What Matters Most: How to Hire the Best
By: Joe Kelly, TalentServed
The people that make up your team will have just as much to do with the success of your restaurant as your food will – It’s just that simple. Or is it? Finding and hiring the right team in the restaurant industry is not as easy as it sounds. In fact, it is one of the most frustrating aspects of the business. You are faced with an increasingly competitive marketplace, a fixed budget, limited time, unique culture, generational differences and a talent shortage. While there is no easy answer to overcoming these challenges, there are a few key points every restaurant owner must know when hiring the right team.
- Know what you want – define your hiring strategy
Developing and executing a hiring strategy requires a significant investment of time and energy, but skipping it will cost you in the long run – turnover is expensive. Take the time to outline your specific hiring needs and what is most important in terms of each individual position as well as the overall team. Start from the top down and involve key employees in developing the plan.
- Know where to look – identify quality candidates
The best managers are always looking for talent –superstars don’t show up when it’s convenient. Also, culture and loyalty are two of the most important attributes and can be found with current employees that have proven track records – so managers need to train well and promote from within whenever possible.When you have a job to fill, time is of the essence. Post the position on multiple job boards and actively source – don’t “post and pray.” Start your search close to home where you or members of your existing team already have relationships – implement an employee referral program and tap your own network. Next, cast your net wide by engaging in several social media sites and industry/networking events.
Your goal is to identify as many qualified candidates as possible for the interview process. This will improve your probability for filling the current position with a top rated candidate as well as help you build a strong pipeline for future openings.
- Know how to close the deal – execute on a top-rated interview process
Keep at the top of mind that it’s a two-way street: promoting your brand/culture is just as important as candidate evaluation. You won’t be able to bring in top talent without a structured and effective interview process. First, define your steps and clearly communicate those to the candidate: phone screen, in person interview, day in the life and final round interview. Next, include your managers in the entire process – having their buy-in is important in building a cohesive team. Develop a pre-defined set of interview questions that will help you determine if the candidate is a cultural fit and whether or not they have the right experience.Once the process has started, keep it moving – momentum is key. Stay connected to the candidate throughout the entire process. Understand your competition and prepare a competitive offer that will reflect demand in the market. When you present the offer, ask for a quick response – your chances of closing on the deal are higher within the first 48 to 72 hours.
- Know when to use the experts – understand your competition
The fact is you have competition – a lot of it – and the market is demanding more talent for quality restaurant managers than ever before. Restaurants have consistently ranked as the second largest private sector employer, providing jobs for 1 in 10 working Americans.Because the success of your restaurant depends upon the quality of your team, carefully consider all of your options – both internal and external – when addressing your hiring needs. Investing in the right resources at the right time will result in long term benefits that far outweigh the upfront costs.