As the world continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses everywhere are searching for ways to bounce back. Without a doubt, one of the most challenging obstacles currently facing business owners is all over the headlines: the labor shortage.

One quick-service restaurant franchise in particular, Smoothie King, has continued to grow throughout the pandemic, and they have some valuable tips to share about how you can recruit and hire when you need to the most:

Differentiate yourself. Use your brand to appeal to prospective employees who share the same values as you. When it comes to job hunting, a company culture can “make or break” a job seeker’s opinion of you. “Candidates want to know that you are a good fit for them, and they want to work for a company whose mission they believe in,” said Dan Harmon, chief operations officer for Smoothie King. Defining your core values is the first step in shaping your culture, as well as in building a team that understands right from wrong and what is expected of them. For instance, Smoothie King has integrated their core values into their review process, where team members are measured on their abilities to exhibit those values. They even make it exciting and rewarding by holding competitions and creating challenges to give their employees opportunities to display these positive behaviors. This motivates them to do so not only at work, but in their daily lives as well.

Understand that recruiting has evolved. It now revolves a lot more around employer engagement and the candidate experience. A lot of business owners used to be able to put a “now hiring” sign in the window and they’d fill their roles. These days, technology plays a major role in our daily lives, and it is no different in the recruiting process. Functions like text-to-apply or inserting AI functionality into the recruitment process ease the burden on hiring managers while appealing to the evolved desires of a candidate.

Speed is as big of a key as convenience. With so many businesses hiring, candidates are applying to multiple jobs at a time. The first one to respond is often the first to win. Hiring managers need to ensure they are responding as quickly as possible to candidates before other companies swoop in.

There is value in spending. With so much competition out there, you need to market to your candidates like you do your guests. This means getting your job postings in front of the right audience at the right time. Platforms like and seem to be a hub for food and beverage candidates looking for jobs. Utilizing the “boost” feature brings your posting to the top on a candidate’s job search page. Additionally, don’t forget to utilize some of the free recruiting tools embedded within these programs as well. For example, Indeed offers a virtual recruiter tool that will invite candidates to apply for your positions and that offers free video interviewing, allowing you to connect with candidates faster.

Put yourself out there. Although the internet is an excellent source for finding the right candidates, there is nothing wrong with taking an old-fashioned approach. In-person networking is full of benefits, and you never know where the right candidate could be. Spark up conversations with those around you and look into local resources, like your Chamber of Commerce or your local restaurant association.

Overall, there are plenty of ways to set yourself apart and appeal to quality candidates. Whether it’s providing open communication of your brand’s values or switching up your recruiting tactics, the ultimate key is to put yourself in the shoes of a prospective employee.

What would you be looking for in a job? What kinds of details are important to you in a job listing? Most of all- What kind of company would you want to work for? These three answers should all be clear and defined in all of your job postings. During times like these, your strategy is what will attract the best talent and put you on top.

Laura Scavone serves as the Vice President of Human Resources for the Smoothie King Franchise, Inc., bringing over 20 years of HR experience to the team. Laura has spent her career partnering with brands to transform the employee experience, while focusing on improving the function, culture, and impact of HR across the organization. In her role with Smoothie King, Laura partners with leaders, team members, and franchisees to bring the Smoothie King’s mission and values to life and build a people-centric culture.

Employee Management, Outside Insights, Story, Smoothie King