Operations

A phone with a QR code next to food and text reading "How Has Technology Changed Restaurants?"

How Has Technology Changed Restaurants?

How Has Technology Changed Restaurants? 1016 528 Sprockets

It’s easy to see how innovations like smartphones and social media platforms have changed the way we socialize, but what about the dining experience? How has technology changed restaurants? It’s crucial for owners and operators to explore this topic so they can learn lessons from the past, stay ahead of the latest trends, and implement the best solutions for their business. Find out everything you need to know about innovations in the restaurant industry and schedule a free demo of our hiring platform to discover how technology can boost your employee retention by 43%!

Restaurant Technology and Trends

1. Mobile Ordering

Looking back now, the world seemed entirely different just five or ten years ago. The idea of ordering food on a phone before going to the restaurant might have seemed absurd. Fast-food restaurants and technological advances have changed that.

The first major tests with mobile ordering began in 2014 when Taco Bell and Outback Steakhouse announced that customers would be able to order using an app so their food would be ready when they arrived at the restaurant. The popularity of mobile apps for restaurants caught on, and many companies have created their own apps since then.

The trend grew steadily over the next few years but skyrocketed since the COVID-19 pandemic created challenges for eating inside restaurants. Thanks to new technology in the foodservice industry, we could be looking at the future of restaurants and food delivery. Ten years from now, people might wonder why people ever waited to get to the restaurant before ordering at all.

2. Self-Service Kiosks

In addition to mobile ordering, many restaurants have implemented self-service kiosks. These can be free-standing displays at the front of QSR establishments or touch-screen devices at tables. These kiosks make it more convenient for customers to order food and pay their bills. It can also help speed up operations by saving time in the ordering process.

While this new technology in restaurants has been met with some concerns that it replaces human labor and eliminates jobs, this isn’t the case. It simply enhances the experience for employees and enables them to spend more time providing spectacular customer service. The technology will also prevent the staff from being overworked and lead to a better work-life balance.

3. QR Codes

While paying through a tablet or a phone app is a popular solution, some restaurants have chosen another route and created a payment method based on QR codes. Every restaurant does this their own way, with some of them putting the codes at every table and others having a few codes posted in specific locations at the restaurant.

These QR codes can be scanned from a phone and will open an interactive menu. After ordering, you can then easily pay for your food. They are a great way to save time and, much like a self-service kiosk, should help keep your workers from getting overwhelmed.

4. Scheduling Technology

Poor planning can turn a successful business into a disaster overnight. The good news is that we now have more technology to help with time management. Scheduling software is a great way to manage employees and decide what shifts they should work without spending hours staring at a computer document or calendar.

Much of this software can even be found in the form of phone apps, which makes it that much more convenient. Phone app or not, these types of software solutions often come with some very useful features, like a group messaging function that you can use to communicate with employees and an availability tracker to remind you which employees can and can’t work certain shifts.

5. Voice-Assisted Ordering

Ever since the creation of voice-assisted technologies, such as Siri or Amazon’s Alexa, people have been looking for new ways to incorporate voice technology into their lives. One interesting innovation in the restaurant industry has been voice-assisted food ordering.

This technology is convenient for customers and allows restaurant workers to track customer orders and note any dietary needs they might have. This allows the staff members to get their customers the foods they like as quickly and safely as possible. Some voice-assisted ordering solutions even suggest additional items that the customers might want to pair with their meal, creating a better customer experience and generating additional revenue for the restaurant.

6. Sprockets’ Predictive Hiring Platform

Someone on a laptop hiring hourly employees with SprocketsProductive employees are the gears that make your restaurant run as efficiently as possible, and Sprockets makes it easy to build these top-notch teams. Our AI-powered platform uses a brief, three-question survey to identify which applicants will succeed like your top performers. Then, you can simply look at the red-yellow-green scoring system to see who you should hire. It empowers you to make the best hiring decisions every time and improves employee retention by an average of 43%. Get your free demo today!

A man looking at his empty wallet with text reading, "The Importance of Investing in Your Employees' Financial Wellness"

The Importance of Investing in Your Employees’ Financial Wellness

The Importance of Investing in Your Employees’ Financial Wellness 1016 528 Sprockets

As much as you’d like your employees to leave personal issues at home and give 110% in the workplace, it’s easier said than done. This request becomes even more unrealistic when the two are linked, like problems with employee financial wellness. Employers who wish to improve their company culture, morale, and productivity must address these types of issues. And, it’s not as simple as telling workers to forget their worries. Discover the real, quantifiable effects of financial stress on employees and help ease concerns with the strategies below.

How Financial Wellness Affects Employees

Someone’s financial situation influences much more than their bank statement. Studies show that monetary issues cause severe stress, anxiety, and depression. It can even weaken your immune system and impair your decision-making. This is especially concerning when you consider that an estimated two-thirds of Americans experience financial stress. Employers must recognize this issue and reduce the negative impact on their employees’ physical and mental health.

