By Karen and Ross Horton
It’s the most wonderful time of the year – time when business is booming. Thanks to the influx of spending and time spent by consumers out of the house running errands and shopping, restaurants face a busy season and a need for additional workers. With so many seasonal jobs available, your restaurant needs to do whatever it takes to stand out in the eyes of the applicants.
Starting your search
When you initially decide to hire seasonal employees, the first thing you should think about is where you’re going to look for your new hires. Be sure to utilize local sources, such as schools, newspapers and community magazines in the area. Word of mouth can also drive leads, so share information on your hiring needs with current staff and existing customers. Then, decide if you’re hiring for a truly seasonal position or a contract position. Seasonal jobs are normally referred to as anything less than three months, while anything from three months to one year is generally referred to as a contract or temporary position.
Some things that will immediately set your job opening apart from others include sharing the opportunity on your business’ social media pages, starting your search before your competitors and being crystal clear on the length of the assignment.
How to promote your seasonal position
Get in the heads of your ideal candidates when promoting your seasonal jobs. You need to market why they would want to work there. Highlight aspects that will appeal to them, showcasing that it’s a fun position with a great work environment. Host an open house (recruitment) party with local marketing and encourage staff to invite a friend – it is always nice to keep jobs local where possible.
Some seasonal positions may lead to regular part-time or full-time employment opportunities. If yours does, be up front about it in conversations with applicants. Let each candidate know that, while it is a short-term position, there is the possibility for retaining a few workers, or hiring them again for seasonal work during the summer or next year’s holiday season. However, always be sure to not overpromise on something that you may under-deliver on.
Keeping your seasonal hires happy
This is a short-term job, so it should have some perks and be a good environment. Remember these are people who may return to work next season, turn into your customers and be good referral sources for the future. Think about ways you can value their good service and what perks you can offer, which may include discounts and a competitive wage to encourage people to work short-term.
Although they are only temporary positions, you cannot rush the hiring process. The key to getting the most qualified workers who fit your system is remembering to always do a thorough interview and follow your reference checking policies – no matter how busy the season is!
About the authors:
Karen and Ross Horton are Regional Developers with Patrice and Associates, commonly referred to as the gold standard in hospitality recruiting. Based in Niagara Falls, the Hortons work to recruit full-time hospitality employees in Canada, focusing on Ontario, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. Prior to becoming Patrice & Associates’ first Canadian Regional Developers, Ross and Karen had illustrious careers in hospitality facility management and fundraising and event management, respectively.