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How to Find Qualified Restaurant Candidates Part 1 of 2

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Employee turnover in the restaurant industry can be a constant, unnerving battle. To help find qualified restaurant candidates to boost business, it’s important to integrate some key recruiting elements.

  • Job Descriptions – Make sure the requirements of the job match the job description to attract qualified restaurant candidates. Over or under-describing descriptions can severely limit your ability to attract potential applicants. For example, does being a dishwasher require three years of experience? Consider incorporating online job applications to manage potential candidates.
  • Interview Process – The interview process should match your restaurant’s goals. For example, if you are a high end, fine dining establishment and want your chef to create a unique three-course meal in under 6o minutes, this is probably an appropriate task for potential candidates. If, however, you’re a small family greasy spoon diner, having this requirement is not suitable. Even if your restaurant has always had an interview test, take a step back and analyze if it’s a realistic goal for your applicants to achieve.
  • Interview Questions – The questions you ask applicants should relate to your establishment. For example, asking applicants to name classic French sauces is not pertinent for a server position. How many amazing candidates could you toss aside if they don’t have the knowledge that only a French-trained chef would have?
  • Culinary School – To restrict your applicant pool to certain culinary schools is very limiting. If you have a high-end restaurant, this may be something to consider, but limiting qualified cooks or chefs is not advisable for restaurants. There are many loyal employees that could not afford to attend the top-tier culinary academies. Sometimes it’s worth hiring someone with strong basic skills and taking them under your current chef’s wing and teaching them the ropes. Did you know that Thomas Keller, owner and chef of the renowned The French Laundry started at the bottom and worked his way to the top of the culinary world? Dreams really do come true. Consider starting employees with entry-level jobs and take the time to coach and mentor those that actually want to learn and dedicate themselves to your business.
  • Background Checks – If you require background checks, have you considered why? If you don’t want to hire people with a history of violence or sex offender issues, that’s completely understandable. However, you should note that eliminating all people with histories of felonies can prove detrimental. The next time you have a job application note that a background check is required, consider if a dishwasher or food prep position is affected by something that occurred in someone’s past.

Learn more tips about how to hire the best restaurant employees by checking in with our upcoming blog post next week.

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