Sunday, January 20, 2013

Restaurant Consulting NYC | An Attitude Adjustment - Hiring for Attitude as well as Skill | 4Q Consulting, LLC

An Attitude Adjustment - Hiring for Attitude as well as Skill

Technical skills, such as the vocational expertise of a chef, while important in making hiring decisions, should not be your only criteria.  You can teach technical skills, but you cannot train people on the personal attributes that make up soft skills such as listening, communicating and empathizing.  By evaluating these characteristics you can measure whether a candidate will fit with your team, company culture and core values.

Bad hiring decisions are costly: they can increase turnover, pull resources away from other projects, be disruptive to other employees and your establishment as a whole. This can negatively impact your bottom line.   

Here are 4 ways to hire for attitude as well as skill:

Take Advantage of Candidate Self-Selection – By listing desired soft skills that align with your company core values and culture in your recruitment ads, candidates will evaluate whether or not they should apply.   This will give you a more focused applicant pool to choose from; reducing your time spent on recruiting, as well as improving the quality and value of your hires.

Be Proactive in your Recruiting - Don’t just wait for people with the right attitude to apply for a job, spot them in the marketplace and make your pitch! When you see someone who clearly embodies the qualities you want on your team, give them your card and invite them to apply for employment. As any great business owner knows, that extremely attentive waiter, remarkably patient sales associate, or well-spoken hostess could be your next great hire.

Use Behavioral-Based Interviewing - This type of interview, focuses on how the interviewee acted in the past to give insight to future behaviors and actions.  Multi-segmented, open-ended questions get to the heart of behavior in relation to soft skills.  For example, when interviewing a restaurant manager you might ask:  “Tell me about a time when you had to manage a difficult employee.  What was the challenge and how did you resolve it?”  Select questions that pinpoint the attributes you seek.

Observe Applicants Outside “The Interview” - Want to see someone’s true colors? Find out how they behaved when they thought no one is watching.  In conjunction with behavioral-based interviewing, this can give you a true read on a candidate.  How did they treat your receptionist or hostess? Did they strike up a friendly conversation with the bartender while waiting for you?  What the candidate says and does outside of the hiring manager’s view can give you a glimpse into their true personality, which may differ from how they present in an interview. 

To build a great company, you must hire great people.  Great employees are those who have both the technical skills required for the job as well as personal attributes that gel with your company culture and core values.   Focusing on technical skills without enough consideration for soft skills and personal attributes can leave you with a dysfunctional staff that can’t work together due to misaligned values. When in doubt, hire for attitude; you can train almost any skill. See the candidate who lacks hard skills as a cause for concern, but see the employee who lacks soft skills and enthusiasm as a giant red flag.

Don’t know where to begin?  Ask yourself, do you have the proper written procedures and operational guidelines in place to help you be as profitable as possible?  4Q Consulting can develop customized operational guidelines and training programs to meet your needs.  Email us today for a free business consultation!

All original content copyright Noelle E. Ifshin, 2012-2013.

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