The Greeks inscribed the message, “Know thyself” in the forecourt of the Temple of Apollo at Delphia. The Greeks took it from Luxor in ancient Egypt. They knew a good, catchy — and useful — phrase when they saw one.
This phrase reminds us of a principle that is just as important today as it was three millennia ago. It must guide any successful recruitment marketing you do for your restaurant.
We’ve put together 10 Steps To Successful Restaurant Recruitment Marketing. But before your pen touches the paper to plan out your marketing, consider carefully these first four aspects of knowing yourself:
1. What is your brand?
Sure, you are about food, but what kind of food? What makes it unique? List (in writing) the special characteristics of your food. Write down every adjective you can imagine, and then write more. When you’re finished, pick three or four of them — three or four adjectives that capture what your food is about. That communicate to everyone what you provide to them every day. These are your “key words,” but not just online. Use these words every time you refer to your restaurant in any medium.
2. What is your culture?
Think carefully about this one. Consider your culture as it is and as you want it to be, maybe even with two columns of adjectives. Do these things match? If not, you have some work to do in your organization, and part of it is hiring employees who will help you get there — but they won’t stay long unless you have a clear sense of vision about your culture and can walk the talk yourself.
3. What are the physical characteristics of your environment?
Are you small? Spacious? Organized? Cluttered? Bright and Beautiful? Drab? Sleek? Modern? Traditional? Not everyone can work in every type of environment. As an added bonus, take a moment to consider if your physical environment expresses your vision as a restaurant. Friendly and cozy is very different from sleek and elegant.
Take a moment to consider if your physical environment expresses your vision as a restaurant. Friendly and cozy is very different from sleek and elegant.
4. What are the specific skills and personality traits you value in employees?
Of course you’re looking for specific skills. Unless you’re in a tiny place that requires everyone to do everything, you can probably assign certain types of tasks to different employees. Create written job descriptions, and consider the skills and personality traits that job requires. Line cooks require different skills and personalities from wait staff.
If you did your first task well, getting to know yourself, and if you are successful in expressing your vision in every aspect of what you do, that clarity will serve you well in attracting recruits to your business who respond to what you represent. Now it’s time to consider what potential employees will value. Four things studies show are important for engaged employees are:
5. Respect, inside and outside.
An employee who responds to your vision appreciates what you do and takes pride in being part of it. People like to feel proud of the work they do. Step One is looking for people who love what you represent. Step Two is offering reciprocal respect. People want to feel as though their employer and fellow-employees respect them.
An employee who responds to your vision appreciates what you do and takes pride in being part of it.
6. Integrity and transparency.
People want to work in environments that are honest and transparent. Part of that equation is what you put out in your recruitment marketing. That’s why it’s so important to know yourself! Does what you say in your marketing match what people experience in the environment? Employees want to know they can depend on you for being honest and straightforward with them. Transparency gives employees an opportunity to know what the plan is and how they can participate. It is an antidote to the manipulation that is endemic to so many work environments.
Of course salary and benefits are important, but they aren’t the whole story. Competitive salaries and benefits are important, but all things equal, the difference between a potential employee wanting to join your team or another rests on several factors, one of which is fairness. Do you compensate in accord with work quality? Does everyone have a fair chance for advancement?
8. Room for growth and advancement.
Not only do employees want to know that they can improve skills and add new ones, they want to know they can “move up” in the organization increasing their responsibilities (and related compensation). A good way to communicate that you offer these opportunities, not just as you’re trying to hire
Not only do employees want to know that they can improve skills and add new ones, they want to know they can “move up” in the organization increasing their responsibilities (and related compensation). A good way to communicate that you offer these opportunities, not just as you’re trying to hire on a person but as they work within the organization, is through performance reviews. During a regular performance review, ask employees about their satisfaction with their work and what their current goals are within the organization. Write down responses to have available the next time you meet, and look for ways to facilitate employee progress.
Not only do employees want to know that they can improve skills and add new ones, they want to know they can “move up” in the organization increasing their responsibilities (and related compensation).
And of course, there are the perks only you can offer. Delicious food. A fast-pace. Fun! If these characteristics are part of what you offer, make them part of your recruitment. Many thrive on a fast-pace. Many appreciate a certain kind of food, and a free bowl of soup or a bus pass goes a long way toward compensating for lower salaries.
Now that you’ve determined all this, who you are and what potential employees want, you can pick up your pen or place your fingers on the keyboard. You’ve got two more steps.
9. Leverage employee networks.
Find out from peers in the age range you’re targeting what social media and employee networks they use most often. Facebook has a wide reach. Instagram Stories is growing strong. LinkedIn serves some, especially those in parts of the industry that require professional training, like chefs. Put information out into these networks regularly, not just when you’re hiring. Make your brand recognizable by the time you begin a search for the perfect employee.
10. Put your message out across several channels.
Your regular participation in Facebook lets you put out gorgeous food pictures on a daily basis as well as pictures of happy employees having fun together and enjoying their customers. Make sure the same visuals post to Twitter and any other networks where you have an account. When it comes time to use the brand you’ve built to recruit employees, put it out across several channels, making certain the announcement is clear and consistent throughout. You never know whose aunt knows whose brother.
Preparing for successful employee recruitment is a great opportunity to evaluate how close you come to expressing your vision for your organization. It gives you a chance to verify that you express it in every aspect of what you do.
Preparing for successful employee recruitment is a great opportunity to evaluate how close you come to expressing your vision for your organization.
If you have been sufficiently clear and consistent in your recruiting, your happy employees will build your image as they become energized in your culture. Best of all, they’ll stay with you, reducing the need to take lots of time with constant recruiting and training as a result of the rapid turnover that comes from a flawed process.
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