Real-life advice from a real-life recruiter

Archive for November, 2012

We did it AGAIN… Eat’n Park is named winner for Best Practices!

We did it AGAIN….Eat’n Park is again named winner for Best Practices 2012.

People Report and Black Box Intelligence revealed the winners of their 2012 Best Practices awards which honor restaurant companies for exceptional workplace practices and results.

People Report said honorees were evaluated on their retention of both managers and employees, the diversity of their workforces, compensation practices, community involvement, corporate responsibility and initiatives in sustainable practices.

“These awards are coveted and are not easily given – These are not popularity contests the companies are evaluated on quantitative measures.”-  Joni Thomas Doolin, Founder and chief executive of the People Report.

Our very own Karen Bolden attributes our success to great operating teams back in the field that keep a smile not only on our guests’ faces but on our team members’ faces also. She talks about how we engage our company to challenge our leadership to volunteer and to engage each other.

Engagement and the ultimate cost

 With today’s economy and war-for-talent, turnover alone is something businesses must think about for the future, as it’s directly connected to engagement. Disengagement can be challenging to remedy; also, it costs organizations billions a year in lost productivity alone.

As a leader within my company how can I increase engagement among my employees?

  • PEER-TO-PEER      RECOGNITION – done right! Create  a viral culture of recognition in your business by creating ways for your     employees to give recognition to each other.
  • PERFORMANCE      RECOGNITION– that gets results!  When you give recognition for performance, you inspire your people to reach their full potential. This can be done by providing gifts cards,  free meals, or being open to ways they’d like to be rewarded for their      performance.

SPOT RECOGNITION that’s on the spot!  Create managers’ kits with award certificates, reward coupons,      appreciation cards and more. These are ways to instantly appreciate      employees. It gives them “bragging rights” and also creates an environment  for friendly competition.

Thank you for all you do to keep our guests and team members smiling!

Welcome Dave… to the Training General Manager Team!

Dave had his best purple shorts and black pop rock t-shirt on when he decided to apply for a position at his local Eat’n Park. He had just turned 16 and figured it was about time that he got his first job. Dave was surprised when he got an interview. He figured he would just pick up applications and fill them out later; but at Eat’n Park he was served an interview with his application. Well, Dave got the job. He started as a bus person, worked his way through a few other departments before becoming a service supervisor by the age of 18. He loved his job but he wanted a bit more. This is when Dave decided to attend the University of Pittsburgh and study Human Resource Management and Marketing.

In order to be able to work and attend school, Dave transferred to an Eat’n Park which is located right next to the Pitt campus. Everything was going along great until… yikes…Dave broke has ankle. At first Dave decided to take a leave of absence from Eat’n Park. Later on he decided to leave Eat’ n Park all together.  He started working in an office doing research. There weren’t any windows in the office and really not much conversation going on. Dave thought, ‘yikes what am I doing here?’ He began looking for a new job. Then he started working for Wendy’s as a manager.

Dave worked at Wendy’s for 2 ½ years. Then one fateful day he accompanied his mom to a friend’s wedding. Some Eat’n Park folks were attending the wedding, too. They wondered, ‘why in the world, if Dave wanted to manage a restaurant, he wasn’t managing an Eat’n Park?’.  And well, the rest is history. Dave trained at the Eat’n Park in New Stanton and then moved west to Ohio.

Dave was promoted to manager in 1 ½ years and promoted to general manager in 3. And now he was most recently promoted to training general manager. Great job Dave!

I asked Dave his favorite Eat’n Park menu item. He likes to get creative and make up has own items. But basically he loves anything deep fried and anything with Alfredo sauce.

Dave loves the people that he as met and the opportunities he has been given. “People have taken the time to help me improve my skill set and make me think about things differently. Everyone I have worked with has been totally different. This is really nice… it has helped me learn a lot. And I am ready to share that knowledge with everyone else.”

Dave – You rock!

Engage Yourself

Whether you are looking for a job, working an entry level position, managing, or the CEO-your involvement and ability to engage yourself and peers is relevant to your promotion and important to the growth of your company.

 What is employee engagement?

