How to hire foodservice employees for the long haul

hiring sign notebook

Getting new hires to stick around is a constant battle for foodservice employers, says Marisa Brodie, human resources manager for Chartwells at Towson University in Baltimore County, Md. Some managers report feeling like they’re on the losing side of the skirmish. Here are three tools operators are using to arm themselves against short-cycle turnover.

A thorough vetting process

online application

In the past couple years, the dining program at Towson University developed practices to help determine which candidates are already planning their exit strategies. Now, the entire application process is completed online using software that helps match an applicant to the position. Last year, Brodie created a checklist for new-hire interviews with questions about layoff periods and union environments. She also requires that supervisors follow up on at least two references before making an offer.

Before their first day on the job, new team members must complete a two-hour safety and company policy training and orientation. “This helps to avoid any major surprises once the first day begins,” Brodie says.

A new demographic

baby boomer couple cafe

Instead of recruiting millennials, who are known for job hopping, Lori Danella zeroes in on retirees and full-time caregivers looking to make some additional income. “These are some of our most dedicated and hardworking staff,” says Danella, who is the assistant director of nutrition at Lee's Summit R-7 School District in Lee's Summit, Mo. To capture these demographics, the nutrition department advertises on its website and puts up yard signs during parent-teacher conferences and other events that would bring members of the community to the school. 

An honesty policy

talent glasses job recruiting hiring

Retaining talent is all about transparency, says Linda Paren, director of foodservices at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore. “When you are recruiting and interviewing, you need to be honest about challenges the person will face in the position, that is why you need their talent and skills,” Paren says. “People do not like surprises after they are hired.”

More From FoodService Director

Sponsored Content
green smoothie

From DanoneWave Away From Home.

Not so long ago, finding non-dairy milk in a supermarket dairy case was a challenge. But these days, that aisle is bursting with plant-based beverage choices—cow’s milk alternatives crafted from soybeans, nuts, grains or coconut, as consumer demand for these beverages has grown exponentially. According to Euromonitor, worldwide sales of non-dairy milk alternatives more than doubled between 2009 and 2015.

Millennials and Gen Zers, many of them already accustomed to drinking dairy alternatives at home, expect to see some of those same choices...

Industry News & Opinion

George Washington University in Washington, D.C., is adding an additional $200 in dining dollars to each student's dining plan this fall, The GW Hatchet reports.

The boost comes just a year after the university switched to an open-format dining plan that allows students to spend their entire meal fund off campus; allowed venues include about 90 grocery stores and restaurants.

While students support the new plan, they are concerned about dining affordability. In conjunction with discounted meal deals that were implemented last semester, school officials hope the extra $200...

Ideas and Innovation
breakfast restaurant food

This March, past FSD of the Month Randy Lait and his team gave the FoodService Director staff a tour of the operations at North Carolina State University. During our visit, Randy shared how data is affecting their menu creation and menu mix. At the university, they’re encouraging chefs to use big data—and not just gut feelings—to inform menu decisions.

Every foodservice operator wants to offer more contemporary items in order to please their customer base and keep chefs challenged and engaged. Many chefs make those decisions based on their own tastes, or what’s exciting them at the...

Ideas and Innovation
french press

While a French press isn’t a tool found in most noncommercial kitchens, operators might want to think twice about multiple uses for this fancy coffee maker. Staff at the Hard Rock Cafe are using the French press to muddle fruit and alcohol for their mixed drinks, while at Chicago bar Moneygun, bartenders use a French press to blend spices and tea for hot toddys.

FSD Resources