Hospitality Recruiting Strategy changed by 2 Restaurant Brands

Hospitality Recruiting strategies are ever changing.

Bob Evans and Cracker Barrel were 2 of my very first clients when I started in hospitality recruitment.  I have seem then go through many changes with regard to compensation and quality of life.  They have both been leaders in recognizing the need to change and again they are stepping out to make it happen.

Hourly recruiting is evolving. Competition continues to intensify and applicants have far more available opportunities. What worked before no longer works today.

If you want to stay relevant, you need to reevaluate your approach and get more strategic–which is why more organizations are turning to a pay-for-performance approach to hourly recruiting.

You’ve heard all the buzzwords: performance recruiting, transactional sourcing, cost-per-click, pay-per-click… but what exactly is a pay-for-performance recruitment strategy? And is it right for you?

Snag, one of the largest platforms for hourly work, recently sat down with Shannon Locklear of Bob Evans Restaurants and Brett Bunce of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store for a deep-dive on pay-for-performance recruiting. Both of these iconic brands are at the forefront of hourly recruitment, and they’ve both fully embraced this rising model.

What outcomes are Locklear and Bunce seeing? Here are just a few highlights:

Spend Optimization. Recruiting is far more strategic when you have the ability to set the budget and avoid surprises. When embracing a performance-based model, you pay per click. This means you have the ability to scale efforts and effectively target markets with the most need. The flexibility to scale spend offers significant value. Rather than spreading dollars across evergreen postings, with pay per click (PPC) you have the ability to easily sponsor or support a location that’s having an issue.

“You can work with your account manager and set max amounts based off high or low need,” says Locklear. “With a performance model, you have a monthly budget spend, and we’ve come in under budget each month. This allows us to help locations in need more effectively.”

Improved Engagements. When you’re able to utilize targeting tools, you noticeably increase your ability to attract interested and invested applicants. For both Bob Evans and Cracker Barrel, the shift in recruiting is empowering operators to focus on the candidates they get, rather than worrying about how they get them. Based on app flow and actual hiring, performance-based recruiting provides you with the data needed to clearly identify which stores have the most need.

Engagement is crucial in today’s market. “There’s a lot of interest in finding the next best place when people are not happy where they are,” says Bunce. “And, it’s easy to find jobs. We need to work through the interest to see if it’s the right fit for both parties. It’s about engagement, culture, and training.”

Brand Management. By transitioning to a performance-based approach, both brands have more centralized control over employer brand marketing. “We work with our marketing department to make sure that our brand is consistent,” says Bunce. “One thing that has been a differentiator has been reviewing our ad language, so that our descriptions are engaging and match up with search keywords. It makes sure that we are representing who we are from a corporate culture standpoint.”

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