I need better applicants! anything working for you?

I have been open for 6 and 1/2 years now. I am running aprox 37/spmh with bursts into the 40’s some weeks and have some extremely good employees. Most of my best employees are from out of my trade area some are from with in. Currently am yeilding 1-2 good retention for every ten hires. I am ok with this retention, I just need more qualified applicants does anyone have any things that are working really well to not waste paper and time on the *(RANT ALERT) *STONERS, MOMMA"S BOYS, GIRLY GIRLS who think they should make 75k after dropping out of high school and not picking up a trade or think Mom and Dad are the people who work to provide a warm place to sleep at night, Food and drinking money (I am talking about the type that can not do simple math or know what a percentage is)? whatare you doing to get better applicants?

We always looked first to friends of our current good employees.

I’m not sure what shifts your looking for, but I went to my local high school and talked to a few guidance counselors and explained what I was looking for and asked them to pass out my info to anyone that was a straight laced hard worker. I got about 10 kids interested and hired 5 of them part time since they all played sports.

What kind of new employee orientation do you have?

Not sure what you are asking or how it relates to the recieving of better applications?.. we do have a “work prefrence” (psyc test) test we administer for screening online after receiving applications. We Cross train in every aspect of the opperation before they are scheduled for their intended hire position (Everybody can do everything), we use online training videos a detailed employee handbook, all of the necessary disclaimers, disclosures, re. policies, proceedures and expectations. I should Clarify my original post or question I NEED MORE ACCEPTABLE APLICATIONS I feel We have the screening process pretty well in hand and the people who do not work out after hire, are those that really have not yet found the motivation to be excellent at what ever they choose to do, or simply try really hard but still fall short in availability (want to play more than work) or in the physical dextarity part (sic.) (just can not crank the product out when necessary) (sic.)

Hah…you should try living in a small town where 8 out of 10 people coming in an applying are only doing it to satisfy the unemployment requirements. Far too many people in our county have taken government entitlement programs to a whole new level and it has become a culture here.

It relates quite a bit. That is why large companies do it. PMQ said it better than I can here is the quote:

There is a solution, but you may be looking in the wrong place. You do not have the ability to change the circumstances of your community or nation; you can’t change the environment that prospective applicants grew up in, or their desires and goals. But there are some very important things you can change, your attitudes and the way you are hiring, training, and motivating your staff. No, it’s not easy, but once you have solved your staffing problems the rewards will make a tremendous difference in your restaurant, and in your lifestyle.

With unemployment the way it is now, it is a lot easier to find quality staff. If you can’t do that today, imagine what the future holds when the economy gets rolling again and under employed people move out of the F&B business.

Back to my original question though, an NEW (new employee orientation) will go a long way toward employee motivation and retention. Also, toss out the idea that you want your employees need some sort of motivation to be excellent. The reason that pizza shops are successful is because they can take a team of average people and produce great results. Just set foot in any fast food shop and you should understand what I am talking about. (Also, availability should be coming up in the interview stages, not after you hire).

To put it in different perspective, even if you had the best 10 employees in the world, in your shop 5 of them would be below average.

OK…sorry but pizzamancer I am totally lost on your posts. I have owned and managed a company with 300+ employees so I have a little insite into this. I am not saying we are huge as far as employees go but I will say big. I agree 100% that it should be easier to find people now over the prospects of when unemployment is 3-4%. I also agree with the entitlement crap of people just filling out apps so they can get their next check from O-Bomb-A! I used to call the state and report people that I would offer jobs too and then have them ask me to sign their checklist sheet so they could say they were interviewed. Really got me mad! All that said… I agree that you should have a real sit-down meeting with new hires to let them know what is expected and the real rules and procedures to follow. I agree that everyone should be as cross-trained as possible. I agree that you should discuss in the most complete way before you hire or offer a position…all hours required to work, pay scale, advancement, and all other benefits that may apply. Now to answer the OP’s questions. I know this will get some negative feedback…as I am not a pizza shop owner but I do talk from real-life hands-on experience. It all falls down to wages and benefits. Even in a very open labor market… how you pay and treat your employees will determine how well they work and the level of frustration you are willing to accept on a daily basis. I totally understand the response to this being a bottom line income arguement. The truth to it all is that with higher pay and better benefits…productivity goes up. Profits go up. Your ability to take a week off and go fishing, gambling, napping on the beach…all go up! The initial shock of “I have to pay what…and offer health and vacation…what?” it all wears off when you realize that instead of 20 employees that only 3 are worth a damn…call in sick… lie, cheat, steal… you now have 12-15 that do the same amount of work and your actual labor percentage is about the same. I have proven this method many times over in many different working fields and all but one succeeded. The one that did not had nothing to do with labor pay and benefits…more to do with bad partner. To the OP… take a good look at current employees and ask where you see them in 5 years. Then have an employee review with them and ask them the same question. See which direction they want to go and taylor your hiring and offerings with what you already have in place. Then bring in additional staff to fill your larger-scale business plan. Too many small businesses forget their plans after opening. A lot of established ones never had one to start with. Figure out where you want to go and then put it on paper so you have a writen route with goals to help you get their. You are the owner here…so make this a productive and profitable lifestyle and not just a fulltime job with mandatory unpaid overtime!!! :shock:

