Just a few short years ago, online ads and storefront job postings were fairly effective ways to attract restaurant job candidates. Supply was so strong that many knowledgeable and well-trained workers found themselves sidelined in a decidedly employer’s market.
Times have changed. With low national and industry unemployment, most qualified restaurant staffers are already in the game, while new restaurants are competing for increasingly scarce employees. So how can you compete in today’s demand-driven market?
In 2017, you’ll need to employ proactive strategies to reach out, attract, and engage with the right candidates to build your business in a highly competitive environment. Your efforts must reflect an understanding of Millennials (under age 30) and how they prefer to be contacted. Furthermore, your communications must be continuous, yet cost-effective, or they won’t be sustainable. Here is what our restaurant insiders recommend:
- Promote your work culture with user generated content.
Millennials want to become part of something bigger than themselves. They want to join a team whose values and brand personality match their own. Many restaurants have an appealing culture, but don’t understand it well enough to promote it online. Think about your company’s core values, your customer experience, and what your employees believe are the greatest aspects of working at your restaurant. Then promote these ideas through your website and social channels with user generated content. Have your waitresses and cooks upload blog entries, pictures, and social posts about their daily experiences and company outings. A recent Bazaarvoice study found that 84 percent of Millennials say that user generated content influences their thinking. According to Hubspot, 84 percent don’t trust traditional advertising. Radio spots and even TV ads in your corporate voice are much less credible to this generation than the true experiences of your employees as told through social platforms.
- Build a talent pipeline and consistently engage candidates.
Specialized online hourly job platforms like Hoops Talent On-Demand have deep relationships with employers and candidates in specific verticals like the restaurant industry. This is where you will find a concentrated pool of pre-qualified candidates who provide detailed information about themselves in order to attract a matching employer. The sought-after candidates have done their homework on where to promote themselves online, so meet them where they are. By building this pipeline and keeping potential candidates engaged, it will be easier to fill open positions.
- Focus on employee retention
Now that you have strategies for attracting, engaging, and hiring qualified candidates, you need a comprehensive program for retaining your restaurant rock stars. Identify your best performers, those who personify your core values and those with management potential. Talk with them about your vision for their growth; provide a mentor and even a career track plan. Meet regularly and as they reach milestones, provide small rewards, and recognize their hard work and achievement with bonuses.
Remember: your most committed employees are your best resources for developing the kind of culture that continually attracts the right candidates to your restaurant.
Employers that partner with Hoops Talent On-Demand get immediate access to pre-screened, available local talent. Sign up now and get started filling open positions quickly and easily with the right talent for your business.