How to Hire More Competitively in 2017 in a Shrinking Pool of Applicants

January 03, 2017 | 1882 Views

How to Hire More Competitively in 2017 in a Shrinking Pool of Applicants

Michele Lange

Director of Training and Development | The Habit Burger Grill

Well, it’s happening again! Industry news reports that the pool of potential team members is SHRINKING. The sea of applicants now looks more like a wading pool. The hospitality industry is one of the largest employers of people in the United States, yet we continue to dip our toes in the same recycled pool of applicants. When a team member leaves, they end up at a competitor down the street, until the next new concept in town comes along. Eventually the original employer hires them back.

HR and training professionals can help managers make better decisions when hiring new team members, and retaining the team members they have. In a 2016 follow-up report to the Trends in Hospitality Training Study completed by CHART and TDn2K, there are three clear factors contributing to the hiring and retention problem.

  1. 62% of restaurants report negative same store sales growth in Q3 of 2016
  2. The cost of turnover averages $2000 per hourly team member
  3. Personal income growth and job growth are slowing down year after year

How can we turn the scant wading pool of potential applicants into an Olympic-sized pool of champions? As we enter 2017, we need to ask ourselves and our teams some tough questions, and think with fresh perspectives to recruit new team members. This means changing normal hiring practices.

Here are some questions to ask yourself and your teams:

Your answers to these questions will help you determine the next steps to take.

Here are a few suggestions to turn hiring and retention problems into opportunities in 2017:

  1. Determine and highlight culture touch points and attributes that would make your concept an employer of choice. 
  2. Create and market a clear career path to potential applicants.
  3. Recruit team members outside your normal avenues. Reach out to your local ProStart program and recruit from other customer-service related industries.

The uncontrollable items that affect our businesses will always be there: increasing minimum wage, more stringent regulations, and tougher labor laws. These cannot be an excuse for not recruiting and retaining the best possible people in your organization.

I wish you the best of luck and a Happy New Year!

 

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Comments (1)

  1. Ember:
    Jan 10, 2017 at 03:58 PM

    Love your #1 suggestion: Determine and highlight culture touch points and attributes that would make your concept an employer of choice.
    Creating and reinforcing a culture that is "sticky" can be the difference between retaining a good employee or losing one. Great article, Michele.