Leverage Your Digital Traffic to Drive Local Hiring

The mobile channel helps restaurants establish a strong relationship with customers, so why not lean into this trend to open the door to increased recruitment opportunities?
a man and a woman looking at her cell phone

In today’s hyper-competitive hiring landscape, restaurants of all shapes and sizes are looking for ways to attract and retain employees. Low unemployment, expanded self-employment opportunities, the rise of the gig economy, and new hybrid work options mean employees have a variety of ways to utilize their talent. With average wages up 9.2% in 2021 and hourly earnings up 4.7%, it’s clear that compensation is being leveraged by employers as a way to stand out from the crowd. However, money is far from the only tool in the hiring box. Restaurant owners and hiring managers are thinking creatively about ways to reach potential employees, with many seeing success.

The mobile channel helps restaurants establish a strong relationship with customers, so why not lean into this trend to open the door to increased recruitment opportunities? One strategy restaurants can use to accelerate hiring in specific markets is leveraging mobile web traffic to create targeted and localized campaigns.

Leverage web traffic to power generational marketing

Younger consumers, most notably Gen Z and Millennials, are digital natives who constantly use mobile devices to accomplish everyday tasks, including ordering food. According to a recent Carat Insights study of 2,200 Americans, consumers ages 18 to 34 are the most likely to order food online before picking it up in-store or at curbside. And research shows that customers who place an online order with a restaurant will visit that restaurant 67% more frequently than those who don’t.

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By ordering food regularly from a restaurant, a digital native becomes more receptive to receiving notifications from that restaurant. This presents an opportunity for restaurants to highlight job openings or promote employee benefits that may be appealing to a prospective employee audience.

A hyper-local approach to digital recruitment

To take advantage of the frequent use of mobile devices, restaurants can target potential new hires based on the physical location of both the individual store with an open position, and their customers. Similar to how a restaurant might promote “Taco Tuesdays” or “Wine Wednesdays” to customers visiting their website, that same restaurant can promote job openings, perks, or benefits directly to customers. More importantly, though, is how they can personalize those promotions at the local level to maximize engagement with their content.

For example, consider a full-service restaurant operating very close to a college campus that needs to hire wait staff. The restaurant could run digital promotions that are geo-targeted only to web traffic coming from mobile users on campus. The campaign focuses on openings at a popular restaurant that is walking distance from campus, and promotes job benefits that are attractive to younger generations, such as early wage access that enables employees to be paid instantly. By geo-targeting a hiring campaign, a business is able to personalize the content for a very specific audience.

National Chain Sees Spike in Job Applications

Fiserv works closely with a national steakhouse franchise that has more than 500 locations throughout the United States. Like many businesses today, the franchise was having problems sourcing job applications for open positions. Utilizing hyperlocal targeting capabilities via the Carat operating system from Fiserv, the restaurant chain was able to support a national recruitment campaign by geo-targeting customers local to each specific store. The results were an immediate 15% increase in job applications over a 2-month period. Leveraging the restaurant’s web traffic to market job openings to local customers enabled more efficient hiring campaigns for physical locations that needed them most.

Localization and personalization drive local hiring

For restaurant owners and hiring managers who want to create a continual stream of quality new hires, location-based marketing can help personalize content. This allows for improved targeting via marketing channels to entice new hires, offers insights into what benefits new hires want, and makes it easier to streamline hiring practices. By concentrating hiring efforts in a structured manner based on a proven strategy, business owners can set themselves up for ongoing success.

About the Author 
Sandeep Bhanote is the Vice President of Carat and Digital Commerce at Fiserv, a global provider of payments and financial services technology solutions.