A “Help Wanted” sign in store no longer cuts it in today’s job market.

As of May 2021, companies, including many quick-service restaurant brands, were struggling to fill more than 9.2 million job openings in the U.S.  That same month, “labor shortage” was searched more than any other time in Google history. 

The hiring competition is fierce in the restaurant industry, as there are often hundreds—if not thousands—of available jobs in one geographic area. 

This opposite supply and demand curve has made it critical for HR teams to look beyond traditional hiring tactics and job boards when it comes to fulfilling exact roles in each brand location.

Digital Channels for Local Hiring

As marketers use local data insights to power up advertising campaigns that target and attract their ideal customers, HR teams can now employ those same strategies, tactics, and technologies to recruit the best job candidates.

A large percentage of recruiters—as many as 84 percent—report using social media to find qualified employees. Social media can be a valuable tool for researching candidates and making initial conversation, but  social channels alone aren’t enough to find the right talent for every open role across locations. Digital recruitment requires data insights and access to a variety of platforms to get people’s attention in all of the places they are online.

Justin Bartek, head of marketing at upscale ramen franchise JINYA Ramen Bar is approaching hiring as he does the rest of the brand’s marketing, but instead of attracting new customers, he’s looking to target and convert new staff members across every location. Bartek is working with their franchisees on digital advertising campaigns to recruit job candidates, from servers to kitchen staff.

“We want to look out for our operators and are trying to think of anything we can do to help them,” Bartek says. “We wanted to offer this option to our operators so they can participate in the local recruiting efforts and contribute towards local digital advertising. We’re leveraging what we know works to reach local customers to find local staff.”

Leveraging the exact digital advertising strategies and technologies that marketers use, HR teams can launch recruiting campaigns targeting candidates for specific roles in exact brand locations. 

For example, if you’re looking to hire a cook in Tampa, you can create a recruiting ad campaign with the keywords and audience attributes needed to target candidates that match those exact criteria across the most effective digital platforms, from search and display to social. .

The Power of HR and Marketing Technology

Specialized marketing platforms offer a centralized way to hire, making a once cumbersome process more efficient. Previously, the GM managed a manual data collection and communication process with spreadsheets and emails. Now, targeted recruiting ads can lead candidates to a landing page with a form that collects all personal data, so hiring managers have data at their fingertips.

If your brand has dozens or even thousands of locations, the right marketing technology can enable you to run hiring campaigns with customized budgets, targeting, and reporting for every single location. If you have the momentous task of filling hundreds of roles, based on each market’s needs, ads can be  launched in one centralized place, with customized messages and targeted for each location.

This automated process enables restaurants to hire faster and more efficiently before top local talent is scooped up by the competition. This process makes it easier for candidates to interact with your organization, creating a positive first brand experience. 

“I think it is paramount as a restaurant brand in today’s world, to be able to capture the attention of your end-user/audience AND potential candidates who may wish to join your workplace community,” says Bryan Blair, head of people and culture at Curry Up Now and Mortar and Pestle Brands.

“If you’re not accessing any and all marketing strategies available to you today to put both your business, and your company culture on full display, then you are likely going to be left behind in this highly competitive market we are experiencing right now,” says Blair.

Find New Employees Based on Your Best Ones

Recruiting teams can leverage the profile data of top performing current employees to find new staff with similar attributes.

Look-a-like audiences can be developed, based on certain data sets, to reach and engage with ideal candidates, in the same way it’s done for customer acquisition. Targeting parameters across all advertising channels can reach candidates beyond crowded job sites. This enables brands to find the right prospects in all of the places they frequent for information online.

“Look around – smart devices are everywhere, and people are using them to not only find your brand, but to engage with you, look for jobs, and attach your business to the palm of their hands,” Blair says.

Leveraging digital advertising tactics and technologies for recruitment makes the hiring process simpler and easier for quick-service brands. Like self-pay options and mobile ordering,  technology that improves restaurant operations creates greater efficiencies across every department, from HR and marketing to the customer at the table, which ultimately creates happier employees and customers.

Patrick Pleiss is the co-founder and head of operations for Hyperlocology, a multi-location marketing platform that solves the pain of managing digital advertising for hundreds or thousands of brand locations. Hyperlocology empowers brands to centrally manage digital advertising, tailored for each location, with the transparency and collaboration required to drive results in every market.

Employee Management, Outside Insights, Restaurant Operations, Story