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Hiring When There Are “No Good People”

You’ve probably said it many times, “There just aren’t any good people out there.” In an industry where turnover is high, retention of restaurant employees is definitely something that should be top of mind at all times. But what about the recruiting element? How do you get the good ones in the door? The truth […]

You’ve probably said it many times, “There just aren’t any good people out there.” In an industry where turnover is high, retention of restaurant employees is definitely something that should be top of mind at all times. But what about the recruiting element? How do you get the good ones in the door?

The truth is that the American restaurant workforce consists of roughly 14 million people. That’s an astonishing 10% of the overall workforce in the United States. So there are plenty of people looking for restaurant jobs. Some restaurants are lucky enough to have people knocking on their doors for employment, but what if you don’t have this luxury? What if people are knocking at your door? How do you make it happen?

The are several things restaurant managers can do to be successful in hiring the best people, even when you don’t think they’re out there. Below are some steps that can help you start thinking about things differently. It really all begins with being proactive instead of reactive at the last minute.

You know who your rock stars are today, and they’re rock stars for a reason. Good thing is, they probably know others who share their same passion.

Use HotSchedules Recruit

We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention HotSchedules Recruit as a great tool to use for recruiting. It reaches a hyper-focused audience and allows restaurant managers and job seekers to communicate right in the application. You can login to your HotSchedules account today and begin posting jobs for free. Once you’ve posted your jobs, you can share them with your staff and they can share it out to their contacts, too. The best candidates will then float to the top of your list, thereby making it even easier to focus your strongest candidates.

Proactive hiring

“It’s better to look for a job when you don’t need it than to be struggling to find something when you’re unemployed.” Ever heard that one? Well the same can be said for hiring new employees. Nothing is more painful than trying to “hire on the fly.” When you don’t take the time to find the right employees, you end up with substandard quality. If you are proactive about hiring, you’ll have a much better chance of finding the people you actually want on your team. So hire the right people before you need them and this will take a huge load off.

Referrals

Most of us have landed jobs in our life because someone we know recommended us. You know who your rock stars are today, and they’re rock stars for a reason. Good thing is, they probably know others who share their same passion for working hard and performing at high levels. Let them become recruiters for you by offering them referral bonuses, paid time off, gift cards, etc. They are likely as anxious as you to have employees they respect working next to them. Again, HotSchedules Recruit makes this extremely easy. You post. You share. Your staff shares. You win!

Visit the competition

Great managers and chefs encourage their staff to visit a competitor’s restaurant on their day off. “Secret shopping” as we like to call it. Nothing teaches you more about greatness than seeing what other restaurants are doing (and not doing) well. This allows you to bring feedback to your restaurant to share with your staff. It also creates a strong desire internally to be better. Visiting other restaurants also gives you the opportunity to see if there are strong employees you would like to invite to speak with your staff. Inspiration is always welcome.

Partner with schools

Young folks who are attending culinary and restaurant management schools obviously have a passion for the industry. It is highly recommended that you reach out to these programs and let them know you have opportunities for their students. This also helps the schools. Perhaps students will want to work part-time while they’re in training, or maybe they’d want to give you their full attention after they graduate. Regardless, getting the conversation started today is the best way to secure motivated employees tomorrow.

Trust us – we know nothing is more painful than trying to “hire on the fly.”

Ask the right questions

Interview questions should be based on discovering what type of person you are attracting to your brand. Generic questions are fine, but they don’t typically get to the core of how a person will (or won’t) flourish in your restaurant. Donald Burns, The Restaurant Coach, encourages questions that show what kind of character a potential candidate has. For example, “How do you handle gossip when you are around co-workers,” or “What chefs or restaurants excite you?” These types of questions show more about their personality than basic “tell me about your last job” scenarios. In other words, care less about their past and more about the future.

Check references

This may seem obvious in the business world, but it should also be done in the restaurant industry. By checking references you can get a sense for how a potential employee’s previous management felt about him or her. This also makes it easier for you to spend less time in the interview asking these types of questions. You’ll be able to focus on the right questions to ask from above.

Generic questions are fine, but they don’t typically get to the core of how a person will (or won’t) flourish in your restaurant.

Training

Once you’ve hired the person you feel is best suited for your restaurant, it is important to ensure they stay engaged and keep growing. Millennials say that job flexibility is important, but that the ability to grow and be a part of something bigger than themselves is also important. Continuously train them to be looking at a higher position in the restaurant. Pushing people to become shift leaders is one great way to show whether a person has the desire to take on more responsibility.

Repeat

Now that you’ve landed a new employee that you spent a lot of time choosing, it’s time to keep going. Again, being proactive is the only way to continue getting the best employees. When it’s not crucial to hire, you open yourself to slowing down your process. This will give you time to be more selective with your hiring. Pretty soon you’ll have the best possible staff and won’t have to settle for what you can get at the last minute.

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