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.

Spring Clean Your Social Media Profiles

Spring Clean Social Media Profiles

Did you know? 90 percent of hiring managers make their first impression of applicants through their social media accounts — yes, you read that right — 90 percent! Extending from this, one in three employers have admitted to rejecting candidates based on something they found online. Because of this, it is important for you to view your social media profiles as an extension of your application. With that in mind, it may be time for you to do some spring cleaning of your social media profiles to get rid of old dirt. Here is a checklist to help get you started!

  • Research Yourself. Start by Googling your name and social media handles to get an idea of whats out there about you. Flag and delete any inappropriate content that could hurt your chances of being hired.
  • Privacy Please.  Once you’re finished cleaning up the dirt you found, change your social media profile settings to ‘Private.’ This is an easy way to block your content from certain eyes you don’t want seeing it. However, sometimes it is still not enough. Facebook and other social platforms are constantly updating their privacy policies, so don’t be surprised if you see your content out there for the full public to view, even when you thought you were off the map.
  • Picture Perfect. Your profile picture gives an instant first impression of you, especially to hiring managers and recruiters. In fact, recruiters spend on average 19% of their time looking at profile pictures, which can be a factor when deciding if an applicant should be dismissed or not. Here are some things to watch out for:
    1. Not Posting a Picture or Using a Default Picture: These types of images look lazy.
    2. Using Unformatted or Blurry Images: These images look unprofessional.
    3. Posting an Image That Is Not of You: Tarnishes Your Personal Brand.
    4. Uploading an Inappropriate Picture: Do we really need to say more?

What we always say: “If you want the job, you gotta look the part.”

  • You Are What You Post: Potential employers might look into what types of topics you post about. Doing so will help them understand more about you as a candidate, including your professionalism and how you might fit into the company culture. Be sure to keep your posts professional and position yourself in a positive light. Delete old posts that may leave a bad impression. Too much to sort through? Let a cleanup app like Social Sweepster do the work for you.
  • What Your Friends Post: Even if you are watchful about what you are posting, your friends and followers may not be. Be sure to untag any inappropriate pictures that come up in your search results or under your ‘Photos Of You’ Facebook photo album, which will show all of the photos you are tagged in. That picture of you doing a kegstand? Send your friend a private message asking it to be removed.
  • Who and What You Like Tells A Lot About You: One of the top reasons an employer hires someone after checking them out on online is that they show a wide range of interests. However, think twice about certain ones — 48 percent of employers said posts on drinking and other inappropriate activities was a top reason to NOT hire a candidate.

Have any social media profile spring cleaning tips to share? We’d love to hear from you!

Statistics taken from AvidCareerist and Career Savvy.

5 Tips to Landing a Seasonal Job

Seasonal Job Blog

Are you looking to earn some extra spending money over the holidays through a seasonal job? You aren’t alone. Retailers are expected to add 755,000 temporary jobs this holiday season, and restaurant owners are preparing for high-volume traffic as shoppers wallets start to loosen for the holidays. This means the race is on to land a seasonal job!

While the “old way” of applying is still around, via paper applications and walk-in interviews, many companies have taken to mobile to streamline their apply and hiring processes (which is where we step in).

If you are looking to land a seasonal job, you’ll need to know what seasonal employers are looking for. Here are some things to add to your ZippyApp application so you can stand out from the pack and land the seasonal job you are looking for!

