Accelerating your hiring process for top restaurant talent

By Matt Parkin

As a general manager of a restaurant, you understand the challenges of hiring and retaining top talent in the fast-paced and competitive foodservice industry. Finding great candidates can often be a daunting task, and the hiring process can sometimes be slow and inefficient. In this article, we will discuss why you may be missing out on great candidates and why it’s crucial to expedite your hiring process to attract and retain the best talent for your restaurant.

The candidate drop-off dilemma

Did you know that around 80 per cent of candidates drop off during the application process? Lengthy and complicated application processes can deter potential candidates, causing them to abandon the process altogether. This is largely because most job seekers are unemployed and will take the first offer they receive. To capture the attention of qualified candidates, streamline your application process.

Apply to your own job posting and those of your competitors to identify areas of friction. Focus on gathering essential information upfront, and eliminate unnecessary steps. Make it easy for candidates to express their interest and provide their qualifications, ensuring a smooth and efficient experience from the start.

The case for speedy hiring

In a competitive job market, time is of the essence. Filling roles quickly can bring that same feeling for both candidates and employers. According to the FindWRK Picture of the Hourly Workforce Report, most job seekers take the first offer they receive, and delays in your hiring process can result in losing top talent to other opportunities. As a restaurant general manager, it’s essential to recognize that the candidate’s experience begins from the first point of contact.

Provide timely and transparent communication throughout the hiring process to engage candidates and showcase your organization as an employer of choice. If you know you have a busy week, hold off on posting your role until you’re able to confidently screen and reply to candidates in a 24 to 48-hour window. By treating candidates respectfully and moving swiftly, you increase your chances of securing top talent for your restaurant.

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The power of retention

Employee experience starts from the first interaction with a potential employer. By improving the candidate experience, you not only attract great talent but also increase your chances of retaining them. Candidates who have a positive experience during the hiring process are more likely to stay engaged and committed to their roles once hired. Strive to create a seamless and efficient process that showcases your organization’s professionalism, values, and commitment to employee satisfaction. As great as staff pizza parties are, they likely won’t move the dial for better staff retention. Instead of focusing on culture after an employee finishes training, explore how you can embed your culture into the hiring process.

A case study: The Art Gallery of Ontario

The Art Gallery of Ontario does a great job of embedding its culture into the hiring process. They treat their candidates and employees with respect, just like they do with their guests. Recently, their food and beverage team had a high volume of roles to fill. They connected with 10 candidates, interviewing seven, and ultimately hiring five, all within a remarkable four-day period. They got back to candidates the same day they expressed interest, receiving text message replies in under 10 minutes. Their team was able to cut their recruiting admin time by 50 per cent, and their hiring time by 30 per cent. This shows that the candidates are out there and will reply to you quickly if you show the same speed in return.

Moving forward

In the competitive restaurant industry, attracting and retaining top talent is crucial for success. Accelerating your hiring process and improving your candidate experience can reduce your candidate drop-off rate and connect you with top talent before your competitors. Remember that employee experience begins from the first point of contact, so look beyond the staff pizza parties and strive to provide a positive and efficient experience throughout the hiring journey. By moving faster and enhancing the candidate experience, you position your restaurant for long-term success through a highly skilled and dedicated team.

Matt Parkin is the Business Development Lead at FindWRK. He helps employers quickly connect with hourly employees without needing a job posting.