hiring employee

Hiring & Retaining Top Restaurant Talent

Is your restaurant hiring? Up until recently, we bet you used to fill a lot of your open positions by simply advertising them online or placing a “help wanted” sign on your window. But with the U.S. unemployment rate hovering around 3.9% as of March 2019, you may have noticed finding and hiring employees, especially quality ones, these days is getting more challenging. 

Food service workers have a lot of options right now when choosing an employer. But with a little creativity and effort, you can attract qualified candidates. Here are some tips to help you find and hire the right staff. 

Choose Job Sites That Do the Screening For You

Post openings to classified sites such as Craigslist, and you’ll receive a hodgepodge of applications back. But consider paying a bit more to post positions on job matching sites such as ZipRecruiter. It can help you attract the most qualified candidates and will save you time in the end. 

For example, you can add pre-screen interview questions. Candidates have to answer when they apply, and it matches the most qualified people with your position. For added convenience, you can also post jobs and review candidates from your mobile device.

Other sites that are helpful for employers include Indeed, Glassdoor, and CareerBuilder. Which one is best for you depends upon your budget and the features they offer. 

Customize Each Job Description

Ensure you receive the most qualified candidates by making sure each job description is well written. And be specific: talk about the job duties and type of candidate you’re seeking. For example, being a host requires that the employee has an upbeat, friendly disposition with customers and can stay cool during stressful situations. 

For jobs that typically have higher turnover rates—such as dishwasher and cook—you may need to play up your restaurant’s culture and the benefits of working at your business. 

Promote Job Openings on Social Media

With so many people using social media, you’ll be missing out on reaching potential candidates if you don’t mention that you’re hiring on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You should list open positions and include instructions on how to apply and some of the benefits of joining your restaurant. 

This is not a one-and-done task. Your followers may not see your posts right away, so be prepared to repeat them every so often until the positions are filled. LinkedIn is another great resource for finding employees. Share an update with your connections. Let them know that you’re hiring and encourage them to share the post with their own network. 

Offer an Employee Referral Program

Your current staff members may know qualified people in their network who are looking for employment. Starting an employee referral program—where you reward an employee with a monetary bonus or another perk if someone they recommend is hired—can help send more job candidates your way. 

Reconsider What You Have to Offer

With so much competition out there, you need to remember that employees are also searching for the right fit. This means you may need to revamp the benefits and company culture to make job offers more attractive. Are there perks you can introduce, such as providing a gym membership stipend or recognizing an employee’s birthday with a gift card? Are your health benefits competitive? And the intangibles also matter. Open communication and a teamwork-oriented atmosphere are attractive qualities an employer can offer. 

Don’t Dismiss Word-of-Mouth

Sometimes just letting everyone—including friends, family members, and acquaintances—know that your restaurant is hiring can result in some good leads. 

Your Extra Effort Will Pay Off

Finding the right staff members these days may take longer than in years past, but it’s worth making the extra effort. The right employees are out there. And taking your time to find and hire the best-qualified candidates can result in lower turnover and increased revenue for your restaurant. 

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