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I think the success (of using Workstream) is just seeing the restaurants get staffed. We opened in Hopkinsville Kentucky last week - a brand new restaurant for us and we had over 45 team members for a new restaurant opening, still sitting here in 2021 and the reality of the world we live in. And that came from this platform being able to get the (applicant) flow. That streamline is the exciting part and what gets us going.

Kim Bolinger, Director of Operations at Chicken Salad Chick


Chicken Salad Chick

Chicken Salad Chick first started off as a home-based business in Auburn, Alabama when founder, Stacy Brown, found the recipe for the perfect chicken salad. As word got out, one thing led to another and the brand opened its first outlet in 2008. Despite it being a relatively young establishment, the brand has grown quite exponentially in the past years.

While the COVID-19 pandemic did pose a challenge for many businesses as they struggled to adapt to the ‘new normal’, Chicken Salad Chick managed to thrive through it all. In fact, it is set to open its 200th restaurant this coming August, not an easy feat especially in an industry where big players like McDonald’s and Burger King dominate the playing field. In 2020 alone, the brand opened 37 new outlets.

However, just like any other burgeoning business during a pandemic, Chicken Salad Chick faced many hiring problems. With people not willing to get back to work due to the virus on top of a tight labor market, the brand is challenged with the lack of staff in its restaurants. To overcome this, Kim Bolinger, Director of Operations for Chicken Salad Chick decided to engage Workstream to help improve the hiring process of the restaurants she’s managing.

Find out how Workstream’s automated hiring tools helped to streamline and make recruitment much easier for the restaurants!


Lack of Applicant Tracking System

Prior to using Workstream, Bolinger’s restaurant managers had a difficult time managing the inflow of applicants due to a lack of an applicant tracking system. This made it difficult for them to execute actions as they do not know where the applicants are at in the hiring process. As such, a lot of time is wasted to keep track of their progress, leading to more opportunities lost since timing is critical in recruitment. 

On top of this, they had to deal with candidates ghosting on them and playing phone tag with those who have applied. Needless to say, this resulted in a low rate of successful hires, making it even more difficult for them to staff their already shorthanded restaurants. The lack of response from applicants was also discouraging for managers who had many other tasks at hand. 


Centralized Dashboard and Automated Hiring Tools

To help them alleviate their hiring woes, Workstream provided them with the hiring solutions below to help them streamline their hiring process: 

  • An all-in-one applicant dashboard that allows managers to get a holistic view of ALL the candidates that have applied to their restaurants. With this, hiring managers will be able to follow up on a candidate swiftly with just a few clicks of a button. 

  • The automated scheduling feature significantly saves a lot of time as it reduces the back-and-forth between the manager and applicant. Since the work calendar can be integrated into Workstream, applicants can book their own interview slots according to the manager's availability.

  • Workstream’s 2-way texting feature makes it easier for both managers and applicants to reschedule in case of any emergencies. 

  • A text-to-apply poster that includes a QR code is provided to Workstream’s clients to make the job application more convenient for interested individuals. This will encourage more people to apply due to its hassle-free process

  • Smart screening is used to help managers shortlist suitable candidates for the positions available. This saves them from having to go through each and every resume they receive.

workstream chicken salad chick analytics


Streamlined Hiring Process

After integrating Workstream into its hiring process, Chicken Salad Chick was more efficient in hiring its employees. For one, less time is spent shortlisting candidates thanks to the smart screening function. Scheduling of interviews is also covered so much that one only has to go to his/her work calendar at the start of the shift to find out how many interviews he/she has for the day. With Workstream, managers are able to handle their applicants’ hiring process with just a few clicks of the button, reducing the tedious tasks they have at hand. This streamlined hiring process has helped Chicken Salad Chick successfully recruit over 45 employees for its new restaurant in Kentucky despite the pandemic.

What’s more, the restaurants under Bolinger share a centralized Workstream platform. This means that profiles of suitable candidates who are closer to other locations will be shared with them, making hiring even easier for everyone.

workstream chicken salad chick analytics

Higher Engagement with Applicants and Reduced No-Show Rates

The 2-way texting function allows applicants and managers to get back faster to each other whenever communication is initiated. This provides both parties with a sense of instant gratification as compared to the antiquated way of communication. With the convenience of texting, the likelihood of candidates ghosting on the managers is also reduced. Chicken Salad Chick found that their no-show rates had dropped by more than 50% after using Workstream. As most individuals are on their phones anyway, there is more accountability on the candidates’ part when they want to change or cancel their interview.

To sum it up: Expanding your business during a pandemic can lead to serious staffing problems if you fall short in your hiring efficiency. Fortunately, Chicken Salad Chick was able to overcome this ordeal by utilizing Workstream’s automated hiring tools. Recruitment is made easier for managers who are now able to focus on the bigger picture - that is running the restaurant!

If you, too, are looking for ways to improve your hiring process, reach out to Workstream today! Our hiring specialists will share with you how we can best meet your hiring needs through a demo.