Some researchers defined it as a positive attitude, while others defined it as how employees connect with customers and others as employee confidence, integrity, pride and passion or a heightened emotional connection that an employee feels for his or her organization, that influences him or her to exert greater discretionary effort to his or her work.

Is engaging employees important to companies?

Yes! It’s simple: higher profits and happier employees.  It’s a WIN-WIN

The American Society for Training and Development completed a study on employee engagement that has shown companies loose $350 billion a year because of employee’s not being engaged.  Also according to the Harvard Business Review, the percentage of employees who said they took pride in their work rose from 71% in 2008 to 79%  in 2009; the percentage who said they would recommend their employers to other workers rose from 53% to 58%. Employee engagement and retention are crucial components to maintaining a happy, positive and productive workforce.

Still need convincing? Below are business case facts on employee engagement.

  • Businesses with more engaged employees have 51% higher productivity (Harter, J.K,Schmidt, F.L., & Hayes T.L., Psychology, 2002 Vol 87, No.2)
  • Businesses with higher engagement have 9% higher shareholder returns (Towers Watson, 2009)
  • Organizations with engaged employees showed a 19% increase in operating income over a 12 month period, compared to a 33% decrease in companies with disengaged employees (Towers Perrin, 2008)
  • 80% of employees with a high degree of trust in management are committed to the organization, compared with 25% of employees with a low degree of trust ( Center for Creative Leadership, 2009)
  • Highly engaged employees have less absence days- in average 3.5 days- compared to not engaged employees (Gallup Germany, 2011)

Engagement is for everyone

So again-Whether you are looking for a job, working an entry level position, managing, or the CEO-your involvement and ability to engage yourself and peers is relevant to your promotion and important to the growth of your company.

Stay tuned for next weeks- Ways to effectively engage your employees and peers”

Do Your Homework For Your Interview

In our last discussion, I posed the question of if appearance was all an individual needs to interview well and land the job.  The most appropriate answer to that question is- No, appearance isn’t everything and preparation is also essential in being considered a solid candidate during and after the first interview.

Do your homework before Interviewing

Before you go on a job interview, it’s important to find out as much as you can about the company. Company research is a critical part of interview preparation. It will help you prepare to both answer interview questions and to ask the interviewer questions. You will also be able to find out whether the company and the company culture are a good fit for you.

Is Research really all that important?

Yes, even sports coaches regularly name preparation as the reason their team won a game. Scouting – finding out as much as possible about an opponent prior to a game – is an accepted practice.  This same researching process is necessary for a job seeker to win in the job interview.

Why not wait until the interview to learn about a company?

As a recruiter, and having a candidate participating in an interview only to withdraw because of information you could have obtained beforehand is a waste of time for the employer and you.  One employer told me, “When an applicant shows me they don’t already know the basics of my business, I don’t waste time with them.  I cut the interview short; I don’t want them.” One job seeker who did not do this research told the employer, “What do you mean work weekends? That’s my party time.”- This may seem like an exaggeration but you get the point.

Another reason to do your homework

Knowing the pay scale for the company you’re seeking employment from is important because you can under-sell yourself or price yourself out to the market by not having the information need to properly negotiate. Sometimes you will be given the pay scale information in the classified ad or by your referral source such as the employment office or career service center. Normally, an entry-level job seeker can get information about pay scales of a local business by networking or simply asking a friend who works for the company.

What is the most effective way to research the company I’d like to work?

According to the NY daily news, many people are finding the below recommendations to be the most helpful when scouting a potential employer.

Visit the Company Website -Visit the company web site, review the company mission statement and company history, products and services, management, as well as information about the company culture. The information is usually available in the About Us section of the site.

Use LinkedIn-Company profiles are a good way to find, at glance, more information on a company you’re interested in. You’ll be able see your connections at the company, new hires, promotions, jobs posted, related companies, and company statistics. Take a look at your interviewer’s profile to get insight into their job and their background.

Use Social Media-Check Facebook and Twitter. Become a Fan of the company on Facebook and follow it on Twitter. You’ll find information you may not have found otherwise.

So take time, in advance, to discover as much information as you can about the company. Spend time, as well, tapping into your network to see who you know who can help give you an interview edge over the other candidates.