Optimize the Timing of Your Search

If your restaurant hasn’t already started the search for seasonal hires, the time is now. Research shows that the U.S. workforce sees the most growth in spring and late fall in preparation for the summer rush and holiday season. Unfortunately, this also means you have stiff competition in acquiring top-level talent to add to your team. Talent is scarce. If you’re looking for quality hires, you’ll want to start your search before everyone else.

Race to the Top

No matter the season, hiring quality restaurant staff takes a great deal of time and energy. Don’t make things harder by getting started too late. Your competitors will be looking within the same pool of candidates. One great way to assess your seasonal hiring needs is to review your historic onboarding patterns year-to-year.

If your restaurant was overstaffed last summer, was it the result of too many new hires? Was it due to a downward shift in seasonal business? How effectively did your seasonal hires upsell during the summer months? Would better training have significantly increased your ticket size?

Plant the Seed Early

One way to ensure you find quality hires is to incentivize referrals from your best employees. By implementing a referral program in April and May, you allow enough time for word of mouth to spread to potential candidates. If this approach doesn’t bear fruit, consider increasing the incentives as the summer season approaches. Be sure that managers remind staff of key attributes that you expect in a perfect hire candidate.

Screening and Vetting Hires

Combining well-targeted ads, a referral program, and word-of-mouth, you will surely receive a strong response for front- and back-of-house positions. Yet, this is just the start. To assemble a top-level team, you should use an effective screening and vetting process. Ideally, doing so before the busy season kicks off gives you the buffer you need to train your new team properly. No matter how experienced your new hires are, empowering veteran staff can make onboarding much easier. Your staff’s familiarity with your POS system, menu specials, and the restaurant layout will make a busy summer season that much more profitable.

Seasonal hires are meant to help your restaurant take on the busy season with less stress and higher margins. However, competing for the top hires can be a resource drain. Hiring early allows you to snag top applicants before your competition. This also provides the time to train new staff before the summer rush. To learn more about our new restaurant hiring and vetting tool, visit Bikelane HIRE for your free 30-day trial.