Quick Service Industry
Hello Laura! I loved your article on different recruiting strategies. I have been with Chick-fil-A now for 12 years as a Director on many different roles through my career. None have been as challenging as the Role of Talent Director. The way the economy here is, it seems like out of 200 applicants, we might get one worth a phone call. There seems to be an over abundance of people that have no track record that apply here, but finding real talent and leadership is a huge challenge. We do have one thing going for us which is a great culture, but even some people leave because they think its too good to be true. Do you have any suggestions to help me find great people in our community? We are a college and commuter town. We are involved on campuses but are constantly striking out on leadership because those in school do not want to commit to leading iin a “fast food” restaurant. What might you suggest? Thanks Again!
I’ve worked in a similar role in CSR/fast casual, and in retail, and found the best way to resolve this issue is to develop managers from within. That’s what Jack-in-the-Box, McDonalds and other franchise systems do. They hire entry-level employees, or non-college grads. Then, they train them on a station (i.e. fryer), train them on all functions (customer service), train them to lead a shift, train them to run a store, etc.
Seeing others trained and promoted from within improves employee morale too. You can also offer to pay (high school students’ or Freshman/Sophmore) college tuition.
It’s the promise of training and promotion that can get workers in the door. Hiring a manager as a recent college grad rarely works as most grads feel they’re too educated to work in fast food. That’s a huge negative perception to overcome. You’re better off hiring them while they’re in school and offering flex hours so they can work while they’re being trained/educated.
And you may be better off hiring for aptitude (customer friendliness, computer savvy, teamwork) than education. If you have someone with basic competencies needed for the business, you can train them to run a store.
In fact, while I was at Jack-in-the-Box, managers who ‘developed’ promotable employees were actually given a bonus when that employee was transferred to run one of their other restaurants, with a promotion to manager.
Best wishes in hiring! Here are additional articles that may help.