QR-Scanning App Helps Restaurant Owners Find Employees

[Originally posted to pizzamarketplace.com]

ZippyApp announced its new online marketplace for employers and hourly workers that’s leveraging mobile technology and social media to help employers recruit and hire well-qualified employees. Kamyar Faron, a Millennial hiring expert and ZippyApp CEO, created the app to make it as easy as possible for restaurants to hire more efficiently and job seekers to land jobs more quickly using their smartphones, according to a company announcement.

Rather than filling out multiple employment applications all asking for identical information, ZippyApp enables job seekers to complete one common job application online and submit it via smartphone, tablet or computer to apply to any restaurant in ZippyApp’s employer network. Job seekers learn about job openings from ZippyApp’s employer marketplace, and Facebook and Twitter feeds, and wherever they see ZippyApp’s window decal at an employer’s restaurant, they can scan the decal’s QR code with their smartphone and instantly apply for a job.

Restaurants using ZippyApp’s mobile tech tools can more easily recruit qualified, local job applicants, and more efficiently manage the interview and hiring process, the announcement stated, and Counter Burger, Panera Bread, Krispy Kreme, Jamba Juice and McDonald’s are among ZippyApp’s early adopters.

Turnover, Costs, Consequences (and How to Fix It!)

In the hospitality industry, high turnover remains a constant struggle. The National Restaurant Association (NRA) puts the average at about 62.4%, however, from 2013 to 2014 the overall turnover rate jumped up to 66%. Although there are many parts to this percentage, the quit rate alone in 2014 was 47% — putting hospitality managers in a very vulnerable position.

Why is this?
• The hospitality industry is one of the few that has seasonal staffing spikes throughout the year – taking place in January, June, and October. These spikes add to the normal turnover numbers.
• Overall, 31% of the hospitality workforce work only part-year (a form of temporary part time employment), compared to 19% of the total U.S. workforce.
• The existence of multiple competitive establishments in almost all communities gives employees additional opportunities in a competitive environment.

Consequences. The financial impacts of high turnover rates cut deep into budgets. Here are some factors to consider:
• Cost of job listing services
• Cost and time it takes to train new employees
• Cost of new uniforms
• Time it takes to find new employees
• Time it takes to interview candidates
• Time it takes to coordinate with hiring managers
• Time it takes to schedule around losing an employee

These are all issues of the past. ZippyApp faces many of these challenges head-on by providing you with the following:
• Job listing services: We post your jobs to the most popular local job boards, offering the largest job distribution network.
• Train new employees: View the candidate’s skills and experience in one easy-to-follow common employment application. Hire those with the qualified experience to keep training to a minimum.
• Find new employees: Our unique algorithm brings you the most qualified applicants for your jobs.
• Interview candidates: Use the tags provided in our Applicant Management System to communicate with other managers at your establishment. Be sure the candidate interviews with a few different people to ensure they fit well with company culture.
• Schedules: View a candidate’s availability in their Common Employment Application to ensure seamless scheduling.

Ways to fix it. Experts agree; the single best way to reduce employee turnover is to hire the right people from the start. We understand hourly hiring is a local practice, and we provide you with only local, qualified applicants – ones that have less risk of a higher rate for turnover. Our team is dedicated to making sure your job descriptions include the proper SEO keywords to help get your jobs in front of the right candidates.

Strategies. Although there are factors out of your control that can affect your turnover rate – like the local economy and seasonal spikes – there are strategies you can put into place to keep your employees happy and loyal.
• Create the right culture: 49% of applicants say work culture is important in a job. Create an environment that is open and welcomes and appreciates feedback. Schedule one-on-one meetings or create anonymous surveys to find out how employees feel about their role, and what might need to change.
• Provide a clear career roadmap: 45% of applicants say growth opportunities within the organization is important when deciding if they want to take a job or not. Map out a clear path for advancement, making sure you understand the goals of each employee. Try your best to get them on that path, or be prepared for them to go somewhere else that will give them the opportunity.
• Be fair with schedules: 41% of applicants say the hours they are expected to work are an important factor in their job. Employee favoritism kills morale. Be fair by not playing favorites. Don’t be unfair by always giving certain employees better schedules and shifts than others. Be sure to pay attention to schedules to make sure you don’t burn employees out.
• Be competitive: Offer competitive wages and benefits. Providing incentives, like scheduling team outings outside the workplace and providing meals to your employees, are ways to keep employees happy.
• Show them you care: Be supportive through school and personal times. Providing flexible schedules will help build the loyalty needed to keep them happy.
• Take criticism: Employee insight can help fix your turnover. If they are unhappy, find out why. Even if it is too late and they moved to another job, this advice can be valuable in reducing your future turnover.

