Rise in ‘All-Purpose’ Employees: Hiring for Foodservice & Retail in the Post-Quarantine Era

Now that most restaurants and shops are back in business, we’re witnessing another spike in labour demand for front-line workers – except in this time, it comes with a bit of a twist. In addition to rehiring employees that were lost at the beginning of COVID, entirely new positions created just for the post-quarantine era have also opened up.

List of in-demand roles and new job titles that emerged due to COVID:

  • Delivery drivers
  • Drive-thru workers
  • Sanitation captains
  • Food safety & health officers
  • Temperature screeners
  • Food runners for curbside pickups

Like any job, getting your workers to stay is a struggle many employers face. While turnover rates in the food service and retail industry have been notoriously high even before the pandemic, this number is expected to surge even more given the entire health situation going on. Because of this “new normal”, you can’t expect the same results by sticking to old conventional practices. A bit of a spoiler alert here – your hiring is going to be very different.

Spice Things Up with Hiring Technology

Introducing pre-employment assessments to your foodservice or retail hiring may seem like overkill especially when the industry naturally values quantity over quality. But seeing how we’ve all assimilated so quickly into a digital-oriented world (or should I call it the “Zoom era”), it’s definitely worthwhile to consider what HR technology can do to improve your hiring challenges.

In food service and retail, what we’re seeing right now is an upsurge in hiring all-purpose employees to do multiple roles at a time. For example, some waiters these days are required to also do temperature screening and perform sanitizing work. With new job descriptions, come new candidate requirements. Aside from making job titles broader, the benchmark you use for evaluating retail candidates will likely change as well. So, how exactly does a pre-employment assessment fit in this scenario?

How Pre-Hiring Tests Fit in This Scenario

Whatever your ideal front-line worker may look like, we have the hiring science to help exclusively map it against your candidates. Let me explain. To assess a candidate’s capability to multitask, a comprehensive test measuring both cognition and personality allows recruiters to explore relevant characteristics such as reactivity, flexibility, and the ability to solve problems. In other words, you can find out if the person likes variety in their work; whether they’re organized and likely to follow instructions; or how they approach work pressures and demands. We then take these results and place them against your new retail benchmark that’s tailored to the post-quarantine era. As straightforward as it is, the more matches you find, the better fit the candidate is.

Hiring in the foodservice and retail world can feel like a never-ending loop with or without a recruitment tool; it’s just how the industry works in general. So let’s at least do what we can to simplify and refine this process while aiming for the best employment outcome possible – shall we?