For restaurants, the holidays are the busiest time of the year. While it’s tempting to hire any warm body willing to peel carrots or run plates, being deliberate and strategic about who you bring on (and when) can be the key to a successful season. Here, Culinary Agents Founder and CEO Alice Cheng shares the number one secret to hiring for the holidays, plus tips for pulling it off.
At Culinary Agents, we always talk about talent pipeline building: making sure you have a constant flow of qualified people you’re keeping in contact with. It’s especially important over the holidays, when you need talented people who are looking to work during your busiest months of the year. Here are a few ways to build your pipeline so you’re ready when peak season comes around.
Reach out to past employees. When great employees leave on favorable terms, take note of their status. Keep in contact with them because they may be a great backup option for the holidays. We’re seeing more often now that when someone leaves a job, it’s not necessarily for another full-time job — they may be taking some time off to explore another line of work or simply weighing their options. When the holidays roll around these able bodies tend to be more receptive to temporary work and usually have the ability to hit the ground running.
Pre-qualify great people. At Culinary Agents, after a job is posted we automatically tee up potential candidates who “match” your requirements along with their credentials. Take note of those who may be a fit, not just for the posted position but for future ones — and reach out proactively. Create a bucket of pre-qualified applicants who may not have come on board at that time for whatever reason but have already expressed their interest in working with your company. Connect with them on the site and keep them top of mind when ramping up staffing. Culinary Agents archives the history of past applicants and matches along with their profiles; use this to your advantage.