The answer to this question unlocks a common practice in the industry that all too often creates a revolving door. If you are like many restaurant owners and managers you hire who you think is the best person from a quick ad and as fast as you can, or from a referral, without a true consideration to the position needs. You have a business to run and you cannot waste time looking for a replacement for a key position.
You may have started your business with a concept in mind and a chef at the helm that helped create the food and flavors that drives your concept. What about the GM that has been with you over the years and added value to your customer’s experience. Now they left, and hopefully not at the same time.
The dilemmas that can unfold in your business when a leader leaves are difficult to measure, but certainly something you need to consider during your next hiring phase. With turnover you can begin to lose the connection there was between the leaders, the food, the service, the relationship with the concept, and you can lose the connection with your customers.
Searching for and selecting executive leadership is not a quick pick solution and not something you should try on your own. Most owners and managers hire the wrong people, and this is mainly due to their emotional connection with the business and the need to fill a position quickly. You can lose customers, staff, and in the end your business with a wrong decision to these key positions.
Poor procedural practices common during hiring processes can include:
1. Copying other ads you see online.
2. Buying only one or two ads from a budgeted amount and within two or three weeks and a few interviews the replacement is decided upon.
3. Selecting leaders out of a bunch of resumes from an ad that is designed overnight and created under pressure without regard to the true sense of the job.
4. Using only a referral process to make the decision.
In most situations you are making your decision based on a selection of candidates over a few weeks. This is a betting situation that the proper candidate is available during the same few weeks and the moment you are advertising and interviewing. Feeling lucky?
Can the correct replacement for your specific business, design, concept, customer expectations, quality and level of food and service, and staff training needs really be available during this short moment of time you are looking?
Many ads are created haphazardly and with little thought to the actual needs of the position. You will be very lucky if you locate and keep the candidate you selected using these quick solution methods and all holds true the person matches the actual needs of the business.
Take for example these segments pulled from actual online ads for GM’s and Executive Chef’s.
-Prior GM experience required
-Only Motivated individuals need respond
-Applicants must be self-motivated & self-managing
-Previous experience necessary
-Serious candidates only
-Must Be a Team Player
-Must be able to work well with others
Insignificant sections like these in an ad offer nothing to create the ideal results necessary. A candidate will not tell you they are not motivated. They will not admit that they are not a team player. They will not say they are not serious about the position. Aren’t all GM and Chef positions “hands-on”? You might as well say “you have to work hard at this job”, which actually makes more sense to place in the ad.
A well-designed ad should have solid attributes.
1. Are you able to supervise and create schedules for 30 staff?
2. Are you familiar with Sous Vide?
3. Are you familiar with the cuisine?
4. Are you able to create new authentic recipes with weekly specials based on our concept?
5. What is the farthest distance you are willing to travel from your home to work?
6. Will you work up to 65 hours weekly or all hours necessary?
7. What is your salary expectations based on distance and workload?
8. Are you willing to work the dining room floor and interact with all guests and provide solutions to issues that arise?
You place an ad for a very important position and expect that the right person, the one that you will call your next leader, is in the mix of the resumes you receive within the next two or three weeks. Can you rely upon this? There is a lot of hope resting on this method, which all too often fails in the long run and creates turnover.
How can you make better decisions and garner better results?
1) Make sure your ad for a key position is well written and contains specific wording on what the position candidate actually performs on a daily basis, take your time, and do not use cookie cutter descriptions.
2) Think of ways to extend the time-frame of hire, improving your chances of success. The longer you run your search the chances of receiving worthwhile candidates that fit the position increases.
3) Use a reliable service to assist you with key employee hires. Any good service will provide guarantees on the hire, so consider this during your decision process.
If you proactively plan out the process of your hiring needs and lengthen the interviewing time-frame you will have better results.
THE STORIES OF HOSPITALITY
Lopolito Hospitality Consultants, Corp. (LHC) is a New York based consulting firm that offers forward thinking solutions to businesses in the hospitality industry.