6 speed-hiring hacks

hiring girl

Noncommercial foodservice operators have enough to worry about in filling positions; but the clunky multi-interview, multiweek hiring process only makes it worse. Complicating things even further, required drug tests at some organizations and red tape at the top are causing operators to lose out on candidates.

Hospitals often have the slowest onboarding times of all, with extra layers of background checks (and even behavioral assessments and “core-values alignments”) required. So FSD turned to two hospital leaders to share some of the innovative ideas that have helped them shorten their hiring, getting employees in the door and on the job faster. 

Phone screenings

phone

Operators who aren’t using advance phone calls to weed out candidates who wouldn’t make it through an in-person interview are missing out, says Lynne Brown, system operations director for Geisinger Health System in Wilkes Barre, Pa. Phone screenings help her team use time effectively and avoid scheduling unnecessary interviews.

Job fairs

job fair

Organizing an on-site job fair (or setting up a booth at a larger one) provides an opportunity for on-the-spot interviews. The talent recruiting team at Providence Health & Services in the Portland, Ore., area organized its first fair in November 2016, making 71 on-the-spot job offers, says Mark Dunn, regional director of hospitality services. Since then, the group has held three more fairs, substantially reducing its backlog of open positions.

Step-by-step instructions

business card

Geisinger’s online application is difficult to navigate for the average person, Brown says, so leaders carry business-size cards. If they’re out and about and spot a likely candidate, they can hand out the cards, which provide step-by-step instructions how to apply.

Posted signs for immediate applying

help wanted

Geisinger posts “Help wanted” signs throughout its own establishments that invite people to let a cashier or employee know if they’re interested in a job. A manager will immediately help them apply.

Wider advertising and better referrals

marketing

Providence now aggressively advertises at local schools, trade schools and universities, and on Portland’s mass transit system. It has also made its employee referral program more robust, complete with a bonus, Dunn says, so positions are filled more quickly.

Observation periods

note-taking

While they do add another scheduling element, observation periods improve overall hiring by reducing turnover, Brown says. Geisinger has implemented a four-hour period during which potential hires can watch what the job truly entails. While a few candidates have walked away afterward, that’s preferable to filling a job only to find it almost immediately vacant.

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

The University of New Mexico’s proposed on-campus taproom has officially been approved by the school’s Board of Regents.

Construction on the $650,000 student union taproom will begin this summer and is expected to finish in August when students return to campus. The school’s food vendor, Chartwells, and UNM’s Dining & Food Services department will split the cost of the taproom evenly.

Designed by students in the school’s architecture department, the space will feature a rotating selection of beer and wine, and will also welcome guest brewers. Chartwells will be...

Ideas and Innovation
cafeteria

Three years ago, Colonial School District in New Castle, Del., started a pilot supper program at its high school. The goal: To make sure the district’s students, 57% of whom are on free or reduced-priced meals, would not be hungry when school is done for the day.

Since its inception, the program has expanded to 12 schools and now provides afterschool meals to children participating in YMCA activities. And it's just one of many such programs popping up in districts throughout the country, as operators add supper to the list of daily meals they provide for students.

Building...
Ideas and Innovation
hydroponics

We put our hydroponic gardens in a spot where students can watch them grow, but at the same time it’s safe from being tampered with. At one of our elementary schools, the gardens are in the kitchen, but there’s a window where students can look in as they walk down the hallway. Some even stop to count how many cucumbers they see.

Ideas and Innovation
food snap

We started a 50-member vegan team in response to students expressing the need for more vegan options. Between our monthly meetings, students are asked to take photos of foods they eat in and out of the dining halls to give us a true picture of the kinds of things they like and the kinds of foods that cause disappointment. This exercise has sparked a lot of conversation and given us more insight into what we could do better.

FSD Resources