  1. Be flexible with your schedule.Are you able to work extended holiday hours and weekends? Hourly employers are on the lookout for you! A flexible work schedule is one of the first things a seasonal employer will look for on your application, so be sure to include the days, times, and hours you are available to work. But don’t say you are available certain days and times when you really aren’t – a tactic used by some just to land a job. Your employer will soon find out you are not as available as they initially thought, and could quickly find a replacement that offers a more flexible schedule.
  2. Play up your previous experience. Busy holiday hours means less time for training, so seasonal employers will be on the lookout for experienced workers. But just because you haven’t worked in a retail or restaurant setting before doesn’t mean you will be passed over. Do you have any customer service or customer support experience? Highlight those on your ZippyApp application.
  3. Show off your personality and attitude.Dealing with stressed out shoppers and diners is not something everyone can handle. Utilize our video resume feature to show off your positive attitude and bubbly personality. Then, give examples of how you have been able to turn a negative situation into a positive guest experience.
  4. Highlight your ability to multi-task. Seasonal job descriptions don’t mirror regular ones because oftentimes, seasonal workers have to wear many hats. Seasonal employers want to get the most they can out of each worker rather than have each worker do one set job. Include on your ZippyApp application all of the tasks and duties you have performed in past jobs, and include keywords such as “multi-task” and “fast-paced” to show you can handle busy holiday crowds.
  5. Demonstrate you are a fast learner.Showing you have exceled in past jobs can demonstrate to seasonal employers that you are quick learner. As we mentioned previously, seasonal employers don’t have much time and resources to train you during busy holiday months, so you will need to prove you can hit the ground running in your new role. Some ways to do this? Include that promotion you received after only a few months at your last job, or when you took on other duties that were not a part of your initial job description.

Celebrity First Hourly Jobs

Did you know some of today’s most popular celebrities started their careers on the same path that you are going down — through the hourly workforce? In fact, studies have shown that one in every eight American workers has been employed by McDonald’s. Believe it or not, your not so glamorous restaurant job can be your most defining, and set you on the path to bigger and better things.

A new year is on the horizon – can you believe we are just 6 weeks away from 2016? In the next few weeks as we approach the new year, we are going to provide advice to help set you up on a successful career path. Today’s Blog will take a look at celebrity first hourly jobs, to help show that your first job can be the most crucial of your career path. So whether it’s a quick-service restaurant or retail store at the mall, every person has to start somewhere in their career. Here are a few big names you won’t believe started the same way you are!

Harry Styles: Bakery Assistant
Before hitting it big with One Direction, Harry Styles worked at a bakery.

Harry Styles.png

Get started in your career like Harry Styles — we have Bakery jobs on our Job Board!

Carly Rae Jepsen: Barista 
Before her viral music hit, Call Me Maybe, Carly Rae Jepsen worked as a Barista to pay for rent while she pursued her musical career.

Carly Rae

Check out our Barista jobs on on Job Board!

Rachel McAdams: Worked at McDonald’s
Before The Notebook and Dear John, Rachel McAdams worked at McDonald’s. She describes McDonald’s as “a great place to work.”

Rachel McAdams.jpg

Check our Job Board for open jobs at McDonald’s near you!

Crystal Reed: Ice Cream Scooper
Before her days starring in Teen Wolf, Crystal Reed scooped ice cream.

Crystal Reed

Check out our jobs at CREAM Nation, Tin Pot Creamery, and other sweet shops here.

Beyoncé: Hair Styling Assistant
Before she ruled the world, Beyoncé swept hair off the floor of her mother’s hair salon.

Beyonce

Who wouldn’t want to follow in Beyonce’s footsteps? We have Hair Stylist jobs near you on our Job Board!

Madonna: Jelly-Filler for Dunkin’ Donuts
Before she was the Material Girl of the 80’s, Madonna worked a minimum wage job at Dunkin’  Donuts.

Madonna

To get started in your career like Madonna, check out our jobs at Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme here.

Jim Carey & Jon Bon Jovi: Worked as Janitors
Before Jim Carey started working as a stand-up comedian and Jon Bon Jovi was livin’ on a prayer, they used to work as Janitors to support themselves and their families.

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We have  Janitorial or Custodian job opportunities on our Job Board!

