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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

For a Happier Career Transition, Hire a Hugger!

Last week, I had a conversation with a candidate who was very honest with me about his frustrations regarding his career search.  He said very bluntly, “You recruiters – there are a lot of you, and most are not very good or respectful.”  I was initially surprised by his assertion, but then I found myself in a much more compassionate place with his frustration because I actually agree with him!

The fact is, most recruiters are so task-driven, they fail to remember that they are dealing with people who are trying to make one of the most important decisions in their lives!  Changing jobs is very stressful, and this stress can be compounded when a job seeker has to work with disrespectful recruiters who don’t follow-up with them or give false expectations of how they will help.

When I first started my career in the recruiting business, I had an energized, full-fledged, sincere desire to help everyone.  And I mean Every One!  I wanted to get everyone I talked with a new job that would increase their family’s livelihood.  While my personal motives have not changed, I am now more realistic by understanding that I can’t find everyone a new job all of the time —  especially because the job needs to be the best-fit for them and for the employer.  Our core responsibility is to find the right Happier Career Transition, Hire a Hugger | AGI Hospitality Recruiting candidates for the jobs we have to fill; otherwise, we would not be a valuable service to either our clients or the job seekers who depend upon us to help them find a better career.

For this reason, we know that our communications with each job seeker must be honest, respectful, and transparent so accurate expectations can be clear.  For example, if we can find you a new job, then great — let’s do it!  But more importantly, if we can’t find you a new job, it is best for everyone to be very truthful and recognize that a best-fit career match will not happen right now.  It’s very possible that we could help you in the near future with another opportunity that will be better suited for you; and if that’s the case, we would certainly want to reconnect.  This direct and truthful communication is imperative to ensure we are avoiding any misconceptions that would mislead a job seeker.  The job seeker understands that we are not leaving them hanging and waiting unnecessarily for immediate results.  It boils down to respecting each person’s specific and unique career goals.

Early on in my career as a recruiter, I was haunted by the way my profession had been labeled as a “head- hunter.”  After all, it’s not an appealing image, and it still strikes me as a negative term that does not sum up the spirit of what we do.  I have never hunted a head in my life, and I know for a certainty that I never will!  Hunting implies tactical maneuvers such as stealth tracking, hidden trappings, sly approaches, and deadly decoys.  Frankly, I think this term was probably created by job seekers who found themselves working with recruiters who made them feel tracked and trapped.  Recruiters who lack respect for a job seeker’s career health and well-being will definitely give the impression of being hunters.   My solution to this unfortunate labeling is to put forth a bigger effort to reflect the integrity of how we do business, as well as demonstrate our great respect for every individual we serve.  Regardless of whether or not we can help everyone find a new career, I consider myself, and all of the recruiters at AGI, to be Head-Huggers!  That’s the real nature of what we do as qualified professionals within the hospitality industry!  We embrace each job seeker with genuine hopes to help!  Our tactics include honesty, respect, and mentorship.

If you are a recruiter reading my conviction, please be encouraged!  You already know that success as a recruiter is about managing your time and tasks.  But what you need to remember is this; the best way to perform every part of your job is to have a deeper respect for each job seeker who comes to you for help.  Be truthful and forward so your candidates will have the correct and realistic expectations.  If we all work harder to accomplish this each and every time, we can change the perception of our industry! Working together as a whole, we can abandon the negative connotations of head-hunter forever.

If you are a job seeker, we ask that you hold us to this value.  Anything less than hospitable is unacceptable to me.  If, at any point, you believe that a recruiter here at AGI isn’t warmly welcoming you or respecting you, please contact me directly at john@agimangement.com .  Your concerns will remain confidential.

We wholeheartedly view our work as a ministry, and we feel called to help others through their career transition.  We hope we can consistently portray this belief and be a positive role within the marketplace.

TAGS: Career Advice, Career Path, Customer Needs, Customer Service, job seeker

Select Your Direction

“Which way should I go?”  This is the classic quandary that spans across the ages by every walk of life at various stages in life. Since we do spend the majority of our lives as working adults, it’s very important to know within ourselves in which direction we will go to find a successful career path.  The beauty is that we never have to stick with a decision that we made about a career ten or 20 years ago – we can change directions when we discover that small voice inside that whispers, “When you love your work, it doesn’t feel like work.”  The trick is to figure out how you get from where you currently are to where you actually want to be.

Choose your path

Which Way Should I Go?

We can take a big hint from the wise, yet strange, Cheshire Cat who has a similar discussion in the book, Alice in Wonderland.  In the story when Alice finds herself roaming around in circles and feeling lost, she meets the Cheshire Cat and asks him about which way she should go.   The Cheshire Cat asks if she has a place in mind, and Alice answers that it really doesn’t matter.  The simplistically sensible Cheshire Cat advises her that if it really doesn’t matter where she goes, then it really doesn’t matter which way she goes.  We can view this advice as being shallow and insensitive to Alice’s immediate needs, or we can see it as a snippet of deep truth that Alice should heavily ponder before she takes one more step.  Watch this VIDEO: Alice Asks the Cheshire Cat Which Way to Go

Here are Five Strategies that can help you fix that dilemma:

  1. Define What Matters –Write down the factors you want from a great career.  Money should never be the sole focus and drive; your wallet may be full, but your quality of life could feel empty an unfulfilled.  Do you want challenges and growth, steadiness and routine, or be a part of the unknown and undiscovered possibilities?  Work-happiness has a meaning for each person, so find out what that means to you.
  2. Change Your Vantage Point — If you’ve ever been in a plane and looked out the window to see how tiny a big world can appear from a different vantage point, you can relate to how this changes your perspective.  What we know as being miles of road on the ground, the same roads are only inches from a bird’s-eye view. This is how you should look at your career path; step back (way, way back) to reveal more of the course you’ll need to take to get from point A to point B (and so forth) until you reach the point of your destination, which is the job in the career you really want and love.
  3. Chart Your Expected Chunks of Achievements – if the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step, then identify what that first step is for you.  Will it be more training, more education, a different environment, a better job in your industry of choice, or connecting with the right people that can help you move forward?   Seeing your goals spread out like blocks on a board game help you visualize your progress and what lies ahead that still must be done.
  4. Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan — rarely will a magic moment come along and suddenly place you smack-dab into the exact job you’ve always wanted.  While it’s very true that sometimes, as they say, “the stars will align” and everything falls into place, depending upon it will only lead to increased self-doubt and disappointment.  Your personal roadmap is your guide.  Mark each step of the way and celebrate the milestones!
  5. Share Your Progress with Others — a cheering squad can keep you on track and always motivate you to complete your journey along your career path.  Somebody who knows somebody else can tell another somebody else about your hard work.  Then the next thing you know, some stars begin to appear in alignment for you because you are actually participating in arranging the stars yourself!

And remember:  The Cheshire Cat didn’t make it easy for Alice.  Instead, he posed the likelihood that she would continue to wander around in wonderland if she didn’t know where she wanted to go.  Chasing a white rabbit was a spontaneous decision she made, and all through the story, she never knew where she was going.  Don’t let that happen to you along your career path!  Know where you want to go, and then you’ll know which way to go!

AGI Hospitality Recruiting can help you determine the right direction for you. Contact Us so we can begin the conversation!  We guarantee there are no white rabbit here!

TAGS: Career Advice, Career Path, job seeker, Management

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

Determining Your Best-Fit Job

Once a Hiring Manager selects your resume from among the hundreds or thousands of applicants, conducts a phone interview with you, then invites you to a face-to-face meeting to talk about the job, sometimes your excitement begins to wane when you realize that each next step will either be a chance to make it or break it.  Why is all of this necessary when your education, credentials, and job criteria have already been met successfully?  You are told that they want to find the best fit for the job.  Okay, you agree with that – but what exactly does it mean in their eyes?

Determing Your Best-Fit Job | AGI Hospitality RecruitingPerhaps if we put the best-fit concept within the same mindset that we use when we look for the appropriate pair of shoes, we might gain a deeper understanding of how Hiring Managers view it.  After all, one pair of shoes will not suffice for all occasions and purposes.  This is why closets overflow with them!  We have several pairs because sometimes we dress up, sometimes we play sports, and sometimes we lounge.

Let’s say you need a pair of shoes for a camping vacation.  As you walk into the shoe store, you see the large variety of footwear from which you will make your selection.  Does the campground environment call for a pair of flip-flops, tennis shoes, or high-heels?  If you plan on hiking, will a pair of rain boots be adequate?  What about a fuzzy pair of slippers or flat loafers?  Why not just go without shoes altogether and go barefoot?  If some of these suggestions caused a little chuckle, then that means you are beginning to relate to the verbiage best-fit in a work environment.  While we do admit that you can take along more than one type of footwear on a camping trip, we stand by the point that there is basically one specific type of shoe that will work the best in a rugged setting; and that is the hiking boot.  Why?  It’s because hiking boots support and protect the feet and ankles on uneven terrain, serve as a barrier between you and biting insects, scratchy and poisonous foliage, and surprised snake strikes.  Of course, if you are sitting around the campfire, you can change into footwear that is more comfortable; however, for the main purpose of the camping trip, the hiking boot will support you for the majority of each day’s activities.

Hiring Managers want to find the best-fit employee for their company culture.  Culture is the thing that is felt when you are there in the physical environment, how people treat each other, and the manner in which the workflow is done.  The company culture can be very quiet and slow-paced, very loud and fast-paced, very serious and structured, or very relaxed and non-structured.  This is a very short list, as there are countless combinations of elements to company cultures.  Each company has its very own uniqueness.  Actually, a large corporation could have its company culture defined; yet one location of that corporation can vary from another simply because personalities are distinctively different at every location.

At the stage when you will be evaluated as to whether or not you will be the best-fit for the job, Hiring Managers want to observe and determine if you can become part of their company’s dynamics.  If you are very shy and reserved, will you feel comfortable around very strong personalities?  If you are on the opposite end of that scale, will your overbearing tendencies be welcomed by the majority of very quiet employees?  If the company culture enforces strict policies and regulations, but you are the type of person who needs to be more creative and daring, will you find satisfaction or frustration at the company?  If the company is looking for an innovator, and you cannot tell the Hiring Manager about even one way that your idea made an improvement to a process, what will they conclude?

The only way that you can prove you are the best-fit for the company is to show up in-person and be yourself.  Hiring Managers already know the kind of employee they need, and they want to see if you are that exact person that will be right for the job.  Just like in the footwear examples, if they need hiking boots, they know that slippers will not do the job.  If they want flip-flops, they know that high-heels will cause issues that they don’t want.

It’s true that we all want to be the best-fit for the job; but the reality is that we cannot be the best-fit for every job.  In the event that you are not selected, you should not take it as personal rejection, but rather, they found another pair of footwear that fits better than you did at this exact point in time.  Take it in stride and know that you are the best-fit somewhere – finding it is the challenge.

Image Source: www.freedigitalphotos.net

TAGS: hiring manager, job seeker