Stop the Insanity!

Too many restaurants, auto repair, retail stores, and pretty much any business that has employees is hurting for help right now. If I see another social media post, a sign taped to a door, or a message that a restaurant has to close Saturday night because they don’t have enough cooks, well, that’s just unacceptable. Something needs to be done! Not next week, not tomorrow, but now.

Outdoor Chalkboard Hiring Sign

Employees are scarce, expensive, and hard to find. All business owners are finding it difficult to recruit qualified staff for their businesses- which means that they need to be creative in order to solve this staffing challenge. It’s not an easy task, but it is possible with a few creative steps.

Your restaurant, auto repair, or retail shop is a business, and the success of your business relies on how well you can manage it. But when you have to deal with the lack of staff, it’s hard to know what steps to take. In this blog post, I share 3 steps that will help solve your staffing challenges right now. And I will highlight an example from one of our clients that is crushing it when it comes to hiring.

Before we jump into solving your hiring challenges, remember two things…

#1: Getting New Staff Is A Marketing Challenge

#2: The Challenge Of Finding New Staff Will Never Go Away

Sorry to be the bearer of harsh reality, but I think you already know that. If you have been in business any length of time, you know that locating, enticing, and hiring a super staff for your business is an ongoing battle, and you should:

Now Hiring - Crossed out to say Always Hiring

Never take your foot off the gas when you own a business when it comes to your hiring system. You always need to be looking for that next superstar employee who will add sales, take a burden off your shoulders, someone you can promote from within, and maybe eventually sell the business to when you’re ready. This will make your pillow soooo much softer at night, I promise.

You need to be able to turn your hiring challenges into hiring successes. To do this, you need an automated and systematic way to consistently be adding to that file that you keep with potential employees so when you need to replace or hire someone you aren’t in panic mode.

In other words, have a system for generating good, qualified people on-demand. Where you don’t have to manage the system personally, and it will produce leads for good, qualified candidates while you sleep. Anything truly successful in business can be traced back to a good system.

First Step: Finding Good, Qualified Staff

Finding good, qualified candidates to interview isn’t easy. If you can’t find them, you can’t interview them. So, you have to make sure this part is spot on before moving to the next step.

Girl looking through binoculars

I will use one of our clients who has had great success using this system to hire new staff for his restaurant. His name is Michael Clark, and he owns EdnJoe’s Pizzeria in Tinley Park, IL.

Mike has been in business for over 60 years and does a great job operating and running his restaurant. He understands what it takes to overcome any challenge in the restaurant industry- MASSIVE ACTION! Especially right now with the staffing challenges that he and so many are facing in the restaurant industry.

Locating where your new potential employees are hiding is similar to a big game safari hunt- Lots of space to cover and hard to see them hiding behind the brush. When searching for new employees, you have to be diligent and creative to stand out from the other hunters.

One of the best spots to go searching for new staff is the elephant in the room (forgive the reference), our old friend the Google machine. I know you have heard of Google, who hasn’t right? Google pretty much controls the internet and what you use to get information on pretty much anything. It’s called Google search.

But the challenge is, how do you stand out from everyone else, hunting for new staff on the largest search engine in the world? Over 3.5 billion searches a day! The issue here is that you are competing with some big players for a very small pool of potential workers.

I’m referring to the big companies that you are competing with that advertise on for help. Companies such as Indeed, ZipRecruiter, Jobs2Careers, there are a bunch of them. I did a Google search for restaurants in my area this is what I came up with:

DFY Hiring System

As you can see, there is lots of competition with paid ads from the online recruiting companies. Their job is to drive traffic- that’s it. They want to get as many eyes as they can on their sites. So, they pay Google for ads to show up at the top of searches for specific jobs. Then it takes the potential employee to their site, where several hundred employers are looking for help and have posts for available jobs. This is what I call fishing in a very large ocean for just a few fish.

I would rather fish in a small barrel that is chock full of hungry fish. But how do you compete with the big boys when it comes to getting the attention of viable candidates for your job listings?

One way to do it is to beat them at their own game. Run your own Google Pay-Per-Click ad campaign. The issue is Google ain’t easy to learn how to set up a campaign, and it can get expensive if you don’t know what you are doing. Kind of like letting a new line cook that hasn’t ever worked the broiler before cook a 32oz Tomahawk Wagyu steak- dangerous.

I would recommend hiring a company that has experience doing Google Pay-Per-Click that doesn’t charge an arm and a leg to set it up and manage it for you. It just so happens we do that, and I have to say we are pretty good at it as well. If you’re interested, give us a call at 248-716-3110.

I will show you an example from Mike at EdnJoe’s. We created a Google Pay-Per-Click campaign for his hiring system to get him above the big corporate hiring monster websites that pay Google to get traffic. See below for an example:

Google Ad for Hiring

When it comes to Google, you want to be near the top when your target is searching for the keywords that you have entered into your campaign. Because nobody’s looking on page 2 of Google. That’s where they hide all the dead bodies.

Second Step: Get Their Attention

Attracting new employees involves many different factors. What’s your message to the potential candidate, what’s the job description, what does your reputation as a business within the community look like, what do current employees have to say about working at your place, and what are the benefits and incentives for a new employee.

