Restaurants are hiring new workers at a fast and furious pace. However, according to the National Restaurant Association’s chief economist, Bruce Grindy, there are indications that job vacancies in the industry are becoming harder and harder to fill. Recruiting and retaining quality employees is one of the top challenges restaurants have to face.
Here are 3 steps restaurateurs can take to improve their hiring processes, leading to hiring the right people for the job and dramatically increasing retention rates.
Interview Every Candidate Like They’re Applying for a C-Level Position
That’s just an elaborate way of saying that respect is paramount, no matter whether you are trying to hire a general manager, a chef, or a busboy. Job candidates have multiple opportunities, particularly in the restaurant industry: you can’t drive five minutes without passing dozens of restaurants with ‘Now Hiring’ signs on the door. And candidates are aware of this; they know that they have options. Don’t let your offer be the one they decline because of poor communication, no followup, or a long, drawn out hiring process. Treat candidates like they are as critical to business success as a CFO or COO because guess what? They are.
Connect digitally to candidates in the digital age
Millennials comprise more than one-fourth of the of the U.S population and a vast number of them begin their careers by working in restaurants in their hometowns. It’s an easy way to earn some extra money on the side to buy ‘essentials’ like an Xbox or a new car. As I discussed in this post, millennials do not talk on the phone. Having been fully immersed in the wonderful world of iPhones and high technology since birth, texting (and to some extent, emailing) is the primary way millennials communicate. The smartest thing you can do to get them to respond to your job offer is to meet them on their turf. So next time you think of picking up the phone to try to schedule an interview, pull up your smartphone keyboard and get to typing. You’ll be glad you did!
Be Flexible, Please!
One of the number one complaints restaurant employees have is the rigid and often unpredictable scheduling that is prevalent in the industry. Having to work late nights, early mornings, and weekends, coupled with being notified about their work schedules week by week, makes it hard for workers to plan the rest of their lives with ease. Restaurant employees often quit because they either don’t get enough hours to make their desired level of income, or because they are scheduled to work too much and don’t have enough free time. Restaurants that take a more flexible scheduling approach find that they are able to retain their best workers. This enables you to hire and keep quality employees much longer than your competitors.
Great employees deliver great customer experiences, and great customer experiences lead to repeat business, word of mouth, and creating brand ambassadors for your business. Attracting and keeping the best and brightest workers is a huge competitive advantage in an industry that relies on customer service to thrive.
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