Dealing with staffing issues may be one of the most difficult problems a business owner can face. A good business owner knows there is no business without people, and having a good staff will create loyal customers who generate repeat business. Many aspects of your business rely on the people you hire, so it is important to make sure you are retaining and hiring the right people.
At the Midwest FoodService Expo in Milwaukee, March 7 through March 9, a popular topic was staffing and working in the business of people. Chef Pat Weber, owner of Mise en Place, a hospitality consulting firm out of Minneapolis, spoke on staffing in restaurants. He explained, in order to compete in the industry, you need to have a positive work environment, which will reduce employee turnover. A work-life balance is extremely important and conducting “stay” interviews with employees to determine what makes them want to stay should be part of this process.
Chef Weber’s guidance on initial interviewing was also constructive advice. Evaluating hard skills, such as experience and education, and soft skills, such as optimism, desire to grow, work ethic, empathy, and integrity, can help you decide if the person is right for the job. An interview doesn’t always have to take a long time—it should only take 15 minutes to tell if a person is a good fit. Harvard University, the Carnegie Foundation, and Stanford Research Center have conducted research that shows 85 percent of all job successes come “from having well-developed soft and people skills, and only 15 percent of job successes come from technical skills and knowledge (hard skills).” Chef Weber identified five soft-skill questions to ask in interviews:
There are many excellent practices for hiring employees and retaining them. This is just one method. What are your best practices?