Kick Apps: 7 cool tools for restaurant operators

Kick Apps Blog

[Originally posted in restaurant-hospitality.com]

ZippyApp promises restaurant operators swift and easy recruitment of qualified local job applicants and a more efficient way to manage the application, interview and hiring process. This new new app and marketplace for employers and hourly workers has job candidates fill out one application and apply to any restaurant in ZippyApp’s employer network. Job seekers learn about job openings at your restaurant from ZippyApp’s employer marketplace or on their Facebook and Twitter feeds. When they see ZippyApp’s window decal at your restaurant, they can simply scan the decal’s QR code with their smartphone to apply for a job.

To see the rest of the Kick Apps, go to: www.restaurant-hospitality.com.

Off The Menu: ZippyApp makes it easier for potential restaurant workers

Mass Live

[Originally posted to masslive.com]

“There’s an app for that” is the catchphrase of the smartphone era, and one Silicon Valley entrepreneur, Kamyar Faron, is hoping to make that adage true for the often-tedious restaurant job search process.

The food service industry is notorious for its high employee turnover, with the average hourly worker staying in one position for only about six months or so. Hiring (and job hunting) thus becomes a nightmare of repetitive paperwork for employer and potential employee alike, with multiple applications to fill out and screen for interviews, respectively.

Faron’s new app, ZippyApp, enables job seekers in the restaurant industry to complete one common job application online and subsequently submit it to a participating establishment with a single click.

Job openings are posted on ZippyApp’s proprietary online marketplace and are further publicized on Facebook and in a Twitter feed.

Registered employers also can display a ZippyApp decal in their window; a unique QR code on the decal identifies the restaurant location. Individuals using ZippyApp can then scan that decal with their smartphone and instantly submit an electronic application for employment to that particular establishment.

Employers participating in ZippyApp’s system have access to a variety of tool to help them promote job openings and to screen applicants.

A number of San Francisco Bay area independents and chain restaurants have signed onto ZippyApp. Early adopters report the system as being an effective, Millennial-friendly recruitment tool.

More information about ZippyApp can be found at zippyapp.com

Hugh Robert is a faculty member in Holyoke Community College’s hospitality and culinary arts program and has over 40 years of restaurant and educational experience. Please send items of interest to Off the Menu at the Republican, P.O. Box 1329, Springfield, MA 01101; Robert can also be reached at OffTheMenuGuy@aol.com

Knock Em’ Dead: Phone Interview Etiquette

Phone Interview

Congratulations! Landing a phone interview means you most likely have the necessary skills and requirements for the job. Your mission during a phone interview is to explain more about your skills to earn an in-person meeting — and to ultimately land the job. Companies usually conduct phone interviews because they don’t have enough resources to manage in-person interviews with every qualified applicant. It is a screening technique that saves the company time, which is why companies refer to them as “phone screens.”

Your mission during a phone interview is to earn an in-person meeting, and to ultimately land the job. Preparing is similar to that of an in-person interview, except you will want to keep these pointers in mind:

Set up in a quiet area, one that is in a controlled environment with no background noise and outside influence. Keep your area pet free, as these noises can be distracting. It is best to use a landline during your call, but if you need to use your mobile be sure the battery is charged, you have good reception, and the volume is turned up.

Dress up just as you would to an in-person interview. Dressing up and sitting in an upright position will put you in the right mindset and keep you focused. Trust us, dressing in pajamas slouched in bed or on the couch will only knock you off your focus — and translate through to your voice!

Print out your ZippyApp application and have it in front of you during your call. The interviewer will most likely ask about the details you included on your application, like your past work experience and skills. You will want to have a copy so you don’t get caught off guard or stumble on a question. It is also good to have one just in case your Internet connection crashes.

Prepare yourself by researching the company and the job description just like you would for an in-person interview. We discussed this in detail in last week’s Blog.

Check your body language. Even though the interviewer won’t be able to see you, your body language can be reflective in your enthusiasm and excitement during your call. Be sure to smile, as it will bring energy and excitement to your voice. Sit up in an upright position and stay in one place – don’t move around and pace from room-to-room.