How It Impacts Your Business

The COVID-19 pandemic prompted a comprehensive study by PwC that yielded some shocking statistics about employee financial wellness. For instance, 45% of workers dealing with financial challenges reported being distracted in the workplace, and 72% said they would leave their jobs for another company that cared more about their financial well-being. Plus, since the stress weakens their immune systems, it’s more likely for people to get sick and need to take time off unexpectedly. Improving the financial wellness of employees benefits your business by potentially boosting productivity, increasing retention, and avoiding the costs of turnover. It may even help with applicant flow if job seekers see that your company values its workers.

How to Fortify Their Finances

There are various employee financial wellness programs and initiatives that you should consider implementing at your company if you haven’t already done so. One idea is to raise wages for hourly workers like McDonald’s and other fast-food restaurants have done. You can also boost morale and put some extra money in people’s pockets when they need it most by giving workers holiday bonuses. Additional employee benefits can include financial education, access to financial advisors, and even tuition reimbursement. 

Discover More Employee Retention Strategies

The Franchisees' guide to Employee TurnoverThere are several reasons why financial wellness is a must-have employee benefit, including the positive impact it can have on retention. That means less time and money spent on the hiring process. If you’d like to learn more ways to improve employee retention, then make sure you check out The Franchisees’ Guide to Employee Turnover! You’ll discover the hidden effects of turnover, common causes, and proven strategies to conquer this costly problem.

Restaurant workers with text reading, "Why You Need to Create Career Pathways for Hourly Workers"

3 Reasons Why You Need to Create Career Pathways for Hourly Workers

3 Reasons Why You Need to Create Career Pathways for Hourly Workers 1016 528 Sprockets

It might seem impossible to attract and retain high-quality hourly workers, but there are a few proven solutions you can implement to quickly stabilize staffing levels. In addition to using Sprockets’ Applicant Matching System to boost retention by 43%, we recommend creating career pathways for your employees.

While many business owners and operators have raised wages to attract job seekers, that’s only a piece of the puzzle. It has increased applicant flow in some cases, but it’s a short-term solution. Workers who aren’t engaged or don’t feel a sense of loyalty to your business are likely to leave once a competitor offers an even higher wage. Consider providing employee growth opportunities so workers see their role as less of a job and more of a long-term career.

The Importance of Creating Career Pathways for Employees

1. It Helps Attract Applicants

A company’s culture and core values can significantly influence a job seeker’s decision to apply for a position. When you promote the fact that hourly employees have access to career growth plans, it shows people that you value their individual success and well-being. Be sure to include this in your job postings, company website, and even social media profiles.

2. It Can Boost Retention

A study conducted by WorldatWork revealed that employers who do not invest in training and developing employees will ultimately lose them to competitors. So, you can either deal with costly turnover or boost productivity and engagement by offering career growth opportunities. The return on investment makes it incredibly worthwhile to simply outline career pathways and conduct a little extra training.

3. It Reduces Hiring Costs

The savings don’t stop with retention. It’s much more cost-effective to hire from within, and these loyal employees already know the ins and outs of the business. External hires actually tend to score worse on performance reviews and are 61% more likely to get fired despite having more industry experience. Save money by saving your current employees!

Tips for How to Create a Career Pathway Plan

Be Transparent

You don’t want to be that employer who makes empty promises. Clearly define the roles and steps to climb the ladder so you can accurately discuss the process with potential hires. And, if you can’t offer career growth opportunities, let them know. It’s better to be transparent than deal with disgruntled employees and negative reviews on job sites. 

Discuss the Employee’s Goals

These development opportunities and training programs should be mutually beneficial for both employers and employees. That’s why it’s crucial to meet with workers, particularly in a one-on-one setting, to talk about where they see themselves at the company. Have an open conversation and work together on a plan to help them achieve their goals.

Set up SMART Objectives

The career development plan that you create should include SMART objectives (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound). This ensures there’s no confusion about what the employee needs to accomplish to reach their ideal position with the company. It also keeps a record of what you’ve discussed, sets realistic expectations, and makes it easy to track progress.

Predict Applicant Success — Before the Interview

The Sprockets platformCreating career pathways can be a complete waste of time if you don’t hire the right applicants. Some job seekers are simply looking for a quick paycheck and will leave within a few months no matter what incentives you set up for them. Luckily, Sprockets’ AI-powered solution identifies which applicants will succeed and stay long-term. 

Sprockets eliminates wasted interview time, reduces costly turnover, and enables you to focus on daily operations. It’s proven to work and trusted by numerous businesses, like a Bojangles franchise group that achieved 95% employee retention in 90 days during the peak of the labor crisis!

See how Sprockets works and get all your questions answered with a free 15-minute demo!

