You might have the coolest bar, the trendiest food, the best music, but if you’ve also got the worst staff then you’ve a big problem. You might think it’s difficult to recruit personable, customer-focussed bar staff, but follow these seven tips for recruiting and keeping the best staff and you can’t go far wrong:
It’s important to decide what role you want to fill: do you want someone who’s looking for a long-term career or someone who wants short-term work in a friendly atmosphere? Your job ad needs to tell a different story to attract the right person;
It’s important to be honest. If there are no opportunities or it’s not a fun job, then your new recruits will be out of the door quickly.
If that friendly, super-personable, intelligent candidate already has every front of house skill you’ll ever need, that’s great – but don’t worry if it’s not the case. If you’ve got someone with the right attitude, then you can help them develop the skills. Creating a positive, energetic attitude in someone who just doesn’t have it is much more hard work. Great attitude will usually include:
If you’re still recruiting the old fashioned way, you’re missing out on thousands of great candidates who just won’t see your ad. Especially for short-term bar work, social media and mobile platforms are the way forward. Try:
Job mastery can be a great motivator for them. Training is not a badge of shame, but proof that you’re happy to invest time and money in your staff’s skills. If you invest in them, they’ll feel valued, more engaged with their work and less likely to leave. Training doesn’t just mean upskilling through off-the-job courses. It can mean:
If you’re a believer in lifelong learning, every experience can be a learning opportunity.
Younger people especially are drawn to bar work because of the element of sociability and of making friends. Make sure that your culture encourages fun, a team-spirit and good times. Avoid a blame culture and encourage an open, honest atmosphere. Treat everyone fairly and give your staff leeway to invent games, choose the playlist and have as good a workday or night as possible while giving excellent service.
Involving your staff in day-to-day decisions or long term planning gives them a sense of control and can be motivating – and who wouldn’t want the creativity and ideas of the people who do the work? Make sure it’s not just lip service, and you actually think through what they’ve suggested. If they see their suggestions acted upon, they’ll feel a sense of ownership and belonging, as well as feel appreciated.
Even in the most fun environment, a boring job can be a downer. Good staff like to be challenged. Keeping them professionally challenged will keep them interested. Try: