PODCAST   |   VIDEO

Determining the keys to success for attracting and hiring top talent for restaurants is paramount to building a sustainable brand that can grow. We all know turnover runs rampant in the hospitality industry, so how is it possible, especially in a time like now when we’re smack dab in the middle of a global pandemic, to even begin with the hiring process and how can you effectively measure if what you’re doing is remotely successful?

RSI Director of Partnerships, Brad Bertram, took a moment to sit down with Jake Nolte, GM for the Efficient Hire Applicant Tracking System, to discuss common hiring mistakes and best practices to ensure you’re building a team for longevity.

WHAT ARE SOME COMMON HIRING MISTAKES THAT RESTAURANTS MAKE?

 

All too often restaurants use recruiting and Applicant Tracking System (ATS) that were designed for large corporate companies with salaried employees and low turnover, or companies that have a dedicated HR manager at their disposal. While those solutions are outstanding for other industries, they simply don’t support the more challenging environments that restaurants have in hiring hourly employees with high turnover and with a location manager that has multiple responsibilities and probably no background or training in recruiting or the hiring process.

Another misstep is when you see employers using a standalone ATS solution which, although is helpful in improving the recruiting and hiring process, it still requires manual data entry which leads to human error and ultimately slows the recruiting and hiring process down overall.

A crucial point to a successful recruiting and hiring process, like the Efficient Hire + RSI Solution, is comprehensive integration so the support is there for the full lifecycle of recruiting and applicant tracking all through onboarding, on to I-9, and even to WOTC so the entirety of your data flows seamlessly into your payroll solution.

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HOW DO RECRUITING PROCESSES LOOK DIFFERENT IN THE COVID WORLD?

 

Covid has clearly impacted many facets within the restaurant industry, but when it comes to recruiting, there’s so much more pressure on the location or hiring manager because of the vast changes.

    • Most often there are no more in-person interactions. With requirements for social distancing, the normal interaction with the applicant and the hiring manager (for the most part) no longer exists.
    • There’s a major shift towards a reduced paper application in the hiring and onboarding process.

There’s an overarching demand for virtuality in almost all realms, which has created a strong need for a more streamlined process than what most restaurants currently have in place.

HOW CAN RESTAURANTS MAKE IT EASIER FOR MANAGERS TO WORK WITHIN THE NEW HIRING PRACTICES BROUGHT ON BY COVID?

 

The key is to build out and put a process in place that makes recruiting a no-brainer for the managers; especially when they have limited time and oftentimes no background within the hiring process.

“The longer it takes managers to hire, the harder it’s going to be to attract the right team member.”
Jake Nolte, Efficient Hire – GM Applicant Tracking System

That’s where Efficient Hire’s ATS has excelled. They’ve built the technology to take work directly off those managers and support that streamlined process. The ATS solution was built specifically for restaurant and hospitality clients because users are constantly on-the-go and speed is critical in the recruiting process. We know that it’s not realistic for these hiring managers to sit behind a computer all day waiting for new applicants to apply; they’re in the FOH, they’re cleaning the bathroom, they’re helping the BOH.

 

How does it work? With Efficient Hire’s ATS, the users will now be able to receive an email or even a text notification when a new applicant has applied. That link will then take them directly to their Dashboard to review the applicant’s resume right there on their phone, where then they can access and have the ability to text back and forth with that candidate to set up the interview or whatever next steps may be. This enables hiring managers to really stay on top of all their candidates and their hiring process while still actively managing their stores as they do all throughout the day.

HOW CAN RESTAURANTS INCREASE THE NUMBER OF APPLICANTS COMING INTO THEM?

 

There are three key areas restaurant should address:

  1. Convert more candidates with a streamlined process that’s mobile-friendly.
  2. Take a more analytical look at exactly where you’re attracting candidates.
  3. Make better use of the candidates you’re already getting.

 

Examples of how other restaurants do this are:

 

    • Sell your brand to those potential applicants and possibly re-evaluate your job titles. Look at the job descriptions and benefits and highlight some of those key drivers; that, is your brand. You can talk about your culture and the other parts of your business that would help drive applicants wanting to be part of your team.
    • Maximize the application conversion rates from all of your recruiting channels, hence why looking at the analytics is crucial, so you’re improving the places you’re driving applicants from
    • Make it easy to apply to your job in less than 3 minutes, whether that is on a computer or more importantly, on the phone and even through text messaging. This makes it easier for candidates to find and apply to your position whether that be a referral from a friend, on your career page, your social media avenues, various job boards, or even the walk-in flyer that’s on your door as you enter the restaurant. All of those channels can drive more conversion of your applicants when that process is streamlined, and it will ultimately help get more applicants and maximize those conversion rates.

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WHAT ARE SOME SPECIFIC PROCESSES THAT HAVE HELPED WITH DETERMINING BETTER QUALIFIED APPLICANTS?

“Especially in the restaurant industry, oftentimes your customers are your potential candidates now, so that’s where it’s important to sell your brand and highlight the culture and benefits of your organization, which will help drive into track that top talent.”
Jake Nolte, Efficient Hire – GM Applicant Tracking System

To attract top talent you should get specific and ask your applicants custom questions that you feel are important or will help you know more about the candidate and their specific skill sets and experience to help determine if this is someone that you ultimately want to move forward with or not. Identify your top candidates with those preferred requirements so you can focus on those people and recruiting efforts.

