How Restaurants Can Overcome Staffing Shortages with Holistic Talent Acquisition Technology

For fast food and quick serve restaurants, nothing is more essential than providing high-quality food services to customers quickly. However, doing this requires an abundance of reliable talent. Right now, the restaurant industry has experienced rapid employee turnover and staffing shortages, which is impacting how recruiters are bringing on new talent for food service roles.

According to a new National Restaurant Association Report, around 50 percent of restaurant operators expect that recruiting and retaining employees will be their top challenge throughout 2022, and 75 percent said they plan to devote more resources to recruiting and retaining employees. While attracting and connecting with top talent can be a difficult task for quick serve restaurants, there are many tools and solutions that recruiters and hiring teams within the food service industry can leverage to overcome staffing shortages today. Let’s take a look at some of these tools as part of a streamlined talent acquisition technology stack. 

Integrated Talent Acquisition Systems

One of the most foundational tools that food service businesses should use to streamline their hiring process is a complete talent acquisition system that moves beyond basic applicant tracking and integrates into their other HR software to drive talent attraction and speed to hire. Not only does this technology help recruiters centralize the hiring process, but it can also increase candidate submissions and automate tedious manual tasks, such as interview scheduling.

A full talent acquisition suite is essential in today’s tight job market, especially for restaurant chains that are planning for rapid growth, like Tucson-based restaurant chain eegee’s. With numerous locations, this solution allowed eegee’s to easily market to candidates by location, sort and select applicants and schedule interviews all in one place. In addition, it helps restaurants focus on the most qualified candidates, while filtering out less qualified individuals to make better decisions, save time, and close hires more quickly.

Intelligent Messaging

Recruiters today must stay nimble in their communication approach with candidates to remain competitive in attracting top talent. This is why more restaurants leverage intelligent messaging through text to engage with talent pools and match roles to the right candidate more efficiently.

Intelligent messaging allows recruiters to have convenient conversations with candidates, and easily screen and schedule interviews to speed up the recruiting process. In fact, the majority of candidates who have received intelligent messaging from a recruiter prefer this process over scheduling interviews by email or a phone call, according to Employ’s 2022 Job Seeker Nation Report.

For example, eegee’s successfully leveraged intelligent messaging to overcome its low applicant rates as it prepared to open five new stores. Because 98 percent of mobile recruiting texts have a successful open rate, compared to 20 percent for emails, the company implemented a text messaging tool, allowing the restaurant to schedule interviews and onboard new employees more efficiently. As a result, eegee’s is now averaging 400 applications a week—up 500 percent from the 60 applications before leveraging text recruiting.

Automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) 

Speed and efficiency are critical in talent acquisition, especially when restaurants are under pressure to fill open roles and compete with competitors in the food service industry. Fortunately, new advancements in automation and AI are changing the face of recruiting.

For instance, automated chatbots help recruiters easily enhance the candidate experience and promote instant, real-time interaction on the career site. Automated scheduling tools can be a game-changer for talent teams, allowing hiring teams to quickly send candidates proposed times based on the interviewer’s availability. 

Finally, it can also help automatically distribute job postings to hundreds of sites, including top job boards like LinkedIn, Indeed, Glassdoor, and ZipRecruiter, and targeted boards for specific industries and audiences. By automating these repetitive tasks with technology, recruiters save significant time and can be more effective in providing a superior candidate experience.

Stay Competitive in Today’s Job Market

Finding new and better ways to attract candidates within the restaurant industry is crucial in filling the gaps during periods of growth and during labor shortages. By embracing integrated technologies within a single platform to streamline recruiting processes, hiring teams can focus more on what they do best—attracting and nurturing candidates. Implementing these tools enables recruiters in QSR to thrive in today’s constantly changing job market and stay competitive in a dynamic talent environment.