August 13, 2020

Five Strategies for Hiring and Rehiring in Food Service

Checkr Editorial

On Thursday, July 23rd, we partnered with HigherMe to host a webinar covering “Five Strategies for Hiring and Rehiring in Food Service.”

Checkr’s Scott Jennings, Director of Industry Strategy was joined by Derek Williamson, CEO of HigherMe; Krystal DiMarca, Manager of Partnerships, Opportunities and Communications of Our Children’s Medicine; and Andre Howell, Vice President of Operations of Multicultural Foodservice & Hospitality Alliance. Checkr’s Tessa Greenleaf, Head of Sales Development moderated the session.  

We started by polling attendees to find out what their biggest pain point in hiring is right now. 50% of attendees cited, “I cannot source enough qualified candidates” as their biggest pain point. The other half responded, “I am not sure how to estimate headcount needs” as their greatest challenge in hiring right now. Responding to these issues, our panelists offered some innovative, practical advice tied to five strategies in hiring and rehiring in food service.   

1. Find and Source Qualified Candidates

“Put your best foot forward in the recruiting game. Make sure you have a digital experience that matches with the people you are looking to hire. Your recruiting experience needs to match your target candidates.  If you are looking at candidates who are millennials or Gen Z, you must have a digital-first process. If you find your process is paper-based or legacy, you are going to miss out on these candidates.”  – Scott Jennings, Director of Industry Strategy, Checkr

“One of the things we are seeing on the ground is that marketing is getting a lot more involved in the hiring process. The employer brand is becoming more and more important. You have to go outside of the traditional route of putting a job on a job-board and just waiting for applications.  Your social media channels and careers pages are big factors in finding and sourcing qualified candidates.” – Derek Williamson, CEO, HigherMe

“We work with candidates on “target recruiting.” We put exactly who we are looking for in the job application. Be bold and make sure your jobseekers know who you are looking for. From a diversity and inclusion perspective, individuals want to know that they will be safe in your organization.” – Krystal DiMarca, Manager, Our Children’s Medicine

 2. Connect With Interested Candidates 

 Be approachable to connect with your candidates. Establish relationships with community based organizations. Let those organizations know who you are looking for and be clear about what a successful candidate looks like. They can become a support mechanism and referral source for you.” – Andre Howell, Vice President, Multicultural Foodservice & Hospitality Association 

 “Employers are often used to calling candidates once an application comes in. Instead, we need to engage with candidates how they want to be communicated with—text message or email instead of phone calls.”  – Derek Williamson, CEO, HigherMe

 “Be mindful of who you want to hire and make sure your process matches that candidate’s preferred processes. You must remove all of the friction in your hiring process.” – Scott Jennings, Director of Industry Strategy, Checkr 

 3. Screen With Transparency and Authenticity 

 “From a diversity and inclusion perspective, transparency and authenticity are incredibly important. For example, some companies have started to call the role of a hostess an “Experiential Manager.” This is unique, but it may cause some groups to self-select out of applying for this role because the job title seems too high-level, when in fact, they are qualified. We need to be clear and transparent about what the job is in the description.”  – Krystal DiMarca, Manager, Our Children’s Medicine 

 “When you are talking about making sure you have open doors, consider candidates with a conviction history. Using Checkr allows you to open up your funnel by helping you consider qualified candidates with non-traditional backgrounds.” – Scott Jennings, Director of Industry Strategy, Checkr

 4. Accelerate Your Time to Hire 

 “There has never been a better time to show your current team that you care for them. Review the benefits and flex-time you can provide your current team. Additionally, stockpiling applications does not build trust. Be very transparent with candidates about your timeline around hiring and start dates.”  – Derek Williamson, CEO, HigherMe 

 “Make it a point of staying in touch with any furloughed employees.  Check in on these team members—that goes a long way. Especially in food service, we need to work much harder to attract talent. Develop your own story about why you joined your organization and the value you see in working there.” – Andre Howell, Vice President, Multicultural Foodservice & Hospitality Association  

 “By modernizing your HR tech stack, you will save money and can reinvest in your employees and team. That will really pay dividends for your brand or restaurant.” – Scott Jennings, Director of Industry Strategy, Checkr 

 5. Look for Diverse Candidates and Build an Inclusive Environment

 “You have to demonstrate commitment to diversifying your workforce. You have to make sure your values are reflected in your brand and policies. Optics matter and you have to do the hard work of making sure diverse candidates feel welcome and are actively recruited.” – Andre Howell, Vice President, Multicultural Foodservice & Hospitality Association 

 “Ask your own employees for feedback on your ideas about reaching diverse candidates. You might be surprised by what your own workforce will share with you.” – Krystal DiMarca, Manager, Our Children’s Medicine 

 If you missed this session, you can watch the recording here. Be sure to sign up for future Checkr webinars here

 If you would like to know more about HigherMe and Checkr, let us know here

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