As a business owner, you have plenty to worry about with profitability, competition, inventory, waste control and more. But one of the biggest challenges business owners face, especially in the foodservice industry, is related to hiring and staffing.
Finding the right people is key to any successful business. Luckily, there are several solutions that you, as an owner, can implement to help increase the chances that you hire the right staff and that they stay.
1. RECRUITING A-PLAYERS
A-players are those rare individuals who work hard, go above and beyond, and are well liked and respected. They often deliver a superior customer experience, take great care in the work to ensure it’s done properly, and ultimately help drive sales.
Does it seem far-fetched to have the luxury of only hiring A-players when you would be happy to just have any body working? Finding A-players that are a good fit for your store is not impossible and should be your goal – but it requires some out-of-the-box thinking and proactive action.
2. OUT-OF-THE-BOX RECRUITING
First, make sure you have the right managers in place. According to a 2015 Gallup study, 50% of Americans have left a job to get away from their manager at some point in their career. A-player managers like hiring A-player employees that build stronger teams. Low quality managers usually hire low quality employees because they’re worried that someone better might come in to replace them or they hire whoever walks in the door because that’s the easy route.
Remember to have an “always recruiting” mindset. If you’re in another store or town and see someone with great customer service skills, thank them for their service and leave a card or note behind with your store’s information and that you’re hiring.
Job descriptions are another way to ensure your applicants understand their roles and will be held accountable. Don’t underestimate the power of the job title and job description – it should be practical, clear and accurate while reflecting exactly what the job entails and its potential for the future.
Although sometimes a challenge, consider offering aggressive pay. Foodservice is most commonly the highest-margin product in the store – so there may be wiggle room to up the budget to demonstrate the value of that employee.
Lastly, make sure you become an “employer of choice.” If you’ve created a reputation of a great place to work, you’ll have plenty of applicants knocking on your door.
3. HIRE FOR ATTITUDE
It’s clear you need your employees to have the physical and mental capacities to get the job done.
But don’t be concerned if they don’t have the exact job-related skills as you may wish. Ultimately,
it’s best to hire for attitude and train for skills.
Assuming your foodservice program is simple to operate, you can train anyone on anything given the proper resources and support. What matters most is that person’s attitude about the job. If they come in with the right attitude, it’s much easier to train an employee than bringing in a candidate with the wrong attitude and applicable skills.
Your employee’s attitude also has a major impact on your customers. Imagine for a second you walk into a business and the person behind the counter has a scowl on their face and it takes 30+ seconds to even acknowledge you. Does that really make you want to purchase something from them? Chances are, you’ll walk away or go to another store. Having the right attitude can make your customers happy – so make sure you’re not staffing your store with negative attitudes that steer your customers away.
Ultimately, people are an investment. By taking a little extra time to carefully detail out your strategy for recruiting and finding the right people to staff in your store, you'll likely produce a better customer service experience and lower turnover rates.
But remember - you won't solve all of your labor and staffing challenges with just a recruitment strategy. There are many other considerations to keep in mind, including employee engagement initiatives, proper training procedures, recognition program best practices, and more to run a successful business.
Read our full ebook, Solving Your Labor & Staffing Issues: 3 Challenges Every Foodservice Owner Faces & How to Combat Them to receive even more tips to help solve any labor or staffing issue you may face in your foodservice business.