Summer is here, which can mean additional employees.

By now, you’ve probably got your new employees in training, making sure that you’re ready for the summer crowds. Still need to find some extra help? Here are a few tips on hiring candidates that can handle the crowds in summer.

Filter candidates before the interview.

Have you ever scheduled an interview only to have them cancel last minute? Have you had a candidate fail to show up for the first day of work, or maybe the second?

Of course—this is part of hiring in the restaurant and retail worlds. And it’s particularly painful this time of year.

It may seem counterintuitive, but an easy application process might be partly to blame.  By asking an employee to put in effort to apply, you are asking them for a signal of commitment and filtering out un-serious candidates. After all, you are putting in work to hire them, why not ask the same?

You can create free surveys using Google Forms to send to your applicants in advance, asking them some straight-forward questions about why they want to work for your business.  You’ll learn a little about the candidate, and filter out candidates who aren’t serious about working for you.

Ask the right questions.

You only learn from a candidate when they’re talking, which is why the candidate should do 80% of the talking in an interview.  So how do you get them to open up?  Start by asking them a few open-ended questions that get them talking, such as “Tell me about the atmosphere at your last company”.

Once the candidate is comfortable, ask them behavioral questions to see how they would act on the job. Make sure that you focus on actual events, which don’t have perfect answers. An example question might be, “how did you improve the customer experience at your last job?”

Last, make sure you ask them self-appraisal questions to see how they think. These will tell you more about their motivations and learning style that can make them successful over the longer-term. An example question could be, “How did you change your team leadership style during the course of your last job?”

Don’t ask the wrong questions.

Don’t ask anything illegal, or questions that put your business at risk! The National Restaurant Association has some helpful tips on hiring employees.

Make their start a success.

Now that you’ve made a great hire, how do you make her or him effective? Getting a new employee off on the right foot can be the difference between a great hire and a great employee.  Make sure you’re providing the appropriate training so that they can fill the functions of the job as quickly as possible. But don’t forget two other critical aspects:

  • Help them integrate into the rest of the team.  The other employees can help a new team member learn the ropes, and also model what success looks like. This will reduce the time you spend on training and build cohesion during stressful times.
  • Set measurable goals for the first week and first month.  Let an employee know what success in the role will look like. Setting clear expectations creates a precedent of performance management and helps the employee build confidence in their job.  It will also make sure that you address any issues early.

We hope you find these tips helpful as you build a great team in your business. Have any tips of your own to share? Maybe a go-to interview question?