For QSRs, brand isn’t the language of love to attract students and career-minded workers

Aug. 12, 2013 | by Jason Hamilton
For QSRs, brand isn’t the language of love to attract students and career-minded workers

In dating, we look for the perfect match. And such is the case for employers wanting to hire the right employees. But, quick-service restaurant (QSR) operators may need some dating advice when it comes to courting quality job candidates.

QSR job seekers and restaurant operators, it turns out, view the importance of brand in the recruiting relationship differently.

According to recent surveys from hourly job employment network Snagajob, QSR restaurant hiring managers said that brand image is important (54 percent) when it comes to recruiting. However, when asked about brand names when applying to jobs, only 25 percent of QSR job seekers said a company's brand was influential to their job search. Put bluntly, QSR job seekers are not as focused on the company logo that will adorn their uniform as employers think they are.

However, they do care about what they stand to get out of the job. Among job seekers who indicated that it's their first choice to work at a QSR, Snagajob found that:

  • 23 percent desire a job with opportunities for advancement that they can hold for years
  • 23 percent want a job during high school
  • 13 percent are seeking a job that is close to home

What can we learn from this data?

Clearly there are two different populations who are looking to work in the QSR industry: students and career-minded workers. As we might have expected, students would like quick-service positions, such as a crew member, to serve as a first job. For this group, in particular, location likely matters significantly to make the job convenient not only for the student, but also for his or her family.

At the same time, it should not be lost on quick-service owners and managers that there also is a candidate population who is looking to be part of the team for the long haul and would appreciate the opportunity to move up the ladder from crew member to shift leader and beyond.

This mix of young students and career-minded workers presents an opportunity to staff restaurants with people with different priorities who can complement one another. They will bring different strengths to the table as far as flexibility in hours available, pay requirements and leadership skills. As such, variety can be an advantage.

Just as menus aren't one-size-fits-all, if a restaurant wants to recruit students or career-minded workers, remember that recruiting messages should speak to what both groups want. Therefore, QSR employers should emphasize different job seeker priorities in their job postings by including information concerning:

  • Minimum age requirements
  • Schedule flexibility
  • Exact location or geographic range from key landmarks or public transportation options
  • Real-life anecdotes of advancement potential, statistics included when possible
  • Variety in the workforce, from students to career workers

For QSRs, there can be more than one true love. Recognize students and career-minded folks as potential suitors and begin relationships using language and job priorities each finds attractive.

Topics: Operations Management, Staffing & Training

Jason Hamilton
Jason Hamilton serves as Snagajob’s vice president of product and marketing. In this role, he is responsible for creating products that instantly connect workers and employers. He also leads Snagajob's marketing strategies – from customer acquisition and retention to marketplace development and growth. Oh, and he had a cameo in a Bollywood film. www

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