Hiring for Success: Tips on how to find high quality staff.
Restaurant staffing has never been an easy task, given some of the known challenges facing owners: a declining workforce, as fewer people are seeking entry level positions, and a very high level of competition for available people right now to fill your open positions. Coupled with this is the fact that the hospitality industry is notorious for high turnover rates, and experienced staff who were furloughed or laid off during COVID are still reluctant to go back into the industry.
In view of all of this, restaurant owners must become creative in finding ways to source candidates and hire the best people for their open positions. Easier said than done!
Having a clear plan on how to find the right people becomes a key element for your success.
Below are 5 ways to find the right candidates for your open positions.
- Take a risk: Most managers want experienced employees, but you may consider hiring for skills and attitude, such as customer focus, willingness to learn, attention to detail, and a can-do approach to work. Some people new to the restaurant hospitality industry may prove excellent in your restaurant once you teach them what is required.
- Hire family and friends: Are you in a pinch now, and looking for people to help you reopen? Close friends and relatives can help you bridge the gap. Working with family and friends has its pros and cons, but you may benefit from hiring smart, qualified and reliable people you know well.
- Ask employees, friends, and neighbors for referrals: Let people know you are hiring. Word of mouth is one of the absolute best ways to find employees. Ask your best employees who they may recommend. Check with colleagues – anyone you know may
know someone who could help you. One benefit from doing this is that the references are built in. You can also use your current employees as recruiters and offer them incentives if you hire who they recommend.
A word of caution: Make sure you go through the whole hiring process with these potential hires in order to conduct your hiring in a consistent, transparent way.
- Use your community: Engage the help of area colleges, high schools, community centers chambers of commerce or networking groups. Post flyers in local coffee shops, libraries, bookstores. Use available local bulletin boards to let people know you have jobs to fill.
- Use the Web: Your own restaurant website can become your recruitment center. Create a Career page and post your job openings as well as your job benefits. Consider adding an application form that job candidates can fill out online. There are also hiring or job listing services such as CulinaryAgents, Indeed, Shiftgig, Career Builder, Monster or Simply Hired and others. Adding the Internet to your hiring plans can be overwhelming, but it just requires a bit of preparation. Make sure you describe your job adequately – although excessive detail is not necessary. Provide enough information to prequalify your prospects – but don’t be afraid to mention a few perks about the restaurant or its culture to catch the eye of candidates.
Hiring the right person for your restaurant is a key element of your long-term success – and when there are few candidates available, some creativity and a bit of extra effort will help you find them!