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Build a Top-Notch Restaurant Recruiting Process in 3 Steps
Savvy restaurateurs know that solid processes are the key to achieving consistency within their businesses. The problem is that some restaurant owners only leverage repeatable processes for their employees to follow, particularly if the restaurant is franchised – recipes for each dish, guidelines around cleanliness and food safety, consistent greetings to customers, standards for busing and cleaning tables, etc.
Why Restaurants Need A Clear Recruiting Process
Too many restaurants are plagued year-round by the lack of clear recruitment and hiring processes, leading to bad hires, high turnover, and a poor employment brand. While most restaurateurs did not get their start in recruiting and are hardly experts on predictable hiring, they can still implement effective recruiting practices and build a strong employment brand by investing just a couple hours a week. Below, we’ve outlined three steps to help food service owners build a top-notch recruiting process.
Step One: Selectively Attract the Right Applicants
In order to identify the strengths of the restaurant’s current team and create a repeatable, predictable hiring process, restaurant management should benchmark top employees on desired culture fit, mathematical aptitude, and verbal ability. Once they have quantified a baseline for expectations, managers know what to look for in the talent pool and can screen candidates with confidence, and with an Applicant Tracking System in place, the screening process can be automated, along with job post distribution to an even larger candidate pool.
Step Two: Objectively Identify the Best Applicants
Many restaurants still require applicants to complete paper applications, but the shortsightedness of that approach is twofold: first, with a high percentage of high school and college-age applicants, a digital, mobile-friendly application process will greatly increase applicant flow; second, standard paper applications don’t provide the applicant insights that a customizable digital application process can reveal. Under the current standard, restaurants are learning less relevant information about a fewer number of applicants, and in 2016, restaurants are beginning to compete on talent in a huge way. Put simply, when restaurant owners and managers rely on paper applications, they are putting the business at a disadvantage competitively and increasing the risk of turnover and brand damage.
In order to identify the best applicants, management should leverage software with qualifying tools, such as tailored pre-screen questions on the application, candidate personality and aptitude assessments, and customizable interview guides. Requiring all applicants to proceed through these hiring process steps ensures consistency by eliminating variables and minimizing subjectivity.
Step Three: Consistently Interview and Evaluate Top Talent
Once management has agreed on the structure of the interview process, evaluation questions, and non-negotiables, the next step is to build the criteria into a repeatable system. This is an area where an Applicant Tracking System can be incredibly valuable to managing and ensuring consistency in the interview process. By using tailored interview guides, the restaurant owner can empower managers to make consistent hiring decisions based on the criteria and values that are most important to the restaurant’s employment brand. Structuring expectations in the interview process is one of the most effective tactics restaurant owners can employ in reducing turnover and consistently hiring A-players.
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