A full staff is a rarity in noncommercial kitchens these days. A recent survey of FoodService Director readers revealed that 80% of respondents are currently facing a staffing shortage. In an effort to attract new employees, many have come up with new ways of reaching potential hires. Here are a few recruitment ideas being implemented at foodservice operations around the country.
Tout additional job benefits
While operators make sure to discuss aspects such as salary and health insurance with prospective employees, many are also now highlighting additional benefits workers will receive on the job. At the University of Michigan, for example, the dining team is changing its hiring message to focus on the team’s work on sustainability, work-life balance, and diversity and inclusion.
Create a referral program with local groups
Many survey respondents said they set up a referral program with current employees. The dining team at Pine Ridge of Plumbrook, a senior-living community in Sterling Heights, Mich., took the idea of a referral program a step further by setting up one with a local food pantry and church. If Pine Ridge hires someone that either of the organizations recommended, it will then donate money to them.
Keep it convenient
Operators are trying to make the application process as easy as possible. At Lincoln Trail Behavioral Health System in Radcliff, Ky., the dining team has set up Walk-in Wednesdays, where every Wednesday, potential hires can walk in without an appointment and have an interview on the spot. And earlier this year, Fulton County Schools in Atlanta rolled out Gus the Bus, a wi-fi-enabled mobile hiring center that allows potential hires to apply for open positions right on the bus.
Expand beyond the job fair
Job fairs are the obvious choice to look for new employees, but some operators have also set up booths at different venues around town. Geisinger Health in Danville, Pa., ran a booth at the county fair, and Spring House Estates, a senior-living community located in Spring House, Pa., had one at the local farmers market. Other survey respondents mentioned that they’ve reached out to refugee centers, food pantries and more.