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08/03/2021

VP of HR Shares How to Use Technology to Attract Employees

Laura Scavone, Vice President of Human Resources at Smoothie King, shares her best tips to find and recruit new team members.
a person holding a cup of coffee

As businesses around the world are still coping with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is one issue that persists even as we enter the recovery phase: the labor shortage. This is especially true in the hospitality industry, where the workforce is primarily made up of a younger population, including Gen Z and millennials.

As the Vice President of Human Resources at Smoothie King, we have taken proactive steps to staff our locations and drive employee satisfaction. We have spent hours implementing changes to differentiate ourselves as an employer and have worked hard to establish our people-centric environment.

[Motivation and Appreciation: A Must to Attract New Hires in the Hospitality Industry]

So how can restaurateurs and hoteliers target prospective employees- especially these specific demographics?

Online job boards. The internet is an incredibly useful tool, but with millions of employers hiring right now, you must use it wisely. Differentiate yourself by taking a close look at your job title, description, and “Careers” page on your website. One way you can get a better grasp on how you can do this is by putting yourself in the shoes of a job seeker.

Search for jobs similar to the one you are posting and read through the descriptions. You are certain to find exact same phrases that are mentioned in every listing. Use that as an example of what language to avoid, or to find a way to add to it to make it more unique and appealing to the candidate.

Use sites like Indeed, LinkedIn, Monster, and SnagAJob to share your listings. Many of these sites also contain user profiles and a resume database, so rather than the employee finding you, you can reach out to them directly.

Finally, utilize the tools these platforms have available. Indeed now offers free video interviewing. They also have features that will allow you to speed up the hiring process, like screening questions to help you determine an interview time that would work for the candidate before you even review their resume.

Organic and paid social media

Clicking “post” goes a long way, but it is even more helpful when you are optimizing those posts and reaching the right audience.

Use platforms like Instagram to post about your job openings, and take extra steps like tagging your location and using unique hashtags to make it easier for candidates to find you. You should also have a call-to-action at the end of your caption and encourage others to spread the word. For instance, “Know someone who’s looking for a job with [include pros and benefits]? Tag them below!” Don’t forget to include a direct link to the application and/or to your “Careers” web page.

If you have the means, it is always a good idea to invest in finding the right talent. Running ads on platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn, targeting them efficiently, and including the application link will help generate awareness and- if all goes well- more applications.

[Chipotle Takes to TikTok Resumes to Recruit for Workforce]

The old-fashioned way, with a modern twist

As the old saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Word-of-mouth, print materials, and job fairs can have an enormous impact on your recruiting efforts. Get in the habit of putting yourself (and your business) out there. Hang posters at your local community high school or college, hand out flyers, and host or participate in job fairs. Don’t forget to use technology to enhance these efforts.

Just as you can use social media to promote job listings themselves, you can also use it to promote events. Create a Facebook event for your job fair to increase visibility, and you can even offer an incentive to get people to attend (like a promotion available to only attendees).

If you are participating in a job fair hosted by a school, park district, or other organization, don’t forget to bring business cards and present materials that clearly answer the question: “Why would I want to work here?” Having a digital aspect, like a slideshow or a video to display on a screen, can help draw people in.

At Smoothie King, it is our belief that your people are the most important thing you will ever invest in, and they should be treated accordingly- even before they are officially employees. If there is one benefit to the pandemic and the labor shortage happening when they have, it’s that they are in a time when technology allows us to continue to connect with others. It is up to us to make the most of it.

Laura Scavone
Laura Scavone serves as the Vice President of Human Resources for the Smoothie King Franchise, Inc.

About the Author

Laura Scavone serves as the Vice President of Human Resources for the Smoothie King Franchise, Inc., bringing over 20 years of HR experience to the team. Scavone has spent her career partnering with brands to transform the employee experience, while focusing on improving the function, culture, and impact of HR across the organization. In her role with Smoothie King, Scavone partners with leaders, team members, and franchisees to bring the Smoothie King’s mission and values to life and build a people-centric culture.