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Restaurant Recruiters: Set Up Your Store Leadership Team for Success

In the restaurant industry, it’s an ongoing battle to provide support and resources to your managers. In many organizations, the store management is responsible for hiring and recruiting candidates, while corporate and regional human resources professionals and recruiters provide consultative recruiting support. Here are five unique ideas that support staff can build on to help store leadership and management to make hiring better, faster and easier at a time when this understaffed industry could use it most.

Related: Why is it So Hard to Find Essential Workers These Days?

How to Set Your Restaurant Leadership Team Up For Success

It can be difficult to find quality restaurant talent, especially in today’s market. Try out these creative recruiting methods to empower your leadership team and make more hires – while maintaining brand consistency across locations.

Event in a box

Create a quarterly recruiting “event in a box” that you can mail directly to store leadership. Since corporate is responsible for brand consistency, this not only benefits your store locations, but also ensures brand consistency on a local level. Corporate can also take advantage of better event swag since you’re purchasing a larger quantity of giveaway items than a local store can.

Your box can have a theme that aligns to your brand, ideas for recruiting events or open houses, t-shirts (“ask me about my job” for store employees or brand t-shirt giveaways) and talking points to make the recruiting event more fun. This could be campus recruiting, an Instagram hashtag hiring event or a summer hiring event, complete with printable signs for the bathroom, front doors and fliers for cars in competitor parking lots. Be sure to include digital assets like social media images for the location’s managers and staff to easily share.

Related: Four Recruiting Bottlenecks to Avoid in Restaurant and Retail

Manager training

Besides the fact that ongoing training and development makes for happier employees and higher retention, it’s important to make sure your managers have the resources they need when it comes to doing their jobs well, including leadership, motivating staff, compliance, branding, scheduling and advanced reporting.

This type of training doesn’t have to be a dull printed guide. Consider online resources, training videos, participatory training events and achievement certificates. Recruiting teams should take part in the annual store leadership meetings for the entire organization, or by division, to build those consultative recruiting relationships, share best practices and provide support in different and meaningful ways.

Interview guides

Interview guides streamline the hiring process by having a set standard for conducting and scoring interviews, which gives you (and your hiring managers) data that each location can use moving forward (like candidate experience, source of hire, etc.).

Additionally, having a guide that your hiring managers can rely on means that issues like compliance (what they can and cannot ask, for example) and candidate experience are aligned with company policies.

Contests and recognition

Don’t underestimate the power of competition and gamification. Hold contests among regionals or districts. Recognition by recruiting and HR for store leaders who are making things happen is powerful. Store leadership and employees, especially in restaurant and retail, are highly motivated by contests that allow them to compete with other locations, especially when an incentive (monetary or the equivalent in PTO or gift certificates) is involved.

Consider rolling out a monthly or quarterly themed contest for your locations that relates to hiring, like most employee referrals, best idea for hiring hashtags or most hires that made it through onboarding in any given time period. If people love their jobs, they’ll also love to share how much, so make sure your employees are encouraged to use their own networks and social media channels.

Social media assets

For many restaurants, store leadership is managing and overseeing social media pages and accounts for their specific location. Recruiting teams can provide text, templates and clearly outlined best practices for social updates and job referral postings. We’re all on some form of social media these days and Facebook isn’t the only platform out there. Consider your younger candidates who are more likely to use Instagram and TikTok.

If you’re not using social media to recruit, there are untapped markets for talent, branding and recruiting. As of January 2020, there were over a billion users on the Instagram app. Corporate can provide local stores with ideas for Instagram hashtags that employees can use on a local level to share their experience about what it’s like to work for your company (an excellent recruiting tool), as well as branded visuals and videos for sharing on these platforms.

The bottom line is that making hiring easier for your local hiring managers is about giving them the resources they need, but also setting them loose and empowering them to make decisions about events and hiring. They have resources and training – now give them your trust.