Smart Web Restaurant News and Blog

Using Social Media to Get the BEST Employees - #hiring

Hiring through Social Media

One of the biggest struggles in managing a restaurant is finding and retaining talent. The classic options of advertising, word-of-mouth, and recruiters can prove to be a lot of effort, often with unimpressive results. With recruitment fees hovering as high as 25% in some markets, this option is neither cost-effective nor a particularly efficient means of finding the right people for open positions. Just getting the candidates through the door can be a challenge in a labor market as tight as the current one is, and outsourced headhunters might not be able to deliver what you are looking for as they too are struggling to find qualified candidates to interview.

Modern restaurant managers are now approaching hiring into vacancies from a 21st century perspective, utilizing the tools that the employees they seek to hire know so well: social media. Social media is multi-faceted and by its nature caters to a variety of demographics. Due to the reach of social media, which is both vast and targeted, managers can get the word out to the largest possible audience, carefully tweaking their messaging to hit the most receptive crowds. By doing so, they are can share opportunities in the restaurant biz that might otherwise go unnoticed through traditional recruiting methods.

In this age of food porn fervor and instagrammable plates at every meal (and in between!), the social media culture surrounding the restaurant business is a hotbed of connections - many of which may be professional. Restaurants around the United States and globally have already learned how to leverage Instagram influencers to elevate their brand awareness and create buzz around innovative new dishes and formats, so following the natural progression: it’s time for managers to take this trend to the next level: #hiring!

A manager might say - “OK, this sounds good in theory, but how do I hire on social media in practice? I don’t have the time or resources to manage an extra facet of my social media accounts. I have a restaurant to run!”

While it’s true that some managers may be initially overwhelmed, advertising openings on social media is not about reimagining the wheel. Any savvy restaurateur  will already have a successful social media presence. Hiring is just an extension of that, it’s a chance to continue sharing the same compelling story of your restaurant, what makes you different, and why someone might want to spend their time there. Sounds very similar to the things you might want to share with potential diners!

So, for restaurant managers who are interested in utilizing their social media channels to advertise openings on their teams, they should consider the following built-in benefits. 

  1. Cost benefit. It’s free! Recruiting is already built into the cost of managing your platforms, which for the savviest managers is next to nothing. 
  2. Bespoke recruiting. Recruiting on your watch is tailored to your needs, rather than filtered through a recruiter or job board. No boring forms to turn off applicants. 
  3. Lose the “job description”. Now you can focus on hiring team members who are plugged-in to the food scene, local, and passionate about the industry. You don’t have to make them jump through hoops, they’re part of your audience already, so they know your story and how it would feel to be a part of it.
  4. Cut out the middle man. He doesn’t know your business, but you do, that’s why you’re best suited to hire the right people.
  5. Build your narrative. This is your chance to continue building a strong narrative about your business - you can organically grow the reach of your social media channels by adding team members who share a passion for the industry compounding the power of your brand across already built social channels. Your restaurant, after all, is more than just a job for employees to clock in/out of - it’s a collective story.
  6. Social media is the new “word of mouth”. Word of mouth is still the best way to increase brand awareness and let people know that your organization is a great place to work. By building your social media presence, you’re building your word of mouth presence inadvertently.

There are numerous reasons to utilize social media to recruit the dream team. You’re targeting them already as you build your reputation and narrative in the restaurant business, now you just have to drill down in your audience, as you continue to grow it, and find those who have the same passion.

However, it’s important to remember to be cautious. No one wants to work somewhere that’s always hiring, your audience is following and they will notice if there’s heavy turnover. Likewise, managing your team is another facet of social media, you must remember that opening up your restaurant’s narrative to your team means opening it up to a larger network, so be careful how you go about hiring and make sure to be honest with prospective employees and to make sure not to ‘overshare’.

When done well, #hiring is a smart move. It eliminates unnecessary costs, targets passionate people in already built networks, and advances your business’ narrative.

Smart Web Restaurant

Working a lot with restaurant owners, we understand the challenges that restaurateurs face when looking to hire the best talent in their community. Our primary focus is on following the trends and leading product enhancements to meet their needs. With Smart Web Restaurant, you can accept job applications directly on your website. Need more information? Contact us at