It’s 2022. You own a restaurant and you’ve survived the last two years. Congratulations! It really is something to celebrate.
Your doors are open again. Customers, new and old, are filling up your tables and bar tops. Spring weather is making random appearances. Basketball season is here. Weekends have never been busier. You’re back in the saddle. But your servers, hostesses, and cooks? Not so much.
Unfortunately, hiring has never been harder.
So, you’re hiring whoever shows up for the interview. Who can blame you? You need to keep pizzas flying and beers slinging. The downside? You’re not hiring the hardest workers with the best attitudes. And this starts to affect your reputation, the quality of service, and your tried-and-true employees.
So what do you do?
Treat hiring like an inbound marketing strategy: you’re always hiring.
In order to hire top talent, reduce turnover, and attract candidates, we have to think like a marketer. We have to figure out what works and determine who’s a qualified lead.
At Whirks, we’ve experienced the pains of hiring firsthand. As a growing business ourselves, we know that investing in your people is the key to your success. You need to find a healthy balance between retaining current employees and attracting new candidates.
The current hiring challenges are affecting every industry, regardless of size or sector. In this article, we’re going to dive into the three steps that will help you constantly attract and hire the best talent:
- Identify your ideal candidate.
- Determine your weekly interview number.
- Develop your reputation.
1. Identify your ideal candidate.
As a business, you have an ideal client or customer profile: you know who best benefits from your services or products. You’re intentional about marketing to them and attracting them because they bring you the greatest amount of revenue.
In the same way, it’s important to create an ideal candidate profile and be intentional about who you hire.
You don’t want to hire someone who is cancer to your culture. You don’t want to change your culture to fit that person. It may be a short-term fix, but it causes long-term issues.
Equivalent to inbound marketing, you need to identify your qualified leads. Who is going to best serve you and your clients, and how do you entice them to come work for you?
- Create an ideal candidate profile
- Attend university recruiting events and career fairs
- Ask for employee and client referrals
2. Determine your weekly interview number
A common scenario: you need twenty employees on staff at all times, but you don’t want to overhire and break the bank. But you also don’t want to end up understaffed and forced to shut down for the day.
The first thing you need to know is what is your annual turnover rate. In the last 12 months, how many people have you had to replace? Now divide that number by 52 and you know how many positions you need to fill per week on average. Ideally, you will interview at least twice as many candidates as positions you need to fill, so double that number. Now you know what your interview target number is.
The key is to never stop interviewing. If you were the coach of an amazing basketball team and Lebron James showed up for a tryout, you would find a place for him.
The same is true of your employee team. If you only interview when you’re desperate to fill a position, you are limiting the potential of finding your next, best team member.
- Identify your ideal number of hires and create job postings.
- Interview this ideal number of candidates weekly
3. Develop your reputation as an employer.
“I’m going to care for my team, I’m going to develop my team, I’m going to train my team, I’m going to treat them like people and not just a widget that has to produce.”
A key part of attracting the right candidates is building your reputation as a business. If you’re constantly striving to create a healthy work culture, you’re constantly attracting potential hires – simply by word of mouth.
When applicants show up because they heard it was a great place to work from a friend, they tend to be higher quality and are more likely to stick around longer.
According to Recruitment.com, only 19% of employees say that the employer brand lines up with reality.
Your brand defines what you strive to achieve in your reputation. It’s the value you promise to consistently serve to your clients or customers.
What should your employer branding say about you? How do you serve your employees? How do you provide a better experience for your team so they don’t want to look for another job?
As the leader of your company, it’s your responsibility to define your values, create your company culture, and develop your employees.
It’s up to you to lead the way you want it to be. The fact that “I’m busy” doesn’t matter.
- Identify your core values as a business and as an employer.
- Do a survey asking your current employees how likely they would be to recommend working there to a friend.
- Look for low cost, low effort ways to improve your employees experience at work.
- Develop a training plan for employees to grow.
Always create the opportunity to hire your next best employee.
One year later, it’s Mother’s Day brunch again. You are fully staffed. Every single employee is showing up for their shifts. Your Google reviews rave about customer service. Your servers constantly ask if you’re hiring, because their friends want to work there.
You ensure your team isn’t overworked and paid fairly. Your bartenders appreciate having an extra day off because you’re able to hire a couple of part-timers to cover the slower nights.
And because you’re less stressed about keeping your doors open, you’ve found the time to create a new menu, revamp the patio, and take that well-deserved trip to the beach with your family.