Four questions to help you hire the right restaurant staff

By Cameron Laker

Understanding the way you hire restaurant staff can change your business forever. Answering four questions can help you gain a deeper understanding of your hiring practices and help to address some of the challenges associated with running a successful business.

Before you get started, it helps to recognize that there is a generational shift unfolding within the workforce. Millennials (born between 1980-2000) are now the largest group to enter the workforce since the baby boomers. Their needs and values are different, and restaurants investing in unique strategies to attract, develop and engage this generation are recognizing the positive impacts on their bottom line.

Attracting the right staff

How are potential hires finding your jobs?

To hire great staff for your restaurant, you need to be able to attract the right people. Today’s generation has grown up in a digital age and communicating within digital channels is of paramount importance. Online job boards and social media are a great place to start.

Online job boards provide both free and paid platforms to broadcast your job openings to a large audience. Social media can then be used to amplify these postings and engage with potential staff. Creating a connection with job seekers starts by knowing where these individuals reside online and starting to engage.

Start by looking at your current staff and what social channels they use to interact.

Screening for the best fit hires

Do you hire using gut instincts, or do you have a way of assessing one employee over another?

While most restaurant owners and managers are great judges of character, an assessment tool can give tangible metrics to measure a potential hire versus another. Implementing an assessment into your hiring process allows you to better predict who will be a successful employee.

Assessments can measure areas such as attributes and skills, culture fit and engagement levels before hiring is completed. Even the most basic assessment tool can provide a level of measurement that can be used for assessing future hires and comparing against your top staff.

Engaging your staff

Do you measure engagement levels of your current staff?

This generation of workers is known for being a transient group who on average will switch jobs every two years. One way to measure your staffs’ engagement levels is by using ongoing pulse surveys. These are quick, confidential surveys that give a real-time understanding of what is going on within your restaurant and share insights into employee morale.

Additionally, engagement platforms are another tool companies are using with great success with keeping employees engaged. Engagement platforms allow for better information sharing and communication between employees. These platforms help increase transparency between staff and management, offer coaching opportunities and create stronger team collaboration.

Using data to improve hires

What kinds of data do you collect on your employees?

Collecting ongoing data on your staff can help you gain a holistic view of your workforce. Data collected before and after a hire is made can reveal valuable insights into what separates your top performers from those who are costing you valuable money every day. You can start to scientifically hire better by understanding what’s driving performance, what attributes you need to screen for in an assessment and what characteristics can predict engagement over time.

Investing in a stronger social presence, assessments, engagement tools and a data driven hiring approach are a few ways you can continuously recruit, hire and retain high quality employees in today’s workplace.

About the author:

Cameron Laker co-founded MindField Group in 2005, with a focus on helping hourly employers improve the quality of their workforce. Since opening its doors, MindField Group has worked with over 80 of Canada’s top retailers and facilitated the hiring of over 50,000 Canadians while processing over 3 Million applications.

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