3 Pillars of Successful Restaurant Staffing

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.

Advertisements

Are You Ready for the January Hiring Spike?

Hourly hiring is a seasonal game and the seasonal hiring trend does not end in December. January is a very important hiring month for hourly employers, as many seasonal workers are back on the market. Because of this, you need to develop a big presence in January to attract the best candidates for your jobs. Here are some tips to get you prepared for the new year hiring rush!

1. Post your jobs the first week of January. Many other employers will still be getting back into the work groove, playing catch-up with emails and voicemails. This will limit their time to post their open jobs. Posting yours before the rush can help you capture the best candidates.

2. Add seasonal SEO keywords to your job titles and descriptions. As discussed in our previous guide to Lean and Mean Job Descriptions, your job titles and descriptions are a vital piece in attracting quality candidates. Adding seasonal SEO keywords can help your jobs pop up first in January hiring searches. Our unique job distribution network allows your jobs to be posted to the most popular local job boards (think Indeed, Monster, Glassdoor, Trovit, Neuvoo, and Juju.com), giving you the most exposure to capture quality, local candidates.

3. Adopt a one-click apply process. Job applications and old-fashion apply processes can take awhile to complete, deterring the best candidates from applying to your jobs. With our one-click apply process, applicants create one application on ZippyApp and simply hit Apply to submit it to your jobs. Applicants are also able scan your locations’ unique QR code and submit their application straight from their mobile device.

4. Simplify you Applicant Management System. How much time do your hiring managers take to sort through applications and candidate profiles? On average, studies have shown it takes about 30 minutes per application. Our simplified Applicant Management System allows hiring managers to filter, tag, and archive applications based on certain criteria, minimizing the time it takes to look for the information they want.

Are you an hourly employer with seasonal hiring tips to share? Leave your comments here!

5 Tips to Landing a Seasonal Job

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.

Guide to Hiring Seasonal Employees

Tis’ the season for holiday hiring! If you haven’t already started hiring your seasonal team, don’t panic. Other guides and Blogs will say you should’ve started way earlier in your holiday hiring, and to a certain extent they are right. But if we have learned one thing about hiring during this tight labor market, it is that you should be recruiting 24/7 for your hourly jobs – no matter what season it is.

The good news is a bright holiday season is on the horizon for the restaurant and retail industries, since sales figures are expected to grow and consumer’s wallets are starting to loosen. The retail industry is expected to add 755,000 temporary workers from October to November, which means it’s time for you to start hiring your seasonal employees! This guide will provide tips on how to recruit and hire during the holiday rush.

Where to look:

  • Your current part-time employees are a great first place to start looking. These workers are already loyal to your brand and are familiar with your products, which minimizes training time. Plus they are already on your payroll, which decreases onboarding time and necessary HR paperwork.
  • Past seasonal hires are another group that negates the need to train and onboard. These workers have proven their work ethic, which lessens the uncertainty of whether or not they may be a bad hire. 
  • Hiring someone who has past experience in the industry minimizes training time. These workers are ready to hit the ground running since they are already experienced and have been trained.
  • Hire year round and try not to wait for busy seasons to hire. Always be on the lookout for quality hires. As mentioned previously, we are in one of the tightest labor markets we have seen in decades, which means it is that much more difficult to maintain a steady flow of applicants. A great feature on ZippyApp is that we offer a separate section on your Hiring Page that shows your ‘Future’ job openings. This is a great way to capture passive applicants for future needs. Another feature to utilize is our ‘On Call’ feature, where applicants can select if they are available for last minute jobs/ shifts. Archive these applicants so you are ready when you need them.

If hiring based off of a new roster of candidates, there are certain attributes to be on the lookout for:
o Eagerness: A willingness to understand the job and products.
o Flexibility: Are able to work extended holiday hours and weekends.
o Fast Learner: Has demonstrated in past jobs they are quick to learn.

Mistakes to avoid:

Don’t hire a low-quality candidate just to fill a position. Anyone who works with your branding on their clothing is a representative of your company. Your customers will not forget poor service because it was given by a seasonal employee. It’s better in the long-run to leave positions unfilled than to hire an unfit or poor quality candidate (we will talk about the costs of a bad hire in an upcoming Blog, stay tuned!)

Don’t just assume your full-time regular staff will stick with you through the holidays. You have to be prepared if someone quits. Offering incentives like bonuses and/ or overtime pay to these workers can help keep them loyal through the season.

Look over your job descriptions and change them for seasonal employment, or create new seasonal openings. Your seasonal job descriptions are not the same as year-round ones. Oftentimes, seasonal workers wear many hats and need to be ready to take on and juggle a variety of tasks. By explaining this in the tasks and duties required of the job, you can reduce turnover. Be sure to add job categories and keywords related to seasonal work or temporary employment so your jobs appear during seasonal work employment searches.

If you are having trouble hiring seasonal employees, are behind in the game, or are experiencing general hiring issues – we can help! Our software is specifically designed for the hourly job market, with a core focus on the restaurant and retail industries. We provide one-stop advertising by distributing and posting your jobs to the most popular local job boards, casting a wider net for applicant flow. Learn more at: http://zippyapp.com/business.