Creating a successful restaurant business depends on many considerations. These include your location, marketing efforts, quality of food, specialness of your recipes and, more than anything else, the work of a qualified staff. Your leadership of employees means the difference between struggling and excelling. The first key component to retaining a great staff is to hire the “right” people in the first place. Learn how to improve your hiring practices to recruit a successful work team.

Don’t rely on one simple advertisement to find candidates. You will find the best people when you place ads in a variety of places. For example, take advantage of social media to advertise your available jobs. Also, reach out to the lower economic regions of your communities to attract job applicants ready to work and achieve. You want your talent pool filled with a diverse population representing both genders and a variety of ages, races, nationalities and cultures. According to the Center for American Progress, hiring persons from a diverse set of candidates creates a more qualified workforce.

Don’t rely on one simple advertisement to find candidates.

Set up interviews with applicants that show promise. Look at resumes to find which candidates have experience in the restaurant field and have recent references. Consider internships and education as well as job backgrounds. Don’t let a lack of experience stop you from interviewing applicants who express genuine interest in learning as you can start these individuals in various positions such as bussing tables and dish washing. Everyone needs a place to start.

Create interview questions designed to discover if applicants are suitable for restaurant work. Ask them to give you three reasons why they want to work in your establishment. You can learn much from this simple question as it will likely tell you whether a person is sincerely excited by the prospect of working at your restaurant. For instance, if she says she likes to work with people in social settings, enjoys a fast paced environment and is a fan of your food, she has given an answer that makes sense for working with you.

Pose scenarios during interviews regarding how applicants would handle certain events and to determine what they know.

Pose scenarios during interviews regarding how applicants would handle certain events and to determine what they know. For example, ask them to tell you what they would do when a customer wants a refund after eating, asks you to take food back or complains about wait time. If the applicant is looking for a cook position, you can ask about his prior training, query him about various cooking methods and ask him how he handles the pressure of rush time and what specific techniques he uses to get orders out in a timely manner. The applicants with the best answers will probably be your best choices.

Take time to lead candidates on a tour of your restaurant. Introduce them to members of your staff. Allow them time to look over the establishment and get a sense of how your shifts run. Observe the behavior of the applicants during this time. Do they seem overwhelmed? Excited? Are they anxious to talk to other employees and act interested in the various aspects of the business? If their attitude and behavior in the actual workplace does not match that displayed during the interview, it is a red flag that something is amiss.

Resist the urge to hire candidates immediately following an interview.

Be honest and transparent with all candidates. Invite them to ask you questions. You can often learn much from what they ask. Always, always check their references and run background checks and perform drug tests. Remember you must get the candidates’ permissions to do these screenings. Resist the urge to hire candidates immediately following an interview. You might be excited about a potential worker, but you time to reflect and to do appropriate checks before you hire the applicant.

Remember, you want to hire a person who wants to be part of a team, shows a desire to learn and believes in exceptional customer service. These are the people likely to stay with you.

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