn profile.
  • At the end of the interview ask the person if you could take a copy of the company’s handbook along to review. Salespeople call this “assuming the sale”.

 Relax

Job Seekers should relax and breathe deeply before a job interview. Meditation and breathing exercises along with listening to relaxing music helps the job seeker prepare for the interview.While a lack of preparation is one of the biggest sources of anxiety, a well-prepared attitude may be one of the best relaxation techniques available. A positive attitude is contagious, spread yours around. Successful interviewing is all about passion and emotion. People remember positive attitudes, but they never forget fearful or negative ones. Be aware of your emotions and anxiety and before the interview, listen to some music or do some breathing exercises to get into a relaxed frame of mind. Avoid nervous body language like crossing of the arms or clutching your hands in front of your stomach. Look at the interview as a fun experience and it will likely become one.

Here are a few tips from Dale Carnegie, author of “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, that will help in a job interview

  • Offer a firm handshake
  • Maintain eye contact
  • Maintain good posture
  • Be respectful. “Yes Sir/Ma’am  No Sir/Ma’am” show respect
  • Give positive non-verbal communication (smile and nod head when in agreement)
  • Let the other person do a lot of talking
  • Don’t criticize, condemn or complain about past employers

Dress appropriately

Professional dress makes a great first impression for the job seeker. Dress neat and appropriatelyRegardless of how many interviews you have been to or how many you have scheduled, treat each as the last one you will need to go to. Look the part of someone a company would want to hire. A good rule of thumb, often used by successful salespeople, is to dress one level above the person you will be meeting with. In today’s business casual world, that means dress shirts and slacks for men and dresses or pant suits for women. Business casual should be the minimum level of dress for any job. A business interview is not the time to wear your best club clothes.

An employer will appreciate that you have intuitively known the proper dress and grooming. A banking or investment firm will likely mandate more formal attire, so anticipate that and show up accordingly. At many startups and design firms, the college look of tee shirts and sneakers are common. However, they will appreciate the importance you have given to the interview if you show up in business casual.

Remember – Good luck comes to those that bring it

A job interview is about showing a potential employer that you have the required skills and attitude for the job. It is also about demonstrating to the hiring person that you come without baggage and will fit into the company’s culture and its plan for success. Treat the interview as an opportunity to share how great you really are.

Help, I have been Stricken with Technology Blindness!

"Technology Blindness is when a person experiences anxiety about new technology and mentally freeze, unable to comprehend it.", "technology blindness", "Technology for Dummies", "new technology", "user friendly"Have you ever tried to explain some sort of technology, be it software or hardware, to someone who is less than receptive to the idea? It usually starts with them saying either “How does this work?” or “I can’t figure this out”. As you begin to explain, if they are already in a state of anxiety over their lack of comprehension,  a common reaction is them throwing their hands up in the air, either literally or figuratively, and experiencing a temporary case of ‘technology blindness’.

Technology blindness is a brain freeze caused by sheer anxiety. Often, the victim has experience in frustration with technology and has convinced themselves that software and “gadgets” just aren’t their thing. The human mind doesn’t particularly like feelings of incompetence or failure and might recognize those feelings about to descend upon it. Whatever the reason, the victim’s mind goes blank and their immediate reaction becomes, “Would you do it for me?”.

IT support people have dealt with technology blindness for many years and often develop a distain for its victims. One can almost read an IT person’s mind when a request for help arises- ‘”Yes, you dummy, I will perform miracles now”. You can’t blame them though when recipients of their wisdom typically gush praise when their problem is solved, often with a couple of keystrokes.

As many a psychologist will tell you, until victims of certain maladies want help, they must suffer.  One personal favorite way to cure technology blindness is to take a deep breath and remind yourself that most things are designed with the average person in mind. Onward, to the help files!

You Are Not Blind, Relax.

Ovation’s hiring platform was designed to be simple and it really is once you walk through it. Admittedly though, some users have had trouble getting going. Fortunately, for us, the stumbling blocks seem be limited to a couple of things that we are working on to make them more obvious. I have encouraged more than one user to give it a try and I tell them that if they hit a wall to give us a call. We also offer a weekly WebEx QuickStart demo on Thursdays.

Here at Ovation, we take turns with the after-hours requests for support. Incoming calls are forwarded to our cell phones and we can usually talk through problems quickly. Last week, I took one of the support calls from a user in California, Lane,  who stricken by technology blindness, wanted to know “What do I do?”. My first question was whether he had signed-up for the application. Hearing him say “How do I do that?”, I knew he had an extraordinary severe case of blindness and needed some tough love to regain vision.

I asked Lane if he would do me a favor. I said that our intent was to make Ovation a very easy to use, effective hiring platform.  I asked if he would go ahead and sign-up at the “Try it for Free” button and give it a try on his own. I was very curious to see if and where he might hit a wall in posting that first job. I made sure he understood that he could call back at any point and I would lead him forward. I ended the call with optimism.

Fifteen minutes later, I received a call from Lane. He said that he was successful in signing up and had a job ready to post. When he went to open the job, the system reminded him that opening the job would use the free first job post credit and asked if that was the intent. However, Lane couldn’t see where to click to agree and was stuck.

