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How Digital Technology Can Help You Hire the Best Restaurant Staff

In today’s environment, standard recruiting methods like Craigslist listings or simple “Help Wanted” signs are rarely enough. According to the National Restaurant Association’s State of the Restaurant Industry report, roughly half of operators surveyed expect recruiting and retaining employees to stand as their top challenge in 2022. And that means you’re facing plenty of competitors, alongside a candidate pool that’s shallower than ever. 

To help, it’s important to consider strategies like raising wages and building a stronger workplace culture. But it may also be time to re-evaluate your hiring processes and start leveraging technology.

There are now plenty of digital hiring platforms on the market, designed to make staffing processes more efficient and effective. We take a look at the main advantages, so you can determine if it’s the right investment for you.

Automatic placement of job listings on all the top sites

Digital software can simplify the job posting process by automatically doing it for you. With many platforms, all it takes is one click to get your job openings posted to Indeed, Monster, Craigslist, ZipRecruiter, and dozens of other top job boards. Some platforms, like Harri, have their own hospitality job marketplace, too, casting the net even wider. Plus, many integrate with platforms like Google and Facebook Jobs, making it easy to boost posts and increase your reach, all from one centralized location. 

Some platforms have tools to help you before you get to the posting stage, too. For example, CareerPlug offers a variety of job posting templates. While it’s important to tailor each to your brand, these offer an easy place to get started. 

Creative and convenient recruitment strategies 

Recruiting is considered by many the most challenging part of staffing up. Fortunately, digital hiring platforms are increasingly coming up with innovative strategies designed to help both reach more people and attract higher quality candidates. Take for example, Workstream, which enables candidates to conveniently apply for open positions by text message using a QR code or phone number attached to job listings. Workstream is also one of several platforms that offers a video resume feature. Applicants can submit a quick intro video, creating an easy way to filter people who are most interested in the position.

Some platforms, like Landed, actually utilize Artificial Intelligence (AI) to communicate with potential hires, saving you from responding to the same questions over and over again, while keeping candidates engaged with real-time answers. And then there are platforms like Seasoned, which operate through a smartphone app that can make the hiring, and matching, process feel almost like Tinder.

Depending on the hire you’re trying to make, you may want to also look for platforms that offer the ability to build targeted ad campaigns. These capabilities can increase your chances that job listings get put in front of candidates that have the skills you’re actually seeking. 

Pre-vetting and interview prep taken care of for you

Tired of spending countless hours going through resumes? This is where automated software really shines. Most platforms do at least some of the vetting for you. Landed, for example, again uses its AI technology to evaluate candidates based on more than 50 data points, including communication skills, body language, and work longevity. Fliptable also uses AI to match you with candidates, based on a combination of experience, location, and work preferences.

Other platforms, like Harri, enable you to create your own custom assessments for candidates to complete. And with most software solutions, you can employ an automatic vetting process to filter out those that don’t match your needs. Some allow you to also use quizzes or questionnaires to evaluate subjective traits, designed to identify candidates who are the best fit for your company culture. For a fully hands-on vetting approach, you’ll find plenty of platforms that offer a list of customizable interview questions, too, along with a centralized place to store and keep track of all candidates’ answers.

Short-term hiring potential

Whether you’re looking to fill a position while waiting for the right full-time candidate to come along, or temporarily replace someone who’s out on leave, several platforms exist designed to connect employers to workers with short-term availability. Take SnapShyft, for example, which has a marketplace of 40,000-plus fully vetted workers, ranging from chefs to food runners to dishwashers to security personnel to sanitization workers. The platform serves as a flexible staffing solution, designed to fill everything from single shifts to more permanent roles.

Other similar flexible staffing solutions include GigPro and Instawork. And then there’s Bite Ninja, an innovative concept that can help fill empty drive-thru shifts and spots at the counter. It works by allowing you to hire workers remotely to fill orders, appearing on-screen to customers via menu boards. 

Streamlined onboarding capabilities

Most current hiring software enables you to streamline the process from receiving an application to day one of work, and all the paperwork in between. Take for example, Efficient Hire, a platform that not only allows you to recruit, track, and hire hourly workers, but also consolidate everything on a cloud-based system that eliminates the need for paper documents. They offer a 15-minute onboarding process that can be completed from any device. It features electronic I-9 and E-Verify management tools that ensure not only do necessary state and federal tax forms, company policies, and I-9’s get signed and completed, but that your company stays in compliance with the law.

There are plenty of other platforms to choose from here, too, which can include onboarding features ranging from training video portals to payroll integrations to standardized workforce eligibility and background checks.

Opportunities to gain insight from, and recruit, past employees

Some platforms, like HourWork, actually enable you to re-engage with the people you already know – i.e., former applicants and employees. This invites you to learn from the past by gaining insight into why staff have left. And it also maximizes your talent pool by making it easy to invite former employees and interviewees back. Job openings are shared as they become available. And a team of messaging experts does the legwork for you to encourage those in your circle to apply.

Considerations and where to start: Hiring platforms aren’t free

There are dozens of digital hiring platforms at your disposal, many of which offer most, if not all, of the above features. But take note, most hiring software requires a subscription, and fees can range anywhere from $40 to hundreds of dollars a month. Try and determine your budget upfront before consulting with third parties. But keep in mind the payoff – a quality hire sometimes brings an immeasurable return.

If you’re wondering where to begin, check out our staffing landing page. It includes plenty of options to check out and will give you a head start in your research. You’ll also find options here that allow you to track progress reports, create job evaluations, and more, in order to see and improve your employee relationships into the future. Remember, recruitment efforts are only worthwhile investments if you’re putting in the work to prevent turnover, too. 

[Photo by Edmond Dantès from Pexels]

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