Restaurant Hiring: Employee Recruitment Tips

The best staff leads to the most successful restaurant. No matter how good the food, that alone can only take a restaurant so far. Restaurateurs know the importance of finding the best team members to bring to their establishment. Let’s face it: the turnover rate in this industry is outrageously high. With the turnover rate in 2016 at 73%, there’s good reason to worry about your hiring process.

While most restaurants are equipped with a protocol for things like customer service, food safety, and cleanliness, they don’t have a clear recruitment process. This leads to bad hires and that frighteningly high turnover rate. Overall, if left unchecked, bad hiring processes contribute to a poor employment brand. The good news is you don’t have to be an expert in recruitment to master the hiring process. This guide will address the key areas to focus on so you can ensure you land the best candidates for your establishment.

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1. Don’t fall for easy hiring.

We’ve all seen the “Now Hiring” signs and all-day hiring events at local restaurants, and we might have even tried these practices ourselves. While it might seem like a great idea to bring in as many candidates as possible, this is a good way to find yourself making poor hiring decisions.

What’s wrong with mass-interviewing and bringing in as many candidates as possible? The biggest problem is that it’s inconsistent. The interview questions are likely to be a bit all over the place, and it’s easy to let small things slip through the cracks along the way. It’s understandable that this seems like the most efficient way to handle seasonal hiring needs, but it’s often less effective than you think.

Instead, utilize applicant screening software that cuts down on errors. This allows management to save time by only viewing the most qualified candidates, and it also reduces unnecessary interviews. It’s not worth meeting every single candidate in person. It’s much more valuable to bring in your top 2-5 candidates for an in-person interview than to rush through a daily hiring event.

2. Go paperless.

Are you still relying on paper applications? It might seem smart to have all your information out on paper, but the world is going mobile faster than ever. By using digital, mobile-friendly applications, you’re opening yourself up to the younger generation who’s quickly joining the workforce. Today, 89% of job-seekers are using their mobile device to search for openings.

Another benefit of going paperless is that it makes it easier to identify the best applicants. In the world of tools like online employee scheduling software, this is a good first step towards a paperless restaurant. Using software tools, it’s now possible to learn more about candidates personalities, aptitude, and job performance. It also helps with consistency with future candidates so you can refine your hiring process.

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3. Understand your top players.

Finally, you need to know what you’re looking for. While using software and paperless technology is a good first step, that won’t get you far if you don’t know what it is you’re looking for in your restaurant hires. The best way to know exactly what makes a candidate successful is to look at your current employees.

Who are your top players at your restaurant? This goes beyond demographics. Are they hardworking? Do they have existing service industry experience? Are they college students? What cultural fit is important to you? This should be your baseline. Employees carry the restaurant brand. Great employees will leave a strong impression on the company, so don’t settle for below average.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to hiring for your restaurant, slow and steady wins the race. Learning how to optimize your recruitment process will help you successfully bring in the best employees every time, thus lowering your turnover rate. You want your employees to be excited and enthusiastic about your brand. Without finding the right fit, you’ll end up with underperforming team members who reflect poorly on your business.

A lot the most common hiring practices in the restaurant industry don’t work. It’s time to leave mass-hiring events in the past and go digital. Utilize the top tools to help you make smart decisions about your team, and welcome a new era of company culture.