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The Millennials are Coming! And We’re Hiring Them!

The Millennials are Coming | Hiring & Retention | AGI Hospitality RecruitingI recently came upon a very interesting infographic about the mindset of today’s Millennials whose job-hopping choices impact restaurant profitability. I was intrigued by the statistics within the information, because years ago, I wrote my Master’s thesis on the topic of managing generational differences in a diverse workforce. As I reflect back on all of the knowledge I gained on that topic, it still sparks a big curiosity in me since I interview so many Millennials and prepare them to meet with our great restaurant employers nationwide. My hyper-awareness of this specific demographic is so second-nature to me because of my knowledge and experiences working this particular age group. Now that the Millennials are coming, we need to spend some time to better understand tehm so we can include them into the diverse restaurant workforces of today.  We will be hiring Millennials, retaining them as employees, and motivating them to advance in their career path; so it should become a bigger priority to get to know this generation.

Millennials are made up of those born from roughly 1980 to 2000. This generation makes up a large majority of restaurant workers (about 75%), so managers and employers need to be attune to behavior and motivational factors among this generation in order to maximize profit through employee retention. It seems Millennials are one of the toughest generations to truly adapt management strategies. So how do we tackle this opportunity?

Because of the era they have grown up in, Millennials tend to have distinct personality traits. In order to fully embrace these differences, managers and employers must adjust their attentions to wanting to learn more about the habits and expectations of this particular group of people who endorse the company’s brand. With the familiar, yet unfair, stereotypes that Millennials find themselves battling, I’m very interested in learning about what techniques hiring managers are using to ensure that stereotypical barriers are not getting in the way of finding those best-fit restaurant staff members.

For instance, it’s amazing to contemplate the fact that Millennials are the first generation to have been raised in an era of such advanced technological breakthroughs that impact daily life at an astronomical level! Never before has any generation been continually exposed to high-tech gadgets that provide instantaneous results! Microwaves, computers, cell phones, satellites, and ATM’s seem to have always been so commonplace in the life of a Millennial, that without just one of these things, the disruptions that would be experienced would be – well, AWFUL! Of course, we must admit that not every single Millennial has grown up with every bit of technology I’ve mentioned; but chances are very high that the majority of this age group knows about every one of these things that I’ve mentioned.

Let’s learn together through best practices!  So, Managers — How are you addressing your Millennial employees’ generational differences to ensure productivity and retention?

TAGS: Career Advice, Career Path, hiring manager, job seeker, Restaurant Manager

It’s Not Just Job Tenure, But Progress

Let’s jump right away to the tough question: Can you explain to the Restaurant Hiring Manager how it was that you worked at the same place for more than eight years, and yet, you never received a promotion or further training to advance during that time period?  If you’re tongue-tied, then keep reading!  Being unprepared with your explanation probably won’t turn out well for you.  To help you think this through, we’ll talk about why it matters to hiring managers in the first place.  After all, shouldn’t good job tenure speak for itself?  Isn’t that the big goal anyway – to stay at one job for a very long time because it shows steadiness? That sounds reasonable; but the issue of stagnation arises, and you must explain it during the job interview.

Because there is a big difference between management responsibilities and those that are performed by basic staff, we want to focus on the management Make Progress | Move Forward | AGI Hospitality Recruiting side of things in this particular article.  We want to bring home the point that if you want a management-type position, you have to show that you have grown and can continue to grow in your skill sets and knowledge.

Some simple math can shed some light on how important professional and personal growth is when observed from the 10,000-foot level:  Each day has 24 hours.  We usually divide the average day into three eight-hour segments, such as 1) working hours, 2) sleeping hours, and 3) everything-else hours.  This means that we spend around one-third of our healthy adult lives on the job, one-third is for sleeping, and one-third is spent cramming in everything outside of the first two-thirds.  Shocking, isn’t it?  We know that this is a general assumption, and sometimes the 3-way split isn’t always so nice and tidy.  But on the whole, we can agree that, yes, one-third of our life is spent doing something to provide for ourselves and our families. 

Even when you have had great tenure at a job (or several jobs), but there is very little evidence that you grew professionally or personally, there will probably be fewer checkmarks for you in the “yes” column than your job competitors who can show that they are capable of such growth.  For example, someone could have an employment history of working each job on-average for around five years; what may first appear as job hopping, a second look could reveal that each new job opportunity was a “step-up” in experience, responsibilities, or job title.  When the long-tenure-no-growth applicant is placed alongside the short-tenure-plus-growth applicant, who do you think generally gets selected?  The answer is the short-tenure-plus-growth job candidate.  This strategy makes sense because management positions require leadership, and a leader thrives on continual growth experiences.  It’s a character trait that can withstand stressful demands of push-pull stretches that is a part of every business and industry.  From big business to small business, a history of professional and personal growth always shines brighter like a well-polished coin.  Polishing only happens with effort, and that’s why it makes a measurable difference.    

When hiring managers want management-ready people for the positions, they need to be convinced that the abilities and experiences are already present.  A manager-in-training position is very different.  However, management-ready means that hitting the ground running is expected.  Those who give the impression that they will only hit the ground with a thud and break some bones in the process will not be seriously considered.  Especially in the restaurant industry where customers and agency standards must be satisfied, you better not even go into the kitchen if you can’t stand the heat (famous saying said slightly different)! 

It’s interesting when you think about heat and how it has the power to change everything.  It changes a glob of flour, water, yeast, and salt into bread.  It can bend an iron rod.  It separates gold from solid rock.  It even changes ordinary people into extraordinary leaders!  Restaurant Managers need to have had a little heat applied in their life as evidence that they can take the heat in the kitchen!

What can be done if the organization you are with doesn’t provide some “heat” for hot opportunities for growth?  The solution is for you to find ways to grow yourself.  It’s really up to you anyway.  You are the real master of your life’s path.  You know yourself best; so once you identify the direction you want to go, then go grow!  Many people find a way to get education (degree or certificate), and some even find ways to volunteer to gain the experiences they want.  For ideas on how to gain some volunteer experiences that will enhance your career, you can read this article from Forbes. For those who specifically want to gain certification for their restaurant management career, we’ve included this link to some information that should be helpful.  Once you decide what to do, just begin to do it.  The ways will open for you after those first few steps.  Avoid becoming stagnant unless you want to attract mosquitoes.  Move to make progress.     

We think Socrates said something pretty profound centuries ago that still has great significance today.  He said, “Let him who would move the world first move himself.” 

Want to read more career advice?  We’ve written other articles like this one regarding finding your “happy” elsewhere.  If you know others who would find these readings helpful, please share it with them.  We are happy to help!

TAGS: Career Advice, Career Path, hiring manager

Why Do You Have Unprofessional Voicemail Instructions?

Right now, if a recruiter or hiring manager were to dial your phone number and be instructed to leave you a voicemail, what would be heard?  If you are using any one of these examples below, let’s talk about it:

  1. “Hey, you know what to do!” BEEP
  2. “I’m not at home right now, but…(321 words later).” BEEP
  3. Loud Music Only; (heavy metal, country, hip-hop, orchestra, etc.) BEEP
  4. Celebrity Voice; “Here’s an Offer You Can’t Refuse –  leave me your number, or else!” BEEP
  5. Cartoon Voice; “Helluuuuu, boys and girls! Leave me a message!” BEEP
  6. Multiple Family-Member Voices; “Hi, this is Jen, and this is Matt, and this is…(list continues down through the sounds of the baby gurgling)..” BEEP
  7. “This is Bob, I’m not a slob, I want a job, don’t be a snob; leave a message!” BEEP
  8. Profanity; “#+&$68%@1##” BEEP

Unprofessional Voicemail Instructions | AGI Hospitality Recruiting When you’re a job seeker, your voicemail instructions must be professional.  This goes in conjunction with having a professional email address and answering the phone in a professional manner.  This is part of the three-pronged strategy that you need to balance the entire “professional you.”  It will take a conscience effort to make sure that you are increasing the odds in your favor, and not being “passed over” simply because of any negative first impressions.

These are two examples of a professional voicemail message:

  1. “Hello.  You have reached Sarah at 555.555.5555.  I’m sorry that I am missing your call.  Please leave me a detailed message, and I’ll be sure to return you call as soon as I can.  Thank you.”
  1. “Hello.  You have reached 555.555.5555.  Your call is important to me, so please leave me a detailed message so I can return your call. Thank you.”

The two main points of your voicemail instruction message is 1) to help the caller confirm that the correct number was dialed, and 2) that they only have to wait just a few seconds to hear the BEEP that will prompt them to leave a voicemail.