Have any turnover strategies to share, or want to learn more about reducing your turnover? Post a comment here!

*Statistics taken from the National Restaurant Association.

The Ultimate Balancing Act: How to Handle Being a Full-Time Student with a Part-Time Job

It’s August, which means it’s back to school for many of you! In our last Blog we discussed 7 Benefits of Working in the Restaurant Industry, one of them being it offers its employees flexible working hours. Because of this, many younger restaurant employees are also enrolled in school. A study conducted by The National Restaurant Association shows 89% of workers under the age of 18 and 45% of workers between the ages of 18-24 are also enrolled in school. With the staggering cost of college tuition – the College Board says on average tuition was $9,000 for state and $23,000 for out-of-state residents at public colleges for the 2104-2015 school year – it’s no surprise that many students are forced to pull out their own wallets and get to work to pay up.

Juggling homework, work, and maintaining somewhat of a social life can be overwhelming, and make you feel like you are part of a 3-ring circus. Here are some helpful tips to keep you balanced through this next school year!

  • Let your employer know you’re a student. Many restaurants are willing to work with flexible schedules, and chances are they already have students on their staff. This means they are more understanding as far as scheduling goes – especially when it comes to finals week. If you are able to, it’s good to have a set schedule in the days and times you work, that way you can plan your other schedules accordingly.
  • Be assertive with your schedule needs. I made the mistake of being a pushover at my first college job, which landed me 35 hours a week on the schedule. Trying to balance that many working hours as well as a full-time school schedule just wasn’t possible. What sacrificed? My schoolwork, and I was put on academic probation (which followed me to the end of my college days). Learn from my mistake and be assertive with your needs – speak up if you are being given too many hours, or keep your work schedule to under 20 hours a week.
  • Plan ahead. Scan your syllabus for important dates, like when papers are due and the dates of quizzes and tests. Oftentimes – especially if you are going to school full-time – you will have a few due on the same day and/ or week. This means you will need to plan out weeks in advance to account for the workload. Creating a calendar for the semester is a great way to map it all out visually and keep you on track. Be sure to post your calendar somewhere in your household where your family members can see it to avoid them planning an event when you’re not available.
  • Build a flexible schedule. Some parts of your schedule are going to be set-in-stone, such as your classes and if possible, your work schedule. But your study times will vary week-to-week. It’s best to try and create a routine you can stick to, but are able to adjust if other things come up. As a working student, you will need to adapt and be prepared for new assignments and unexpected errands. Be sure to block off enough time in your schedule to study, that way if something unexpected pops up you can study another time that is already on your schedule.
  • Create daily and weekly “To-Do” lists. Personally, I’m a “To-Do” list admirer, everything from grocery shopping to packing, it all goes down on a list to help keep me organized. Writing out your daily and weekly tasks will help you keep track of what you have accomplished and what you still need to get done.
  • Plan out your academic path. Sit down with an Academic Advisor and discuss the classes you are required to take for your major. Sometimes (and I wish someone would have told me this sooner), a required class is only available one or two times per week, and they are at most unreasonable times — like a Wednesday from 4:00pm to 6:15pm. If you don’t take it this semester, you may get behind the next one. Your Academic Advisor will be able to map out these required classes, so you can plan your other schedules accordingly.
  • Set time aside for your family. As you fill-in your schedule, be sure to include time for your family and family obligations, like birthday parties and barbeques.
  • Schedule weekend time with friends. You’ll quickly notice between school, work, and family time, your social life kind of goes out the window. But it doesn’t have to. You’ll want to maintain your friendships, and just like anything else, you will need to schedule the time to do so. At the beginning of the week schedule time with your friends to hangout that following weekend.
  • Pencil in “Me” time. To avoid stress overload and a total burnout, it’s important to make sure to plan for yourself – even if it’s just an hour at the gym or a half an hour reading. Make time to keep yourself healthy and happy.
  • The jobs you hold in college are just an important in shaping your professional career as the classes you take. Keep this in mind through the constant juggling – you’ll thank yourself later down the line for balancing it all!

