Outside Insights | November 2014 | By Guest Author

7 Signs Your Applicant is the Best Choice

Streamline the hiring process and build a strong team with these interview questions.

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As companies strive to hire the best managerial talent, hiring departments have a number of strategies at their disposal, which can save time in the process. Consider these seven strategies next time you review potential recruits for a management position:

  1. Any record of job-hopping? By looking at an applicant’s work history and the years in between, employers can easily differentiate between those who carved a career-path and those who don’t have a plan. One rule of thumb is ensuring candidates haven’t had more than two jobs in five years, or three jobs in 10. This way, employers have a better gauge on the applicant who is likely stay and grow with the company if given the chance.

  2. Are there viable reasons for moving on? By revealing why a job did not work out, a candidate clearly states his or her professional motives. For example, if an applicant claims his or her prior job lacked upward mobility, an employer can rest assured knowing this candidate is eager to grow and wants to step up to the plate. In general, if there isn’t a deeply rooted reason for an applicant leaving, then chances are, they won’t be dedicated to a new position either. One poor reason to quit is better salary, as a professional’s career should not be entirely based on money.

  3. Are they promotable? Every resume should have a clear statement of progress being made, which is best shown through promotions. Resumes that show new positions highlight a candidate’s level of malleability and ease when picking up new skills and ideas. Employers are looking for applicants who are eager to change and evolve at the same pace as the growing company. If a candidate has been in the same company with the same title for 15 years, it’s possible no new skills were mastered. This type of resume does not keep pace with the ever-changing world of the restaurant industry.

    “Resumes that show new positions highlight a candidate’s level of malleability and ease when picking up new skills and ideas.”
  4. Are there any impressive accomplishments? Candidates should take the opportunity to showcase a few golden moments they are proud of. Every past position should contain anecdotal evidence that the applicant did more than clock in on time. More importantly, accomplishments show an applicant’s value for past positions and the skills they accumulated in the process.

Some examples are:

  • Can a candidate verify ways to analyze and meet their budgets, food costs, and labor costs?

  • Are there times the candidate trained a team on customer satisfaction?

  • Did the candidate treat his or her team with respect, which in turn, decreased turnover rates?

  • How did the applicant ensure that guests have a great experience?

  • Can he or she present ability and track record to build a team?

  • Can he or she present ability to increase sales of a location?

  1. Are they business-minded? Applicants should demonstrate out-of-the-box ways that allowed him or her advance the business objectives of a prior employer. Big ideas show an individual’s passion for problem solving, as well as willingness to take initiative. It is even better if they implemented plans that were not in his or her primary responsibility.

Some examples include reducing food costs by streamlining the kitchen, as well as reducing shrinkage and waste; being skilled at managing the schedule of people, which decreased labor costs without sacrificing guest experience; and cross-training a team, allowing a boost in team morale and a stronger presence in restaurant.

  1. What would they do in a tough spot? A few hard times are bound to hit your workplace eventually, so always ensure that the applicant is prepared. As a matter of fact, a candidate’s response to a difficult situation is great way to observe attitude, ability to think quickly, and leadership skills. Consider asking to applicant to describe a time they had to discipline an employee, dealt with an upset customer, or increased health department inspection scores.

  2. If terminated, find out why. It is important to get to the bottom of this issue immediately. A termination is not a matter to take lightly, as there runs the chance of discovering issues related to performance, theft, or sexual harassment. Also, it helps to keep in mind that terminations do not always suggest that the employee has committed a wrong act.

As employers work to hire a powerful management team for their restaurants, calculated questions can help in landing the best candidate available.

Patrice Rice is the founder and CEO of Patrice & Associates, one of the country’s largest restaurant and hospitality recruiting firms. For more than 20 years, Rice has been a staffing partner with some of the largest corporations providing hospitality managers at all levels.

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