Recruiting for restaurants is a challenging task due to the persistent need for staff, higher than average employee turnover rates, and intense competition for qualified candidates in the industry. It takes a great deal of effort and perseverance to succeed in this field.
The pandemic greatly impacted restaurants, with many having to shut down or reduce their operations. This resulted in job losses and reduced recruiting efforts. With restrictions lifting, restaurants are bouncing back and looking to fill roles. Also, food services added 99,000 jobs in January, and it’s projected to grow 7.27% in the next ten years.
According to the Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Business Conditions Survey, 62% of operators said their restaurant doesn’t have enough employees to support existing demand, and 79% said their restaurant has job openings that are difficult to fill.
Since staffing restaurants has become a challenge for recruiters, it’s essential for companies to get creative and reevaluate recruitment practices. However, instead of trying to reinvent the recruitment process, it may be time for hiring professionals to conduct a thorough examination of their culture, EVP, content, and audience understanding.
By focusing on the employer brand and establishing connections with potential hires, companies can take a significant step forward in the hiring process. This can set off a chain reaction that will ultimately lead to successful recruitment efforts.
Read on to learn about the importance of employer branding in restaurant recruitment, and discover how effective employer branding can help employers stand out from the competition, connect with more qualified jobseekers, and attract candidates that better fit their company culture.
1. Disconnect with Employer Brand
So many companies have a unique culture but aren’t finding candidates who truly fit it. It’s essential for hiring professionals in the restaurant industry to understand that not all company cultures are the same, and it’s vital to make sure candidates are a good fit.
Today’s hiring market is not just about obtaining anybody applying to the open roles. Organizations need to be strategic even before putting their jobs out there. If recruiters only seek talent to fill the team, there will be a disconnect with the culture, the employer brand, and the talent. When advertising the company’s employer brand, companies want to create a brand that repels the wrong talent – but brings in the right talent. This is a different hiring approach than more restaurant recruiters are used to; however, it is huge when ensuring candidates are the right fit and will stick with a company for a long time.
A strong culture stems from fostering strong employee connections, and working on the connections in the workplace is critical to creating successful teams. Consider hiring for culture fits and offer training and upskilling to interested candidates. This can help combat turnover and increase employee satisfaction, engagement, and motivation.
2. Revamp the EVP
Once restaurant companies understand their employer brand and how they’re connecting with the talent they’re seeking, it’s crucial also to audit and revamp the EVP to create a compelling message that sets the company apart in this fiercely competitive job market.
Taking the time to audit and update the EVP to showcase where the company currently is at is paramount. Hiring professionals must ensure they’re illustrating what work is like, the opportunities, benefits, culture, how one company is a better fit over another, etc.
This is where it’s important for companies not to talk the talk, but walk the walk. A solid strategy is great, but not showcasing it to the world hinders the hiring process. Being able to highlight to candidates WHY they should choose an organization, they will move on to the next company willing to share this information. Candidates want to work for restaurants that they can connect to, feel supported by, and have values they stand for. This is the time to shine and share why the team and company differ from others in the industry.
How can hiring professionals do this? With a freshly revamped EVP, the next step is to update the content they produce and put out in the world.
3. Updating the Content and Messaging
The key to attracting top talent is by keeping the content fresh, engaging, and relevant when trying to stay ahead of the competition and remain top of mind. Outdated messaging can fail to capture the attention of job seekers, which could mean a company missing out on attracting the best candidates.
Updating marketing materials help the company resonate with job seekers, position the company as an attractive and dynamic employer, and build a stronger pipeline of qualified candidate
Creating engaging recruitment content is crucial since it can generate interest from top talent. This includes, but isn’t limited to:
The job description should have an updated copy to target the top talent the company is seeking. As mentioned above, it’s important to showcase how the company is now, not what it was like pre-COVID. Job descriptions convey the delegation of job responsibilities and can also be a window into the culture and what it is like to work at a company. For example, highlighting benefits and the company culture in the job description allows candidates to see the tangible benefits and how they can fit into the organization.
When the candidate is interested in learning more about the company and how they fit in, having content prepared on the career site, website, social media channels, employer profiles, advertising campaigns, etc., is essential. One type of content that can be instrumental with this is employee-created content. These videos are vital in helping showcase the company and its culture.
Hiring professionals should tap into the company’s brand ambassadors for employee-created content like “day in the life.” These kinds of videos are instrumental in highlighting transparency in the culture and allow employees to connect with like-minded people to build authentic connections. Also, having a strategy to create this content helps empower employees to share their stories and diverse perspectives, while reinforcing the company’s employer brand.
Creating updated and engaging content ensures a better culture fit, since job seekers are more likely to apply for organizations they are excited to be a part of and see themselves as a good fit.
Tip: When auditing the company’s content, don’t forget to include the application process! Ensure it’s easy for job seekers to go through the application process and have concise, engaging content at the ready. A lengthy application process will not work for hourly roles! With so many open jobs in the restaurant industry, making sure there are no obstacles or confusing content is essential.
4. Know the Audience
When it comes to successful recruitment, a crucial factor is understanding the audience – and tailoring the messaging to meet their unique needs, expectations, and preferences of candidates.
Taking the time to know the audience makes a difference when attracting the best candidates. Even though it’s crucial to know where the company’s target audience is and be there, it’s also necessary to be everywhere. Hiring professionals might not know how many touchpoints a candidate will go through before applying. Being everywhere ensures the candidate sees the company’s content, gains interest in the opportunity, and wants to learn more.
Expanding a company’s reach can be done with a diversified mix (or implementing an omnichannel approach). It’s no longer a given where candidates will be looking for a new role, since there are so many different paths they can take to get to the job description/career site.
Consider new methods, such as texting, QR codes, hiring events, etc., to increase the possibility of candidate engagement. Doing so can also help get the attention of workers in any generation.
For example, Gen Z are on their phones more, so having a high social media presence is beneficial – so it’s essential to be on platforms such as TikTok, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to draw them in. However, for older generations, being on employer profiles such as Indeed and LinkedIn or hosting a hiring event in person might draw their attention first.
5. Creating Connections
The key to building a strong and sustainable talent pipeline lies in creating authentic connections with candidates throughout every step of the recruitment process, from the initial outreach to the final job offer.
By working on the above, companies will create an amazing candidate experience and attract the right fit for open positions. Having excellent benefits and a great culture is huge, but ensuring employees can get more out of their work is the most important. Creating and fostering an engaged workforce helps enhance the employer brand, productivity, and satisfaction – and ultimately help with retention.
Ensuring a culture fit when hiring in the restaurant industry is crucial for creating a cohesive and successful team. Taking the time to audit, update, and showcase the company to the world requires up-to-date recruitment strategies – and the investment will be worth it in the long run. When hiring employees who align with the organization, companies can create more motivated teams committed to achieving success.
If you're ready to take your recruitment strategy to the next level, partner with the team at Recruitics. We’re able to help you assess your current approach and target your ideal audience. Our teammates are experts in new and innovative ways to attract and retain top talent in the food services industry, so reach out today!