Getting your recruitment strategy right is arguably one of the most important, and often testing, aspects of the hospitality and service industries. Here, CatererGlobal.com Manager Jeremy Vercoe explains how professionals can enhance the process, from the perspective of both the company and prospective recruits
Keep it agile
When it comes to hiring the best recruits, speed and flexibility are of the essence. In such a fast-paced industry, it can only be expected that potential employees are also moving rapidly. To make sure you don’t lose someone you’ve shortlisted to another role, it’s important to keep in constant contact with quality candidates, to let them know that they’re still being considered for a role within your company.
Ideally, try and make the recruitment process as short and streamlined as possible. Not only does it save the company extensive time and money on lengthy proceedings, it also sets a standard of efficiency for your prospective new employee, who will then mirror this when entering the business.
Employers who have drawn-out or difficult hiring processes with large gaps of time between each stage often lose quality candidates to more agile competitors, with CatererGlobal research indicating that an applicant’s ideal process involves no more than two interviews, in quick succession.
If you’re looking to hire someone who’s currently employed, be mindful of the fluid working hours which are synonymous with the industry. If they work evening shifts at a restaurant, don’t ask them to come in for an interview at 6pm; your future employee will work flexibly around the business’ requirements once hired, so it’s only fair to demonstrate the same respect to them during the interview phase. It also shows a level of mutual respect which your candidates will admire and appreciate.
Communication is key
Silence can be alienating in any situation, but can really drag out when you’re a candidate eagerly awaiting news from a potential employer, particularly following an in-person interview or promise of an offer letter. If you’ve found someone you’re eager to hire or invite back for a second interview, it’s best to leave only short amounts of time between interactions. Doing so helps to avoid them believing the lead has gone cold and looking elsewhere, which in turn means you’re less likely to miss out on your preferred candidate.
It’s also a nice touch to let them know that you’re a conscientious employer and keep them engaged, while also signalling that you’re open to receiving any questions they may have.
It’s really important to be transparent with information: if they’re not the best fit for the role, then it’s best-practice to let them know, so that they can continue looking for a suitable position. If they’re a good candidate, but just not the right one for that job at that current moment, they’ll appreciate the upfront honestly and be more likely to be open to future opportunities which they may be better suited to at a later date.
No one likes to be strung along, and they’ll be less likely to engage with you down the line if they feel disrespected after their first round of interactions with you.
Attract the right talent
So, what about attracting the right candidate in the first place? This can often be the most difficult and tiring part of the process. It’s quite simple to get an influx of applicants, but attracting the best talent and identifying them from the pack is an art form in itself.
To attract them, you can’t just advertise a high salary – the most driven candidates won’t be motivated by money alone – rather, it’s important to highlight your company’s extensive value proposition. This could include both personal and professional development opportunities, training opportunities, work-life balance flexibilities and company culture highlights.
When it comes to shortlisting applicants, there are a plethora of methods for sorting through potential applicants, but perhaps none as convenient or effective as specialised tools which are designed exclusively for your industry.
Targeted portals allow a more refined approach, which enables you to reach potential applicants, not only locally, but also regionally and internationally, without becoming inundated with irrelevant applications, by offering functions which identify and feature potential candidates who are highly-skilled and are well-suited to an advertised position.
Again, this works both ways in that it enhances the refinement process for shortlisting candidates, while simultaneously supporting qualified jobseekers in identifying relevant opportunities and helping your business stand out among the clutter of general job-posting platforms.