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

  • Hospitality Recruitment agency – your friend

    Marcel was a wonderful help in this process. He reached out to me with impeccable timing on my side and guided me through what is usually an arduous task of looking and searching for the next step. Thanks to Marcel, I didn't have that anxiety that usually comes with looking for a new job. He provided me with all the help I needed and guided me along the way with advice about the company as well as how best to present myself. Never once did I feel pressured or uneasy. Marcel was truly helpful and I'm grateful for the opportunity to have worked with him. Mahalo, Samantha "I'm grateful for the opportunity to have worked with him."
  • Let Your Personal Career Coach help you FOR FREE

    I wanted to reach out and tell you about Chris Giles. Since the moment he started working with me to find the right job Chris has given me 100% support in helping me find a job. Out of all the recruiters I have worked with Chris is the only one who would reach out to me every couple of weeks to update me on what he has coming in or if he didn’t have anything at the moment.He has kept me in the loop since the beginning. This shows me how much he cares about his job and his clients. I couldn’t have asked for a better recruiter from your company. Thank you Chris for helping me find the right job. I was loosing hope but you restored it. Thank you Justin Brown "I was loosing hope but you restored it. "
  • Patrice & Associates Hospitality Recruitment Worked for me!

    Thank you for the opportunity to express my satisfaction with Chris Jones.  Chris was very professional from the very beginning and always kept me updated on the progress with the company. It was a very stress free process, and I truly recommend Chris to anyone in need of a new career. Thank you Chris you are awesome!!   please use this as you see fit   sincerely, Chris Lodes Patrice & Associates Hospitality Recruitment Worked for me!
  • Let Your Personal Career Coach help you FOR FREE

    Vicki Gladson is always prompt, professional and honest.  This is my second time using Patrice and Associates as a recruiting agency.  I have developed a rapport with Vicki and I have confidence in her abilities to find the right job opportunity for me.  As my career goals have taken a different direction, Vicki was there to help navigate me through process of finding a great job with the upward advancement opportunities.

    Thank you Vicki, Charla Hospitality Recruiting at it's finest!
  • Career Coaches that help you for FREE I really enjoyed working with David Israel, he was very friendly and professional throughout the process of my new job opportunity. David was always following up and helping me prepare for each interviews, for example, sharing specific interview questions, providing valuable points of view, and encouraging me to do research for the company I was applying for. He was fully committed in my future that I felt I was his only client. If you are looking for someone to help you go the next level in your career, I highly recommend David Israel to be the guy to help in your journey. Juan Perez Career Coaches can help you for FREE