Don’t mention pay or benefits just yet. In fact, leave that conversation time and place up to the interviewer. Even though these are important factors, you don’t want to come across like these are the only things you are interested in.

Follow up with a thank-you email to the interviewer after an hour or two. Following up so soon after is perfectly OK, since the phone interview process is shorter (you usually want to wait a day or two after an in-person meet up to follow up). If you don’t already have it, be sure to ask the interviewer for their email address before you hang up.

Be Ready for out-of-the-blue calls, a tactic some hiring managers use to see how prepared you are. Be wary when answering unfamiliar numbers, and if you do answer the call and are asked for an interview, it is OK to tell them you need to call back, which will give you time to prepare and organize yourself.

Have any phone interview etiquette tips to share? Our job seekers would love to hear from you!

Make Your Application Stand out from the Crowd with ZippyApp’s Unique Video Tool

Stabd Out

Personal videos offer a great way to display your personality and allow potential employers to see the person behind the application. Although videos are not likely to take the place of applications and resumes, they could be the cherry-on-top to a good application. ZippyApp’s unique video tool allows you to upload and post your personal video with your work application, offering an even richer applicant profile. Stand out from the crowd with these video-building tips!

  • Tell your story: Your video should tell your story — employers want to get to know you. Your story is your brand, and getting others to understand your brand helps them identify with your story.
  • Relate your previous experience: The information in your video should be relevant to the type of jobs you are applying to, but there is no need to do a separate video for each job. Discuss your previous positions and the skills you took away from each. You can say things like “I greeted and seated 75 customers in one hour in my previous Host position. It was a fast-paced and challenging experience.”
  • Sell yourself: Video is a great way to display your personality. Try not to repeat what is written on your application – instead showcase your talent and skills in ways you can’t on paper. Can you juggle? Sing? Adding these in to your video are great ways to set yourself apart from other applicants.
  • Keep it short and sweet: You don’t want the viewer, your potential employer, to get bored and switch it off. A good time frame is between 1-2 minutes. Before beginning, write down what you want to discuss in bullet point format, which can help you communicate efficiently and to the point.
  • Delivery: Your personal video is not that much different than an in-person interview, so be sure to talk clearly and address the camera (the interviewer) directly. Make sure to record your video in an area where there isn’t any background noise or distracting sounds.
  • Dress to impress: Present yourself in a way prospective employers might envision you in their workplace. Be sure to wear appropriate clothing and style.
  • Tools: Nowadays you don’t have to have a camera, microphone, and expensive video equipment to create your video – you can simply use your smartphone. Some video apps we like are Mobli and video editor Magisto.

Have any personal video tips to share? We would love to hear from you!

Not Getting Call-Backs? The Top Application Mistakes That Could Be Costing You

No Call Backs

You’ve applied to a job on ZippyApp, and never heard back. What went wrong? You might be surprised at the things you overlooked. We gathered the most common mistakes hiring managers see on applications — and how you can avoid them.

1. Spelling and Grammar Errors. According to CareerBuilder, 61% of hiring managers agree typos and grammar errors are one of the top reasons that led to an automatic dismissal of a candidate. Luckily, we are your second set of eyes and flag any typos that are on your application. After running through our spell check, take your time and look over your application prior to submitting — even if that means stepping away and coming back to it later.

2. Using an Unprofessional Email Address. Your email is the first thing potential employers see when they look at your ZippyApp application. It can say a lot about you as a candidate, as this is the first impression potential employers will get of you. Do not use an inappropriate or unprofessional email address, like the one you share with friends. Instead, create one using Yahoo or Gmail with your first and last name — it’s safe and only takes a minute to do.

3. Uploading an Inappropriate Photo. You have the ability to upload your photo to give your application an edge — take advantage of this feature and post! But be wary when posting. A tacky or tasteless photo of you may turn potential employers away. Do upload a professional photo of you — a headshot is a great option. Don’t upload one of you at the bar — or of your Tinder profile picture. You’re applying for a job, not a date.

