Your Catering Recruitment Process: How to Prepare for An Influx of Applicants

In the aftermath of Covid-19, there will be a few things on the minds of busy catering and hospitality managers; staffing levels will be one of them.

But between managing existing team members, getting your establishment legally compliant with social distancing measures, and reconnecting with suppliers, there will be little time left for lengthy recruitment processes.

Working in recruitment for over 20 years, I can contest that recruiting during a period of economic downturn is a skill in itself! 

Today, I share my top tips to help catering managers deal with an influx of candidates when you are already short of time. 

 

1. Start With Your Job Description 

 

 

Right now, with a job advert that is going to attract a lot of applicants, you can choose to be more selective with your criteria. 

Excellent customer service is going to be what gets catering businesses through the next few months, as customers tentatively emerge into the food and beverage sector. With such an emphasis right now on health and safety, customers need to feel safe and looked after – experienced, confident and personable is the type of candidate you are looking for.  

To attract these high-quality candidates, in your job description, use words like ‘expert’ ‘interpersonal’, ‘excellent communication skills’, and specify that you are looking for proven in-industry results, such as excellent references and online reviews. Your goal is to attract candidates who have the best social skills, coupled with plenty of experience. 

 

2. Manage Your Inbox 

Right now, every role in your organisation is a business-critical role, and you need to know that you’re on track to select the best candidate from all of the applicants; you don’t want any of them to slip through the net.  

At this time, you must maintain excellent organisational skills in regards to your inbox, or wherever it is that your applications land.  

Some catering managers choose to use recruitment software, and if you do, make sure to check the accuracy and reliability of your results. A.I. is far from perfect, and some clients tell us that great candidates can be missed, so doublechecking if you have an automatic ‘reject’ list set up regularly is a good idea. 

 

3. Use the Traffic-Light System 

Despite being clear with what you are looking for in your job description, it is an unfortunate fact of recruitment that there will be unsuitable candidates who still apply. 

The best way to deal with high volumes of these is to adopt a traffic-light system when manually looking through C.V.s. Sort candidates into those who- 

  • Possess a lot of your ‘must-haves. 
  • Have some ‘must-haves.’  
  • Have no ‘must-haves.’  

Using this threecategory approach, you will be surprised at how quickly you will end up with a manageable list of candidates who are a good or a possible fit after the first sorting.  

Then filter them again, this time looking closer at those with ‘some’ of the criteria you are looking for. For example, you might have stated in the advert that you require someone with at least two years of customer service experience. Still, you have received an application from someone with hospitality qualifications, but only six months experience in the industry. In these instances, use their CV to ascertain if they have desirable soft skills, and think about using a pre-interview phone screening to differentiate candidates further 

Finally, let’s look at your timings. 

 

4. Keep Track of Your Time to Hire 

 

An influx of candidates can lead to managers feeling overwhelmed, and thus, taking longer over their recruitment decisions. 

But even in times when you have plenty of candidates, the fastest way to turn great candidates away is to take too long with your hiring decisions.  

Candidates applying for roles right now will likely have their fears and concerns over the future of their careers, and having to wait days or even weeks to hear back from a prospective employer will only sour the relationship from the start.  

Before you even post your job description, you should ensure that you have a hiring timeline that you can adhere to. This should include  

  • an opening and a closing date for applications 
  • a strict timetable of contacting suitable applicants (aim to contact suitable candidates as soon as possible) 
  • the date(s) on which you will be interviewing 
  • the date you want to contact and confirm the chosen candidate(s)  
  • the new employee’s start date 

Having a clear-cut timeline before you begin will help you to process your candidates and should stop you from becoming overwhelmed with the sheer amount of work involved.  

Clearly, this is not a quick or easy task. If you need highly qualified catering employees at short notice and haven’t got the time to hire yourself, why not work with an experienced catering recruiter instead? 

 

Next Steps 

The job market is buoyant with catering and hospitality candidates right now – now is the perfect time to spend a little extra time and consideration on finding the perfect new addition to your team. 

Of course, the contradiction is that despite there being more available candidates right now than ever, managers who need them are too busy themselves to dedicate enough time on finding them.  

We help by putting you in contact with the expert catering staff you need to fulfil your organisation’s needs in this critical time.  

If you need the highest-quality catering staff, get in touch with us on 0121 702 1428 or contact us here. 

 

Thanks, 

Dawn  

 

About KSB Recruitment 

We are expert recruiters in the catering and hospitality industry with over 28 years in business, placing the best candidates in their perfect roles with obsessive attention to detail.  

KSB is proud to be a Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) member, accredited investors in people, and both Data Protection and Home Office Compliance registered. 

We specialise in roles in Birmingham, Staffordshire, the West Midlands, Warwickshire, Oxfordshire, Worcestershire and Northamptonshire. 

Who is Dawn Bannister

Dawn BannisterDawn has over 30 years recruitment experience recruiting for the likes of Sainsbury’s plc, Holiday Inn, Barclaycard, ISS, Royal Mail, West Midlands Police and the NEC – to name a few. She also oversaw the company’s Investors in People accreditation in 1999 – (and held ever since) and has recently been selected to attend the prestigious programme run by Aston University’s Business Growth Programme.

BACK