Using Social Media and Inbound Marketing to Find and Hire Great Foodservice People

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Without much debate, a case can be made that a leader’s number one job is finding and keeping great staff. Without much debate, finding and keeping great staff may be most leaders' biggest challenge. So, what to do?

In my experience, what we’re learning from Social Media and the concept of Inbound Marketing can really assist in this effort. First, let’s review the basic concept of Inbound Marketing. From Wikipedia:

“Inbound marketing provides information, an improved customer experience and builds trust by offering potential customers information they value via company sponsored newsletters, blogs and entries on media platforms.

Marketing strategist David Meerman Scott says that inbound marketing allows marketers to "earn their way" into a customer's awareness rather than invading their awareness through paid advertisements.

The term "inbound marketing" was coined by HubSpot CEO Brian Halligan and is synonymous with the concept of Permission Marketing, a 1999 book by Seth Godin.

Compared with outbound marketing, inbound reverses the relationship between company and customer. In fact, while outbound marketing is going to push the product through various channels, inbound marketing creates awareness, attracts and helps new customers with channels like blogs, social media, direct mail etc.”

With this basic framework of inbound marketing defined, I’m not saying leaders need to spend more time tweeting or posting on Facebook or Linked In. However, we DO need to take two action steps:

Step 1: Share a Compelling Story

Stop posting job ads in a traditional format (look at your existing job posts please). In this social media age, “now hiring” and sharing a list of tasks and requirements to get the job doesn’t cut it.

Instead, offer a compelling story about your company and the position you’re attempting to fill. In fact, counter intuitively, what we’ve found is that by making our story exciting and challenging, we raise the bar of expectations. We set the tone of an expectation of high performance for any applicant interested. Results? Two outcomes you won’t expect tend to occur (in my experience globally).

1. Like attempting to get in a great school or on a great team, employers end up with a waiting line of applicants regardless of the position we’re attempting to fill.

2. This outcome occurs regardless of the community, state, province or country in which we’re looking.

Make no mistake; the outcome needed is to fill jobs. The difference is this; instead of pushing a boring ad out to people already out of work, we’re inviting people that are already working but not inspired to apply with us. Here’re two examples of what I’m talking about.

Imagine the roll of a receptionist. What would you typically write? Here’s some of what we offer in an inbound marketing “story”:

Example 1, a receptionist:

“Imagine this… you’re in charge! You’re not just a receptionist; you’re our Guest Ambassador! The waiting room you manage isn’t a waiting room; it’s the ESSENCE of a vibrant hotel lobby!

Imagine treating our prospective clients like guests! Welcome to TMC! The McPherson Companies!

If you’re ready to smile more, laugh more and be part of a values driven, actively engaged marketing team, join us! If you’re ready to be treated with dignity and respect, and treat our guests with tenacious care, join us! We’re TMC!

If you’re ready for less drama in your place of work, reach out. We’re TMC!

The McPherson Companies (TMC) is purpose based and values driven. We live and breathe a business model that integrates our great marketing skills with a great guest experience!

Do we have your interest?” … Etc.

Example 2, a manager of people development:

“…Here's what you'll get from us:

You’ll find us a vibrant foodservice equipment manufacturing company positioned in the highest regard of our industry! We work "On Purpose" and we're values driven.

All that said, we're looking for the right person to serve as manager of team member development. We’re 450 people strong and growing! Team is how we look at our people! Providing them an amazing place to work, supporting them and the company at the same time IS what this position is about!

It's a given that you understand and function clearly and effectively regarding all compliance issues with “wage and hour” as well as other elements of employment law. This means clean, clear file management at the same time you can hold the big picture regarding the role people play in company growth.... "On Purpose."

Please apply if:

• Your attitude is more coach than cop; if you can model this coaching in Spanish as well as you do in English all the better! (fluent speaking, reading, writing in both languages is critical for this position for lots of reasons)

• You believe in ongoing learning and application of knowledge

• You model excellence and still see room to grow personally

• You want an active hand in building a dynamic business culture by design.

The right person in this position has the opportunity to evolve from manager to "director of". Please send your resume along with a brief note sharing why you're the right person for this position.”

These sorts of stories work in and outside of the normal job posting channels, no matter the venue - Indeed, Monster, Craig’s List, etc. Now that we’ve looked at a couple examples of what a compelling story can look and feel like, let’s take a brief visit to step two.

Step 2: Live the Compelling Story

Telling a story is far easier than living it. It may be your experience that finding good people isn’t as tough as retaining them, and the reason may be here in step two.

Ponder this for a second: How many times, in my own experience coming through the ranks, did I get a job I thought was going to be great, and within two days, existing staff members shared a different story than I was told in orientation? I end up realizing that what I thought I joined wasn’t the experience I was promised. Ever been there?

We can use inbound marketing all day long to draw great folks in, and believe me, it works. That said, without living what we market, those great folks leave fast. Why’s this the case? Simple really, the strong players on your team know they can get a job anywhere “pretty darn” fast. They don’t have to put up with mis-truths, and frankly, don’t. What are you left with? C players.

So, what needs to be done? For inbound marketing to really work, Step 2 comes before Step 1. The real work is figuring out the internal culture we want, the internal BRAND we really are, we really have, and marketing that. In this case, inbound marketing, or inbound recruiting, really, REALLY works.

Looking for more ways to hire 5-star performers in your foodservice business? Check out the free Hiring Tips from the Miick Companies.

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rudy miick.pngAbout Rudy Miick:

With a heavy focus in the foodservice and hospitality industries, Rudy Miick is a consultant with a focus in leadership development, sales building, and profitability. His methodology is driven by the creation of vibrant, values-based business cultures. Results? We drive performance that exceeds median averages by 3 to 5 times in bottom line performance. This improvement ends up a combination of both top and bottom line performance shifts. How? Finding flow, finding balance, and learning how to deal with change while in motion.

Topics: social media, inbound marketing, Foodservice Industry, Hiring, guest blog, inbound recruiting

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