Help wanted! If you’re finding yourself in need of restaurant employees, you aren’t alone. If you’re having trouble finding them, again, you aren’t alone in this tight labor market.
With the United States unemployment rate hovering at 3.7%, many restaurant owners are struggling to find staff to fill their restaurant. Open positions may go unfilled, and your service may suffer.
In this article, we look at how to find good employees in a tight market, so you can continue to provide the best food and service in town.
Make recruiting your talent easier by having a database of potential candidates.
This might be people who’ve come in looking for a job when you didn’t need any staff. Or, it might be a list of people that have been recommended to you.
When you have a high-quality pipeline of potential new hires, you’ve always got a list of people to pull from. This puts you in charge and in front of the recruiting.
You can also check out job boards, offer your staff an employee referral program, network with others in the restaurant industry, and check out the competition’s staff.
Your current restaurant team also has a lot to offer. They may know several people who might be looking for a job, and they’ll certainly know if the people would fit into your restaurant culture.
Creating a pipeline means having a strong list so that when you need to hire for your restaurant, you have a ready-list of candidates.
Regardless of where you find or hear about the candidates, always do your research and thoroughly vet them. Shortcuts aren’t recommended for job searches.
How does your salary and benefit package compare to the competition?
In a tight labor market, the candidate has the upper hand. With so many job openings, especially in the ever-revolving restaurant business, your candidates can ask for more and often get it at your competition.
Do your research and know what others are paying. Your candidates are salary savvy, so you have to be, too.
To compete for the best restaurant staff, your salary and benefits package must be worth their time.
You know about customer appreciation, but do you know how to show staff you appreciate them?
Happy customers are a direct result of happy staff.
A competitive benefits package can affect your restaurant in a positive way. In fact, benefits are nearly as important as salary when people are considering a new job. (tweet this)
While you can concentrate on traditional benefits offerings, think outside the box. These can be things like employee rewards programs, free meals, a free health club membership, more days off, and others.
Get creative and find out what works best for your restaurant. In addition to attracting top talent, good benefits help you retain your staff, so you don’t have to hire quite so often.
While this may be harder to do in a restaurant environment, you can offer your staff a path to advancement that includes added responsibility.
For example, you might offer to teach your staff member new skills, so they are more marketable. This might mean mentoring line cooks and helping them hone their skills.
Or, you might offer in-depth customer service training to your waitstaff, so they can be leaders in the industry.
We encourage you to use traditional job boards such as Indeed or LinkedIn, but we also suggest adding social media to your job search.
Social media is a powerful tool, and with billions of daily users, you have an audience ready to see your job posting.
Before sharing jobs on social media platforms like Facebook, be sure your business page profile is complete and up-to-date. Next, you want to create a compelling, attractive job posting.
You want something to hook social media users in, so they want to work at your restaurant. Think about creating a fun video to go along with your job posting. This helps you showcase your restaurant culture while interacting with new hires.
To jump start your search, you can also target certain audiences and cast your net. For example, college-age students are often looking for a part time position, and this can be a good place to start.
Begin with the colleges in your area and get in touch with their job placement counselors. They’ll often post your job for you and send it out to their students. You might even be able to participate in a college job fair.
If you have a culinary school in town, this is also a place to consider.
Research different markets. For example, if you need lunchtime help, look to the mom groups in your area. You might find some people who’d like to work during the hours their children are in school.
The culture of your restaurant can be a selling point when it comes to hiring in a tight market.
Restaurant staff is often close-knit, so you want to communicate your culture to your candidates. In addition, when hiring, you want to make sure you hire someone who’ll fit in.
You want team members not only with the right skills who meet your job needs, but you want people who’ll mesh with your restaurant culture and values. This ensures you’ll have a better retention rate. (tweet this)
Finding good employees isn’t an easy task, especially in a tight market, and it can be difficult when you have so much on your plate already as a restaurant owner or manager.
But, when you do start recruiting, you want to move quickly. It’s a fast-paced, competitive hiring market, so you can’t afford to drag your feet.
If you find a candidate who meets your needs, get back in touch sooner rather than later as they might already have other job offers.
When offering the job, put your marketing hat on and make sure the candidate knows why they should come to work for you and how much they’ll gain from the experience.
At Restaurant Engine, not only do we create great, responsive websites, but you can count on us to create a website that drives business to all your restaurants and edges you above the competition by using mobile-friendly design with a terrific user experience. Ready to take the plunge and create a website with an online menu, blog and beautiful photos? Get your free website consultation today!