When hiring employees for your coffee business, it is important to select individuals that will be able to contribute to your success. In reality, you will be dependent upon your employees to generate the profits you desire, and to provide you with the freedom of time to enjoy your life. Strive to hire reasonably mature, intelligent, dynamic, energetic people, who possess a positive attitude. You can always teach someone how to make coffee drinks or work a cash register, but it is next to impossible to teach them how to have a strong work ethic or a good personality!
First, it is important to identify the qualities that will be essential when considering someone for a particular employment position. For example, if you are looking for a cashier, realize that this will be the person who will have the first, and perhaps only interaction with your customers. In essence, they will be the “face” of your business. So, some important things to look for in an interview with candidates for this position are: Do they make eye contact? Are they pleasant? Do they smile? Do they like people? Are they articulate, do they converse well? How is their appearance? Do they put their attention on others before themselves?
What about if you are looking to hire a barista? Because this person will also be in view of, and have interaction with your customers, you certainly won’t want them to wear a “lemon face.” However, their sociability probably won’t be as important as their ability to make perfect drinks in rapid succession. Are they detail oriented? Do they have good eye-hand coordination? Are they quick thinkers, and do they have good mental retention? Are they neat and organized? Can they handle stress? These are the traits that will typically be necessary for someone to be a good barista.
So, before we discuss how you might go about determining if an employment candidate possesses the desirable characteristics you’re seeking, let’s talk about the hiring process in general. The first thing to do is to place an advertisement. “Craig’s List,” local employment websites, and the “help wanted” section of your local newspaper are probably the most viable places to advertise for potential employees.
Word your ad so that it appears to present an “opportunity,” as opposed to a plea for bodies! Consider titling your ad with something like, “Learn a New Culinary Art, Be an Espresso Professional,” or “Get into the Hottest Segment of Food Service, Learn the Specialty Coffee Business;” as opposed to, “Wanted – Cashiers.” This enhanced terminology should be appealing to the type of person who is looking for something new, different, or better; (instead of someone who is merely satisfied to work at a minimum wage fast food job).
Next, try to weed out the people that do not posses the desirable qualities you’re looking for, by writing an ad that will discourage them from applying in the first place. You can accomplish this by including in your ad all the characteristics you are seeking in the ideal candidate, such as: “must have an immaculate appearance, must love people, must be a perfectionist, must love work, must thrive under pressure.” If someone who is reading your ad finds some of these requirements to be intimidating, or undesirable, it may lead them to conclude that your job opportunity doesn’t sound very appealing. That’s Good! After all, why waste their time or yours if they are not going to be a good fit to what will be required to help you succeed?
Finally, I like to conclude my ad text by including an instruction like, “please call for an interview https://www.thewhitevanwedding.com/wedding-car-hire appointment between 3PM and 5PM on Friday, April 29th.” The reason for doing this is twofold. First, it will prevent interested persons from calling you during all hours of the day and night, for days or weeks to come. It will also allow you to dedicate a limited block of time to take phone calls, set up appointments, and conduct some preliminary screening. Most important, it provides a test to see if potential candidates can follow instructions. For example, if someone calls you at noon to make an interview appointment, you will immediately understand that they can’t follow instructions; (be sure get their name and make a note so you will remember this person when they show up for their interview).
When you set up your appointment sheet for your first day of interviews, allow only 5 minute increments between each candidate. I know this doesn’t sound like much time, but the only purpose of this first interview is to conduct some basic, preliminary screening to see if you desire to have a more in depth interview with each candidate.
My first experience in conducting a mass hiring was when I worked in the corporate restaurant industry many years ago. I’ll never forget when the the director of human resources from the corporate office came to help me with the employee hiring for a new store opening. He told me that this first interview’s purpose was to determine only one thing: “animal, mineral, or vegetable.” I thought this was a rather harsh and rude way of referring to potential employment candidates, until I experienced the mass of humanity that came for interviews over the following days. After all, if someone has a tattoo of a swastika on their forehead, a lime green Mohawk, a safety pin through their nose, and they reek of body odor, how much time do you really need to spend with that person?