In restaurants across the country these days, it seems like “Help Wanted” signs are just as common as daily specials boards. Unfortunately, though, just putting a sign in the window isn’t enough to attract quality employees. Competent applicants are not going to walk through your door on their own – you have to seek them out. Keep reading for a few ways to recruit employees.
Most restaurants are really feeling the pinch of today’s tight labor market, but let’s face it – turnover has always been a challenge in this industry. The only upside to that fact may be the list of previous quality employees you wish would come back to you. Boomerang employees are a recruitment opportunity. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence, so you likely have previous employees who want to work for someone who appreciates them enough to keep in touch.
Offering incentives for employees to refer quality employees isn’t a new idea, and that’s precisely the problem. Employee referral programs get boring fast. Give yours a boost by doing more than just offering cash for new hire referrals. Consider non-cash incentives, such as a preferred schedule, a comp day, or free meals for family. Also think about other people you interact with regularly who may be a source for applicants. Give your business card to vendors, loyal guests, and people in other industries who provide you with good service.
Many restaurants use community outreach to get to know their neighbors. That’s a great way to attract guests, but may miss the mark as an employee recruitment tool. Reach out to your employees to see what needs exist in their neighborhoods. If you sponsor a little league team, donate to a school’s silent auction, or provide food for needy families in areas where your employees live, you could be connecting with hard-working people who need you just as much as you need them.
The restaurant business offers advantages that other industries don’t. Recruiting quality employees is about selling yourself. Studies show that people shopping for a new job are looking for more than just competitive wages. What can be equally appealing are things like a positive work environment, training opportunities, career advancement, flexibility for family, or even the simple feeling of being part of a team.
Find Quality Employees, then Train them Effectively
Once you have new employees on board, set them up for success with comprehensive orientation training. Browse our Restaurant Training Learning Library for more info.