Your employees are your restaurant’s main brand ambassadors. Therefore, how you set about hiring them can make or break your restaurant.
There are basically three things you need to remember each time you have to recruit someone, the first being your restaurant’s business goals. Bear in mind what you need to achieve in the short and long term as a business. Secondly, establish how the role you are recruiting for is meant to help you achieve your business goals. Thirdly, remember the type of culture and brand you are trying to build for your restaurant and find people who will fit into the culture.
The aforementioned three points should form the basis of the strategy you will use to attract and retain the best talent. Staff members involved with recruitment should familiarise themselves with this strategy.
Before interviewing candidates
Create a persona for the role that you want to be filled
This should include what you envision the ideal person doing in that role, the qualifications they must have, as well as their level of experience. What you should also include in the persona profile is the person’s attitude and work ethic.
Craft the vacancy advert
Give a description of your restaurant as well as your brand culture. This is important as it will give potential candidates an idea of the type of environment they will be working under. After writing the job description, add the ideal personal qualities that the candidates should have.
Choose your media carefully
Decide on which is the best medium to find staff for your restaurant and place the vacancy advert there. Besides traditional media, you have a vast array of online recruitment platforms as well as social media sites to choose from. Select the platform that is frequented by most of your potential candidates. On your website, create a vacancies page, where you list all available positions in your restaurant. Post the vacancies on your social media pages too. Use your website and social media platforms to tell your restaurant’s unique brand story.
Get input from your team
Remember that your top employees know your restaurant best and they may know other people who may excel in the vacant position. Talk to your team and they may recommend the best candidates to interview.
Develop interview questions
Create questions that will help the interviewing team assess each candidate’s suitability for the role. In addition to including questions about the experience and qualifications of the candidates, you should also include questions that help you understand the candidate’s personality and attitude. Place the questions in a questionnaire format and have each interviewer fill out the questionnaire during the interview. You may even establish a scale-based rating system for some of the questions. This will make it easier for the interviewers to discuss the candidates after each interview.
During the interview
Ever heard of the expression: two heads are better than one? When it comes to interviewing candidates, this expression rings exceptionally true. A solo interviewer may miss or misread certain cues and personality traits that may support or disrupt the company culture. Having two or more people will open the way for a meaningful discussion after the interview, to ascertain whether the candidate is qualified and would be a good fit for the role.
Look for non-verbal cues
What the interviewers don’t say is as important as what they do say, look at their body language as they react to certain questions. For example, you may have a candidate who has the best qualifications but has an air of arrogance about them, if you are willing to bring them on board, think about how their attitude might affect your staff.
After the interview
Recruit with diversity in mind
Assess each candidate based on the notes from each interviewer and make a decision that works best for the restaurant. In your selection, bear in mind that a team made up of employees with different types of backgrounds, experience and different personalities works best, as they will be able to complement each other. Where one lacks in a certain area, the other employees will make up for it. This will ensure that you have a team that sees matters from different perspectives, creating a restaurant with a unique blend of creativity and excellence. In fact, according to one study, 78% of recruiters diversify their staff in order to improve their company culture.
Conduct background checks
Before adding anyone to your restaurant’s staff, look up their references. In this way, you will be able to weed out those with false credentials. It also helps to check your potential employee’s social media pages as these may reveal their personality as well as habits that may affect their work.
In order to attract and retain the best talent, you need to build your restaurant to be a place that people desire to be a part of. On top of having the best employment packages, the workplace culture and working conditions go a long way in attracting the best talent. Build the right restaurant brand, stick to an effective recruitment strategy and the right talent will follow.