Restaurants: Diverse Sources, Predictable Hiring Success

There are many hats you need to wear as a restaurant owner or manager. You have to manage inventory control, employee scheduling, food safety, customer experience, and staffing – just to name a few. In 2016, recruiting and retention are some of the biggest challenges restaurant operators are looking to address. While they are constant sources of pain, many restaurateurs don’t understand how to begin addressing them. The answer lies in predictable hiring that comes from creating a standard process by which all applicants are vetted, regardless of where they came from. This can lead to lower turnover, fewer recruiting costs, and an improved dining experience for your guests.

Building a diverse applicant pool for your restaurant

Restaurants need to rely on more than one applicant source to identify and hire great people. Walk-ins and referrals are probably your strongest source of applicants right now, and while these candidates will always be at the heart of your hiring, restaurants need to reach job seekers beyond the “Now Hiring” sign in the window. After all, job seekers (customers) are not always on location at the right time. Many job seekers first visit a company’s website when interested in their brand. Therefore, a compelling careers page, mobile friendly online applications, and job board distribution are effective tactics that go a long way towards selling online job seekers on your opportunities and attracting a diverse and qualified applicant pool.

One hiring process for a variety of applicants 

Do you treat applicants differently based on how they apply? You may not mean to, but perhaps a walk-in applicant gets to immediately talk to a manager and have a hiring decision made on the spot, while an online applicant must go through a resume review and phone screen before they meet the manager in person. Though it’s not intentional for the processes to differ – usually a matter of convenience – it becomes an issue when trying to design a process for predictable hiring.

A central system and process to manage ALL of your applicants, regardless of how they came to you, is the solution. A central applicant tracking system ensures hiring managers take every applicant through the same process before they are hired. For multi-unit operators, this helps ensure both brand consistency and hiring compliance across all locations.

The bonus: this also allows you to build a talent pipeline and be proactive about your recruiting and hiring needs. With hourly restaurant employee turnover averaging 114% (via Council of Hotel and Restaurant Trainers) it is imperative to establish an ongoing recruiting program.

The benefits of repeatable restaurant recruitment

Having a standardized process for all of your applicants helps you in many ways. Most importantly, it helps you create predictable, repeatable hiring, empowering you to make better hires and reign in turnover.

Predictability in hiring allows you to consistently take applicants through your hiring process in an efficient and timely manner. It also allows you to look for commonalities in your applicants regarding their background, personality, and work history that match your opportunity. When you understand who you are looking for when you interview, you can create predictability that ultimately leads to making better hires.

Taking the approach of hiring a bunch of people and seeing who sticks doesn’t make sense in today’s market. The ability to make better hires hinges on making more data driven decisions, as opposed to gut-level decisions. In order to do so, you need to leverage all of the tools available to you and do so consistently as a part of your process.

In the long run, making data driven hiring decisions will ultimately benefit your restaurant more than subjective guesswork, even if you have experience in staffing. This helps to reduce the operational costs that come along with hiring and training new team members. Finally, as a result of being fully staffed with the right employees, your guests can have a more enjoyable restaurant experience, which will benefit revenue. Hire the right people, and the rest gets easier.

Restaurant hiring with CareerPlug – a recipe for success

CareerPlug helps thousands of small businesses and franchise systems institute and leverage effective hiring practices to provide drastic returns on investment. We think about it this way – a great customer can provide repeat revenue to a restaurant, but a strong team will deliver exponentially greater long-term value to the business. Likewise, an upset customer may write a negative online review, but one toxic team member will be a drain on the whole team and on revenue potential. To learn more about how CareerPlug can help you turn your restaurant into a talent magnet, take a tour of the software today!

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Originally from small town in central Texas, Ashley Johnson graduated from Texas State University in 2013 with a degree in Business Administration. She was hired by CareerPlug as a Talent Specialist in 2014, and moved up to ultimately lead the Recruitment Services team. From there, she pivoted to Implementation, and is now the Implementation Manager.

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Chris accidentally started a 20-year career in franchising when he was 18 years old and took a job painting houses for College Pro Painters. That job turned into the ownership of his first franchise (a house painting franchise). While at Monmouth College in IL, he operated his business, played on the varsity football team, and studied to become a teacher.

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In his free time Chris coaches youth sports, especially youth football, and spends as much time as he can with his wife and 2 children.

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Native to Texas, Jenny graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2004 and joined CareerPlug in 2017. She retired her first career path as a Registered Dietitian after 10 years, and has found her true belonging in business operations.

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After graduating from the University of Florida, Clint worked in investment banking and strategic marketing; both experiences influenced the development of CareerPlug. He also spent a year away from the business world teaching 5th grade in Boulder.

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