We recently brought you a few handy hiring tips, and ideas for reducing staff turnover. Then just the other day, we stumbled upon a few more ideas for building your staff that we think are worth adding to the pile. After all, hiring prowess cannot be understated in its value to your restaurant or café. It is nothing if not a fine art, and doing it right will save you loads of time, money and headaches:
Hire a mix of ages and backgrounds, if possible.
Students are often hired at cafés and restaurants, and for good reason. They are generally energetic and have little professional experience, making the service industry a great place to begin their employment history. Nonstudents, however, can be easier to schedule because they’re not juggling school and study time. Also, older employees can be fantastic mentors to younger ones.
In your hiring interviews, always ask: “Why did you leave your last job?” A potential new hire’s answer will clearly indicate what is important to them in an employer and in a job (more money, more of a challenge, more flexibility, etc.). It can also help you see if they’ll be a good fit for your business’ culture.
Recruit continuously. Even if you don’t have any job openings, you never know when an employee might give their notice. Keep an eye out for the skills you’re looking for, and people who would be a good fit.
Clarify expectations. A new employee won’t know exactly what is expected of them, how they will be assessed, or with whom they will work. Give them a written job description, and talk them through your expectations for attire, general demeanor, types of duties to be executed, speed and skill in completing tasks, etc.
Pay people well—or as well as you can. Talented people expect their wages to reflect their contributions. Find out what other similar restaurants or cafes in town are paying their employees, and what benefits are being offered, so you can stay competitive.
Conduct exit interviews. Often, an employee who’s leaving will be more forthcoming than one who still relies on you for a paycheck. Ask departing staff what they did not enjoy about working for you, what they would change, etc. If you think they might have a point or two about how you can improve staff relations, consider updating your policies and procedures to make sure future employees are as happy (and therefore productive and longer tenured) as possible.