Alex Koons: Ideas for Interviewing Potential Pizzeria Workers

By Alex Koons

Hiring new group members has been an enormous problem for eating places popping out of the pandemic. It’s one thing many homeowners and managers have complained about. There have even been entire panel discussions on this subject at a number of pizza commerce reveals.

I, too, have felt the stress of not having the ability to discover nice folks to hitch my group at my eating places. So I began occupied with what issues have been like earlier than the pandemic. And you already know what? Individuals have been exhausting to seek out again then too. This isn’t a totally new problem—there’s only a new goal on which to put blame.

Once I was 18 working at a grocery retailer that was struggling to seek out workers members, I keep in mind folks saying stuff like, “I suppose nobody needs to work anymore.” That was 2003. Twenty years in the past.

Associated: 4 ideas for hiring and retaining higher pizzeria staff

Right here is one thing that took me years to grasp: It’s at all times value ready for the proper individual for the job to come back alongside. Even in case you are dying to fill a place, even in case you wanted the assistance two weeks in the past, even in case you are personally filling in simply to maintain the ship from sinking, await the proper individual. Don’t rent the straightforward choice.

I’ve made the error of hiring a good friend, another person’s good friend, somebody who appeared “ok,” or perhaps a individual with pink flags flying round their head that have been “ignored.” This has led to staff calling me from jail, the hospital, or simply not displaying up. It has led to staff stealing, mendacity, harassing or entering into fights with different members of the group, vandalism, cuts, burns, tears and bruises…

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It’s straightforward to be blinded whenever you’re underneath the gun.

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The golden rule of hiring, in line with my interpretation, goes like this: So long as you aren’t a chunk of s—, folks will need to give you the results you want. So be sure you bought that going for you. Throw in a better pay than what’s supplied anyplace else, and at all times respect your staff’ time.

The precise folks at all times come alongside—possibly not precisely whenever you want them, however they’ll at all times present up, particularly for pizza outlets. The good folks work at pizza outlets.

I’m clearly biased, however I’m telling you, the straightforward rent can be the actually powerful hearth six months later. If you create alternative and deal with your folks with love and respect, the necessity to discover somebody new presents itself much less and fewer.

How do you discover the proper individual you ask? The reply, for my part, is: You must work for it.

Associated: 5 methods to place a cease to pizzeria worker turnover

To assist discover the proper folks for my pizzerias, I’ve created an interview course of that entails some work. Requiring a candidate to undergo a number of steps means that you can not simply hear somebody speak about working, however to make them put actions to these phrases. Right here is an overview of the four-step interview course of I take advantage of to rent.

Step 1: E mail Interview. After I obtain a possible group member’s resume, I take advantage of the e-mail interview as an necessary introduction. It is a painless technique to see how well timed somebody is and the way thorough they’re with their solutions. It’s a straightforward technique to filter via an inventory of candidates by asking necessary questions on availability, expertise and a little bit bit concerning the individual earlier than asking them to hop on the telephone.

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Instance questions:

  • How a lot expertise do you’ve got?
  • What’s your availability?
  • What do you love to do outdoors of labor?
  • When are you accessible for a telephone interview?

Step 2: Telephone Interview. Right here is once I dive a little bit deeper to attempt to get to know the individual a little bit higher. The most important factor I’m in search of right here is that the individual is prepared for the interview—i.e., that they choose up the telephone on time. About half the time, in my expertise, the interview course of is over when the interviewee doesn’t reply their telephone. When the telephone is answered, I’m listening for confidence, clear solutions, and excessive power. All in all, I’m additionally simply attempting to get to know the individual a little bit higher.

Instance questions:

  • What attracts you most to this place and firm?
  • What was the perfect factor about your final job?
  • Inform me a couple of time whenever you had a troublesome working relationship with a colleague. What was the problem, how did you handle the state of affairs, and what did you study from the expertise?
  • Who has the perfect pizza in (your city)?
  • When are you accessible for an in-person interview?

Step 3: In-Particular person Interview. In individual, it’s all about being on time for me. Time is so necessary in eating places, and anybody who reveals up late won’t be interviewed. This step is just like the telephone interview, but it surely’s extra private as a result of it’s face-to-face. It’s a good way to converse with a possible group member, get to know them, and ensure their persona will slot in with the remainder of your group.

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Instance questions:

  • What’s your greatest weak spot?
  • What’s your greatest energy?
  • How would you outline a way of urgency?
  • What’s your favourite restaurant, and why?
  • What’s your favourite factor to prepare dinner?
  • Identify two accomplishments that you simply’re extraordinarily pleased with.
  • What are three issues that you’ll deliver to this job?
  • Do you’ve got any questions for me?
this shows a woman wearing a COVID mask, a black shirt and white apron cutting onions on a plastic board in a restaurant kitchen
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Step 4: Candidate Presentation. If the in-person interview goes properly, I’ll ask the candidate to do a process within the restaurant. For instance, if it’s a cashier place, I’ll make a mock telephone name. If it’s a driver, I’ll have that individual fold 5 bins. If it’s a prepare dinner, I’ll have them reduce onions. This would possibly sound foolish, however I’m not actually in search of somebody to be the quickest or the perfect. I’m simply in search of somebody who takes it severely. Somebody who doesn’t scoff or get bizarre about taking a pretend telephone name or suppose they’re too good to chop an onion the precise manner I need it performed.

This four-step interview course of has confirmed to be a a lot better course of than what I used to be utilizing earlier than, which was principally hiring folks after chatting with them for 5 minutes. You or your GM must put in a little bit extra work to vet somebody nice, however I’ll say, with 100% of my coronary heart, that you simply get what you set in. I hope this helps. All the time await the proper individual! Good luck and godspeed!

Alex Koons is the proprietor of Sizzling Tongue Pizza and Purgatory Pizza in Los Angeles and a columnist for PMQ Pizza Media.