Our success rate with new hires is measured by whether they stay with the job more than 6 months (remember our seasonal resort cycle) and can do the job and keep up with the crew after a week or two. Based on that we have about 80-90% success rate.

How? We pay a dollar an hour better than the other pizza shops. We treat people well. We find them by word of mouth from our current employees and by using box-topper fliers.

I used good ol Craig’s List and have turned away good looking employees this week. I have hired 10 new employees for the store I just took over as I “fired” every single one of the former employees.

I think it is how you word your ad. My buddy started running a similar ad a couple days before me and got zero applicants.

I too pay better than other pizza places, but also expect more too.

Mostly though, I talk to other owners and head chef’s in town who don’t allow their employees to go over forty hours a week due to OT reasons and have them send me the best ones who are looking for an extra 15-20 hours a week or so. Then work them in around my full time employees. Works out awesome for everyone. Plus I end up with up and coming sous chef types with imagination, creativity, good work ethics, etc…

Blue sky and Steve… you pay more! Blue also said the key to all of this… YOU EXPECT MORE!!! That is the real key here. Yes it costs more but with that should come less BS and more productivity. The bottom line looks better and the headaches go away… for the most part. It’s gonna cost money to make money as they say… :mrgreen:

No question, better employees are worth more. Three rock stars on the line will turn out more product and without mistakes than 4 bozos… so what would you rather pay? 3 X $11 per hour or 4 X $9 or $10. What does turnover cost? New employees take a while to come up to speed. Every time you have to hire a new employee it costs several hundred dollars.

If you are loosing employees or failing to attract the ones you want, the first place I would look for a solution is in the mirror.

No Doubt!!! This matters to your customers too. If you want to attract a certain customer then your staff better reflect that type as well.

I agree with this whole heartedly, and is always the first place I look!
The Think Tank is the second or third.
Our staff confirms, when I suspect soneone is not working out. This is a predominently blue colar town town on the outskirts of the rural suburbs. The farm kids and the non-methheads are awesome, just few and far between (sad to say, but true here.) I think I am frustrated with the, as posters have stated before, people who are unemployed yet really don’t want to work because that would cut into their unemployment bennefits!

Thin is so right with this. The longer the handout goes the longer any real recovery will take. I see today the job numbers all ticked too the positive… but that number is so far from reality. Underemployed, those that gave up looking, etc… I agree that the support system is needed but when it was 26 weeks…then 52… then double that… then another 26…52…etc. You can now sit around for 2-3 years and then go find work. The money is out people. It seems there are actually a lot of jobs to be had if people (including delivery drivers) would understand that you might need to WORK for the money and it might not be a mid-6 figure position to start! What people DEMAND these days for the work or service they provide is just off. Look at the entire state of CA! I hope some locals chime in one this one. I grew up in an area of the same ideals near Chicago…and still people pay more for everything… just because! I think the real eye-opening of reality is happening slowly now and as the entitlement handouts for those that are not in real nead run dry the world will self-correct a little. I hope. This country still runs the world’s economies even if some will not admit to that. The more people we get back to work…the more money made and spent… the more the global markets thrive. The more us evil capitalist make the better everyone is. When there is nothing coming in then there is nothing to be handed out. Look at North Korea and Iran. A very small group keeps both nations people on their knees with the use of fear and control of their food and access to the rest of the world. I read a bit from a South Korean newspaper that a parent from my daughters class brought home from her recent trip back home to S. Korea. In it the new little Kim, who is a big US basketball fan… is noted to have single-handedly coached Michael Jordan back in the glory days of the Bulls…at the ripe old age of 8 or 9! WOW! The sad thing is that the people in N. Korea believe this! We all know that I grew up in Chicago in the 80-90’s and taught Michael everything he knows. Where do you all think his “Wanna be like MIKE” came from??? Duh… ME!

Where is the “LIKE” button! That is excatly what I am talking about QCFMIKE.