Guest Blog Post By: Jillian Maxwell, Corvirtus
Back-of-house positions are often referred to as heart-of-house – and for a very good reason. They are central to your operations – without the “heart”, there would be nothing to support the life of your restaurant.
In our first blog of this series, we addressed the 5 Essential Qualities for FOH Hiring – and now we will take a look at the core competencies (qualities, behaviors, and personality traits) you should assess in BOH candidates to ensure smooth and consistent operations:
- Ability to Multi-Task and Follow Directions – Back-of-house positions, whether a cook or dish washer, need to be able to move quickly through different stations or tasks – oftentimes juggling multiple demands at one time. For many positions, these tasks require the employee to simply follow directions, including taking direction well and following standards and procedures (or in some cases, recipes). Screening a candidate’s ability to efficiently complete multiple tasks through an assessment or structured interview, is a strong predictor of on-the-job success.
- Attention to Detail – Detail-orientation is key to success and a consistent guest experience. Even though they may not interact directly with guests, BOH employees who have a drive to care for guests and who want to bring their best each day, positively influence the guest experience – and the bottom line. Whether it is a dish washer ensuring the dishes and silverware are spotless, a cook carefully following the precautions needed to comply with a dietary restriction, or a chef plating a dish perfectly, it’s the little details that make a big difference.
- Team Orientation – Great people want to work on great teams. Building teams of people who will pitch in and do whatever it takes, starts with who you hire. From helping a team member who is struggling with a new task, to stepping in to help someone in the weeds without being asked, a team member with a “we before me” attitude will consistently think about how their actions can move the entire team forward.
- Resilience Under Pressure – Restaurants, in general, are fast-paced environments. For BOH positions, this could mean the line receiving thirty tickets at once or dish keeping up with a flood of dishes on a busy night. The variations in volume throughout a shift, as well as managing multiple demands from multiple people, can be extremely stressful. Given this, it is important that your BOH employees can keep calm and maintain a positive attitude, even in stressful situations.
Although this is not an exhaustive list of the qualities a candidate needs to be successful – if you focus on identifying these four things in candidates, you have a higher probability of selecting a quality hire.
3 Ways to Assess Candidates
There are three main ways to assess whether or not a candidate has these characteristics: 1) hiring assessments, 2) structured interviews, and 3) timed, in-person tests.
Hiring assessments are tools that identify and assess a candidate’s skills, abilities, personality, and other qualities necessary for success in a certain role. The main types of assessments are personality and fit, situational, and ability. These assessments can be completed online with the application, giving you more information about candidates before investing in time-intensive hiring techniques.
Structured interviews measure a candidate’s potential to perform on the job through standardized questions and scoring. Information gained from the assessment can be used in the interview – allowing you to confirm, and better understand, strengths and opportunities.
Timed, in-person tests can include tasks that need to be performed simultaneously and within a set time limit. As an example, Corvirtus BOH Skills Test includes two separate tasks: 1) building a block model and 2) putting together an axle and gear set. During this test, the candidate must switch between these two tasks every thirty seconds – and must complete both models within a set amount of time. This particular test assesses a candidate’s ability to multi-task, follow directions, and remain calm under pressure.
Besides being able to accurately assess for the 4 essential qualities for BOH performance, assessments and interviews will:
- Improve your odds of making a quality hire: someone who performs, fits your culture and model of service, and stays with your company
- Increase fairness by reducing bias as candidates are evaluated consistently to the same standards
- Allow managers to confidently and accurately compare candidates
- Provide legal defensibility
Ready to take your hiring process to the next level? Ask Compeat about adding hiring assessments to your Compeat Hire platform and click here to download your free structured interview guide for all restaurant positions. To learn more about Compeat Hire be sure to sign up for an upcoming product demonstration webinar.