My blindness is cured!, technology blindness, help I'm stuck, It's a miracleI was already glad to hear he made it on his own. I knew what the problem was- browser incompatibility.  He was using an early version of Internet Explorer and it sometimes misses in rendering pop-ups completely. I walked him through switching to the Chrome browser and re-logging in. Now, the problem was fixed and he opened the job with ease. While I was on the phone, we walked through publishing the job to Indeed and SimplyHired and I congratulated Lane on his success. Lane was really relieved and happy. He was cured!

As we develop and improve our platform, we have the user in mind. Ovation is designed to make hiring easier and organize the process. And, cure blindness!

Save Time Using Job Search Websites to Find Employees

Are you tired of looking for employees?

competitive job market, job seekers, employers, good candidatesIn today’s competitive global job market, finding quality employees continues to be a challenge. Job search websites are a very powerful tool for recruiting applicants, with benefits that often get overlooked by small businesses.

So, what are job search websites?

Job search websites are sites where job seekers can apply for jobs instantly. Conversely, they are sites that employers can post job openings. There are websites that gather the results of many of such sites, and plainly present the choices to the job seeker. Indeed.com and Simplyhired.com are two such sites, with up to 7.5 million visitors per site each month. According to a survey conducted by Beyond.com, “87% of Baby Boomers choose job boards as the resource they turn to first in a job search, followed by 82% of Gen X and 77% of Gen Y where all generations spent between 5 and 20 hours per week searching for jobs online”.

How do these sites work?

Whenever a prospective employee fills out an online application, it is stored in a database. The same goes for when an employer posts a job opening. Then these indexing sites gather all the information from these databases, from multiple different sites. Think Google, except they specify in searching employment websites for data instead of the entire web. This saves both the employer and applicant time by only having to visit one site, and getting the benefit of visiting many.

What are the benefits of using employment websites?

If your not already using job search sites to advertise your jobs, your missing out. Employers who have adapted benefit from:

  • Saving time by only posting your opening on one site.
  • Employment websites are usually free for the job seeker. This increases the number of people that visit them.
  • Search engines help narrow results, allowing you to see only the relevant information.
  • With internet based searching, job seekers from all over will see your post.
  • A resume can be uploaded, allowing employers more searchable data.
  • The time it takes to update your post is significantly less.

How can employers get more applicants for the job?

There are many tools available that can help employers create high-ranking job listings, effectively increasing the number and quality of applicants you get for that listing. This works like SEO for normal websites. Through certain techniques, these tools can help get your listing at the top of its class where everyone can see it.

Starting the search for good employees is easy

If you want to hire the best employees, you have to start by being visible where the best talent is spending the majority of their time searching; online. The Ovation hiring tool will help you find good employees.  Try Ovation free for 30 days and see how your business can harness the power of job search websites.

Your Best Employees Are Working for Someone Else

For most hospitality businesses, hiring is a chore—eating up time and money—and as a result, restaurants have become notorious for high turnover rates.

passive job seekers are the highest quality employees for your restaurant, profile of a job candidate, job seekersThe task of finding new people is seen as a constant distraction to most restaurant owners because it takes them away from what they believe to be most important—providing the best service possible for their patrons! Over time, the cycle of hiring-training-firing-hiring has become known as a necessary evil and for many restaurant owners this is still the case. 

But does it have to be this way?

Look around your restaurant. Do your employees convey the quality, excellence and friendly environment you worked hard to establish?

Most restaurants, bars and nightclubs rely exclusively on walk-ins for their hiring pool. Why? The main reason is that we like to size up potential employees in-person to see if they fit the look and feel of our establishment. As you may have learned the hard way, relying solely on walk-ins can limit the scope and therefore the quality of employees that you have to choose from.

So where are all of these seasoned, experienced service industry job seekers? The answer is simple. They are currently working in other restaurants, and an alarming 74% of them are actively looking for a better place to work. In fact, 35% of these applicants, known as “passive job seekers”, start preparing for their next job search within weeks of starting a new one.

According to Careerbuilder.com, “long before candidates even step through a potential employer’s doors, they’ve already engaged with that employer in some way to find out about its reputation as an employer – much the same way consumers research potential purchases before even going to the store”.

So how do you reach this untapped spring of talent? Well, they’re certainly not “walking-in” your door but they are searching for job opportunities on the internet. Job seekers are conducting their job search by visiting your company website, social media and job boards.

The Ovation hiring tool allows you to reach more of these passive job seekers without the hassle of logging in and out of multiple job boards and social networks. Simply create your open job position in the Ovation app and it is automatically published to several popular networks with the click of a button. These highly-qualified job seekers can now find your business while searching on the web.

So, who would you rather spend your valuable time interviewing,  walk-ins off the street—or hospitality workers with excellent customer service running deep in their blood; people who love what they do?

Great people are out there and you might even see them now and then—working for someone else. Try Ovation absolutely free for 30 days and see the difference hiring automation can make on your quality of service and your bottom line.

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.