Top Tips For Restaurants To Hire The Best Candidates

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Efficient Hire - Applicant Tracking SystemDetermining the keys to success for restaurant hiring is paramount to building a sustainable brand that can grow. Turnover runs rampant in the hospitality industry. However, attracting and retaining top talent is possible with the right tools. This post reviews the best practices to ensure you’re building a team for longevity and how to measure your hiring success effectively.

Common Restaurant Hiring Mistakes

All too often, restaurants use recruiting and Applicant Tracking System (ATS) designed for large corporate companies. Most companies contain salaried employees and low turnover, or some have a dedicated HR manager at their disposal. While those solutions are workable for other industries, they simply don’t support restaurants’ more challenging environments. Hiring hourly employees with high turnover is a challenge. Moreover, a location manager with multiple responsibilities and little background in recruiting or hiring makes the process even more difficult.

Another misstep is when you see employers using a standalone ATS solution. Although this helps improve the recruiting and hiring process, it still requires manual data entry. The lack of integration leads to human error and ultimately slows the recruiting and hiring process down overall.

A crucial point to a successful recruiting and hiring process is comprehensive integration, like the Efficient Hire + RASI Solution. This solution supports the entire lifecycle of recruiting and applicant tracking through onboarding, I-9, and even WOTC. Therefore, the entirety of your data flows seamlessly into your payroll solution.

Restaurant kitchen line preparing food

How The Recruiting Process Looks Different With The Pandemic

Covid has impacted many facets of the restaurant industry. There’s now much more pressure on the location or hiring manager when recruiting because of the vast changes.

  • Most often, there are no more in-person interactions
    • With social distancing, the typical interaction between an applicant and the hiring manager (for the most part) no longer exists
  • There’s a significant shift towards a reduced paper application in the hiring and onboarding process
  • There’s an overarching demand for virtuality in almost all realms
    • Increased virtuality has created a strong need for a more streamlined process than what most restaurants currently have in place

How Restaurants Can Make Things Easier For Hiring Managers

The key to easing a hiring manager’s workload is building a process that streamlines recruiting, so it’s a no-brainer for them, especially when they have limited time and often no background within the hiring process. The longer it takes managers to hire, the more challenging it is to attract the right team member.

This area is where RASI partner, Efficient Hire’s, ATS excels. They’ve built the technology to take work directly off the managers and support the streamlined process. Efficient Hire explicitly built the Applicant Tracking System for hospitality clients, with the concept that the end-users (restaurant hiring managers) are constantly on the go. Because speed is critical in the recruiting process, it’s not realistic for hiring managers to sit behind a computer and wait for new applicants to apply.

How does it work? With Efficient Hire’s ATS, users receive an email or text notification when a new applicant has applied. That link takes them directly to their Dashboard to review the applicant’s resume, which is also available on their phone. Because of this, they can text back and forth with each candidate. This speed enables hiring managers to stay on top of all their candidates. Additionally, it streamlines the hiring process so they can still actively manage their stores throughout the day.

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How Restaurants Can Increase Their Number Of Applicants

There are three key areas restaurant should address:

  1. Convert more candidates with a streamlined process that’s mobile-friendly
  2. Take a more analytical look at exactly where you’re attracting candidates
  3. Make better use of the candidates you’re already getting

Examples Of How Restaurants Increase Their Applicant Pools:

  • Sell your brand to potential applicants and possibly re-evaluate your job titles
  • Review job descriptions and benefits and highlight some of those key drivers
    • Talk about your culture and the other parts of your business that help drive applicants wanting to be part of your team
  • Maximize the application conversion rates from all of your recruiting channels
    • Review the analytics so you can continue to improve the places from which you’re driving applicants
  • Make it easy to apply to your job in less than three minutes
    • Speeding up the process makes it easier for candidates to find and apply to your position
    • When the process is streamlined it ultimately helps get more applicants and maximize conversion rates
  • Don’t forget about the variety of available recruiting channels
    • Referrals
    • Career Pages
    • Social Media Avenues
    • Job Boards
    • Flyers on your door as you enter the restaurant

WATCH THE FULL VIDEO HERE:

Strategies To Help Determine More Qualified Applicants

In the restaurant industry, your customers are also potential candidates. It’s essential to sell your brand and highlight the culture and benefits of your organization as soon as someone walks through the door. This approach helps to drive top talent.

When interviewing candidates, ensure each question helps you better understand the candidate and their specific skill sets and experience. In doing this, hiring managers can quickly determine if this is someone that they ultimately want to move forward with or not. Additionally, make sure you identify your top candidates with your preferred requirements so you can focus your recruiting efforts on those specific people.

Streamlining the interviewing process can be done through the Efficient Hire ATS solution. It allows you to screen candidates with questions customized for your organization. It also has the ability for automated phone interview questions. This way, you’re able to hear and listen to their response, which may be more detailed than you’d get on just a paper application. Restaurants have utilized this feature most specifically for front-of-house or customer-focused roles.

How Restaurants Can Effectively Manage Job Advertising Spend

Having a defined advertising strategy across your organization is crucial. Otherwise, you’re just posting and praying that your job posts are getting enough applicants to fill your roles. A lack of strategy leads to increased costs and additional time spent recruiting. To mitigate this issue, think about the following:

  • Clearly define your recruiting strategy across the organization
    • A clearly defined strategy helps your managers feel empowered and know that they’re in line with their organization
  • Once you build that process internally, use the insights to help make better decisions
    • Transparency across which channels are ultimately successful enables managers to move more quickly
    • Additionally, you start to weed out better candidates for your spend

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Measuring Overall Performance & Effectiveness of Restaurant Hiring Efforts

To accurately measure your operation’s recruiting and hiring effectiveness, you must implement relevant technology. The reporting and analytics ultimately drive the accountability for hiring managers. The Efficient Hire ATS solution provides reports that help drive KPIs at the admin and individual hiring manager levels. For example, with the right technology, your world opens to the following knowledge:

  • Application conversion rates
  • Job board conversion rates
  • Recruiter responsiveness
  • Are you getting enough hires?
  • What are those costs per hire that you’re making?

Additional Items That Can Positively Impact The Recruiting Process

An added aspect to a positive recruiting process can come in the form of tax credits—namely, Efficient Hire’s Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) Solution. WOTC is a federal tax credit for employers who hire and retain individuals with significant barriers to employment. Some examples of these targeted groups include veterans, individuals with long-term unemployment, state assistance programs like food stamps or temporary assistance, or supplemental Social Security income.

The value of a WOTC program is another facet of the recruiting and hiring process that can drive far more success to not only your restaurant but loyal, long-term employees. For example, a restaurant with 100 annual hires can expect to earn between $9,00 to $14,000 in annual tax credits for putting a mobile-first integrated solution that has WOTC at the forefront. 

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How To Maximize The Value Of WOTC Credits

Restaurants can maximize the value of work opportunity tax credits by moving a WOTC questionnaire earlier in the recruiting process. Hiring managers can make decisions based on whether a candidate is likely to be WOTC eligible or not; because ultimately if you have two candidates who apply with the same qualifications, hiring the applicant that’s WOTC certified may be more beneficial in the end. The more informed you are about specific candidates, the better your hiring decisions will be, and the more you’ll be able to maximize some of those opportunities such as hiring a WOTC candidate versus hiring someone that’s not.

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