Keep it simple, quick, and precise.  Pay attention to how your voice will sound to the caller.  Are you speaking too fast, too slurred, or too incoherent?  Decide on three sentences you will say on your voicemail instruction and practice speaking it until it sounds professional and like a natural speech pattern.  Remember:  the voicemail instruction isn’t to display how cute or clever you are – the purpose is to invite others to leave a voicemail so you can call them back.  If you are hearing more hang-up-clicks when you retrieve your voicemail rather than actual voicemails, then that could be the hint you need to consider why that is happening.

Do you have other professional voicemail instruction ideas that you are using that you would like to share?  We’re interested in hearing about them!  Comment on this post, or email us at recruitment@agimanagement.com .

TAGS: hiring manager, job seeker, recruiter

Answer the Phone Professionally

Mark’s phone rings.  It wakes him up from a cozy deep nap in the middle of the day.  He’s not quick-minded yet, but he answers his phone anyway.

Mark: (groggy voice) Hello, uh, hello? Yeah?

Caller: Hello, is this Mark Smith?

Mark:  Ah, yeah, it’s me, uh, Mark.  Smith, Mark Smith.

Caller:  This is Bob Jones with 123HireMe.  Is this a good time to talk, or did I catch you at a bad time?

Mark:  Uh, no, man.  This is a good time.  I just woke up, so I’m, uh, hold on a minute…

Caller:  Sure.

Mark: (noises, coughing, dog barking in the background) Okay. Who is this again?

Caller: Bob Jones with 123HireMe.  I am looking at your resume, and I wanted to talk to you about the opportunity that…

Mark: (interrupting) What?  You got my resume?

Caller: Yes.  I see that you have experiences in…

Mark:  (interrupting again) Where?

Caller: Pardon?

Mark:  Where did you get my resume?

Caller:  Well, you posted it on GetaJobNow.

Mark:  Oh.  Man, that was a while ago. Uh, what do you need?

Caller:  It sounds like I’ve caught you at an inconvenient time today.  I can call you back, if you’d like.

Mark: Well, okay.  Or I can call you?  Hold on a minute.  (more sounds, irritable phone static, mumbling) Just looking for something to write with here.  Uh, hold on, okay?

Caller:  No rush on that, Mark.  I’ll just call you back at a better time.

Mark:  Well, if you want.

Caller:  Thanks, Mark.  Bye now.

Answer Your Phone Professionally | Top 5 Strategies | AGI Hospitality Recruiting

Comical, isn’t it?  More like a sad comedy, because chances are the Caller will probably not make it a priority to call Mark back any time soon.  Mark already made his very first impression when he answered the phone and attempted to communicate.  The Caller is left with the assumption that Mark isn’t really a serious job seeker.  Of course, Mark could be a very serious job seeker; but if so, Mark would have decided ahead of time to allow the call to go into his voicemail so he could return the call when he was wide awake and ready to talk about a job opportunity.

Anna is out with her friends eating lunch, and her phone rings.  She answers it.

Anna: Hello? Shhh… you guys! Hello?

Caller:  Is this Anna Sanders?

Anna:  Yes, this is Anna. Shhh… hey, you guys… I’m on the phone, be quiet!

Caller:  This is Bob Jones with 123HireMe.  Is this a good time to talk a little bit about your resume?

Anna:  Yes, it is!  I’m just eating lunch with my friends.  Go ahead.

Caller:  Sounds like you’re busy.  I’d like to call you back if I could.

Anna:  No, no, no.  It’s fine.  Go ahead. Shh… give me a pen, somebody! (sounds of giggles and more sushing from Anna’s friends)

Caller:  Okay.  Your resume indicates that you’re interested in…

Anna:  (interrupts) I didn’t hear you.  Can you repeat that?  Hello, are you there?

Caller:  Yes, I’m here.  Anna, I think I’ll call you back.

Anna:  No, really, go ahead.  I can hear you now.

What do you think the Caller did next?  Speak louder?  Speak slower?  Unintentionally hit the call-end button?  If you were the Caller, what would be your first impression of Anna?

Take to heart this wisdom nugget:  When you are a serious job seeker, it is vital that you answer your phone from a recruiter or potential hiring manager when you are in the best situation possible to communicate effectively.  You cannot do that when you are suddenly awakened, when the dog is barking or the baby is crying, when you are driving, or when you are in a very noisy place.  It’s best to decide ahead of time to allow such important calls to go into your voicemail and not risk making a bad first impression.  It is a gamble to answer the phone when something is competing for your complete attention.  The Caller can tell if you are “connected” to the conversation or not.  Of course, if you are qualified enough for that job and the Caller really wants to talk to you no matter what, it’s your decision if you are willing to roll the dice and answer regardless of where you are or what you are doing.