7 Benefits of Working in the Restaurant Industry

The restaurant business offers many benefits, which is why most restaurant workers express a lot of optimism working in the industry. The restaurant business is worth approximately $709 billion (yes, that’s billion with a B!), which leaves it as a place for tremendous opportunities and growth. Still not convinced? Here are 7 benefits of working in the industry that will help change your mind!

1. Opportunity for All: The restaurant industry is one of the few that provides job opportunities for all age groups – from Newbie’s to Veterans, Host to General Managers, there are job openings for any age group ranging from 16-65 (and over).

2. Tremendous Employment Growth and Career Advancement: It is estimated by 2025 the restaurant industry will employ 15.7 million workers – an increase of 1.7 million from 2015. For those who have worked in the industry, nine out of 10 claim it is a good place to land a first job, and 70% of all workers ages 18-65 have advanced to higher paying jobs. The highest-paying restaurant jobs can easily reach six-figures, and are attainable for anyone with the right experience.

3. Great Networking Opportunity: On top of providing tremendous career advancement, working in restaurants offers great networking opportunities. This is especially true of those who work in Front of the House positions — like Hosts, Servers, Bussers, and Bartenders — as these tend to be very engaging jobs. In these roles, you get to meet all types of people from different backgrounds. These individuals can turn into work connections, unearthing new opportunities.

4. Not You’re Typical 9-5 Job: The restaurant industry is one of the few that offers flexible working hours to fit around family and social lives. It is also one of the few to offer both part-time and full-time work, as many restaurants are open extended hours. Many younger employees make the most of what the industry has to offer and are also enrolled in school (if you are enrolled in school, check out our blog for some great tips on How to Handle Being a Full-Time Student with a Part-Time Job!).

5. Training Included: Many restaurants provide their own training program which can help workers develop their individual skill sets. This allows them to move into successful careers – regardless of their education.

6. A Rewarding and Lucrative Career: In regards to hourly pay, many restaurant employees make a hefty hourly wage, especially those who earn tips on top of their base pay — like Servers and Bartenders. Restaurant managers of many corporate and some private businesses earn very competitive salaries — not to mention quarterly and yearly bonuses. In fact, nine out of 10 owners and operators say they will likely work in restaurants until they retire.

7. Travel Opportunities and Job Security: Restaurants are located around the globe, and there are no indications it will slow down (remembers, that’s billion with a B!) Many corporate restaurant brands operate internationally, and are willing to provide placements or relocations.

What is your favorite thing about working in the restaurant industry? Post your comment below!

*Statistics taken from The National Restaurant Association. 

The 6 Success Factors for a New Job

Congratulations on getting the job! Although you have passed through enough hurdles already – from having an eye-catching application to mastering pre-interview and interview etiquette –landing the job doesn’t mean your efforts should stop. In fact, the first few months at a new job are oftentimes a trial period to ensure the company has hired the right person. Even though everyone’s workplace is different, we all face the same challenges when we start a new job. Become a rockstar in your new position with these success tips!