A man washing dishes with text reading, "Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills: What Truly Matters in the Workplace"

Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills: What Truly Matters in the Workplace

Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills: What Truly Matters in the Workplace 1016 528 Sprockets

A business is only as good as its employees, so how do you build the best team possible? The answer is simple: Find applicants with the ideal combination of hard and soft skills. It’s easy (although time-consuming) to simply filter through resumes based on specific criteria like education and industry experience. This may prove effective for finding people who can fulfill their roles and do the bare minimum, but it’s only a small piece of the puzzle. 

We challenge you to go beyond the resume to gather a group of people who will go above and beyond as individuals, and most importantly, as a team. Learn what we mean by hard skills vs. soft skills and discover how you can use Sprockets’ AI-powered platform to easily identify the ideal applicants!

Hard Skills Versus Soft Skills in the Workplace

What’s the Difference Between Hard and Soft Skills?

While hard skills (also known as technical skills) show an applicant’s ability to perform certain tasks, soft skills are the personality traits that reveal how they’ll behave in the workplace. They can be more difficult to pinpoint than hard skills, which are easily measurable, but finding employees with the right set of soft skills has a direct impact on the performance of your business.

Examples of Hard Skills:

  • Computer Programming
  • Graphic Design
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Video Production

Examples of Soft Skills:

  • Adaptability
  • Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Creativity
  • Leadership

Why Are Soft Skills Important?

An applicant is more than a resume — they are a person with their own unique goals, interests, and personalities. While a potential hire might possess the right skills on paper, they might not mesh well with your team or company culture and end up leaving after a month. Then, you have to start the hiring process all over again, costing you valuable time and money. (That’s definitely not a budget-friendly recruitment strategy.) Avoid potential headaches, expenses, and lost productivity by making soft skills a major part of your recruitment strategy. They’re often more important than hard skills!

See Which Applicants Have the Ideal Soft Skills

Someone on a laptop hiring hourly employees with SprocketsYou essentially have two options when it comes to identifying soft skills: Ask applicants specific questions during the interview process and rely on your gut feeling or use Sprockets’ AI-powered solution to measure over 50 personality traits for you! Our Applicant Matching System predicts success by evaluating potential hires based on the mental makeup of your current top-performing employees. You’ll see simple “fit scores” from one to 10 and know who you should hire even before the interview!

A man cleaning tables at a restaurant and text reading, "How to Manage an Underperforming Employee"

How to Manage an Underperforming Employee: The Easy Way

How to Manage an Underperforming Employee: The Easy Way 1016 528 Sprockets

As a business owner or operator, you are bound to face underperforming employees at one point or another. Either they are not providing the output required by their position, or there is a significant decrease in the quality of their work. But, while underperformance might be considered natural with the ebb and flow of a business, it can affect other workers if not handled quickly, ultimately undermining the performance of your whole organization.

There are a number of proven strategies for managing underperforming employees. Having a formal process will help manage this without the risk of breaching any employment contract or registration. Let’s take a look at how you can accomplish this.

Characteristics of an Underperforming Employee

Your first move should be to identify the underperforming employee.

An underperforming employee is typically one who:

  •         Consistently fails to meet deadlines
  •         Has a poor record of quality in their work
  •         Displays laziness when it comes to task execution
  •         Provides poor customer service

Therefore, take a look at your team members and ask yourself which ones exhibit the above traits. You can do this by merely observing them or using information from their performance reports.

How Do You Inspire an Underperforming Employee?

Now that you’ve discovered who the “weak links” are, your next move is to help them get back on track, right? Well, it is important to first understand the cause of the underperformance. You can then come up with an appropriate plan of action.

What Is Causing the Underperformance?

In some cases, you’ll find the reason behind the underperformance is beyond the employee’s control. For instance, the employee might not be performing simply because they don’t fully understand what is expected of them or they lack sufficient training.

Start by asking the following questions:

  •         Does the employee have the essential skills needed for the job?
  •         Does the employee fully know what is expected for their role?
  •         Did the company give the employee enough training before starting the job?
  •         Is it possible that their workload is too high?
  •         Could the employee be facing personal issues that hinder them from doing their job?
  •         Is there effective communication between the employee and management?
  •         Is there a motivation issue, like the employee wanting recognition or a promotion?

Most of these cases can be solved with a bit of training or improvement in communication. As an employer, it is your duty to ensure that the employees have all the tools necessary to accomplish the task at hand.

Tips for Managing Underperforming Employees

Here are a few steps you can take to handle the underperformance issues:

1. Active Listening

The only way you can identify what is really causing the underperformance is by actively listening to the employee. For best results, you want to use a friendly, informal approach. Employees feel motivated when they know that management is keen to listen to them without bias.

Start by asking how the employee is doing and whether something is bothering them. Remain neutral and empathetic, looking at the situation from their side. You can also involve their line manager or supervisor in the chat. Since they already have a working relationship, it might be easier talking through them. Finally, end the conversation with a note for improvement. Encourage the employee that they are free to voice their concerns whenever they want.

