Dave McGregor, co-founder of Helping Hands, shares top tips for hiring hospo staff.
WANTED: Experienced Waiter who possesses outstanding customer service skills, will work hard without complaint and arrives early to every shift, will work last-minute when called upon, is willing to be flexible with their work hours, has a great sense of humour. Is laid back but super hard-working. Can also fill in for the barista when called upon. Has a car and full-licence.
Paying $16.50 per hour. Applicants to form an orderly queue outside the door from 6am tomorrow morning....
Gone are the days when you can demand what you need, place an ad, and have tons of calls and a surplus of applicants desperate to work. With unemployment at an 8 year low and more and more hospitality establishments opening, the best hospitality operators are changing their thinking about how to advertise and hire great hospo staff.
Here are the three top tips that you can do to supercharge your hiring (and it's not about paying more!):
TIP 1: Sell the 'Why'
It's no longer enough to only focus on what you're looking for, Generation Z (anyone currently 23 years or younger) make up the core of our future hospitality staff. Although, like every generation before, they’re much maligned, they're also known as the 'experience generation' and the good news is they care about your business beyond just being a 'job'. They are conscious of how their workplace backs up their identity and want to work for a place with a strong brand positioning.
Use this when talking with Jobseekers, it's as much about you selling yourself to them as it is about them selling themselves to you. "Talk about your organisation as a way of life" is what Andrew Baker, People Manager at Hipgroup recommends. 'When we meet with potential team member's we're not focusing on their availability, pay, or tasks, we're sharing our stories and what it's like to be a part of the Hipgroup family. Hipgroup is about people that are passionate, innovative, caring and are humble in everything we do; and product that encompasses our beliefs of provenance, sustainability, and ethical production. We want people that share our beliefs and see Hipgroup as an extension of themselves."
TIP 2: It's not all about the cash...
So you give your staff discounts on food, you have regular staff parties and your team sticks around after work socialising? Great! Make sure you tell any new applicants about it! Not only are these things a great way to hold on to staff and create a productive work culture but it's a great asset when employing new members.
Nicola Richards of Monsoon Poon tells these things to applicants and new members: "I always make sure we emphasise the brand, perks and team. We like to tell applicants we have the best staff meals in town! - ours are free - It’s a great time for team bonding as the Front of House and Back of House eat together. We set an expectation with new members that they are expected to work hard but that we also celebrate success with pizza nights, outings and regular incentive schemes.”
TIP 3: Invest in training...
Too many businesses are determined to employ only those that have experience. For some roles this is necessary (we wouldn't recommend hiring a head chef with no knife skills) but employing less experienced staff allows you to find people at a better price, that are more personally invested in your business and are willing to stick around longer.
"It's about building training as an ongoing process, as something that you do in a conscious way" says James of HospoTrain, “ I believe in: hire for personality and train the skills. Every business is different, this way you can train and mould staff to do things that best suits your business. Some staff with experience can be less likely to remain loyal, they may be chasing the dollar and may bring some of their bad habits with them too."