As lockdown measures are eased, and more people gain access to the Covid-19 vaccine, we're slowly starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Businesses (and borders) are gradually re-opening, which naturally increases the number of jobs available in the market.
Specifically in the QSR industry, organizations are ramping up their recruiting in preparation for the resumption of sales. However, QSRs are currently struggling to find workers, and this can be attributed to several factors.
Firstly, people are still concerned about their health and personal well-being. Those who have yet to be vaccinated may not be willing to risk their (or their families') health considering the current situation. Additionally, U.S. President Joe Biden rolled out a $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, with a $300 weekly unemployment benefit extended through the beginning of September. This, coupled with a fear of the virus could result in people opting to stay home to enjoy the said benefit.
There is also a possibility that talents have been scouted to other industries, as the QSR industry is not the only one hiring at an accelerated pace. The hiring shortage isn't a new challenge in the QSR scene, with this issue existing even before the global pandemic. Organizations will now have to think out of the box and explore more creative recruiting efforts, in a bid to attract the talent they need.
"But how should I go about doing this", you might ask yourself. We've curated a list just for you, with results to show how they're working for other QSRs. These could act as a starting point, and perhaps, you might just be able to find a couple of ideas applicable to your QSR.
1. Organize Hiring Parties
What better way to get new candidates than by throwing a party, with on-the-spot interviews?
Taco Bell offered free food, party games, and even gift-card signing bonuses during its hiring party and has seen immense success, highlighted by nearly 80 in-person applicants, 40 new hires, and 300 online applications.
Not only are hiring parties a great way to generate hype and attract a crowd, but they will also allow applicants to find out more about your organization's working culture. Applicants are also more likely to let their personalities shine through in a relaxed atmosphere, and hiring managers can get to know them better.
However, proper Covid-19 related measures should also be taken, such as safe distancing, hosting events in large, open-aired spaces, and enforcing mask-wearing to reduce the risk of transmissions.
2. Incentivize Staff with Referral Bonuses
The Rose in Venice, a restaurant in Los Angeles, gives out a $250 bonus to staff who bring a friend on referral, if the friend lasts a certain amount of time. The amount is doubled to $500 for managers.
An analysis of employee referral programs from over 200 companies has also shown that these programs produce fairly consistent results, with a median of 27% of hires through referrals, and this percentage goes up to 44% for the best in class.
Providing referral bonuses incentivizes staff to bring new talent into the company, especially when you can't seem to get anyone else. This method maximizes the connections of your current employees, and awarding the bonuses only when their referral is hired would encourage them to bring in more candidates that are of the right fit.
Manage this referral system with caution to prevent employees from abusing the system and recommending any friend just for the referral bonus. One way around it would be to limit the number of referrals a person can make in a month so that they're selective about the people they choose to recommend.
3. Create Attention-Grabbing Recruitment Videos
Fiverr titled their recruiting video 'Another Generic Recruitment Video', creatively showcasing what goes on in their office through sarcasm and humor. By creating seemingly unfiltered and genuine videos with a distinctive style, potential applicants get a better understanding of what goes on in your company and its culture. You'll also stand a better chance if they like what they see.
In the QSR context, consider 'A Day in the Life' videos where a cameraman follows a staff through their daily routine - for example, preparing the store for opening, getting the ingredients ready, and serving the customers. Not only does this show people what goes behind the scenes, but it also portrays a somewhat realistic and humanistic side to the job. This gives them an overview of what they can expect when they apply.
Still not convinced? Statistics show that video content on social media gets 1200% more shares than text and image content, and recruitment agencies are reporting 800% more engagement with job advertisements with videos embedded. Videos might just be the way to reach and engage with more candidates, which will ultimately increase the number of applicants!