2. Consistent Feedback

Constructive criticism has been proven to encourage employees to perform well while making them feel fulfilled. It helps them know where they are doing well and which areas still need improvement.

The key here is to do it regularly. During the time, make sure you let the employee voice their opinions or concerns.

3. Personalized Training

If you discover that the underperformance is due to insufficient training, your best move would be to offer personalized training while tracking changes in performance. Teaching some underrated skills, such as soft skills in presentation and communication, can go a long way in improving employee morale and performance.

Once you identify where they fall short, focus on addressing those specific weaknesses. This should help solve the problem.

4. Clear Expectations

Ensure that the employee knows the objectives that they are expected to meet so they can actively work towards achieving them. By the end of the chat, they should have a holistic understanding of where they fit in the organization as well as how their contribution impacts the organization.

5. Performance Goals

Next up is to lay out the performance goals together with the employee. The trick is to use techniques like SMART. This means the performance indicators should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely.

It is crucial that you involve the employee in setting their own goals. This way, they’ll be more committed to achieving the goal.

6. Effective Recruitment

Often, you’ll find underperformance tracing back to the onboarding process.  Either the employee’s skills were not matched to the role assigned when hiring, or they were not clearly told what is expected of them. In this case, you’ll need to restructure your recruitment or onboarding process.

When recruiting, always check that the employee has the required skills. Ultimately, this will result in a quality team of workers.

7. “Silent” Aide

Sometimes, assigning a “silent” aide to the underperforming employee may be the best solution. This can be in the form of an employee who is in the same department that can help mentor them. Just keep in mind that the aide should still be able to execute their own role without distraction.

8. Recognition

The reason for underperformance can also be because the employee gets no incentives or rewards for a job well done. Naturally, the employee feels unappreciated and gradually stops making any effort. You can solve this by setting up a recognition program to keep your employees motivated to do better.

9. Disciplinary Action

It is important to follow up with a second meeting to review their performance. Here is where you go over the previously set goals and give respective feedback. If the employee is still unwilling to improve, then disciplinary action can be taken. This can be through a formal warning or even termination of employment. Of course, this has to follow the guidelines set in the company’s policy. Always keep a written record of the discussions that you have with the employee in case the information is required in the future.

10. Predict Applicant Success With Sprockets

A seasonal employee at a restaurantSometimes the cause of an underperforming employee could be due to them not having the right company fit. If that’s the case for some underperforming employees, let Sprockets AI-powered platform assist in the hiring quality of your future talent. Our applicant matching software is used to find applicants based on the top-performing employees in your company and reduce employee turnover. Improving your hiring process today won’t only save you time, but also save your company money in the long run. Schedule a demo today to learn more!

A restaurant worker and text reading, "What Are the Traits of Engaged Employees?"

What Are the Traits of Engaged Employees?

What Are the Traits of Engaged Employees? 1016 528 Sprockets

Often underrated, engaged employees are one of the greatest assets you can have as a business owner or operator. These select individuals are highly motivated and enthusiastic about what they do. They go the extra mile in making sure their deliverables are met, ultimately translating to better productivity and profits for your organization.

Engaged individuals are also generally more pleasant to be around. They are like a breath of fresh air in the workplace, making it enjoyable and lively for everyone coming to work. It is vital that you learn to identify engaged employees and spot those whose engagement is lacking so you can work out a strategy on how to increase overall productivity. Now, while there are a lot of distinguishable traits that can help identify engaged employees, we will take a look at the ones that actually matter.

What Defines an Engaged Employee?

An engaged employee can best be described as an individual who is highly driven and motivated to do their work well. Engaged employees have a deep emotional commitment to fulfilling their role, helping their team, and achieving company goals. They connect to your organization’s missions and actively work toward making a contribution to its success.

From that definition alone, it is pretty easy to spot an engaged employee. It will be the person who’s always running up and down, doing the most in the organization. You’ll find them following up on ongoing projects, offering suggestions and feedback even without being prompted. All in all, engaged individuals do not shy away from responsibilities. They always do their best to give satisfactory output.

While these traits might seem minor, they can go a long way in keeping your business ahead of the competition.

Characteristics of Highly Engaged Teams and Employees Include

While there are several traits that can be linked to engaged employees, here are the most fundamental traits you’ll spot:

1. Reliable

Engaged employees can always be trusted to deliver on time. Whenever they have a task delegated or assigned to them, they will do it wholeheartedly and see to its completion regardless of the circumstances. They will carry out the task with a positive mindset because they believe their objectives are aligned with those of the organization.

2. Positive

These are the employees that harbor the “can-do” approach to any task assigned to them. They are open to new, challenging assignments and have the emotional capacity to handle them without complaining.

Engaged employees carry with them an aura of positivity, and they are always happy to be at the workplace. You won’t find them quarreling, or making excuses for failed tasks. Basically, they seemingly work toward easing your burden as a manager.