  • Accept the “Newbie” status (and the grunt work that comes along with it). Chances are when you start a new job you’ll be asked to do some grunt work before you have any real responsibility. Showing good work ethic no matter what the task is you are assigned to do is what will set you apart from others. This means no complaining or disagreeing.
  • Ask questions. Managers like when you ask questions as it shows you are taking your new role seriously. Your manager wants to see you do your job correctly (they did hire you after all!), and the best way to make sure that happens is to ask questions. Be sure to actively listen and restate what your manager answers back to avoid miscommunication.
  • Take initiative. Asking questions when you need to and wanting to learn are great qualities to posses, but so is taking initiative. If you see an area that is lacking or something that needs to be done – like napkins that need to be folded or silverware that needs to be put away –doing it rather than asking permission will show you take initiative, which is another excellent quality to have.
  • Go above and beyond. Have you heard the term, “The more you put in, the more you get out?” Well this is especially true of any job you hold. Oftentimes, it’s not the person who does only their job that gets promoted – it’s the person who goes above and beyond what their role is. This means that even if a certain task is not in your job description, you do it — especially if your manager asks.
  • Keep organized and never miss a deadline. Being on time, getting your work done, and keeping yourself organized are important factors when starting a new job. Don’t come in late and make sure you always complete your tasks before you leave for the day.
  • Break time and time off etiquette. Although companies are required to give their employees breaks and lunches, asking when your next break will be does not leave a good impression. Your employer will believe you just see the job as a paycheck – not one that you enjoy doing. The same goes for time-off requests. If you already have a vacation planned before you accept your new position, be sure to let your new manager know as soon as possible (when you accept the position is the best time). Otherwise, wait until your 90-day trial period is over until you start asking for time off.

Do you have any success tips or advice to share? We’d love to hear from you! Post your comment below.

Knock Em’ Dead: Phone Interview Etiquette

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!

Knock Em’ Dead: Ace The Interview and Land the Job

Now that you have mastered pre-interview etiquette and understand the importance of your punctuality, greeting, and attire, lets get you prepared to ace the interview! Here are some common interview questions and answers that will land you the job!

Can you tell us about yourself? By asking this, your interviewer will want to determine how friendly and personable you are. Talk about things they would not be able to Google about you — throw in any sports or extracurricular activities you participate in, especially those that are relative to the job. For instance, saying you take cooking classes because you aspire to become a chef one day is a great thing to include when applying to a restaurant.

What excites you about the job? Research and understand the job description under the company’s Hiring Portal on ZippyApp prior to your interview so you know the duties and requirements of the position. Getting an interview means you likely have the necessary experience and requirements needed to get the job — the interview is a better way for you to showcase your skills, rather than just having them on a piece of paper. Explain your experience with each of the duties the job requires. For instance, if you are applying to a Host position, explaining you have experience working in a fast-paced environment (like a mall) is a great way of showing you have the ability to take care of multiple customers at one time. See any skills you don’t have? Think about experiences you have had that are non-work related – like group projects or team sports.

Why do you think you are a good fit? Hiring managers usually are interested in seeing if would be a good fit for the team or not. Picture yourself in the company environment and ambiance, and explain how you are a good fit with that. Mentioning you play sports and enjoy a team environment is a great way to demonstrate you are a team player.

Why our company? Understanding what makes the company unique from others will score you points in the interview. Research their menu and/ or merchandise; then tell them you embrace their concept and explain how you would bring value to that. Demonstrating your knowledge about their products and offerings will convey your desire to work for them.

Come prepared with questions to ask of your own. Remember, you are interviewing the hiring manager just as much as they are interviewing you. Going in to an interview prepared with questions of your own will show the hiring manager you are serious about the position. Some good questions to come prepared with are:

  • What will a typical workday look like?
  • What are some of the challenges someone in this position would face?
  • What are the opportunities for growth for someone in this position?

Have any interview questions to share? We would love to hear from you! Post your comments here.

Knock Em’ Dead: Pre-Interview Etiquette

The job interview: You hope to get one, but you dread going to one. There probably isn’t a more uneasier situation than walking into a room full of strangers and keeping your composure while you’re every move and word gets scrutinized!

Before you head out the door to your next interview, remember the most powerful skill in business: Etiquette. Manners and respect are the foundation of good relationships, and good relationships translate to business success. Your etiquette is a reflection of your personal brand and reputation, and possessing proper etiquette can make all the difference in nailing the interview and getting the job or going back to the ZippyApp Job Board. Master the pre-interview with these etiquette tips.

