Navigating the Challenges of Restaurant Hiring in the Great Resignation Era
It’s no secret that restaurant hiring has become increasingly difficult. In almost every town and city it seems that there are several restaurants with signs in front advertising that they are hiring. The reasoning? The Great Resignation has made restaurant staffing incredibly difficult.
Are you one of these restaurants that’s finding it hard to hire and keep employees? Read on. The trends in the list that follow characterize the attempts many restaurant human resources departments are making to try and secure enough employees to keep their restaurant workforce at an operational size. These different tactics were discerned thanks to BBI’s suite of restaurant intelligence tools (learn more about our insights here).
Short-Term Labor Fixes as Long-Term Strategy
Elevating Restaurant Employee Benefits to Attract Top Talent
Restaurant human resources departments have attempted to become more competitive in today’s job market by offering potential employees more benefits and advertising these opportunities throughout the hiring process.
These restaurant employee benefits include things such as higher wages, paid leave, sick leave, wellness programs, and variable pay. Furthermore, some restaurant human resources departments are attempting to close the wage gap with their efforts to get new employees in the door, offering competitive salaries and benefits that are equal across genders.
Digital Recruiting Methods
Part of the problem with restaurant hiring nowadays is how difficult it can be to reach people where they are spending time. That’s why some restaurant human resources departments have started recruiting on social media platforms such as Twitter and TikTok. Studies show that the average time spent on social media daily is around 147 minutes; restaurants have been taking that number to heart and going where they know they’ll get more eyes on their brand and their listings for open positions.
Candidate ghosting has also become a problem for restaurant human resources. To avoid candidates dropping off during the restaurant hiring process, establishments are ditching the ‘create an account’ step of the hiring process that used to be mandatory to apply or interview for a job, allowing applicants to send their resumes simply through email. Managers have also started implementing SMS reminders for applicants to minimize the chances they forget to come to an interview and waste a manager’s valuable time.
Evolving HR Strategies to Attract Top Restaurant Talent
Another one of these restaurant human resources trends includes moving various perks and incentives included in a job to the top of the job description. Although the restaurant industry has never been famous for its high wages, the working conditions for restaurant workers have plummeted since the onset of COVID.
Therefore, managers and restaurant human resources have turned to advertising open positions with a high wage rate and/or sign-on bonuses on the signs in front of chain restaurants.
In the online world of job postings, this would include LinkedIn postings and Indeed advertisements that have wages stated up-front, as well as benefits such as time off and flexible scheduling. Since potential candidates will also be looking for job security, making sure you advertise the potential for mobility after experience and long-term benefits is a good way to keep applicants coming in the door.
Finally, restaurant human resources departments are making diversity and inclusivity a top priority, as building a safe restaurant culture is important to maintaining operational staffing levels. Thus, advertising your restaurant’s willingness to hire a diverse range of individuals will speak volumes about your restaurant’s culture and how it treats its employees. Think restaurant culture isn’t an important part of employee retention? Think again.
Harnessing Employee Referrals for Restaurant Staffing Success
Referral incentive programs are another great way that restaurant human resources departments are adapting to the plight caused by the Great Resignation. Implementing referral programs is an easy and effective way to broaden your pool of candidates—especially if you offer referral bonuses if the referral is hired.
BBI’s data shows that employee referrals are almost always the largest source of new talent for restaurants, and this has been true since before the onset of COVID. Therefore, if you haven’t already, consider setting up a referral program for your current employees if you are having trouble getting enough applications.
Stay Ahead of the Restaurant Staffing Curve with BBI’s Workforce Intelligence
Want to be in the know about restaurant staffing trends and the newest ways to boost restaurant employee engagement? Check out BBI’s Workforce Intelligence tool. With a subscription to this intelligence tool, you will receive monthly reports that speak to trends in turnover, staffing, demographics, and compensation with gender, age, ethnicity, etc. You will also receive regional data reporting the current salary and wage averages, broken out by segment.
Additionally, restaurant companies receive data on bonus and cash compensation benchmarks, so you can ensure your restaurant has the best chance to hire top talent for your restaurant.