4. Incorporate Job Postings in Your Company's Products
People that support your brand by purchasing your products are likely to be passionate about it and are probably also the best people to represent and be a part of your organization. Ikea leveraged this by incorporating a set of 'career instructions' inside every pack of furniture sold, which contained job descriptions. Smartly coined 'Career Instructions: Assemble your future', they were able to let customers know they were hiring with a recruiting campaign unique to their brand, in a low cost and effective way. This campaign resulted in 4285 applications and 280 new hires.
As a QSR owner, you could incorporate 'We Are Hiring' advertisements on your products, from packaging to tray liners or even on the receipt. These should also come with a QR code, which customers can then scan to instantly gain access to all available job postings. Making the application process more accessible and convenient increases the chances of potential candidates applying for the job.
5. Stand Out on Social Media
Most people scroll through multiple social media platforms at least once a day. However, with so much content available these days, it is crucial to capture the attention of a viewer quickly, or they'll choose to scroll past it.
Did you know that 79% of job applicants use social media in their job search, and 71% of recruiters saw the effectiveness of social media in decreasing time-to-fill for non-management, salaried positions?
You may use platforms such as Instagram and Facebook to publish catchy recruiting videos or ads, to reach an audience beyond those already on job boards. The best part? These people may not even need a job but may want to join in on the fun if your job descriptions are compelling. Remember to have a clear call to action, be it 'text this number to apply', or 'swipe up to view all available job postings', to increase the chances of someone signing up.
Casting the net is the first step, but it is also important to emphasize what's in it for them - be it attractive benefits, great bonuses, flexible hours, or a fun work environment. These are factors that pull people in.
Don't completely ignore job boards, and consider using job board integrations that allow you to post to over 25,000 job boards with a single click. Save yourself time and effort, without having to copy and paste to multiple job boards, and view all applicants within a single dashboard.
6. Utilize Your Monthly Newsletters
If your QSR has been actively pushing out newsletters, these are also an effective source of publicity. Apart from mentioning new monthly promotions, include a section on all available job opportunities, with job descriptions or a link to more details.
Tap on your current subscriber base, and their networks. By making this consistent, subscribers will be aware of upcoming postings, and if nothing interests them this time, they can also keep a lookout for more opportunities in the next newsletter.
Newsletters are also highly shareable content, which can be easily forwarded from person to person. This makes it more likely for job opportunities to be seen and talked about.
7. Organize Recruitment Webinars
We’re getting so used to living and working in a digital world, that webinars are a great alternative to in-person career fairs. Not only do they create a safe environment for interaction (no physical meetups!), people can also find out more about what goes on in your QSR.
These webinars do not require high costs to set up, and employees can even stream in from their homes, or the QSR. A panel of staff with different job scopes could introduce what they do on a day-to-day basis and answer questions about what goes on behind the scenes. Other potential activities include going through the hiring process, getting to know the people attending the webinar, and even providing sign-up links or setting up on-the-spot interviews for those interested to apply for the job.
8. Focus On Retaining Your Current Employees
Now, although we’ve given you a handful of ideas to recruit new employees, it is important that you realize your current employees should still be your top priority. 93% of employees are likely to stay in a company longer if it invested in their careers, based on LinkedIn's report. Further, 70% of US employees say they're likely to leave their job for another that invests in the professional development of their employees.
Apart from providing attractive benefits, team bonding activities and cross-training are other methods to keep employees engaged in the workplace. Consider conducting mobile training, and sending training videos via a text message link, so employees can access them anywhere.
With a fun work culture and positive work environment, they are likely to be happy with their job and stay for a long time - which reduces your need to hire and re-train more people.
Instead of sticking to traditional job postings, this is the best time to think out of the box and explore other creative ways to attract talent. As businesses begin to re-open, put your QSR out there, and gain the interest of potential applicants by ramping up your recruitment efforts in a different way.
Want more personalized tips on how to streamline and optimize your hiring processes? Schedule a chat with us now, we're more than happy to help!
Kai Lin is a freelance writer and digital marketer well-versed in SEO. Apart from writing, she also seeks solace in traveling, photography and playing the piano.