Restaurants feel the pain of a tight labor market

Restaurants feel the pain of a tight labor market.

With low unemployment rates and a continuously expanding industry, restaurants have been feeling the pressure in hiring employees and keeping locations properly staffed. Higher wages have strained labor budgets and workers have been gaining leverage on multiple fronts. Long standing “no-poaching clauses” are being done away with, giving employees the opportunity to move between franchises to find better pay and opportunity.

With all the potential complications and cascading failures that can arise from staffing issues, there are ways to mitigate risk and navigate a challenging market. Specifically, effective and efficient hiring becomes paramount: hire the right people that will provide the greatest return on your investment. To accomplish this, your business needs to bring in the best and brightest in your market, the top performers that will be passionate, ramp up quickly and contribute the most to your culture and sales. To attract these employees, you need to be a place that people want to work, a company that has a lot to offer on multiple, sometimes intangible dimensions. You know that millennial demographic, the one that will make up 75% of the workforce by 2025? They want to work for companies that have a “purpose”, have a sense of social responsibility, and offer benefits that align with their values.

Now the bad news: being an attractive company culture and reputation, having competitive pay rates, the right benefits package, and all the other important factors to be an employer of choice, is not enough. You are still facing a lot of competition in the hiring market! The best employees have a lot of choices open to them and you can bet that they will be weighing all their options.

Finding the Right Candidates

With all of the available jobs in the market, employers need to get creative in locating the top talent. While employees looking for a new job have lots of options, there are many more potential candidates who are not actively looking for new opportunities. Tap into your network by trying some of the following:

  • Create an Internal Referral Program:  Have your top employees refer their friends- This is usually one of the best ways to find like talent.
  • Be proactive:   When you meet talent when you are out and about in your community, strike up a conversation with them about their career wants and desires.
  • Check References:   Reference checking on candidates often leads to being introduced to other talented candidates who might fill roles in your organization as well.
  • Use a reputable recruiter:    A high quality executive recruiter will be able to do things you can’t or won’t do to find people, namely cold calls into competitors.   At P&A we find most of our clients want people who are “not looking” for a job, vs. those that are constantly surfing the job boards.

Opening Up Your Hiring Parameters 

Many companies are re-assessing their job requirements in this tight labor market.   With a stable work history, they may be more willing to take someone with less experience, that meets the “attitude test” about which many prominent authors have addressed. Many candidates are willing to move up or down market in order to achieve better growth opportunities. Can a fast-food manager, with the proper training, thrive in a more upscale environment? Can a full-service manager transition to quick-casual operations with ease? Yes and yes.

Moreover, think about the fundamental tasks of the job you are looking to fill. Many responsibilities and daily activities translate across industries. For example, a client of ours (a large brand name restaurant chain) has decided to consider Retail Managers with strong customer service experience and  accomplishments.

Speed of Hire

 They say timing is everything, and once you have found viable candidates the ability to move fast in your hiring process will give you an advantage over your competition! Having an efficient and effective plan in place will keep you from hiring out of desperation or losing out on quality candidates because another company came to a decision quicker. Some easy steps you can implement quickly include:

  • Commit to responding quickly, have clear expectations about short turnaround time and prompt responsiveness to e-mails and applications- no more than 48 hours!
  • Work with recruiters as your first line screening, in lieu of a phone interview or first step; a trusted relationship with your recruiter should give you the confidence to accept their submissions and referrals as people you will want to interview
  • Simplify the interview process, defining what steps are truly essential: has that assessment really helped you hire better? Can your recruiter proactively provide you with reference checks so that you don’t need to wait before you extend an offer down the road?
  • Work with the operations team and interviewers to guarantee efficiency: make interviews a priority, stack multiple interviews on the same day so the candidate can meet with multiple decision makers in one trip
  • Provide quick and constructive feedback to the candidate and recruiter immediately following interviews
  • Final interviews should have an offer following quickly afterwards, even if they are verbal offers with an offer letter to follow- being the first counts big

One final tip, maybe hard to swallow: while knowing a candidate truly WANTS to work for your company has a big impact during the interview process, it is also important to respect that even if you are their first choice, you are not the only choice; speed of hire is an important factor regardless.

