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Food Services: Use New Technology to Find and Keep Great Employees

As the food service industry slowly returns to normal operations, the staffing shortages faced by restaurants at the height of the pandemic and after are ongoing, making it challenging to accommodate the steady influx of customers amid the rising cost of food. As a result, hiring managers are turning to new technology to learn how to become more attractive to potential new hires and to ensure they retain them. 
As the food services industry slowly returns to normal operations, the staffing shortages faced by restaurants at the height of the pandemic and after are ongoing, making it challenging to accommodate the steady influx of customers amid the rising cost of food. As a result, hiring managers are turning to new technology to learn how to become more attractive to potential new hires and to ensure they retain them.  Recent studies show the food services industry added an average of 64,000 jobs per month in 2022, which is significantly less than the 156,000 per month in 2021. The industry is still down 450,000 jobs — roughly 3.2% of its workforce — from pre-pandemic levels, according to the National Restaurant Association. That makes food services the industry with the largest deficit in the entire U.S. As a result, restauranteurs are looking to incorporate new technology as an essential part of their recruitment plan.

Using new technology to increase hiring efficiency

Hiring managers in restaurants and QSRs are incorporating new technology to help hire employees faster and more efficiently, as well as provide them with the tools to empower and enhance their own on-the-job experiences. According to a recent article in Forbes, organizations with strong onboarding processes have been shown to improve new hire retention by 82%. The use of cutting-edge technology is proving a great resource to narrow the competition and make employee acquisition and retention much faster, easier, and cost-effective.

Tech that improves food services recruitment efforts

Texting and mobile optimization

Candidates in food services are on the go, which means they look for jobs in their free time and, most likely, on their mobile phones. With this in mind, career pages and websites must be optimized to make mobile searches successful. Employers are learning that connecting with candidates via text messaging or instant messaging apps may be more effective than email, especially for younger candidates. Developing these strategies as part of a multi-process recruitment plan can lead to more robust engagement and may increase the chances of hiring success.

Video Job Interviews 

Once a necessity during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the virtual practice has stuck, and according to LinkedIn, 81 percent of employers say virtual recruiting will become the new standard. Video interviews can potentially help reduce candidate “ghosting” as someone who goes through the trouble to do a video interview is more likely to show up to your in-person interview and subsequently their first shift. There are two types of video interviews:
  • The one-way video consists of a candidate’s pre-recorded response to an employer’s pre-set interview questions on any electronic device. This method is convenient for both busy job seekers who appreciate the time to prepare (though some may find it overly burdensome) and for employers who want to view videos at their convenience and then share them with their hiring team. Unlike traditional interviewing methods, this allows QSR managers to quickly find and select the most skilled, enthusiastic, and overall best company fit.
  • The face-to-face video is a live interactive interview that allows an employer to exchange questions and answers quickly with candidates via a video conferencing platform like Zoom or Teams. For a QSR manager, it’s an effective way to assess a candidate’s skill set in a shorter amount of time and at less cost. In a study by Landed, virtual interviews were found to decrease overall recruitment time by up to 20%. 

Video job applications

These are also changing the way candidates apply for jobs. For many, the once laborious chore of filling out a job application and waiting to hear back now becomes an engaging, interactive experience. Questions are answered online, and the next one is generated in response to how the candidate answers. For example, unlike a traditional application where you wait for a decision or response, if a candidate answers that they have “no experience,” the online interviewer could say, “that’s okay, we can train you.”

Social media

Tech-savvy job candidates are using social media and online reviews more than ever to find the perfect job that suits their lifestyle. Using social media posts to their advantage, employers can post specific information about jobs in their restaurants, as well as videos and photographs. Potential employees can also learn from current employees’ posts to assess the culture of the company.  

Chatbots

Traditionally, Chatbots have been used on websites to address consumer issues, but they can also be used to aid in recruitment efforts. When used to perform screenings, Chatbots reach out to candidates and update applicants on their job status. They can also direct applicants to other jobs based on keywords in their resumes and candidate profiles.

Applicant tracking systems

AI recruitment technology and hiring platforms help hiring managers to save money and time. Platforms like Wizehire use sophisticated software to help managers navigate the entire hiring process, from job posting to interviewing to hiring. They also provide ready-made job templates and DISC+ personality assessments to determine if a candidate is a good fit and to filter out less-qualified candidates.

Same-day pay apps

Hourly QSR workers have more employment choices than ever before and have become more selective. Now, hiring managers are offering innovative benefits to entice and retain these workers. Strategies like same-day pay apps or pay-on-demand apps are becoming popular choices for food services businesses. Younger workers make up the bulk of QSR employees, and this strategy offers an attractive incentive giving them more choice and control over how they receive their paycheck.

New technology can help retain current workers in food services 

New technology can improve staff satisfaction and, most importantly, help to retain them long-term. Recent studies show 92% of employees say the use of new technology to support them plays a key role in their job satisfaction. 

Employee portals

These platforms connect managers, staff, and other external stakeholders to company resources. These outlets help employees access company benefits, perks, and more. They also make it convenient for employees to check their hourly, daily, and weekly scheduling, request time off, and communicate with managers, who can make comments regarding staffing requirements and needed resources.

Data dashboards

Data dashboards store important information about a restaurant’s daily activities. When managers share this information with their employees, it helps foster a sense of belonging in the company and a stronger appreciation for upper management. When employees understand how the business is performing daily, they can perform their jobs more effectively and, in turn, better serve customers.                                                                                                           

Kitchen display apps

These handy display apps/systems connect servers, managers, and kitchen employees, making it simpler for restaurant staff to stay informed about customer orders and kitchen operations. KDs populate all orders from the web, mobile, kiosk, and third-party channels, eliminating manual entry, making it more time and cost-efficient, as well as stress-reducing for all.

Online scheduling/training hubs

Online scheduling and training hubs allow employees to communicate with each other more effectively. In sync with their devices, they can schedule shifts, make any shift changes, update their availability, and more. They can watch training materials and even message other team members or managers. These valuable hubs ensure everyone is on the same page and ready for work without delay. 

New technology is an essential part of hiring

New technology is revolutionizing recruitment efforts, profoundly changing the ways in which employers can stand out from the competition and find the candidate that best fits the job. It is efficiently helping hiring managers in restaurants and QSRs better navigate their industry to save precious time, resources, and money. Many of these innovative technologies simplify recruitment and daily business practices, providing an essential plan to recruit, hire, onboard, and retain employees in our post-pandemic world. Wizehire is an online hiring solution that uses DISC+ personality assessments, pre-written and optimized job templates, and hiring coaches to help you find qualified candidates in the food services industry. To see our pricing and learn more about what we offer, click here

Author

Susan Sherman

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