We hear time and time again from our restaurant customers that finding, and keeping, high-quality employees is one of the biggest challenges they face. Restaurant staffing, whether it’s for front-of-house or back-of-house, is a key part of the secret sauce for any successful restaurant.
We connected extensively with industry experts and are excited to now share with you this comprehensive guide with tips on how best to navigate the employee lifecycle, from searching for quality staff to training to retaining.
You’re invited to read an excerpt below or to download the full guide here.
The staffing process includes multiple steps, from determining your needs and setting your hiring strategy to writing job posts and descriptions, and vetting and interviewing candidates. Throughout the process, keep in mind that your investment of time and effort to hire the right people will pay off in many ways, including boosting employee retention. Here are some tips to help you get started:
Determine your needs
Before you can identify the best candidates for your team, you first need to figure out what you’re looking for. Organizational structure and the specific qualities that make a person a good fit will be different for every restaurant, but the best practices around the process are largely universal.
Step 1: Identify the soft skills that reflect your concept and brand.
Step 2: Determine what skill sets and traits will be needed to perform the role’s critical operational responsibilities.
Step 3: Define what your own role will entail in the hiring process.
Develop a hiring strategy around your core values or mission statement
Your employees are your biggest asset and are often the restaurant industry’s scarcest resource. Developing and executing a solid hiring strategy will pay off in the long run by reducing turnover, ensuring great guest experiences, and promoting brand consistency.
If your restaurant has a set of core values or a mission statement, use that to guide you in setting your hiring strategy. Great New Hampshire Restaurants looks to its “Table of Success,” which identifies the company’s six core values. They lead off with executing greatness, and also include care & understanding, made-from-scratch, respect, courage, and trust & entrust.¹
Use multiple sourcing methods to find both active and passive candidates
The key is to be everywhere your potential candidates are, which means diversifying your sourcing to reach job seekers wherever they are searching and to attract passive candidates.
That’s no small task. On average, job seekers look for their next great opportunity on up to 16 different sources, including career websites, job boards, professional and personal social networks, referrals from family and friends and more.² Each site performs differently, and managing each campaign closely is essential to ensure you aren’t wasting money on inefficient spend. Recommendations from colleagues, research, and trial and error will tell you over time which sources yield the best results for specific roles.
Create a consistent message across all your sourcing channels
Once you have identified the candidate sourcing channels you plan to use, be sure to create a strong, clear and consistent brand message that runs across all channels. This is the best foundation to ensure that candidates that are the best match for your needs will start ‘selecting in’ while others will screen themselves out. While this thorough approach to brand messaging in job postings might require you to make adjustments to your website and social media pages and adjust what you post on other channels, the investment can pay off with quality candidates.
Understand the legal issues involved
It’s important to make sure that your job postings, interview questions, reference checks, and job offers meet current legal requirements. You could put your business at risk by posting requirements outside legal guidelines or asking unlawful or even discriminatory questions without even knowing it. For example, you could be crossing legal lines with job postings or descriptions that give preference to or exclude candidates, even unintentionally. To protect yourself, take the time to understand the illegal or discriminatory hiring practices outlined by federal, state and local jurisdictions.
Get much more advice and expert recommendations by downloading the full guide.
¹Great NH Restaurants, Our Six Core Values
²CareerBuilder, How To Rethink The Candidate Experience and Make Better Hires