Posted by Colin Ransom on 13 Nov 2012
At this time of year I’m always asked for advice on recruiting staff for the Christmas period. I’ve called this post Seasonal Recruitment rather than Christmas Recruitment, because for some of our clients, the summer holiday period is their peak trading time. Here are some of the tips I’ve shared with clients:
1. Start early
In fact, never stop. There’s nothing to say you can’t collect CV’s at any time, whether or not you have a vacancy. Do be careful, though, that your ads are not misleading in any way. You cannot advertise a position that doesn’t exist. The more CVs you collect, the more you have to choose from when you do need some>body. As a general rule of thumb, though, the Christmas recruitment process should really begin at the beginning of September.
2. Vet CVs as they come in
Set up a filing system and read the CV before filing it. Those applicants who aren’t suitable can then be filed separately from those who are. This will mean that when you’re arranging interviews, you will have a pile of pre-screened CVs.
3. Remember the Data Protection Act
The Act states that personal data should not be kept longer than is necessary for the particular purpose for which it is being retained. A retention period of up to six months (for the CV) is likely to be regarded as acceptable in these circumstances.
Are a Godsend. It’s always worth having links with local colleges and universities, especially those with hospitality and catering faculties. Some hospitality management students will be required to undertake a work placement as part of their degree course. This could be good development both for you and for the student.
5. Beware of friends
And friends of friends. Sometimes business and pleasure just don’t mix.
6. Experience isn’t always essential
Don’t be put off by those with no experience in the industry. Look for transferrable skills. Anyone who has had a successful career elsewhere in a service industry will likely be a good choice for a front of house position.
7. Don’t be afraid to employ people who are “better” than you.
That’s right. Clearly this applies mostly to management. But employing somebody with a wealth of experience and knowledge beyond your own shouldn’t be seen as a threat, but a positive thing.
8. Plan the interview properly
Allocate enough time when you know you’re not going to be needed. Remember you need to make an important decision about this person and to a degree, the future of your business, based on the information you gather over the course of this interview. Write everything down so you can refer to it later. Ask open-ended, probing questions. Make a list of these. Write them down.
9. Think about what you want to ask
10. Get a second opinion
If you’re not sure, get someone to sit in on the interview with you.
11. Keep the channels of communication open
Make a decision fairly promptly after interviews is conducted. Contact everybody that you interviewed in a timely manner. This is only fair and you don’t want to damage your rep as an employer.
12. Always check references before you make an offer of employment
Because you just never know.
13. Plan a thorough induction and training plan
Training is often a low priority in hospitality. But getting this right at the beginning is essential if you want your new member of staff to really come good for you over the busy period. It will also make your new employee(s) feel as if you value and respect them.
These are just a few tips on recruitment. For further information, contact Ransom Harris.