The main attraction: Finding top talent in a low-unemployment market


December 13, 2018

Today the United States’ unemployment rate stands at 3.7 percent, a 49-year low. That’s great news for the economy and would-be workers across the country but for foodservice managers, these record lows make finding the talent they need to staff their business more difficult than ever.

If you've felt the challenges yourself, you may be wondering how you find top talent when no one is really looking. It’s a difficult obstacle, but the tips below can help your business stand out in this or any other job market.

Manager and employee

  • Never stop recruiting. Amazing candidates are much less likely to come barging through your door in a market such as this, but that doesn’t mean you can’t meet them somewhere else. A night dining out is a natural opportunity to interact with people who are amazing in their roles, but don’t doubt the opportunity potential of conventions, get-togethers and any other social occasion where you may discuss what you do. Be excited about your work and others are sure to notice.
  • Recognize the conversation has shifted. When you’re hiring in a traditional market, you’re understandably dealing mostly with people who don’t have a job. As such, it is the responsibility of the candidate to convince you why they are a good fit for your business. However, when networking with those who already have a position, the roles shift. Now it’s up to you to show the candidate why working at your business is a better fit for them. Plan your elevator speech and share it with enthusiasm.
  • Explore all avenues of job placement. The help wanted sign in the window or on your marquee is nice, but you need more. Your social media pages remain a great way to find applicants of all age groups and allow you to utilize specific channels based on the roles you’re trying to fill — Facebook for entry-level work, LinkedIn for professional roles, etc. Just be sure your messaging explains why candidates would want to work here and does so quickly.
  • Simplify your application process. You’ve sold them on your job, now don’t lose them in paperwork and procedure. From the applications and interviews to the training process itself, anything you can do to streamline your approach will make applicants more willing to follow along.
  • Look for untapped markets. Your new prep cook doesn’t have to come from the same background as the previous prep cook, and in this market, you may have better luck looking elsewhere. High school kids, those without a high school degree, the long-term unemployed and other seldom-sought candidates may relish the opportunity to come and work for you. You may also consider hiring several part-time workers to fill a single full-time slot if necessary. Explore new options and give them a chance; you could be glad you did.
  • Explore automation. Finally, if hiring new employees for certain roles becomes too difficult, research opportunities to get the work done through automated solutions. Touchscreens can take orders and automated cleaning systems can handle the task of changing oil or cleaning your hoods. Researching opportunities here could cut your costs and your staffing headaches at the same time.

To learn more about how we can help you simplify your processes with automated solutions, contact us today.

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