I LOVE hiring teams for our Quick Service Restaurants. It quite honestly has always been the favorite part of my role as a manager.
With years of branded experience, I have been given template interview formats to use- a formality, of course, for the purposes of HR law. These can become monotonous and sound insincere if the manager using them hasn’t the ability, confidence or drive to make the time to hire not just good people, but GREAT.
Many managers will use demographics or location of their unit (I’ve even heard “poor gene pool”) as an excuse for under performing teams or “bad teams” in restaurants. However, it really boils down to one thing alone: poor hiring practices.
There are five words my own managers use and focus on when making selections during interview and trial shift processes:
If your potential employee naturally covers all of these character traits at interview stage, you are 80% there in employing a GREAT team member.
Some key things to plan and think carefully about when you are hiring new members into an existing team or building a pre opening:
1) Do you have suitable members on your team who can sit in and partake in initial interviews for new team members? Your existing high performing team members will always give you valuable input for how well THEY foresee new people will integrate.
2) Think about having pre planned trial shifts and two trial buddies for each candidate. Carry out a 3-hour trial shift after initial interview but on a separate day
3) Split all trial shifts up into two 90–minute stages, the first being in that team member’s area of work. Have the second be in an area the candidate wouldn’t normally work. Service people and chefs should trial in both front of house and back of house positions. This enables them to get a full picture of how you operate and gain a greater understanding of your business from day one
4) Don’t make your hiring process seem rushed to candidates, but keep the process flowing and take no longer than five working days from initial interview to give a final decision/offer or rejection
Lastly and most importantly, ENJOY this time getting to know as much as possible, introducing and welcoming potential new family members into your operation.
Involving your existing teams in this process will make recruitment the most integral part of building not just a good team, but a GREAT team.
By Phillip Thomas | Manager at YO! Sushi, London, United Kingdom