That last part has gotten a little out of hand to say the least. I have seen some pretty crazy bonuses that employers have been forced into giving to new employees. Anything from big cash bonuses to crazy vacations, and believe it or not, I have even seen one restaurant give away college scholarships. Which is a very cool perk if you know how to structure it. Even the big corporates have gotten into the game.

It just keeps escalating. It’s turned into a bidding war to attract new staff for any business. And there’s so much competition that you have to compete with that probably makes you crazy just thinking about it. The tide has definitely changed in favor of the worker right now.

There are a few things you need to remember when putting together any incentive package for new employees:

Don’t promise something that you can’t deliver on for a long-term basis

  • Don’t get caught in a bidding war with other businesses. Pick your incentives and then compete by marketing how your business is different.
  • Use testimonials from your existing staff.
  • Cash might not be the #1 incentive for your potential new worker (there is an opportunity for you to watch a webinar where I go over the #1 benefit that new employees want in the restaurant industry. You can watch for FREE for a limited time.)
  • Ask your existing staff what they most value working at your business
  • Don’t forget about your existing staff (this is a big one.)
  • Remember your customers and current employees are a great resource for new staff too. You need to have a system to incentivize them into action as well.

When you have your complete package together, you’re going to want to get that message out to EVERYONE. Let the entire universe know what you are providing for new hires. Use every form of media that you have access to. If you have an email list, email them. If you are on social media, post it. Create table tents, bag stuffers, signs in and around your restaurant. Hang them in your bathrooms, (the most valuable marketing real estate in your restaurant.) Talk to family and friends. Other businesses locally. Go to the schools. Remember – massive action. Don’t be shy.

The one who screams the loudest wins this game!

Third Step: Getting Them To Take Action

So now you have found the best potential pool of employees and you have created a compelling message to get in front of them, now what? You must get them to take action. If they don’t act, everything that you have done to this point is null and void- that can be frustrating.

What is your call to action? It should be to get them to call, stop in at your business, or better yet, fill out an online application. When trying to reach and motivate your workforce into action, you must communicate with them on their level, what they feel most comfortable with. Nowadays, you have to make it easy for them to get you the information that you need to start the interview process. Amazon and Google have changed the way all humans do things when it comes to searching, submitting, or buying things online. Thanks!

Let’s deal with the most popular method for the Gen X, Y (Millennial), and Z  generations to get you their information and how they prefer to interact with your business. It’s not about what we want it’s about what they want. And their preferred method is online, preferable on a mobile device.

The foundation of your hiring system should be a killer dedicated online application page. Everything should be linking back to that. This way it’s easy for your potential candidate to take action, and it’s also easy for you to manage if done correctly. You want to make sure this part is correct as it will make or break how many applications you will receive.

I have included an example from our client EdnJoe’s of the online application page that we created for him. Notice at the top of the page we have the biggest benefit to the reader which is his hiring bonuses then a direct call to action to apply now.

Along with a great picture of his staff and personal message from Mike and his wife, Ellen. This is key as it makes a personal connection with the reader. You want to make sure you stand out from every other restaurant that is competing with you for the same potential employee. This is achieved either with a video or a paragraph about why someone would want to work for your business.

EdnJoes Hiring page

The bottom portion of the page is the actual application. This part should be easy to fill in for your candidates and not confusing. If they get confused, they will just move on to the next company.

Design this portion of the page with your new candidates in mind and get the necessary information so you can determine if this person is qualified for the position you are hiring for. This will vary for each business.

EdnJoes Online Application

After you have a high converting online application page, you will want to convert that page into a “QR” code. If you don’t know what a “QR” code is, it looks like a computer threw up. The one below goes to EdnJoe’s page if you scan it with your mobile device.

Important Note- You want to make sure your online application page is mobile-friendly. Meaning it’s easy to read and fill out any necessary information because when someone scans your “QR” code they are on a mobile device.


EdnJoes Online Application

Once you generate your “QR” code, you can use it everywhere. On your flyers, signs, carryout tagalongs. I have even seen them put on the sides of buildings and cars. Get creative. Remember massive action using multiple media, and whoever screams the loudest wins.

This step is very important to get right. Having the online application is something you can have forever going forward to help increase the volume of applications and be able to organize and keep track of them easily.

You have the power to change your business and make your life better for you and your family. Not having enough staff to run your business is a difficult situation to be in. You need to take MASSIVE ACTION to combat the situation you’re in right now.

I have an opportunity for you to make a change and do things differently. We want to help you find the staff you so desperately need to run your business the right way.

Watch my Web Class Recording “The Top 6 Strategies For Finding & Hiring a Superstar Staff For Your Restaurant Now.” It’s a FREE class that lasts less than an hour that is full of great information like this blog post with examples and ideas to rise above your competition and get the staff you need to run your business. You can watch the replay now by clicking the button below. We will be taking the recording down in a few days

Watch The Webinar Replay
Michael Thibault
Michael Thibault

Michael Thibault

Known as “The Done For You Marketing Guy for Restaurants.” International Speaker on Restaurant Marketing. Published contributing author of 4 Marketing Books. Industry expert on Google Searches and Review Sites. Recovering Independent Restaurant Owner and Caterer of over 21 years. And, all-around good guy.

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