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How to Find Good Hospo Staff

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One of the biggest pain points in hospo is finding and retaining good staff – and that was before COVID! Now it is even harder than before with the majority of venues forced to stand people down and unable to provide any job security. Add to that now, employees are now able to pick and choose with venues fighting over highly skilled staff and willing to offer a higher salary to recruit the right people. The industry already had a turnover rate at around 75% (other industries hit about 10-15%). Hospo is a tough gig, with long and unsociable hours, repetitive (or stressful) work, and a perceived lack of career path.

Here we share some tips on not just how to recruit, but how to retain good staff for your venue. The good news is, everyone is in the same boat. That means if you can find a way to hire great people and hold on to them, you’ll have a significant edge on your competitors.

Be clear re the role

Each role in your restaurant is unique. Outline what you expect and need from your new hire – not just the skills and experience, but the kind of person you’d like. This helps you advertise to the right people. Think about your must-haves. For example, would you be willing to hire an entry-level manager and train them, or do you want someone with proven experience?

Hire a professional

You’re awesome, but you’re not a recruiter. You’re also busy enough without sifting through CVs all day. If the budget stretches to it, it’s a really good idea to get a recruiter on board. They’ll know the best ways to advertise, screen applicants, interview and choose the best people.

Targeting Advertising

Make sure you’re advertising where your potential staff are hanging out. Social media pages, culinary schools and employee referrals are all great ways to find staff. If you’re advertising online, there are specialist websites for hospo too:

Try HospoWorldCoffeeJobsSideKicker and Scout

Don’t underestimate word of mouth and referrals

Referrals are the best kind of recruits. They’ll perform up to 15% better than other hires, and they have a 25% better retention rate, too. Get your team on board with the search – ask them to share your job ads on social media or set up a referral programme to reward staff for connecting you to great people.

Get real

If you advertise the job as one thing, and then new hires find it’s another, they’ll leave pretty quickly. It’s a giant waste of everyone’s time, so be upfront about what to expect.

You could also invite people for a (paid) trial so you can both work out if you’re a fit. If this job may lead into other more senior roles, make sure that’s clear too. Career paths or opportunities to upskill are huge incentives.

Attitude wins over experience

You’ve probably seen this first hand – you can teach a skills to a newbie, but you can’t fix someone’s attitude, work ethic or personality. It means when you’re choosing between two candidates, go for the one who’ll click with your staff and customers, even if they’re less experienced.

You can ask about customer orientation, organisational fit and transferable skills with questions like:

  • How do you keep up in a fast-paced work situation?
  • Tell me about a time you had a customer complaint, how you dealt with it and the outcome.
  • Why do you think you’re a good fit here?

Invest in your staff

This is the big one. If your staff never leave, you wouldn’t have to hire. Invest in the great team you already have, and you’ll save on recruiting and training costs. You’ll also be more likely to attract great candidates without advertising.

Training is crucial, not just for he venue but for the employee to upskill and become the best in their trade. It’s not surprising employers who “set and forget” will constantly lose good staff to competitors. Impos has recently partnered with Ananas Academy, an innovative online training platform created solely for the fast-paced hospitality industry rich with industry content and specialised training, as well as everything you need to know about your Impos point of sale system. This valuable platform is free for all Impos customers.

Staff can be your biggest weakness or your secret weapon, and it all starts with getting your recruitment right. Consider hiring a hospitality recruitment pro, get your job description bang on, and be upfront about what you need from your new hire. Advertise in the right places with job ads that are out of the ordinary, and get your existing team on board to help find great people.