In retail, restaurant and hospitality, it’s an ongoing battle to provide support and resources to your managers. In many organizations, the store management is responsible for hiring and recruiting candidates, while corporate and regional human resources professionals and recruiters provide consultative recruiting support.
In a near-zero unemployment economy, it’s important that an employer brand not only have national recognition, but also be able to stand out locally in order to benefit store locations. We want to share five unique ideas that support staff can build on to help store leadership and management to make hiring better, faster and easier.
1) Event in a Box
Create a quarterly recruiting “event in a box” that you can mail directly to store leadership. Since corporate is responsible for brand consistency, this not only benefits your store locations, but also ensures brand consistency on a local level. Corporate can also take advantage of better event “swag” since you’re purchasing a larger quantity of giveaway items than a local store can.
Your box can have a theme that aligns to your brand, ideas for recruiting events or open houses, t-shirts (“ask me about my job” for store employees or brand t-shirt giveaways), and talking points to make the recruiting event more fun. This could be campus recruiting, an Instagram hashtag hiring event, or a summer hiring event complete with printable signs for the bathroom, front doors, and fliers for cars in competitor parking lots. Include digital assets like social media images for the location’s managers and staff to easily share.
2) Manager Training
Besides the fact that ongoing training and development makes for happier employees, it’s important to make sure your managers have the resources they need when it comes to doing their jobs well, including leadership, motivating staff, compliance, branding, scheduling, and advanced reporting. This type of training doesn’t have to be a dull printed guide. Consider online resources, training videos, participatory training events, and achievement certificates. Recruiting teams should take part in the annual store leadership meetings for the entire organization or by division to build those consultative recruiting relationships, share best practices, and provide support in different and meaningful ways.
3) Interview Guides
Interview guides can help streamline the hiring process by having a set standard for conducting and scoring interviews, which gives you (and your hiring managers) data that each location can use moving forward (like candidate experience, source of hire, etc.). Additionally, having a guide that your hiring managers can rely on means that issues like compliance (what they can and cannot ask, for example) and candidate experience can be aligned with company policies.
4) Contests and Recognition
Don’t underestimate the power of competition and gamification. Consider holding contests among regionals or districts, recognition by recruiting and HR for store leaders who are making things happen. Store leadership and employees, especially in restaurant and retail, are highly motivated by contests that allow them to compete with other locations, especially when an incentive (monetary or the equivalent in PTO or gift certificates) is involved. Consider rolling out a monthly or quarterly themed contest for your locations that relates to hiring, like most employee referrals, best idea for hiring hashtags, or most hires that made it through onboarding in any given time period. If people love their jobs, they’ll also love to share how much, so make sure your employees are encouraged to use their own networks and social media channels. Which brings us to the next idea...
5) Social Media Assets
For many restaurant and retail companies, store leadership is managing and overseeing social media pages and accounts for the specific store location. Recruiting teams can provide text, templates, and clearly outlined best practices for social updates and job referral postings. We’re all on some form of social media these days and Facebook isn’t the only platform out there. Consider your millennial employees who are more likely to use Instagram and Snapchat.
For a lot of companies not using Instagram or Snapchat, there are untapped markets for talent, branding, and recruiting. As of December 2017, there were 500 million daily active users on the Instagram app. We've written about companies using Snapchat (or "Snaplications") and if your local store managers aren’t already on it, it’s important to empower them to do so. Corporate can provide local stores with filters for Snapchat (and Instagram), offer ideas for Instagram hashtags that employees can use on a local level to share their experience about what it’s like to work for your company (an excellent recruiting tool), as well as branded visuals and videos for sharing on these platforms.
The bottom line is that making hiring easier for your local hiring managers is about giving them the resources they need, but also setting them loose and empowering them to make decisions about events and hiring. They have resources and training, now give them your trust.