Hospitality is a fast-paced, high-pressure working environment, and the skillset to manage this isn’t for everyone. Keeping customers happy, ensuring proper WHS, food handling and cleaning, closing up, cash handling, preparing food, the list goes on. So, when you’re hiring for new staff, be it a barista, bartender, wait-staff, or otherwise, you want to make sure they’re the right fit.
If you’re on the hunt for new staff, here’s how you can find the best possible candidates.
1. Perfect the Job Description & Ad
Before you start hiring you want to make sure that the right people are applying in the first place. When writing up your job description, be transparent about what the role entails, the challenges, and the pros. This the people applying to know what to expect. Make sure to also post your job on the right apps and platforms. Local bulletins can help you find local job seekers, while a LinkedIn ad might not give you much traction.
2. Discuss the Applicants’ Interests
When you filter through applications and go through the interviews, ask your potential employee what their interests are and what intrigued them about the role. A lot of the time you are hiring students, part timers and those looking for temporary jobs – which is fine. But for more managerial roles or senior positions, there should be a level of interest in the industry.
3. Observer Interview Behaviour
This doesn’t mean that the interview has to run seamlessly – it’s a nerve-racking setting for jobseekers, but gauge how they greet you, whether they engage with your questions, whether they have questions of their own. You want to establish whether they’ve invested time in presenting themselves well.
4. Ask Situational Questions
Situational questions are a great way to see if your expectations match their actions. There are no wrong answers, and if an applicant doesn’t respond the way you would that doesn’t mean they’re a bad employer. But you can gauge whether they respond in a way that you’re looking for – perhaps a gap in your current staff. Some questions to consider are:
- Can you tell me about a time when you experienced conflict at work? How did you resolve the issue?
- How have you gone ‘above and beyond’ to satisfy a customer?
- What role do you find yourself naturally fitting into when working as a team?
5. Know What You Offer
Don’t forget, a job seeker is looking for the right fit as much as you’re looking for the right fit. You should be able to sell why exactly your business is a great place to work – if not, you may find a great applicant opting for another job that offers them more.
Consider what training and upskilling you offer your staff. How do you recognise them for a job well done? What team activities and perks do you get? What do you love about running your business? If your business sounds exciting, you’ll get more eager applicants.
No two businesses are the same
What works for one café might not work well for a bar, so resist simplifying the process by looking for a ‘prototype’ hospitality worker. The best way to assess if someone is the right fit is to see them do the job. If you have the capacity to take on a paid trial run, it’s a great idea to see them walk the talk. While a trial won’t be enough to showcase all their abilities, you can establish how they fit with the rest of the team and customers.
Looking to upskill new recruits? CHT offers hospitality training courses for a variety of jobs. Browse our current courses here.