3. Collaborative

These sorts of employees are always happy to assist when needed and are great team players. Since their goals align with those of the organization, they will happily work with others to get the job done, rather than only focus on their own duties.

Collaboration also means actually wanting other colleagues to achieve their goals while helping them get there. Engaged employees are quick to adapt and support each other even without the intervention of their superiors.

Overall, the workplace becomes more pleasant for workers. Productivity also increases since employees are working together instead of competing against each other.

4. Motivated

Whenever a project begins, an engaged employee will be fully committed to seeing it through. These employees show up on time, even working additional hours until their share of work is complete.

Such employees are willing to do difficult tasks without any resentment. They know almost all the processes within the organization, even in different departments.

5. Resilient

In the case of a setback, engaged employees always bounce back quickly. They take setbacks as lessons and learn how to prevent them from recurring.

They are great students of change and are often the ones encouraging their colleagues to keep up and not get disheartened. Ultimately, by fostering such work ethic, your organization and its various departments learn how to better handle downtime.

6. Innovative

These employees do not back down from challenges. They face them head-on and come up with new and creative ways of solving them. This means being able to see beyond the day-to-day tasks and embrace the bigger picture. By doing so, it inspires fresh ideas. An engaged employee will think outside the box and take calculated risks for the sake of improving the organization.

7. Well-Spoken

Effective communication keeps the workflow easy and open throughout the organization. People are able to express their ideas and concerns and ultimately inspire improvements. Engaged employees are able to do this effortlessly. They are not afraid to share their opinions with their peers or higher-level colleagues.

Communication skills also include being a good listener. An engaged employee will take and give constructive feedback and know the exact role they play in the organization. Instead of relying on speculations and assumptions, engaged employees seek clarity in everything they do, leading to efficient operations.

What You Should Do If Your Employees Are Disengaged

While not everybody can be an engaged employee right from the start, that doesn’t mean you give up on them. Some of them just need a little push to get there. Below are some proven ways to improve employee engagement:

1. Mentorship Programs

Mentorship programs are some of the best ways of instilling values or educating a group of individuals. You can start by establishing a program that focuses on improving your employees’ weaknesses and boosting their strengths.

A great way to do this would be having them choose a leader or colleague in the organization who excels where they are weak. This will give them a chance to grow and track their progress.

2. Recognition

Another great way of boosting employee morale is by giving them recognition when they do a good job or achieve a milestone. This will let your employees know they are valued and even increase team participation. You can achieve this via simple things, such as congratulatory emails, bonuses, and mentions in company meetings.

3. Team Building

Employees take comfort knowing that their needs are listened to and that they have the support of the organization behind them. You can do this through team-building and empowerment programs.

Giving your employees a voice in key decisions revolving around their expertise makes them feel important. Team building will make them feel like they belong to the organization and are part of the team. You can come up with simple routines, like outings for lunch-and-learns or delegating other important tasks to other members of the team.

Hire the Best Workers From the Start

Restaurant workers in a team meeting

Finding engaged employees really starts with sourcing the right talent from the beginning. At Sprockets, we believe that it is crucial to find someone who meshes with your team and fits into the company with their attitude, work ethic, and values.

We have developed AI-powered software that makes finding good employees easier than ever. Our applicant matching software does this by analyzing your top talent and identifying the most suitable applicants for your organization. Also, Sprockets allows you to keep open positions in front of the applicants who best fit your organization with our virtual recruiter and sourcing tools. To learn more, feel free to contact one of our platform experts today for a free demo.

Two women in an interview and text reading, "What Does Pre-Boarding Mean, And Why Should You Care About It?"

What Does Pre-Boarding Mean, and Why Should You Care About It?

What Does Pre-Boarding Mean, and Why Should You Care About It? 1016 528 Sprockets

Don’t let your new hires have a long, tedious gap between accepting a job offer and starting their new job. Instead, keep them engaged with news, interactions, onboarding processes, and more. See how to strengthen your pre-boarding process and learn why that’s so important.

What Does Pre-Boarding Mean?

Pre-boarding is the entire process from when a job candidate formally accepts a job offer to their first day on the job. This includes organizing paperwork, preparing the technology that your new employee will need on day one, and more. While some of these tasks may take place entirely during the pre-boarding stage (such as creating accounts in digital portals), a lot of the administrative work is best saved for the actual onboarding process — the period between day one of the employee’s new role and when training is complete.

Most businesses implicitly have a pre-boarding process that consists of having a new hire complete payroll forms or discussing when their first day will be. However, this isn’t engaging or personalized. And, if the gap between offer acceptance and their first day is too long, everyone’s excitement will wane.

