Putting the Human Touch back in Chef Recruitment

For roles like Head Chefs, Sous Chefs and CDPs, it can be difficult to recruit in high numbers.

These types of candidates want a recruiter who understands their expertise and knows the right questions to ask. They don’t want to be asked the same questions as front of house team members; their role is often more niche and specialist. Instead, it’s important to treat each candidate individually.

We recently refreshed our chef recruitment process and are already seeing the benefits. By reintroducing one-to-one interviews with our thorough culinary expert, we’ve seen chefs reengage with the process and show genuine enthusiasm about getting back into the kitchen! Refreshing our process has given us 4 key takeaways.

The human touch works

Having genuine one-to-one conversations with chefs has proven invaluable to us in recent months. Two-way interviews allow both recruiters and candidates to determine if they are the right fit for the company. It means chefs can ask specific questions about the roles and environments they could be working in and gives recruiters the chance to gauge their enthusiasm and expertise.

Tailored process generates excitement

Having a process that is tailored specifically for chef recruitment can create excitement amongst applicants about the roles they’ll be working. You can ask venue specific questions that will increase their enthusiasm for the role. It also makes it easy for you to keep on top of recruitment admin. Not to mention how much easier it makes doing background and experience checks. You can ask chefs to upload their relevant qualifications as they go through the process, so you don’t have to do any of the chasing.

Specific probing questions are the way forward

While generic interview questions, such as “Why do you think you would be a good fit for this company and this position?” are important, by asking specific questions about cooking techniques and methods you can immediately identify if they are as qualified as they say they are. It also gives the chefs a certain level of respect for the person interviewing them as they will appreciate you know their field and skill level. Some examples of specialised probing questions you could ask a chef include “What is an example of a springtime menu you would prepare?”, “How do you test the quality of your ingredients?” and “Describe your knowledge of food safety.”

Chefs have missed doing what they love

It’s been a long old year for the hospitality sector. After speaking to a range of chefs across the UK, it’s clear to us that they have missed working in the kitchen and doing what they love. Many chefs have had to retrain in different fields while the hospitality industry has lay dormant, but now there is a demand for chefs again, they are ready and rearing to go to help the industry get back to its full capacity.

There are chefs out there, ready to work, they just need that old school human touch to get them working!

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