Employee Recruitment and Selection

5 Hiring the Right Person for the Job

Hiring the wrong person can be frustrating and ultimately very costly for the company. Instead, you want to attract employees who respect and will uphold your business values. This simple principle is essential to your business success.

Remember that values are the principles, beliefs, and standards of excellence that guide how you run your business and how you interact with your employees, suppliers, and customers. Reviewing your business values and mission along with the job description before you post the position will help to attract the right employee, and will allow you to clearly identify your expectations to new employees. This hiring approach is often referred to as “hiring for the right fit” or “hiring for attitude.” Keep in mind that the hiring process has to be a win-win situation. You want the right person for the job and the future employee wants to work for the right organization that supports and is in line with his or her own values.

When to start the hiring process

To prepare a hiring timeline, work backwards from when you need a position filled. Doing this will help you determine when you need to start recruitment activities. In your calculation, it is important to factor in orientation and training time (e.g., does the new employee need to start training by June 1, or should the person be ready and trained as a sous-chef by this date?). Note that training periods can vary greatly depending on the complexity of the job and the experience of the employee.

Keep in mind that you may need to allow time to re-advertise if you do not find a suitable candidate right away. Other factors that can affect the hiring timeline are your location (are you in a favourable geographic area?) and the number of qualified candidates available with the expertise you are looking for (is the job market particularly competitive?).

Planning for the job ad/posting

Before you post the job opening, ask yourself these five questions

  1. From what demographic or geographic pool am I trying to draw? For example, are you identifying as possible recruits local residents, youth, career changers, Aboriginal people, seniors, new immigrants, foreign workers?
  2. How do I reach my ideal candidates? Where do your ideal candidates spend their time (e.g., school, sporting events, religious groups, industry networking events, career fairs)? What do your ideal candidates regularly read and in what format (e.g., local, community or regional newspapers, trade journals, online job boards, social media sites)?
  3. Is there anyone within our organization who may know of someone, either personally or professionally, who would be suitable for the position? For example, does your sous-chef know another chef who is looking for a job?
  4. What benefits will an employee receive besides wages? For example, do you offer flexible hours, seasonal work, a fun environment, a chance to give back to the community, an opportunity to work outdoors?
  5. Do I have an existing employee who would be interested and qualified for this position or could be trained for the job? For example, is one of your line cooks ready to be trained as a sous-chef?

Where to find your ideal recruit

You have a variety of options available to help you locate potential job candidates, both internally and externally. Some of these options are free while others require a financial investment, and each has different advantages and disadvantages that you will want to consider.

Identifying potential employees internally (including through word of mouth, friends, and family) can offer many benefits, including being typically the cheapest method of recruitment. Additionally, internal recruitment can help with team morale as they see the possibility of promotion from within. This can be a huge motiving factor for many employees. Internal recruiting can also provide consistency as the applicants know the organization, systems, values, etc.

However, internal recruiting may lead to having a stagnant workforce. Hiring from within may not provide the fresh approach you are looking for. Also, sometimes the right person for the job is just not available internally. Existing employees may not have the right mix of education, skills, or experience.

External recruiting through newspapers, appropriate Internet sites, radio, schools, and professional organizations can be effective, but can also yield a huge number of applications to sift through, both good and bad, which is very time consuming. Additionally, external recruiting can be expensive; job ads in prominent places such as online job boards and newspapers can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

You will want to choose the recruitment tools that will bring you the greatest return on your investment and are most appropriate to targeting your profile recruits. Here are some tips for various recruitment options:

  • Word of mouth: Ask for referrals from high-performing employees, business contacts, service providers, friends, and family.
  • Internet: The Internet offers several options for finding employees. These include posting job openings on your company’s own website or on job search sites; looking for job seekers on resumé-posting sites; including information on available job openings as part of company blogs and on other social media sites (e.g., LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook); and creating a virtual job fair. A key advantage of using the Internet to post job openings is the potential to reach a large job-seeking audience for little, if any, cost. However, be sure you have both the capability to receive a potentially large volume of online applications, as well as the staff resources required to properly review these applications for suitable candidates.
  • Hospitality job search sites: A number of hospitality specific websites cover all aspects of the tourism industry, enabling employers to advertise positions in specific fields. Useful hospitality and tourism websites include go2HR, Hcareers, and Workopolis (hospitality and tourism sections). The B.C. government has also recently invested a great deal into a provincial job board and other tools such as an apprentice job match at its WorkBC website.
  • Professional associations and special interest groups: Trade associations and other industry organizations are a helpful source for finding qualified and motivated talent. Examples include:
  • Schools: High schools, colleges, universities, and trade schools are all potential sources of employees, and many provide job-posting services for their students. Students tend to be highly motivated and eager to learn. Many schools also organize co-ops, practicums, or work experience placements for students, which are an excellent source of temporary or seasonal employees.
  • Newspaper and other print advertising: Newspaper advertising remains a good way of raising awareness of all levels and types of job openings, and most will have online sections to complement those in print. Typically, the more senior the position, the further afield you should consider posting a newspaper ad. A disadvantage of newspaper advertising is that you may receive applications from many unqualified candidates, and these will take time to review. If you do select newspaper advertising as a source for potential candidates, remember to think carefully about who will be reading the publication (i.e., a more senior position may be better advertised in a large business-oriented publication or in the business section, whereas an entry-level position may attract more suitable candidates when advertised in a local daily publication). Advertising in industry-sector member publications and newsletters is also a great way to reach your target audience.
  • Recruitment agencies and search firms: These agencies can handle all aspects of recruitment, up to and including negotiating an employment offer, and they are particularly useful for finding short-term employees, senior level hires, or people for positions where qualified candidates are difficult to find. Note: Be sure to carefully review all contract details and requirements before signing with a recruitment agency.
  • Job fairs and open houses: If you have, or anticipate having, a number of job openings, you may want to consider attending job fairs and hosting open houses as a way to introduce your company to potential candidates and raise awareness of available openings. Check with your local college or university to see when their job fairs are held and what is required to participate as an employer. Whether you participate in a job fair, or host an open house at your business, be prepared to have the appropriate resources available to talk to future candidates and screen resumés.

The labour market will continue to change quickly so it is important to be creative and keep an open mind on new and alternative methods to drawing in top performers. Stay open to the possibilities of changing the way you choose to recruit as well as changes to your internal policies with regards to perks and benefits that go along with the job. Stay current on what others are doing within the industry and be competitive; why would someone choose to work for you over the restaurant next door?



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Human Resources in the Food Service and Hospitality Industry Copyright © 2015 by The BC Cook Articulation Committee is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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