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The Benefits of Conducting Thorough Interviews Before Hiring Staff for Your Coffee Shop

  • 7 min read

Key Benefits of Conducting Thorough Interviews Before Hiring Cafe Staff

Cafe and coffee shop owners are pretty busy people. So when it comes to hiring new staff it is common for some to take a few shortcuts when recruiting new team members for their cafe business.

However conducting thorough interviews before hiring staff for your cafe or coffee shop is an important step in building a strong team that can support the growth and success of your business. By taking the time to carefully evaluate potential candidates, you can ensure that you are hiring the best fit for your business and improving your chances of success.

The last thing you want is your new hire to do a few days of work and then never show up again, or for them to instantly upset your best staff.

When you take your time to conduct thorough interviews, ring references and check what candidates share on social media, you are protecting your business reputation and brand.

3 Reasons Why Your Cafe Business Needs You to Recruit Well

1. Identify the best person to work for your business

First of all, you need to remember that most people are on their very best behaviour during the interview process. They will be well spoken, well dressed, cover tattoos, take out any extra earrings and generally be polite.

Sadly, this may not continue after they are hired, so it’s important to be prepared if you want to hire a great new employee. Thorough interviews and being well prepared for interviewing can help you identify the candidates who are the best fit for your business with their skills, experience, and personality.

Make sure to ask questions that get them to problem solve a challenging situation to find out how they might think about fixing problems when there isn’t a supervisor around.

2. Improve team cohesion and employee retention

Hiring employees who are the are a good fit for your business help improve employee retention by hiring someone that can work well with your other employees. Reducing the likelihood that they or other team members will leave your business prematurely.

Take the time to carefully evaluate candidates and ensure that they will be a good fit for your cafe culture. That way when they start working they are adding to the vibe, culture and your cafe’s brand.

3. Keep customer services standards high

By hiring employees who are well-suited to your business, you can also enhance customer satisfaction by ensuring that they continue receiving the high-quality of service your coffee shop provides.

Customers keep returning to your cafe for the people in your business as well as the coffee, food, drinks, convenience etc. So it is important to hire employees who are friendly, helpful, and professional when dealing with your customers, as well as fit the culture and reputation you are building for your business.

12 Key Actions Needed to Conduct Thorough Interviews when Hiring Cafe Staff

There are 4 phases to great hiring – preparation, interviewing, selection, recruitment.

Interview Preparation

  1. Determine your staffing needs: The first step in conducting thorough interviews is to determine your coffee shop’s staffing needs. This will help you identify the types of employees you need to hire, the skills and qualifications they should have, how many hours/days they will employed for, what rate of pay and “perks” or benefits they could be offered and when they might need to start.
  2. Develop a list of questions: Once you have determined your staffing needs, the next step is to develop a list of questions that will help you assess the skills, experience, and personality of your candidates. These questions should be relevant to the role you are hiring for. You might also want to consider testing their skills – making a coffee, cleaning a table or anything else.
  3. Prepare for all phases of hiring: Have the questions you want to ask references pre-prepared, get all your new employee paperwork and forms ready, have emails drafted for telling unsuccessful candidates that they didn’t get the job, make yourself a check list of the training and important things for them to know and do during their first few weeks.

Interviewing Candidates

  1. Be professional: As the person leading the interview, make sure you won’t be interrupted with phone calls, customers, suppliers or anything else. Have the questions you want to ask printed out or on your laptop, so that you won’t forget to ask anything. Scan through the persons resume before you meet them to refresh yourself about why you chose to see this person.
  2. Listen more. Talk less: The candidate is here to persuade you that they are the right person for your job. It’s time for them to talk more than you, so that you get a chance to listen for anything they say that could suggest that they won’t work well with you and your team.
  3. Evaluate candidates: During the interview process, it is important to carefully evaluate each candidate by reviewing their resume, asking specific questions, and assessing their responses. It is also helpful to ask for references you can later follow up with to get additional insights on the candidate’s skills and experience.

Selecting a New Employee

  1. Review your notes: If you made simple interview scoring points for things like appearance, skills and likeability, you can use these to pick out your favourite candidates. Go back over any typed or written notes you took during the actual interview and remove from your short list anyone that won’t fit.
  2. Reference check: Why ask for references if you’re not going to ring or email them to check a candidate? Due to discrimination laws there may be some questions you can’t ask, so make sure you are asking things people can tell you about. Wait until you’ve got everyone’s references before making a final decision. You might take this time to check out what each candidate shares on social media too.
  3. Communicate your decision clearly: Talk to your best candidate first to make sure they are still available before letting others know they didn’t get the job. Make sure you tell everyone who was interviewed whether they got the job or not.

Recruiting Your New Hire

  1. Ready with paperwork: These days there’s quite a bit of paperwork needed for employing staff, from bank accounts to superannuation fund details. Put all the forms together so that you can easily given them the printed version or the links to the online ones.
  2. Set expectations: Share your business goals and mission with new employees so that they understand what it is that everyone is trying to achieve. Be as transparent as possible. Explain what each expectation is and how you came up with it. Then, share the roadmap for how they and the team is going to meet and exceed the expectation.
  3. First day on-boarding: Have a checklist of things you do for each new hire on their first day. Setting expectations, introductions to the team, “administrivia” and paperwork, familiarisation with equipment related to their tasks, etc.

By following incorporating steps into your process, you can conduct thorough interviews before hiring staff for your cafe or coffee shop and improve your chances of hiring the best fit for your business. It is important to review and update your interview processes to ensure that you are attracting and retaining the best talent for your business.

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