Start the New Year Right: 6 tips to improve your recruiting process
Employee turnover is a common challenge in hospitality, whether you’re managing a restaurant or running a hotel. In fact, according to the National Restaurant Association, the turnover rate for staff in the restaurants and accommodations sector of the industry has risen for multiple years in a row—reaching more than 66 percent in 2014. This can make hiring quality candidates difficult; especially if you’re in a rush because you’re short on staff and struggling to adequately cover shifts. Fortunately, these tips should help. Implement them this year and you’ll significantly improve your recruiting process.
1. Review your job descriptions.
You’re recruiting for a dynamic industry, and it’s common for the duties performed by various restaurant and hotel staff to change over time. Before you advertise any open position, make a point of reviewing the job, considering the required skills and experience, and updating the description accordingly.
2. Scrutinize your interview process.
Are you requiring dishwashers to complete multiple interviews before hiring? Are you hiring front desk associates without observing their customer service skills? Hospitality employers regularly ask too much—or too little—of applicants, both of which can result in poor hires. Before you call up your next batch of candidates, create a screening process that adequately assesses their ability to perform the job without going unnecessarily overboard.
3. Use background checks carefully.
Background checks are essential in today’s litigious society—as employers who’ve been sued due to workplace violence know all too well. However, you may be missing out on quality candidates if you automatically eliminate everyone with arrests and/or convictions on his or her record. Consider situations on a case-by-case basis and evaluate whether the prior activity really impacts the ability to do the job professionally and safely.
4. Partner with local culinary schools and hospitality programs.
Build quality relationships and you’ll find yourself with first pick of new graduates. While you’re at it, don’t overlook non-profit or government-sponsored hospitality training facilities and high school culinary programs. Mentor promising students and provide them with entry-level jobs where you can coach them throughout their training. You’re likely to wind up with a few very loyal employees as a result.
5. Promote from within.
Bobby Flay dropped out of high school and began his restaurant career as a salad chef. Thomas Keller got his start as a dishwasher, while Emeril Lagasse worked as a bakery assistant. While they all had humble beginnings, these chefs are now big names in the culinary world—and all because their employers were willing to give them a chance to move up through the ranks. Whenever a position opens up in your hotel or restaurant, take a look at your current staff and consider who might be ready for an increase in responsibility.
6. Make attitude a priority.
Technical skills can be learned, but a positive attitude and good work ethic generally come from within. If you’re too focused on the education or experience requirements of the job, you may end up with new employees who are highly qualified on paper but a poor fit for the actual environment in which you need them to work.