Is your waitstaff dwindling? Are you struggling to fill open positions? You are not alone. These are common problems in the restaurant industry. Fortunately, there is an easy solution. Simply changing words and phrases in your job postings can influence your applicant count.
Think of your job postings like you do your daily specials: Write them in a compelling fashion that makes the reader eager to order the entree or apply for the position. With online tools, you can easily screen folks, so don’t worry about getting too many applicants. Having too many applicants is a good problem to have, right?
Here are seven tips for creating a compelling job description:
1. Target your ideal candidates. Focus on keywords that appeal to particular skill sets.
Do you recruit heavily from the local university? Consider saying “Your plate is full enough, get a job close to school.” You need personable people, so say, “fun people enjoy working at ‘Your Restaurant.’” One word of caution: Don’t wander into inappropriate waters here. Avoid phrases like “this job is great for young people.”
2. Include attractive job elements.
Ask your team to tell you what they value most in their job and use that information in your postings. Do you have flexible work schedules? Say, “This job will be great for you if you need a flexible schedule.” If your compensation is above average, say it. Whatever you have that sets you apart from the rest—work/life balance, location, career advancement—should be included.
3. Focus on what makes the job or company special.
For example, you could say, “Qualifications: Willing to work hard for money” to send the message that you need hard workers. Or you might talk about career advancement and training benefits. “We believe that all jobs can become careers. Learn more about our continuous development for advancement at all levels.” Perhaps your culture is unique. If so, you’ll want to emphasize that.
4. Keep it short.
Many job seekers have short attention spans. Keep it under 300 words and, in general, the shorter the better.
5. Use unique language, and avoid clichés.
Don’t be afraid to say things like, “We have a kick-butt team that needs another member.” This particular example has the added benefit of letting applicants know they are joining a talented, fun group.
6. Use a variety of postings for the same job.
You might try one posting in the newspaper, another on CareerBuilder, another on your signage, etc. Highlight different elements of the job/company, since different things will appeal to different people. This will also allow you to see what works. Don’t be afraid to experiment!
7. If possible, use unique fonts or visual aids/pictures.
As with the other suggestions, this will set you apart from the rest. A catchy image is more likely to get someone to apply than a 1,000-word thesis.
Now take these tips, get out there, and find those employees you’ve been searching for low and high!
James Ringler is director and senior consultant with Corvirtus’ Consulting Solutions.