Instead, your pre-boarding should focus on building engagement. Just because your new employee has accepted the offer doesn’t mean the hiring process is done. After all, they might still receive a better offer from a competing company and decide to accept that instead. The relationship also might sour due to bad press, poor communication, or simple disinterest. Some elements of pre-boarding you can add to your company’s process include:

  • Scheduling a tour of the office
  • Having a get-together with their new team
  • Sending engaging documents about your benefits packages
  • Maintaining consistent, two-way communication

Some of the key benefits of pre-boarding new hires before their first day include:

Building Connections

No one enjoys feeling like the new kid at school. If your new hire has only ever received impersonal emails from your HR department, they won’t know anyone. They’ll arrive on the first day feeling nervous rather than excited. However, a video meet and greet, lunch with their new team, or even some friendly emails can set the tone and ensure your new hire knows someone on their first day.

Gaining Momentum

According to Harvard Business Review, “Nearly 33% of new hires look for a new job within their first six months on the job.” That period includes the pre-boarding gap. By starting the onboarding process before new hires reach the office, you can keep your new hire’s attention and make them feel invested sooner. 

Establishing Stronger Employee Experiences

A bland pre-boarding experience will cause you to lose employees being engaged by other businesses. But even if the direct risks seem negligible, it’s still a missed opportunity. Employees will remember how the pre-boarding and onboarding processes made them feel, and that’s going to affect their opinion of your company culture.

The pre-boarding process also affects your existing employees. If they feel involved in welcoming a new employee, whether it’s a team member or manager, they’ll build better connections.

How to Pre-Board New Hires

Once you know you want to strengthen your company’s pre-boarding practices, it’s all about building processes that work best for your organization. Make sure the pre-boarding journey includes these elements:

  1. A welcome celebration: This can be via email, phone, or (especially in today’s modern workplace) a video call. This should generate excitement and increase familiarity.
  2. All the information they need for onboarding: Payroll, benefits, security processes… All of this information should be given as clearly and succinctly as possible. After all, you don’t want to bog down your new hire with a bunch of unpaid work, but you want them to know all the perks of your organization.
  3. Send them communications about day-to-day happenings and major shifts in the organization: The sooner they feel like an informed member of the team, the better. 
  4. Behind-the-scenes organization: New hire-facing onboarding isn’t all there is to the pre-boarding process. Make sure your teams are using the time gap wisely to get the new hire’s laptop, office space, and licenses ready to roll out. This will make day one feel less hectic and more professional, increasing overall engagement.

Pre-Onboarding Best Practices for Companies

If your company is growing, you don’t have time to build a completely customized pre-boarding experience for each employee. That takes too much time and might leave necessary to-do’s forgotten. Instead, focus on incorporating these best practices:

Have an Established Workflow

While you want to customize the experience, the process should be clear-cut. Create a numbered workflow so your HR department and hiring team can check tasks off the list and stay organized.

Make the Process (and the Records) Virtual

Even if your workplace is in-person, virtualizing the pre-boarding documents makes everything easier. Build your systems to accommodate digital PDFs and electronic signatures instead of physical ones.

Minimize Bottlenecks

Take stock of your entire pre-boarding process so every step runs smoothly from one step to the next without having to wait for signatures or processing. For example, you can start the longest pre-boarding task toward the beginning of the process.

Pre-boarding keeps your new hires engaged and makes day one a better experience for everyone. If you are looking to gain more new hires to your company, software tools may be your answer. These tools can help you manage the hiring process, have happier employees in the long run, and increase new hire retention.

Streamline the Hiring Process With Sprockets

A fast-food service workerAt Sprockets, we found out that finding the right, long-term applicant started with the hiring process. So, we created a dedicated AI-powered platform that makes it possible for hiring managers to forecast the best fit for any job, saving them time and money. Take the hassle out of searching for the ideal applicant and sit back while our applicant matching software discovers them for you!

Someone holding a "Hiring" sign with text reading, "7 Tips for Recruiting on a Budget"

7 Tips for Recruiting on a Budget

7 Tips for Recruiting on a Budget 1016 528 Sprockets

The recruitment process involves finding applicants with the best skillset and personality for the job. Finding the right fit takes time and can be expensive, especially if you can’t afford to break the bank by hiring new employees. Instead, take a look at the different ways to bring in applicants without spending too much time and money.

 

What Is Recruitment Cost?

Recruitment cost is the total cost that an organization spends on recruiting new hires. The cost includes the time the job has been posted for when the new hire joins the organization. Analyzing the recruitment cost is crucial for the company’s profit analysis.

What Is a Recruitment Budget?

The recruitment budget is the estimate of all the costs your organization incurs when hiring new employees. It includes both external and internal costs. This can be anything from the recruiters’ salary, advertising expenses, and training. It’s worthwhile to have your recruitment budget aligned with the organization’s long-term business strategies.

7 Tips for Recruiting on a Budget

1. Determine Your Recruitment Plan

Here are a few things you should consider when determining your annual recruitment plan:

  • What is the number of new hires you want to recruit?
  • Will you have seasonal hires?
  • What is your employee turnover?
  • Will you have high-volume hires?

