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Updated by Lightspeed APAC on Jun 16, 2021
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9 Tips For Finding Your Hospitality Dream Team

Hospitality staff are one of the most important assets in any hospitality business. Not only are they the face of your venue, but their skills — either behind the bar, in the kitchen or serving customers — generates revenue for your business.

Unfortunately, the Australian hospitality industry is facing a staffing crisis, with over 46,000 hospitality jobs vacant in May 2021. Couple this with the fact that the hospitality staff turnover rate is 14.3% (higher than any other industry in Australia), and it’s unsurprising that recruiting, training, and retaining hospitality staff is one of the biggest challenges faced by hospitality owners.

To help, here are our 9 tips for successful hospitality recruitment.


Outline the role

To kick off your recruitment process, you’ll need to outline the relevant information for the role. This should include:

  • A short description of the role you’re hiring for
  • A list of tasks the new position will be responsible for
  • A list of desirable skills and experience that are relevant to the role
  • Details about the role, e.g. casual, full-time, part-time, salary, benefits
  • A short description of your business

Craft the perfect job ad

With so many job vacancies on the market, it’s crucial to make your ad stand out from the crowd. While you’re looking for the best candidate, prospective workers are also on the hunt for the best employer.

  • Add a touch of your personality to the ad
  • Call out any staff benefits e.g. staff discounts
  • Add as much detail as possible about the role & your business
  • Be honest about your expectations for the role

Advertise in the right places

Post an ad in your window, share it on social media, upload it to a job portal such as Indeed or Seek or hire a recruitment agency. There are also specialist websites for hospitality recruitment too; try HospoWorld, CoffeeJobs, SideKicker and Scout.

Don’t forget to ask your staff to refer anyone they think is a good fit for the role as well.


Define your ideal candidate

When outlining your ideal candidate, don’t just focus on their skills and experience. You should also define what kind of person they are, what motivates them and what qualities they’ll bring to your team. Think about your must-haves. For example, would you be willing to hire an entry-level manager and train them, or do you want someone with proven experience?

Once you have defined your ideal candidate, it will be much easier to shortlist applications for interview.


Perfect your interview technique

Before sitting down with your chosen candidates, plan how you’re going to conduct the interview and the type of questions you’re going to ask. Here are some questions to consider:

  • Tell me about yourself
  • Why do you want to work here?
  • What did you like/ dislike most about your previous job?
  • Why do you want to work here?
  • How would you deal with a customer complaint?
  • Give some examples of your previous experience and how do your skills will relate to this role?

Be realistic

When you’re creating a job ad and interviewing potential candidates, be as honest as possible about your expectations for the role and what it’s like to work at your venue. Potential employees need to understand exactly what to expect from the role to avoid high turnover further down the line.

You could also invite people for a (paid) trial, so you can both work out if the role is a good fit. It’s also important to highlight potential career progression that may lead to other more senior roles.


Move fast and make an offer

In a competitive job market, it’s crucial to snap up candidates as quickly as possible. Prioritise looking through applications, and then get people in for interviews within a few days.

If you’re struggling to choose between candidates, go for the one who’ll click with your staff and customers, even if they’re less experienced. You can teach skills to a newbie, but you can’t fix someone’s attitude or work ethic.


Nail the onboarding process

Training is a crucial part of the onboarding process, and while it can be time-consuming, it’s worth investing in and can decrease staff turnover.

Train new staff on the following:

  • Day-to-day duties, task & responsibilities
  • How to use your POS system
  • Your menu
  • Events
  • Daily specials
  • Health, safety & hygiene procedures
  • Fire safety guidelines & evacuation procedures

Retain staff with ongoing training and incentives

Consider implementing some of the following strategies to keep your team motivated:

Team building – take the whole team out for a team-building exercise e.g. BBQ at the beach.

Regular meetings – check-in with how they’re doing, give feedback and ask if they have any questions.

Ask for their opinions – ask your team what works well for them in their day-to-day roles and what needs to be improved.

Set incentives and rewards – when team members hit their goals, make sure to reward them for their efforts.