How to Attract More Job Candidates and Make Better, Faster Hires

The number one pain point for owner and operators is staffing. Hiring is hard—and hiring in restaurants presents an even trickier set of challenges. Turnover rates are typically sky-high, competition is fierce (especially in periods of low unemployment) and the responsibility for hiring often falls on the shoulders of managers and operators who are juggling a thousand other things, rather than dedicated recruiters or talent acquisition pros.

If you’re struggling with filling your candidate pipeline, or dealing with escalating cost-per-hire and time-to-fill, there are a few critical factors you should evaluate. Sometimes a minor change can make a significant difference when candidates are learning about your jobs. 

Put yourself in the candidates’ shoes.

It’s a good idea to actually step through your own application process from time to time. What does it say about your brand? How long does it take to complete? Are you asking any superfluous questions? Can you complete the process on your phone? 

The more obstacles that candidates have to overcome, the more likely that they’ll abandon the application prior to completion. Employers that focus on providing a smoother and modern candidate experience often wind up seeing an uptick in quantity and quality of candidates. It’s a win-win. 

Fish in the right pool. 

Candidates have no shortage of spots for seeking jobs, and the sources that work in other industries may prove less effective for restaurant recruiting. Manually managing sourcing spend can be a real headache, though—even for dedicated HR personnel, let alone a restaurant manager. suggests automated sourcing which will save time for hiring managers to focus on the best candidates. What’s more: the right person for your job may not currently be a job seeker; Nevada RestaurantJobs provides social recruiting tools to help get in front of these passive candidates. 

Polish up your job descriptions.

Job descriptions don’t have to be limited to a dry rundown of requirements and responsibilities. This can also be a space for you to sell yourself and your employer brand, to educate candidates about your culture and any other factors that make your team unique. 

When it comes to the job title, though, it’s usually best to keep it as straightforward and ordinary as possible, as candidates are way more likely to search for “line cook” than “kitchen commando.” 

If you aren’t already, consider including wage information with your job posts. Data from Nevada RestaurantJobs indicates a direct correlation between wage transparency and application volume—so say what you pay! 

Screen more effectively.

Even before you receive a single application, you can assist your screening efforts by following the steps above; you’re less likely to receive unqualified candidates when your job posts are information, and when your employer branding speaks to the types of team members you’re looking to add. 

When you do get buried in applications, though, it’s important to be able to screen them and move on to the next stage quickly—to spend less time/money per position, yes, but also to reach those perfect candidates before your competitors make an offer to them. 

If you are looking for additional layers of screening, you may consider adding video screening—a great way to get a sense of applicants’ personality, and how they would represent your restaurant. Customizable surveys and assessments can also save employers a lot of time. 

Communicate beyond the inbox.

Restaurant managers and recruiters tend to be more on the go—as well as candidates who are always attached to their mobile devices. In this technologically-centric era employers need to leverage chat-based communication that’s convenient and extremely user-friendly. Empowering managers to take recruiting out of their email inboxes leads to substantially higher candidate responsiveness. 

To see more about how Nevada RestaurantJobs is helping great restaurants build their dream teams—from sourcing all the way through onboarding—check out