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The turnover rate in the restaurant industry hit 70% a few years ago and it shows no signs of slowing down. This is no news to most industry hiring teams who know that finding good help that lasts is increasingly difficult. This puts pressure on companies seeking good quality workers to keep their facilities functioning smoothly. But professional staffing firms have some tricks to finding top talent. Here’s what you need to know to improve your chances of recruiting in the restaurant industry.

Network with Culinary Schools

If you haven’t made a connection with your local culinary or high school, now is the time. With the popularity of television shows starring celebrity chefs, many students are looking for a start in the industry. High schools have responded with culinary courses along with an influx of new schools specializing in foodservice and culinary arts. Some high schools will even sponsor students in work-study programs so that they gain valuable skills. Look for your local Culinary Institute of America, or connect with local vocational schools to increase your pool of potential applicants. Even your local food bank may have classes for low-income adults who are eager to take on a good job in the restaurant field.

Use Social Media More

Given how prevalent social media is in our lives today, we’re shocked when hiring managers fail to use these free tools to let people know about job openings. Platforms like LinkedIn can help you find managers and other professionals that you can put to work. Sponsoring an ad on Facebook is a great tool to reach a wide audience, and you can also post directly in local Facebook groups that specialize in a love of all things food-related. While what you can share on Twitter is limited to just 140 characters, it’s a good platform for frequent posts to links for open jobs.

Establish Referral Programs

In our experience, the best candidates come from employee referrals. That makes referral programs an important part of any recruiting effort. For companies that offer a cash incentive, the volume of candidates will surely increase whether you are looking for an entry-level or management position. We recommend offering a signing bonus after the new employee has been with the company for 90-days. That way a referral system won’t run the risk of being abused. You can even offer the referral program to your customers. If they have a good experience at your restaurant, they may be more likely to tell their friends, family, and social network that you are hiring.

Create a Careers Page

Posting on a job board, then using social media, are two solid ways to get more resumes but don’t forget about your website. Jobs should always be posted on your careers page, a location that should feature a sense of what it’s like to work in your establishment. Too many times we see restaurants neglecting this important part of their brand. Posting job openings on your website should be the first consideration when looking for top talent.

Connect with the Experts at Gecko Hospitality

Finally, working with a staffing agency like Gecko Hospitality takes the worry out of finding new talent. We help our clients in the hospitality field stay on top of their job openings, positioning them for success in the industry. Connect with our leading restaurant recruiters for more information.


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