Text book after business text book will tell managers to hire the right person, not just the first person. This happens often in customer service jobs and in my experience particularly in the restaurant industry. Why does this happen?
It typically happens because:
1- Management didn’t plan ahead
2- Management mishandled planning
3- Inconsistent busy season
4- Poor judgment
5- Surface level criteria
7- Few qualified applicants
—Just to name a few reasons—-
So what to do now?
Many consultants will reason that there just needs to be stricter hiring policies and practices. I think many would agree, as do I, without hesitation. Here is the deal though, sometimes in the restaurant world it isn’t possible. When the manager knows that the next day there will be a party of 200 people, but aren’t fully staffed for this solitary moment, the less-than-right-person will be hired to just be a warm body and fill water and soda glasses. So then what do you do with this not-quite-right-but-good-enough-for-the-job person?
I propose, let’s get more interactive, creative, and teaching focused with our management style. If you have people who aren’t the greatest at their job, but you don’t have the resources to replace them, then make them the employees you need. Train, guide, lead, inspire, and push them to become the team you need. Just that very process of raising the standard and holding everyone to it will weed out those who don’t want to improve and motivate those who didn’t know they could improve. While it will be hard work and take some commitment from the leadership, it will be well worth it in the long and short run.
At the end of the day, employees who are invested in, taken aside, trained, encouraged, and guided will not only blossom, but will also be incredibly loyal because they will believe and know that they matter and have value to their company. People will work harder for less money in the place where they are valued, respected, and invested in.