This can all be done through the Efficient Hire ATS solution. It allows you to screen candidates with questions customized for you and for your organization, as well as has the ability for automated phone interview questions that can be simple for the candidate to answer. This way, as the restaurant, you’re actually able to hear and listen to their response, which may be more detailed than you’d get on just a paper application or a general resume. Restaurants have utilized this feature most specifically for front of house, or very customer focused roles.

HOW CAN RESTAURANTS MORE EFFECTIVELY MANAGE THEIR JOB ADVERTISING SPEND?

 

Having a defined advertising strategy across your organization is crucial, otherwise you’re just posting and praying that your job posts are getting enough applicants to fill your roles. This leads to increased costs and a lot of additional time spent recruiting. To mitigate this issue, clearly define your recruiting strategy across the organization so your managers feel empowered and know that they are in line with their organization and what they’re doing versus each individual having to make that decision for themselves. Once you build that process internally so that you have transparency across which channels are ultimately being successful and which channels are not, you’ve already made vast improvements on getting better candidates for your spend. Through Efficient Hire’s ATS solution, you’re afforded that transparency so you can see exactly where the jobs are, where the candidates are coming from, and how qualified they are for the position.

This process can be defined by following some very simple best practices where ultimately you can see and improve those hiring results very easily.

 

  1. Hiring managers need to be fast in response to candidates. The average hourly worker applies to over 10 jobs at a time which means speed is of the essence. If another employer reaches to a well-qualified candidate first, that contender may abandon their application with you and go with them because they responded quicker, so it’s all about speed and efficiency in getting to those candidates first.
  2. Managers really need the tools in place to make the recruiting and hiring process easier, like the ability to text back and forth. It’s common that candidates won’t pick up the phone of a random phone number, respond to, or even look at their email on a daily basis; but, everyone has their phone in their hand or in their pocket all the time, so restaurant owners really need that transparency and reporting to hold their hiring managers accountable for how they’re engaging with good candidates.

HOW CAN RESTAURANTS MEASURE PERFORMANCE AND THE OVERALL EFFECTIVENESS OF THEIR HIRING EFFORTS?

 

First, you need to have technology in place that allows you to measure overall performance. Then you can start to focus on where you can improve, and it’s the reporting and analytics that ultimately drive the accountability for hiring managers. In the Efficient Hire ATS solution, reports are provided that help drive KPIs both at an admin level as well as just the individual hiring manager level.

For example, with the right technology your world opens to the following knowledge:

    • Application conversion rates
    • Job board conversion rates
    • Recruiter responsiveness
    • Are you getting enough hires?
    • What are those costs per hire that you’re making?

Having that data and those analytics is crucial to make sure you’re running your business most effectively. The ATS solution is purposely built to meet the unique needs of restaurants so you can focus less on hiring and more on your customers and on your business.

“That’s where this this ATS solution will improve the recruiting process. And the integrated onboarding solution will just make it easy and seamless to get those new hires on board quickly and ultimately compliantly.”
Jake Nolte, Efficient Hire – GM Applicant Tracking System

WHAT OTHER SYSTEMS SHOULD RESTAURANTS TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THAT MAY ALSO POSITIVELY IMPACT THE RECRUITING PROCESS?

 

Taking into consideration Efficient Hire’s Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) Solution. WOTC is a federal tax credit for employers who hire and retain individuals with significant barriers to employment. Some examples of these targeted groups are veterans, long-term unemployed, those on state assistance programs like food stamps or temporary assistance for media families and supplemental Social Security income.

The value of a WOTC program is another facet to the recruiting and hiring process that can drive far more success to not only your restaurant, but loyal, long-term employees. For example, a restaurant with 100 annual hires can expect to earn between $9,00 to $14,000 in annual tax credits for putting a mobile first integrated solution that has WOTC at the forefront. This will allow them to spend less time in hiring and more time doing the million other tasks that they have on their day today, and in some cases, like in the WOTC integration, even get some credits back for their organization.

HOW CAN RESTAURANTS MAXIMIZE THE VALUE OF WORK OPPORTUNITY TAX CREDITS?

 

Restaurants can maximize the value of work opportunity tax credits by moving a WOTC questionnaire earlier in the recruiting process, hiring managers are able to make your decisions based on whether a candidate is likely to be WOTC eligible or not; because ultimately, if you have two candidates who apply with the same qualifications, hire the applicant that’s WOTC certified. Ultimately, the more informed you are about specific candidates, the better your hiring decisions will be, and the more you’ll be able to maximize some of those opportunities such as hiring a WOTC candidate versus hiring someone that’s not.

Taking into consideration Efficient Hire’s Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) Solution. WOTC is a federal tax credit for employers who hire and retain individuals with significant barriers to employment. Some examples of these targeted groups are veterans, long-term unemployed, those on state assistance programs like food stamps or temporary assistance for media families and supplemental Social Security income.

The value of a WOTC program is another facet to the recruiting and hiring process that can drive far more success to not only your restaurant, but loyal, long-term employees. For example, a restaurant with 100 annual hires can expect to earn between $9,00 to $14,000 in annual tax credits for putting a mobile first integrated solution that has WOTC at the forefront. This will allow them to spend less time in hiring and more time doing the million other tasks that they have on their day today, and in some cases, like in the WOTC integration, even get some credits back for their organization.

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