Food service is a tough business, and tough in a lot of ways that no other industry deals with. This makes hiring quality employees tricky. Someone who seems great on paper can turn out to be a nightmare, and the actual perfect candidate might have a short resume or had a lackluster interview. Here are are our best tips for getting great people on your team and hanging onto them.
Don’t Underestimate The Value of Word-of-Mouth
The good thing about hiring for food service is that there is an abundance of talent, so there’s a huge likelihood that someone who works for you knows someone in the industry who’s good at their job. Friends-of-friends are a great resource, and there’s no better background check than a trustworthy employee vouching for a candidate. Mashable takes it one step further and suggests to always be thinking of people you meet as potential hires, even if you’re not looking to hire at that moment.
Be Conscious of Workplace Culture
It’s a term that usually gets associated with the corporate world, but the fact is that every workplace has its own culture. By being conscious of your restaurant’s employee culture, you can ensure that it’s the kind of place that will attract quality candidates. Additionally, candidates will always talk to one or more of your current employees on their way in to interview, and this initial impression will influence whether or not your interviewee will remain interested.
Most employers know to post jobs on sites like Craigslist and CareerBuilder, but so does pretty much every job candidate, which doesn’t do much in the way of pre-screening. Services like the iHireHospitalityServices are targeted specifically to the restaurant/hospitality industry, and while they don’t guarantee candidate quality, it’s safe to assume that people who go out of their way to market themselves through these channels are serious about their work in this specific field.
Ask Detailed Questions On the Application
Restaurant Engine suggests weeding out bad candidates by asking questions that require knowledge and/or research specific to the work a potential employee would be doing. Questions like, “When should you take a main course to a customer?” will be a deterrent to candidates who neither know nor can be bothered to look it up. Why would you want someone who’s willing to do research just to misrepresent how much they know about their job? Well…
Hire For Attitude, Not Skill
Skill can be taught to pretty much anyone who wants to learn, but the desire to do great work is a character trait. If someone is willing to look up job information just to finish an application, which guarantees nothing, they might be a worthwhile candidate. The flip of this is equally true: if you hire someone who’s exceptionally skilled but is a nightmare to work with, this is someone who’ll bring your whole staff’s morale down. The key is to strike a balanced between know-how and the desire to get better.