The job listing is the first step towards getting that truly stellar employee. It lets the right people know what you are looking for and lets the wrong people know to keep looking. On top of this, you want to write the job listing in a way that gets qualified people excited about working for you. Below are listed a few tips for attracting your dream candidate through the job listing.

Tip 1: Read other job postings from a job seeker’s perspective

Before writing your job listing read through your competition’s and imagine what about these posts would attract you if you were looking for the job on offer. What sort of keywords would a sous chef or server use to find a posting? What is the competition offering that a FOH employee might like? This will help you not only see what you are up against, but also what will make you attractive to job candidates.

Weave in adjectives and a bit of your restaurant’s philosophy.

Tip 2: Write a concise and interesting description of the position

Include a short description of the tasks your future employee will be performing. Your star candidate wants to know beforehand if your BOH position involves dish-washing or inventory tracking. They need a concise and clear idea of the basic position and job duties. If you’re stuck, use our job description templates to get started.

This does not mean you put up a boring run down of every task and relationship involved. You want to explain why your restaurant is a great place to work as well as what they can expect once there. Weave in adjectives and a bit of your restaurant’s philosophy into your job description. Just keep the core duties clear.

Tip 3: Write a catchy but descriptive headline

A headline saying, “Big Bucks In Restaurant Biz!!!” makes people think you are a scam, and a headline saying, “Waitress Wanted” makes people’s eyes glaze. What’s more, neither of those headlines explain why someone should work at your restaurant in particular.

Try thinking of a unique feature of the job that a promising candidate might find intriguing. “Server Position Open – Flexible Hours In Busy Restaurant” would catch an applicant’s eye. “Chef Wanted for New Restaurant. Join Us On The Ground Floor” sounds fun to a dedicated chef looking to expand horizons.

Pro-tip: Skip the exclamation marks, too. The words ‘competitive pay’ and ‘fast-paced restaurant’ are eye-catching enough without them.

Tip 4: Describe your restaurant’s work environment

Job seekers want to know what restaurant they will be working in. Include the address and name of the restaurant in your posting, even if you want them to send their application somewhere else. List what type of food you serve and the general atmosphere. This lets the applicants know what sort of environment they will be working in. Especially if you are FOH, this can be a deal-breaker.

The restaurant business is fast-paced and constantly changing so give yourself some wiggle room.

Tip 5: Stay flexible

The restaurant business is fast-paced and constantly changing. You will want to give yourself some wiggle room when it comes listing benefits and job duties so that you aren’t locked into something you can’t do. Acknowledge up front that while you listed the core duties in the posting, there will be other tasks involved.

Instead of naming the hourly wage, offer a range of wages or simply say that you offer competitive compensation. Naming a specific benefit package can discourage potential applicants from applying for jobs that don’t carry the particular benefit they are looking for. Not mentioning that extra jobs may crop up sets you up to argue with the employee over their prescribed duties.

Tip 6: List specific qualifications

It is a hassle to wade through applications from job seekers who are manifestly unqualified for the job. Unfortunately, qualifications are not always obvious, so you will have to spell them out. If you want your chef to have had experience before applying for your job, say something along the lines of “Needs at least 1 year of experience to qualify.”

Be careful to keep to qualifications strictly job-related or you will open a can of legal worms; writing that you will only accept women for your FOH jobs or that you won’t hire anyone over 50 opens you up to lawsuits over discrimination. If you have a job that requires particular physical abilities, list only those essential abilities. Saying that the job requires lifting 20 pounds is an honest description; saying that someone needs to be able-bodied leaves room for interpretation, which is never good.

Have a few people read over your listing before you post it.

When your listing is complete, have a few people read it over before you post it. Having a few eyeballs on your listing will catch spelling errors and parts that are muddled so you can make the listing as clear as possible. The job listing is a vital first step in staffing your restaurant with the people it deserves. Following these tips will make sure your job post is the best it can be.

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