3 Pillars of Successful Restaurant Staffing

three_pillars

Recruiting is as much a marketing practice as strategies you use to bring in customers. Just as you promote your brand and emphasize the delights of dining at your establishment, you need to delight candidates in order for them to become a part of your team.

You are utilizing latest technology to engage your patrons before, during, and after their dining experience. You are utilizing mobile technology because you have recognized that it is the device of choice for a significant majority of them. You’ve invested in managing your brand and you use every resource to engage your patrons.

Studies have also shown that many brands’ patrons actually make the best employees.

Well, let’s consider a few thoughts:

  • Are your recruiting efforts keeping up with today’s best practices – including mobile?
  • Are you still using reactive ad postings, praying to get applicants?
  • Are you measuring the effectiveness of your job postings by monitoring the click-to-apply ratio? Is it in low single digits?
  • Are you using the complex HRIS systems designed for the corporate world, which usually require dedicated recruiting staff?
  • Is your recruitment compliance process heavy, putting applicants through a long arduous process just to submit an application?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, it might be time to reconsider your recruitment strategies.

Staffing your restaurants with qualified staff relies on three major pillars. Weakness in any one adversely impacts your recruitment success.

Job Description

The job description is often the first impression most job seekers get about working at your establishment. Even if they are familiar with your brand, the job description is the first communication, which tells them what it’s like to work at your place.

We recommend taking this first impression opportunity to tell the candidate why it is great to be a part of your organization. Share with them how rewarding it can be, the flexible hours, opportunity to grow, learning about the wonderful culinary world, etc.

I have seen many job descriptions and many feel like what I call “a prison sentence” – several pages long, riddled with all of the harsh conditions of working at a restaurant. It is perfectly fine to have a job description with duties, which discloses the working conditions and the expectation as a part of the hiring process, but not the recruitment.

The job description should cover more of why a person should be a part of your team and how they can grow within your organization.

Get them excited to apply for your jobs.

Job Distribution

Job seekers have varying habits when it comes to searching for a job. They go to various job boards, Google, your own website, employer review sites, etc. to learn about your business and apply for your jobs. A study recently found that jobseekers often visit as many as 15 sites before they apply to a job.

Let’s not forget the location itself. A restaurant’s location is often the best marketing tool, invoking the following thought in the mind of the best passive applicant “… how wonderful it would be to work at this place.” Can a job seeker apply for a job at your location with their mobile device, with just a few clicks?

Is your recruitment marketing consistent across all these channels?

A comprehensive and optimized job distribution network is of the essence in getting your jobs in front of the right applicants. Your job descriptions need to be exciting, ever-present, optimized for search engines, and distributed to as many job boards as possible for the most exposure.

Applicant Engagement

Applicant engagement is the third pillar of successful staffing. It is critical for every organization to fully understand their entire application process. Consider the mindset of a job seeker looking for a near minimum wage job. Consider the fact that we are in a very competitive and tight labor market. Would you expect someone seeking a line cook position or a wait staff position to take 45 minutes to complete an application?

Ease of applicant engagement is directly correlated to the click-to-apply ratio. A recent study by ERE Media demonstrated that if the application process is less than 5 minutes, a click-to-apply ratio of 12.8% can be expected. However, if the application process exceeds 15 minutes, then the click-to-apply ratio drops below 4%. This is a significant decrease; couple that with the fact that it is generally the best applicants who abandon long application processes (because they have options) and you can see why this is important to you. 

Going through the entire application process from the viewpoint of an applicant enables you to observe the bottlenecks and points of friction. Consider the fact that every decision or click is an opportunity for the job seeker to abandon the application process altogether. 

Conclusion

Many organizations react to their recruitment when in crisis.  Implementing a comprehensive recruitment strategy enables you to have a very proactive recruiting process. A system covering the 3 Pillars with 24/7/365 recruitment provides a constant flow of great candidates, which provides options to truly elevate the quality of your team.

The idea of three pillars implies that the three practices must be employed for the success in staffing. It is essential to address all three simultaneously to achieve the best results. We consider each one the pillars a major topic and worthy of its own comprehensive coverage.

Please look for our upcoming blogs covering each one in more depth.

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