Welcome to the show to today
My experiences have been all over the place with hiring employees, from using agents to referrals. One thing for sure is their CV or Resumes should definitely be ignored.
Now, I have had enough experience hiring bad employees. I have had various staff challenges – some taken to police station, some threatening to bring cult boys to the office, some have stolen from us; stolen generator, office phones, I have gone through all types of employees; even managers that don’t do anything. Here are some of my experiences and how I am trying to close the gap in hiring.
My restaurant is a bit different from most. I try to get involved on a daily basis; although there are managers on duty, I also try to be there to make sure the ball doesn’t get dropped. Being this active helps me catch issues and potential problems before it gets out of hand ( even at this, enough problems slip through the crack ) and this cant be sustained.
My approach in the beginning days which has changed a lot more now is that, I usually was scared to lose an employee. You know after spending time training them, but then again, the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know.
I was always reluctant to pull the trigger to fire an employee, until I read something from Netflix and then, I got bold and realized that sometimes you are better off having no employee than having bad employees. Even if you have an all star employee who doesn’t carry their weight in every area of the business; you got to let them go because ultimately it creates a bottleneck and a level of dependency which sets a wrong example for other employees.
So I have listed out certain things that I look at when trying to hire employee and I want to share it with you:
- Proximity to work – I usually ask staff how much it took them cost-wise and the time it took them to get to the office. Regardless of how skilled employees are; if an employee has difficulty going home or coming to work, they might not really last long. If a staff gets paid 40k and she spends 15 to 20k on transportation; she is not left with enough.
- Self development – How have they improved themselves, is there growth in work experiences. E.g; cleaner to kitchen assistant – cook . Have they taken any relevant courses or are they enrolled in some form of higher learning
- Working hours & Days – the industry we are in, Saturdays and Sundays are very busy days for us so, you have to work these days. Can they work late and can they work weekends? Recently I hired a staff who is a Seventh Day Adventist, he can’t work on Saturday according to his religion – I didn’t really like that idea, but luckily for him the rest of the team was okay with that but it didn’t seem right to me.
- Ask about there family situation – I ask about their family. Usually the folks who are responsible for either taking care of their siblings or parents like sending money home will stay longer and will value their job more.
- Accommodation – Mostly for the Front of House (FOH) girls, if they stay with older relatives they may be required to do house chores before leaving for work and might get to work late. Again, this is not enough reason not to hire anybody but from my own experience, it lets me know what to expect from them especially when the older relative is controlling and won’t want them getting home late.
- Practical Test – For the guys in the kitchen, I put them to test – have them come in on a busy weekend and see how well they can keep up and handle themselves – the weak ones just don’t show up.
- Body Language – During interviews – Read their body language, in some cases they don’t know better but in other cases it is very telling – All in all it will tell you enough about their attitude.
- Background/Reference check – I ask about family, education, uncles and aunties you know; trying to know who they really are. Call anyone that knows them.
- Their Aspirations – Find out who they desire to be. I also ask if they had N5 million in their account now what would they do with it. You’ll see people’s eyes light up. You can make anything of it how they respond, but I have not hired enough people of this question because I realized they were only looking for a temporary job.
- Their Previous Job – I ask why they quit their previous job and in some cases, I have called their previous employer – (this can be tricky).
- Ask probing questions – Be curious about what they are not telling you; who they reported to, how they documented things, who reported to them, what were their job responsibilities.
- For FOH, temperament is key and attitude is key – I will ask them how will their close friends describe them?
- For management team – some times a personality test is key like DISC profile.
- My mangers have to have a “Generals” mentality where they like things in order, they follow rules, document things very well and have high energy – you can tell when they come in for interview half an hour earlier, they speak authoritatively and understand when to stop speaking.
- Intrinsic Traits – Match each position with a key dominant personality trait.
- FOH staff are bubbly, talkative, keeps eye contact, always smiling, seats up and very very confident. They don’t mind pleasing people.
- Your kitchen staff must move like ‘Agberos’ – they must have high energy, they are fast on their feet, maintain strong focus they are your elite soldiers.
- Back of House (BOH) managers should be similar to the (The General) – they are dealing with not very educated BOH people. So, they have to know how to keep their house in order. So they need to have a bit of that strong hand on the guys in the kitchen at the same time be soft enough to let them come and talk to them when they have any issues.
- For my dispatch riders – I want somebody who is married with kid(s) probably in his mid 30s. The young guys are too sharp; you want somebody who knows he has a family to go back to, this additional responsibility is a huge plus.
(Listen to the podcast to get more insights on hiring employee)