The 12 Best Tips For Hiring Awesome Staff At Your Restaurant
We know you’re having staffing trouble. Everyone is. Hiring new restaurant employees seems like a pretty cut-and-dry process but the truth is that many managers don’t put much thought into it and it shows, both in the number of responses you get to your job posts and the quality of your candidates. And if you think it’s difficult now — just wait.
Restaurant hiring is only going to become more difficult with time. I totally get that streamlining your hiring process sounds boring, but it’ll save you a ton of time in the future and make hiring a little less painful. So set aside some time now and just get it done. But let’s be clear that posting jobs and interviewing whoever applies probably won’t be enough. If you’re lucky, it’ll get you by for a while, but in the future, it definitely won’t cut it. It’s time to think outside the box.
Here are some tips that will not only help you hire smarter, they’ll also help you retain your current A+ employees. I call that a win-win.
1. Interview constantly.
Always be on the lookout for top talent to join your already talented team. If someone is interested in working for your organization, interview them. High-quality candidates who are actively interested should always be considered.
2. Speed up your hiring process.
We’re all busy and no one likes to waste time, so efficiency is important.
- Text prospective candidates before you call them.
- Conduct a phone interview first. A phone interview is a great way to determine if it’s even worth having them come in. Ask a few questions about their background, but also use this opportunity to get a feel for their personality and determine if they’ll fit the culture of your restaurant.
- Schedule in-person interviews as soon as possible, and make sure you’re clear about your objectives before they walk in the door.
3. Implement a referral bonus for existing employees.
The best thing about referrals is they’re already vetted. If your employee refers high-quality talent, throw them a bone – a free meal, a gift card to a local shop, cash – something!
4. Take advantage of closures.
If a restaurant or chain known for good staff closes, take advantage of that opportunity. Organize a job fair, reach out to their employees via social media; do something to let them know that you’re hiring.
5. Post open positions on your website.
This is the no-brainer-est of no-brainers.
6. Promote on social media.
Post regularly that you’re looking for additional great people to join your already great staff (not just when you need an immediate hire).
Even if you just end up with a stack of qualified applicants that you can’t hire right away, you now have a list to pull from the next time someone quits without warning.
7. Focus on culture.
Good culture not only helps you retain current staff but also entices new talent.
8. Invest in training for your management staff.
This goes a LONG way. Good management fosters a healthy and happy work environment.
9. Recognize and acknowledge existing staff.
Hold sales contests. Conduct surveys, give rewards and awards, etc. Lack of appreciation will drive just about any employee away.
10. Establish a path to promotion.
People like to know what their opportunities for growth are. Make it expressly clear to current and potential employees what that looks like for them.
11. Utilize predictive scheduling.
12. Check in.
If a good employee leaves, check back after 3 weeks to see how they’re doing. Tell them there is a spot for them. In many cases, the grass isn’t greener, but pridefulness is difficult to overcome. Make that leap back easy.
“In the next 10 years, we’re going to create 1.6 million additional restaurant jobs in this industry. And yet, the population we are dependent upon to fill those jobs historically will decline by 1.3 million. So if you think it’s bad now – if you think the fight for talent is difficult now – it is going to get a lot worse.”
– Rob Gifford, Executive Vice President of The National Restaurant Association Education Foundation
Hiring good employees and keeping good employees go hand-in-hand. If you create an environment that people want to be a part of, you’ll attract more desirable employees.
Looking for more out-of-the-box ideas? We’re happy to help you brainstorm! Schedule some time with us: