(The following is the third of a four-part series on recruitment strategies and tactics recently used by Madison+Main for our clients. Over the last three months, Madison+Main has been supercharging recruitment campaigns. The results have been amazing. Hope you find it useful.)
With almost one in five U.S. restaurants closing permanently due to COVID-19 (and subsequent government restrictions), one might think that there are plenty of cooks, servers, and hospitality staff across the country, just waiting to be hired. #CoughCough Um, no. The reality is, that many of these former food service folks left to take jobs in other sectors. Others stayed home for safety concerns and some “sat on the sidelines,” taking extended unemployment and stimulus checks as opposed to paychecks. Many folks stayed home to take care of kids or aging parents because schools and other facilities closed.
There are many contributing factors to the current labor crunch, but the hospitality industry has been hit the hardest. Recent billboards promising higher wages (Burger King pays $15/hour in some markets) and sign-on bonuses (Wawa briefly paid $500 to every new hire) were signs of a desperate shortage of human capital.
As an owner of two restaurants, I know the struggle has been real. Early in 2021, the Texas Inn relied on help from Madison+Main for our help wanted needs. We replaced Indeed listings with Facebook ads and the results were impressive. Of 11 new hires in 2021, 10 came from Facebook, and only one from Indeed.
We took some of these lessons and applied them in the fall for our client Williamsburg Landing. The peninsula has historically had trouble filling hourly roles, but in October things looked dire for the Life Plan Community.
M+M created targeted ads for Google and Facebook and then created a customized landing page for dishwashers, servers, and line cooks. The ads ran for five weeks, getting astounding results. The Google and Facebook ads had more than 1 million impressions and drove 1,400+ job seekers to the landing page. The results? 13 new hires in 28 days. #WhoopWhoop
Lesson: Is your company spending money on sign-on bonuses for new employees or do you think a few bucks spent on creative recruitment marketing might work better?