Problem: I’m looking to convert an old post office in Jesmond Dene, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, into a first class patisserie, and am looking for a supremely skilled pastry chef to run it with. I’m aware that logistics can be problematic, and that my requirements are lofty, so how do I go about finding a French master patissier, or pastry chef trained to a similar level? - Yvonne Compton, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
Solution: Attracting the right people into your organisation is vital for success, especially for a small start-up in a specialist market like patisserie, where certain skills and experience are required.
Getting the right fit will really make the difference to your business’ success. More than ever, it’s vital to attractively present your organisation and the job package that you are offering. Ensure that any job adverts that you place (on or off line) are well written, honest and give potential applicants a good insight into the company and what the job will entail. A high quality advertisement will be relevant, to the point and create desire. You need to make your message clear and your organisation stand out: What exciting opportunities can you offer someone looking to join your business? What’s unique about you and the market in Jesmond Dene?
Recruiting an individual with the right values and mind-set for your organisation, and the role, is a must. Psychometric tools such as Inventory for Work Attitude & Motivation (iWAM) are a really cost-effective way to gain a more rounded understanding of applicants’ key strengths, weaknesses, motivators and learning styles. Obviously you should not rule people out purely on the basis of a psychometric profile but they are very beneficial in increasing your awareness and understanding of people. Once you’ve found the right applicant, this information will also help you to induct them into the workplace smoothly and effectively. Since this finding the right person is critical to the success of your venture, you may wish to consider using a specialist recruitment consultancy – it may seem expensive but worth it if you find the right fit.
If applicants are required to re-locate it might be worth offering a re-location bonus for the right candidate. This is an attractive proposition and will aid the employee’s transition. However, not offering one is unlikely to be a deal-breaker. Surveys suggest that fewer than 15 per cent of employers are using relocation bonuses as incentives. From our experience of working with hospitality organisations, around talent management and recruitment issues, when somebody decides to take a job it is rarely just about the money.
Above all, today’s employee wants to be valued, recognised and motivated. As such, communication is vital to engage and retain good people. Your organisation’s ability, and desire, to do this should be highlighted from the off-set in advertisements, interviews and correspondence. You want to show potential applicants that you are the kind of organisation that truly values its people and that they should aspire to work with you as a result.
An expert master pattisier may expect some equity in your business and/ or a profit share so work out a bonus plan that suits you and your business and is fair to your employee. Our recommendation is that you make this target related so your star employee can earn more benefit as you progress your journey together.
Finally, little details can make a big difference too and they don’t need to cost much or take much of your time. For instance providing interested applicants with information about the local area and offering to put them in touch with relevant people (e.g. estate agents, schools) will offer a fantastic first impression of your business and the local people in general.