Answering the above questions will help you create a recruitment plan. The plan will help you know the yearly hires you need in your department. Make sure you talk to your managers to identify the annual headcount. It will be costly to hire staff only to realize they are not the right fit for the role.

2. Have an Expenditure Breakdown

You should calculate the amount you spend on recruitment every month. Here’s a quick breakdown that can be useful in determining the monthly budget:

  • Cost per hire
  • Job advert costs
  • Recruitment software costs
  • Background check on potential staff
  • Branding
  • External recruitment agency fees
  • Interview expenses
  • Salaries
  • Onboarding costs
  • Training costs

3. Keep an Eye on Historical Costs

If you have larger recruitment drives, it’s worthwhile to have an overview of the fixed costs. That way, you’ll understand the costly elements, like job fairs, agency costs, and recruitment tools. While analyzing your fixed expenses, make sure you know the annual recruitment expenditure. You should only allocate money to successful strategies.

4. Take Advantage of Technology

It can be time-consuming to find the right recruits. Luckily, you can take advantage of emerging technologies to streamline the recruitment process. With proper tools, you can analyze a large volume of data and identify the applicants who are best suited for the role. Recruiting technology will save you hours every day.

Innovation will help you recruit on a budget. When you have the right software, you’ll save time and effort. Having the right tools makes it easy to sort through unsuitable applicants so you only get the best hires. When choosing recruitment tools, consider the cost as well as the logistics of integrating with existing tools.

5. Leverage Employees

The best resource for finding new hires is your current employees. Using your employees will save you time and money. Furthermore, applicants referred by current employees will stay longer in the organization and have higher job satisfaction. Reach out to your employees for recommendations.

A referral bonus is an excellent motivation for your staff. This helps to encourage your employees to refer their friends and will ensure you have top-quality hires at a reduced cost.

6. Track Your Time

Knowing how long it takes your organization to recruit new hires will ensure your budget works better for you. Smaller companies take longer to hire. A larger organization, on the other hand, will employ often. You can also track additional metrics, such as:

  • Candidate quality
  • Source of hire
  • Quality of hire
  • Turnover rate
  • Retention rate

7. Use Digital Channels

In recent years, social recruiting has gained popularity, and many organizations are embracing it as a recruitment strategy. Social media is used by 70% of hiring managers to hire new staff. Social media channels allow you to post about open roles and reduce recruitment costs. You can also use social media to build your employer’s brand.

How Sprockets Can Help

A testimonial about McHireIt’s vital to know how much you spend on recruitment and use that information to manage your budget. Even with a small budget, you can still get the best hires for your organization.

If you’re looking for an intelligent tool to hire quality staff for your company, Sprockets can help. Sprockets uses AI-powered hiring software to match applicants based on the current top-performing and reduce employee turnover. Contact us today to improve your recruitment process.

 

Get a Free Demo

A businessman on a phone with text reading, "How to Create a Mobile Recruiting Strategy to Attract More Applicants"

How to Create a Mobile Recruiting Strategy to Attract More Applicants

How to Create a Mobile Recruiting Strategy to Attract More Applicants 1016 528 Sprockets

Recruitment will further rely heavily on data, AI, and technology. Therefore, engagement and onboarding tactics must match today’s needs via data-driven solutions. Imagine a world where you don’t have to leave your desk to access the greatest talent out there. Instead, they’re accessible directly from your smartphone.

While mobile recruitment is not new, it has undoubtedly grown popular in recent years. This is due to the ability to reach targets that perhaps traditional methods can’t. Recruitment processes can be frustratingly slow if you don’t know where to look or how to approach them. Mobile recruitment makes it easy to reach targets and talk to qualified applicants within the timeframe you need.

 

What Is a Mobile Recruiting Strategy?

A mobile recruiting strategy makes it possible for companies to reach employees anywhere in the world. As a result, it reduces the time to post ads, find applicants, and give interviews. In addition, it allows companies to reach potential applicants who may have difficulty making contact.

It means that the hiring manager can stay connected with employees and other business members. They can easily connect with colleagues through social media, email, and text messages while handling the initial stages of the recruitment process.

Benefits of Mobile Recruiting

The importance of a mobile recruiting strategy cannot be understated. As technology advances, people begin to use phones for other purposes. The benefits of mobile recruiting extend far beyond the increased efficiency. It provides a platform for communication and eliminates the need for paper-based recruitment procedures. For instance, recruitment can begin virtually anywhere with the click of a button. This increased efficiency coupled with a new generation of workers has resulted in companies having an advantage over their competitors.

How Does a Mobile Recruiting Strategy Benefit the Candidate and the Recruiter?

Mobile recruiting is one of the most effective ways to engage and understand your customers on a more personal level. It also helps them know what you’re offering and accommodate any changes made to their needs.

