When it comes to hiring there are two ways of hiring:
1. GUT REACTION: Hiring someone because you think they seem like a good fit. Hiring because someone suddenly left and your mind is yelling, "how will we get through service next week". Gut reaction hiring usually happens when you are shorthanded and need someone (any one)immediately and don’t have a hiring process in place.
2. PROCESS: Hire someone based on a set of needed requirements. Process hiring ensures that you screen to hire the right person for the job. Process may appear to be the “long” way of hiring and is a bit of the tortoise and the hare tale, but it will pay off in the long run. Make process your mantra and follow it -- you will save yourself time and money by making better hiring decisions.
It's simple. Correct your hiring by having a process. Creating a hiring process will help you choose the right person for the job and culture. A procedure or process is a pattern that you set up and follow, always. Once you create a hiring system, you won't need to rely on your gut reaction. You will hire with confidence.
I recommend that you adopt a process that suits your business requirements and culture. Here are some suggestions:
Position: Define the position needed to be filled with a detailed job description and include the personality traits that work with the culture.
Agreement: Clearly define the need and make certain you and your staff agree on hiring for the position. It is not unusual for floor staff to have a different opinion from the owner on what is needed. If there is not agreement about hiring for a particular position, figure out why. Agreement with staff before hiring is more efficient and cost-effective and helps provide a welcoming environment for the new hire.
Advertising: Goodfoodjobs.com works for some businesses and Craigslist.com works for others. Asking your staff for referrals is wise (and makes them feel included).
Screening: Some very useful screening procedures are now available, but one of the easiest is to set up a form. Like the process for hiring, a formal and consistent way to screen applicants will save you a lot of time and energy. Develop form questions that require thoughtful responses — you can usually screen the good from the bad by how a person answers your questions. Online forms are relatively easy to set up and reuse for future hiring.
Interviewing: Have a process for the interview too. Develop a list of interview questions and use that list for each interview. The most effective interviews are conducted with two or three people. Separate interviews. Each interviewer will pick up on different things. Explaining the mission and vision of the restaurant is a huge element in the interview--the applicant needs to be "in" or "out" with the method of service that reflects the vision, mission. The staff, frankly, are the strategy that takes those words "vision" and "mission" into reality. Interviewing is time-consuming, but it is probably the most important step in the hiring process — you get to interact face-to-face with the person before hiring — they might have answered your screening questions brilliantly, but in person, they might not be what you need in an employee.
On-shift Interview: Consider this as a policy. Until you see someone work in your space, you do not know if they interact with customers and employees well. Do an on-site day and pay them cash for their shift. If you choose not to hire them, there is no messy payroll. The good people you keep.
(Training must follow hiring...but that is another blogpost topic!)
The moral of this story is to implement procedures and follow them! The new hire chosen through the correct procedures will be a better fit. Following a procedure or process helps you eliminate repeat mistakes. You WILL begin positive and healthy business practices that suit your business.
If this or anything in these post rings particularly familiar, feel free to reach out for help. A process can be hard to develop, and bad habits are hard to break. At Cavalletta Solutions we have gobs of experience breaking those patterns and have many solutions. Solutions can be tailored to fit with your unique business!