Consider doing these TOP FIVE strategies as you plan to make your first impression over the phone with your potential new boss:

  1. Make it Rule #1 that you will not answer the phone unless you are in a quiet and stress-free place, and let your family/friends understand that too.
  2. Only answer the phone if you have a solid ten minutes to devote to a surprise unexpected phone interview opportunity.
  3. Answer the phone if you are ready to talk about your job-search goals and what you included in your resume.
  4. If you are in the middle of a bad mood or in the car driving, let the call go into voicemail.
  5. If you are eating with family or friends, excuse yourself to a quiet area before you answer the phone.

Remember:  Rewind is NOT an option!  You might be given the chance for a Start-Over, but why risk that in the event that you aren’t?

Need some help in this area?  We can help you!  Email us at recruitment@agimanagement.com with your questions, and we’ll be happy to help you find a solution!

TAGS: hiring manager, Interview, recruiter

Career Advice about Sinking and Syncing

Your Career is not sinking | AGI Hospitality RecruitingWhy sink when you can be in-sync instead?  It’s all about how you hear and feel that homonym!

Homonyms are really interesting – two (and three) words can sound the same when spoken, and even spelled the same at times; but sounding and spelling alike doesn’t always guarantee they have the same meaning.  For example, will I sale a boat, or will I sail a boat?  My sail boat can be for sale, but my sale of the sail boat doesn’t have to be a good sale on the sail.  I can sell the boat, but I cannot cell the boat. The heel of my foot is not the same as how my foot’s heel will heal if I hurt it.  Should I ax or ask my brother about how he acts at my friend’s house? See how interesting homonyms can be?

Now let’s think about the words sink and sync.  If you through or threw (witch or which one?)  your sink in the ocean, it certainly would sink to the bottom!  You can wash your hands in the sink, but not in the sync.  However, you can wash your hands in-sync with your friend who is also washing his hands in the sink if you both do every motion together exactly the same – like a shadow is in-sync with you, or synchronized dancers are doing the same motions simultaneously as one body is performing.  By now, you are probably wondering why we are talking about homonyms here, right?  Well, we have a reason for this, so keep reading:

Many Restaurant Managers who are job seekers today feel like they are sinking rather than being in-sync with the job market.  If you are unsure about the future of the hospitality industry, hesitant to take action that will direct you to a better job with an improved quality of life, and trying to survive in an environment that isn’t your best-fit.  These aspects are certainly the culprit to why you feel as if your career path is sinking.

Instead, you would rather be in-sync with your career path.  What would that mean to you?  Perhaps it

Be in-Sync!

means that you want to network with others who know Restaurant Hiring Managers and their hiring needs for new managers; perhaps it comes in the form of relieving you of the pressures of knowing the best way to get your foot in the door and then knowing how to follow-through with each advancing step; and perhaps it feels like you are in control of your career-path’s destiny and your quality of life improves beyond your current circumstances.

In short, you will feel as if you are sinking when you are not in-synch with who is looking for someone like you with your skills to manager their restaurant.  Yes, you are being sought after for your skillsets and experience – the problem is that you don’t know who is looking for you, and they don’t know that you are looking for them!

If you have identified yourself as one whose career path appears to be sinking, we can offer you some hope!  We can help that sinking feeling reverse itself by serving as the bridge between you and your next career opportunity as a Restaurant Manager!  We are able to do this because we have successful partnerships with great companies that are looking for talented management professionals who can join their team and hit the ground running.  Smooth transitions like this are important so operations can still move efficiently without any hick-ups when a new manager is hired.  When restaurant patrons are unaware that a new manager has been brought on board, it’s really quite an achievement because there are no noticeable cracks that disrupt or threaten the dining experience.  While it’s very true that you can find your new job on your own without the help of a Restaurant Management recruiting agency, there are opportunities that you are missing because they are not posted to the general public.  Working with a recruiting agency, particularly one that specializes in an industry, will boost your resources for finding that best-fit job that belongs on your career path.

Let us know how we can help you get in-sync with what you need as a Restaurant Manager on the move!

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TAGS: hiring manager, job seekers, Restaurant Manager