4. Putting Down Incorrect Information. Submitting a wrong phone number, email, or past job title will just set you up for failure. If a potential employer tries to reach you and receives a mailer demon or wrong number, they will most likely dismiss your application. Also, don’t exaggerate about your past job titles and duties — chances are prospective employers will reach out to your previous employers to confirm. If they find out you lied, chances are they won’t want to hire you.

5. Submitting the Same Application to the Same Organization. Hiring managers love when they see effort put into an application. This is why we provide our users with the ability to update their application (called their Master Application) for each job submission. Be sure to tailor your application to each job you are applying to — especially if it is within the same organization. If you submit the same application, it shows you didn’t want to take the time to update, which gives hiring managers the impression that you aren’t serious about the job (unless of course the jobs are very similar and your past duties align well with both). To get some tips on how to tailor your application, click here.

6. Clean Up Your Social Media Presence. Have you ever met someone who is not on social media? Probably not. Because of this, potential employers are turning to social media to learn more about you. In fact, 92% of recruiters now use social media as a part of their recruiting process. That is why it’s important that you view your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and other social media accounts as an extension of your application. Check out our Blog on How To Spring Clean Your Social Media Profiles to make sure you don’t get passed over because of something the hiring manager found online.

The Cover Letter Debate

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 3.14.06 PM

Cover letter, or no cover letter? Different hiring managers have different perceptions on this. One argument is that it depends on the position you are applying to, however, that doesn’t ring true for jobs on ZippyApp. On average and across all types of jobs on our platform, users who attach a cover letter get contacted 50% more than those who don’t — that’s a huge difference!

So now that you know you do need a cover letter to up your chances of landing the job, the question becomes how do you write a cover letter that will get you noticed? Here are some pointers to get you started!

For starters, it’s important to know the purpose of a cover letter. One of the biggest mistakes job seekers make is that they repeat the information that is in their resume or application. This is a sure way to get your application passed over. Hiring managers don’t want to read information they know will be in your application. Instead, use your cover letter to entice hiring managers to learn more about you, and want to look at your application. Be sure to highlight and explain why you are the best fit for the position.  A great way to think about this is to put yourself into the hiring managers shoes — explain how you will solve their problem.

The biggest challenge when applying for a job is making yourself stand out. Using the right keywords is a great way to get noticed! The company’s profile and job description on ZippyApp is a great start in obtaining the right keywords. For example, a key part of Asian Box’s job descriptions is to be “friendly,” while being a “team player” is a requirement of joining the CREAM team. In a cover letter to Asian Box, you might say “my friendly and outgoing personality will provide a better customer experience, which will contribute to more repeat customers.” Not only are you using keywords Asian Box is looking for, you are also explaining how you will fix their problem.

Here is an example cover letter:

Mary Smith

March 3, 2015,

Dear Hiring Manager,

I wish to apply for the Server position with The Counter team, which is advertised here on ZippyApp. I have no doubt I have the capabilities of handling all requirements of the position, and have included my application for your review.

My excellent people skills will provide memorable dining experiences for customers, in-turn providing repeat customers and word-of-mouth referrals. I am currently attending San Jose State University, where I am studying Hospitality Management and want to pursue a career in restaurant management. I also worked as a Host and a Server at Spaghetti Factory, and can provide you with glowing references from past managers.

I would welcome the opportunity to speak more with you about what I have been doing in detail, and would love to hear more about this position. Thank you so much for considering my application today!

Best Regards,

Mary Smith

Key Take-Aways:

  • Tailor your cover letter for each job you are applying to.
  • Use keywords specific to each company to make your cover letter stand out.
  • Don’t repeat the information hiring managers will find in your application.
  • Do highlight and explain why you are the best fit for the position.
  • Explain to hiring managers how you will solve their problem.