Tips on Attracting Quality Employees

Operators discuss the challenges of finding quality employees—and offer up potential solutions.


Boston09: When I’m looking to hire, I post ads on Craigslist and get two replies! Even if I give the store’s phone number, no one calls. What’s the next step to get applicants? Should I promise a signup bonus? Post “help wanted” signs? Go to the local recreation department and see if any kids need more hours? Ask current employees? I’m just short of walking into my neighborhood grocery store and asking the register person if they need more hours elsewhere. What can I do to get help these days? I’m promising well above minimum wage, full-time or part-time, and a schedule of their choice. What else can I do? 


Steve: We just had a hiring event after not getting any real hits on Craigslist (also two replies and then no-shows for interviews). We hired seven of 11 people from the event, which was held about three weeks ago. We currently still have four of the hires. Two drivers have quit in the past week. They get minimum wage, a dollar per delivery and their tips. Typically, the daylight driver is pulling in $600 a week in just tips, yet they still quit. They either don’t want to work or feel as though they should be able to just work whenever they want. 

Paul7979: We ran an ad on and got a whole bunch of applications. It’s well worth a $20 ad to see if it brings you the same results it did for us.

Bodegahwy: We have had some luck with box toppers. We print a “help wanted” flyer and send them out on all the boxes. We have also had a lot of luck with targeted, promoted Facebook “help wanted” posts. I use the age feature to target the post to the age bracket I want to reach, set the geographic limit to commuting distance for this kind of job, include a picture of pizza or simply our logo, and describe the job. It costs more than Craigslist, but it puts the job in front of people who are not actually searching—and who might tell their friends. 

Pizzapiratespp: We switched to an online applicant tracking system about a year ago, and it has helped a lot. We get about 20 to 30 applications per week (we used to get only a couple). We use prescreening questions, which helps weed out bad fits. We currently have a waiting list of people who want to get in. We don’t advertise, but we do put a link on our website.

Mondo: Almost all of our new hires are friends or relatives of current or former employees. When I get a good employee, I always ask if they have any friends or family looking for a job. I’ve found that when a new hire is referred by a current employee, they feel accountable to that person and want to do a good job—and the person who recommended them feels accountable too, making sure they do a good job. Also, most simply enjoy working with their friends, so to me, it’s a win all the way around.

John P Scully: Hire vets! They show up on time, they work hard, they can think for themselves, and they do not melt if you look at them sideways.  


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