As I’m sure you’re painfully aware, it’s hard to find good kitchen staff. As your company grows, the need to hire more sous chefs, cooks, dish washers and other staff becomes more apparent. You’ve worked so hard to be at a point where you can afford to hire the staff, but to your disappointment you can’t seem to find any reliable, trustworthy and hard working kitchen staff worth adding to your team. I know the struggle.
Finding quality kitchen staff is always a battle, and I’ve used quite a bit of job sites over the years to get applicants coming my way. I wanted to share what some of those job sites were, but also what ultimately has helped me find kitchen staff who are going to stick around awhile and be a good gift for my company.
So first things first, here are the major job sites I’ve used and my results with each:
Indeed has been my “go-to” job site for years. The reason why is because it’s free and it never fails to bring in dozens of applications for me when I need it most. I’ll be honest, some of the applicants are a hit or miss (as with all applicants) but at least it delivers me applicants fast to at least consider. For the most part, the applicants are fairly good quality. You can set parameters for your job listing so they have to meet certain requirements before even applying. I always do this to sift through applicants a bit more.
I have hired a couple staff members over the years through Indeed and sometimes it worked out and other times it didn’t. I always suggest to my coaching clients to try this website first. What do you have to lose?
It costs about $45 to put up a local job listing on Craigslist for 30 days and it also brings in applicants pretty quick. However, the quality of the applicants are pretty low and I have yet to find someone who is worth hiring on here. You never know if you’ll hit a gem though so I typically run job ads on here anyway, but prepare to not be overly impressed by the majority of applicants you receive.
This was a job listing site that was recommended by some chef organizations I’m a part of. I have only used this once, so I’m not sure I can offer a real opinion on it yet, but from my experience so far I was not impressed. I paid $99 for a 30-day job listing that posted to a bunch of job sites for me. I thought it would save me time and bring in a plethora of new kitchen staff to choose from, but I got maybe 4 applicants. I was definitely disappointed in the results. The applicants I did get were mediocre so I can’t say they were even better than what you’d find on Craigslist.
I’d definitely give it another shot, but doesn’t seem worth the money.
This is one of my favorite job sites for chefs. It’s geared more toward restaurant chefs, but I was able to get a good number of applicants interested in a sous chef position at my meal delivery company. For about $49 for a 30-day listing, it brought me applicants daily and they were actually quality people too! I will definitely be using this site again whenever I need to find more kitchen staff. I didn’t end up hiring someone from there, but I have an impressive pool to draw from in case I need help in the future.
Meet a Chef
The way this platform is set up is not super user friendly. It’s more like a social network for chefs looking for jobs. I posted a job listing (and could not for the life of me find it again once I posted it!) and got some inquiries through personal messages on my profile (that’s how it works I guess). None of them really came to fruition and I’m not sure if I’d post on here again just because it wasn’t very easy to use. It was free though from what I remember so I can’t really complain.
As you can tell, some of these job sites are better than others and this has just been my experience with them over the years. Truth be told, I end up finding the BEST kitchen staff and new hires through referrals. Why does this work? Because they are coming recommended to you by someone you trust and already knows their reputation. It has been the easiest and best way to find people to add to my team.
So while posting on these job sites is a good idea, don’t just post it and wait for your unicorn applicant to come in. Post in some local chef groups that you’re a part of asking for referrals, ask some of your chef friends who own restaurants, etc. Use your community to help you and I promise you are bound to find someone great!