Benefit to the Applicant

Recruiting through a mobile strategy allows you to take advantage of local knowledge and put technology to work for you. You can create personalized and engaging content for each applicant as well as customize their experience using information from their online profiles. 

Benefit to the Recruiter

 Mobile applications allow you to reach applicants within minutes instead of hours or days. You can keep up with applicants as they move throughout their careers. Unfortunately, try as we might, we can’t hold the recruitment process responsible for a person choosing to skip the traditional recruitment channels. But if there is one thing we can do, it is to reduce the time applicants stay on hold and increase the number of potential applicants, leading to easier interview decisions.

Create a Mobile-Optimized Job Page

A well-optimized jobs page can attract applicants from all over the world. It makes them more likely to read an advertisement when they see it on their mobile devices. Consider building a career page that includes social bookmarking options. Be sure to set up effective methods for job seekers to submit their resumes as well.

Use Influence Marketing

One effective way to generate more applications for your job is through social media marketing. Connect with potential applicants on social media instead of sending mass email blasts to people who may not be interested. Learn how to identify and target people interested in your field by researching their social media profiles. Then employ social media tactics like these to get them to apply for an interview or sign up for your newsletter.

How Sprockets’ Software can Help

A woman working in a restaurantSprockets is solving real problems for small and large businesses by integrating AI in the recruitment process. With this approach, we are able to create unique success profiles that reveal which applicants are the best fit for your business. Our platform does this by sourcing resumes from various outlets — current employees, recent graduates, social media channels, and more. Sprockets’ application then matches these candidates with jobs that suit their skill sets and interests based on criteria. In addition to our AI platform, Sprockets tools allow you to post job postings to popular job boards for free. 

Schedule a Free Demo

 

 

A woman on a laptop with text reading "The Business Owner’s Guide to Seasonal Employment Laws"

The Business Owner’s Guide to Seasonal Employment Laws

The Business Owner’s Guide to Seasonal Employment Laws 1016 528 Sprockets

If you’re a business owner, there’s a good chance you rely on seasonal workers in one way or another. Retail store operators often need help during the holidays due to the surge of shoppers, and fast-food franchisees can almost always use some additional assistance to keep up with demand. No matter which industry you’re in, however, there are some important seasonal employment laws that you must follow. We’re here to break down the basics and explain what you need to know to run a successful business without any legal hiccups.

Plus, if you’re looking to hire the ideal seasonal workers for your business, we can help with that too! Sprockets’ is an AI-powered platform that empowers you to hire more employees like your top performers. You’ll save time, build more productive teams, and be able to focus on daily tasks rather than the stressful hiring process.

Essential Information About Seasonal Employment Laws

How to Pay Seasonal Employees

Let’s start with some guidance for paying your seasonal employees properly. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) applies to part-time, temporary workers in the same way that it covers full-time, regular employees. That means you must pay non-exempt seasonal staff at least the federal minimum wage, which is $7.25 per hour. Keep in mind that if your state law has a different minimum wage, you must provide them with whichever rate of pay is higher.

Overtime for Seasonal Workers

The FLSA also treats seasonal employees the same as regular employees for the sake of overtime. So, you must pay temporary staff members at least 1.5x the regular rate for any hours they work above the standard 40 per week. It’s important to note, though, that you’re not required to automatically pay them more on weekends or holidays — only if they work overtime on these days. You are also exempt from the overtime requirement if your business falls into certain categories, such as seasonal amusement, organized camps, and non-profit educational institutions.

Note: Make sure you abide by the child labor provisions of the FLSA. Sixteen and 17-year-olds can work unlimited hours, but 14 and 15-year-olds can only work for limited periods of time outside of school hours.

Seasonal Worker Benefits

There’s also the question of whether or not you need to offer the same benefits to seasonal workers as you provide regular staff. This is a tricky one. Under the Affordable Care Act, employees may be entitled to minimum essential health coverage if they work 30 hours per week at your company, especially if you’re considered an applicable large employer (ALE). 

Also, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) only applies to employees who work at least 1,250 hours in a year. While you might need to provide health insurance to seasonal employees under ACA, the typical seasonal employee will not fulfill the requirement for FMLA.

Seasonal Workers Taxes

Make sure you follow the labor laws for seasonal employees when conducting payroll with taxes and withholdings. Seasonal workers are essentially the same as regular employees in this regard. You must withhold for Social Security, Medicare, income tax, and the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA).

Simplify the Seasonal Hiring Process With Sprockets

A seasonal employee at a restaurantYou and your managers have enough to worry about with daily operations — let Sprockets handle the heavy lifting of the seasonal hiring process. Our AI-powered solution augments sourcing efforts with free job postings, screens candidates with background checks at 50% off what typical providers charge, and reveals which applicants will perform like your best workers. You get all these features and more in one convenient, easy-to-use platform that integrates with numerous top HR tools, like TalentReef and JazzHR.

Schedule a free demo today to start hiring the ideal applicants for your business!