 

 

 

 

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What Clients Say About Patrice & Associates

  • And I couldn’t have done it without R. Whitney Davis

    I needed to make a change in my life. I was stuck in a series of jobs that weren’t satisfying monetarily or weren’t moving me forward in my chosen career. I could get a new job. I could even find one that paid me slightly more, but it would be more of the same monotonous job I was doing and eventually I’d be unsatisfied, looking for something else.

    I needed a new path, a new direction, but how could I take my skill set and go places I’d never been before? That’s when the recruiter at Patrice and Associates, R. Whitney Davis stepped in. He helped me to see I could use my skills in a related, but altogether different job that would not only challenge me professionally as I would be entering an entirely new field, but would be a considerable pay bump.

    To begin with, thanks to his guidance, I could see I was not presenting myself and my talents at their best in the previous interviews, not just now, but my entire working life.  And I’d always felt I had no problem getting jobs I wanted!  Following his advice, I could instantly see the difference in my interview technique and how the people interviewing me were reacting far more positively than they had been in the past. I was even seeing my own skills in a different way than I ever had.  And I notice how I could now apply jobs I never thought I was qualified for, much less even considered trying to attain.

    As a direct result of his help, I acquired a new and challenging job that charts new paths for me professionally and the salary bump is sizable. I am so thrilled and excited about my new job. It literally is going to change my life in such positive ways.

    And the relationship doesn’t end there as they are keeping track of my path and advising me as I continue to grow, helping me to move along even further.   I can’t encourage job seekers enough to enlist the aid of Patrice and Associates. They’ll help to open doors you didn’t even know were closed to you.

       

    Thanks!

    Anthony D. Langford

    And I couldn’t have done it without R. Whitney Davis
  • Scott Meyer puts his heart into finding people jobs

    Hello, my name is Scott W. and I would like to tell anyone who will listen about Scott Meyer.  He doesn’t treat you like a paycheck, he treats you like a friend.  Anyone out there looking for work get Scott Meyer is on your side!  He listens to what you say and puts his heart into it.                   Thank You So Much! Scott W. Scott Meyer puts his heart into finding people jobs
  • Darryl Jackson did not leave my side!

    When I finally decided to leave my last endeavor and move on to a better opportunity, I trusted Darryl Jackson with helping me find the best fit career for my future! Darryl not only would lend a listening ear, he also gave encouraging advice because he listened! The follow up after each interview gave me high hopes! When I got the call for an offer, he was the first person I called! He was just as excited as I was and I appreciate everything he has done thus far!         Warm Regards, Darling Mack Darryl Jackson did not leave my side!
  • Patricia got me the interview within one day and a job offer with career growth in a week and a half.

    It is my honor and pleasure to write this letter of recommendation for Patrice & Associates' Executive Recruiter, Patrica Mayorca. I am so grateful for the way Patrica Mayorca  gave me the courage to dream again (even during a pandemic) and helped me put my career goals back on track and get my professional life back in order. When I came in contact with Patricia Mayorca, through a website connection; I wasn't seeking a new job; but was grateful to even have a job during this pandemic.  But, what a great chance meeting and opportunity; it was that Patricia shared with me.  Patricia was there to assist with my resume and find my best avenue to move forward with this opportunity. I am now excited about this next step in my career and have Patricia Mayorca entirely to thank.  Therefore, I recommend Patrice & Associates' Executive Recruiter, Patricia Mayorca wholeheartedly for anyone who is seeking help finding their own career path.                   Sincerely, Lauren Watkins Patricia got me the interview within one day and a job offer with career growth in a week and a half
  • I greatly appreciate all the outstanding service that Gary Tietz provided.
    I am looking  forward to starting my new job soon.  I would like to thank Gary Tietz for his help on my search for employment.  He made the process simple and provided me with outstanding service.  I am very happy to be employed by a great company in such a short period of time.  I personally had been searching for a very long time, with no luck on finding a job.  Gary’s dedication and efforts made this process simple, helpful and fast for me.  I highly recommend his recruiting service for anyone that is needing help in finding employment.  I am looking forward to starting my new job in a week, thank you!
    Sincerely,
    Shahid Channan
    I greatly appreciate all the outstanding service that Gary Tietz provided.