If you decide the job isn’t for you or you have taken a position elsewhere, be sure let your interviewer know as soon as possible that you will not be attending the interview. Email is good, but a phone call is better. It may seem like common sense to do, but you’d be surprised to find out the number of people who forgo this vital step. Not doing this can tarnish your reputation and burn a bridge before you even got the chance to build one. Keep in mind in any industry you get into, people know people — and they talk. You don’t want to be known in the industry as someone who is unprofessional, irresponsible, and unreliable.

Your punctuality says a lot about you as a person, and even more as an employee. Punctuality demonstrates that you are professional, dependable, and respectful of other people’s time. It gives the interviewer a sense of your time keeping skills, which is a further indication of your organization skills and your ability to meet deadlines. It can also tell them whether or not you are more likely to show up for work on time. A good rule of thumb is to arrive five to 10 minutes before your interview, but never before 10 minutes (remember to be respectful). Give yourself plenty of time to travel, with extra time for unforeseeable circumstances. If you do end up running behind, call right away and explain the situation with the new time you will arrive.

Your interview begins as soon as you walk into the building, even if the hiring manager is not your first point of contact. Before going in, be sure to turn your cellphone off (keeping it on vibrate can still be distracting if it goes off) and leave any unnecessary belongings behind. Smile and greet the first person you see with a strong handshake, stating your name and who you are there to interview with. An example greeting to practice: “Hi, my name is Bruce Bowers. Nice to meet you! I’m here to speak with Kamyar Faron about your open Host position.” If the person who escorts you to your interview is different than the first person you spoke with, stand up, shake hands, and introduce yourself in the same manner before they escort you into your interview.

The way you dress is a factor in how people perceive you, and can be a deciding factor in whether or not you land the job. In fact, 65% of hiring managers say they will select the candidate who dressed appropriately for the interview over someone who did not if all other factors were the same. So what is appropriate dress attire? It can really depend on the company and the position you are applying to. Your interviewer is going to look at you and assess whether or not you would be a good fit, so you will need to make sure you look like a good fit. An easy way to do this is to check out the companies social media profiles to see how their employees dress — Facebook and Instagram are great channels to do this. If all else fails, dress up and conservatively to give a positive impression.

* ZippyApp Tip: You can get a leg up in this area if you upload a photo or video to your ZippyApp application, since the hiring manager(s) will already have a good perception of you in their minds.

In our next Blog we will  discuss the questions most likely to be asked in your interview, and impressive ways to answer them. Stay tuned!

* Statistics taken from collegeatlas.org

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

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!

ZippyApp Receives Record Reception at 2015 Multi-Unit Franchising Conference.

ZippyApp’s complete suite of social, local, and mobile recruiting solutions for the hourly job market was a major success at the 2015 Multi-Unit Franchising Conference in Las Vegas, NV.

Sunnyvale, CA, May 19, 2015 – ZippyApp, the marketplace for hourly job seekers and employers, announced today that it had a record number of exhibit traffic at the Multi-Unit Franchising Conference held in April in Las Vegas, NV. The conference is attended by successful franchisees looking for new franchise opportunities as well as solutions to improve the operations of their existing franchise units. The event is primarily attended by QSRs and other food-related concepts, however, there were participants from other non-food related concepts as well.

“We are thrilled by the reception we received at the conference and the enthusiasm of the franchisees in experiencing the innovations offered by ZippyApp. Franchisees were excited to hear about the well thought-out solution and were delighted by the cost effectiveness of ZippyApp. A significant majority of visitors were ready to engage at the show and most went live with ZippyApp immediately following the conference,” stated ZippyApp Founder and CEO Kamyar Faron. “Participants particularly appreciated how ZippyApp addresses their unique recruiting challenges, which are always missing from on-boarding and workforce management solutions,” added Faron.

About ZippyApp: A true innovation in the hourly job market, ZippyApp provides social, local, and mobile solutions for 24/7 recruiting and hiring. ZippyApp is raising the bar in recruiting and hiring by setting the gold standard for local staffing with their efficient, effective, and effortless system. ZippyApp fits into any recruitment budget so organizations have nothing to lose and everything to gain by trying this innovative approach to staffing. For more information, visit http://www.zippyapp.com.