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Tips on Filling Vacant Key Positions


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By Client Liaison Customer, CLC Association

November 19, 2011


As the Client-Liaison in onsite foodservice- It is expected that you are able to provide final approval for service provider's key positions. Next time you are asked to meet an applicant, use the evaluations.  The candidate must be able to:
  • Demonstrate technical skills
  • Communicate, both written and verbally
  • Have a deep understanding of food
  • Possess the ability to work within your culture
The wrong candidate can have a negative effect on your company's moral and cause operational problems. These shortcomings are slow to develop and may take a long time for your vendor to legally take necessary actions. Not to mention, you will be left with the position open again and back to square one.
Here are some tips on how to help identify the best candidate. This process may be new to your regional representative, so review your intentions. Do not provide so much detail that they can coach the candidate. However, make sure both the candidate and your regional representative understand the length of time that will be required during your interview. It is safe to say that whether you use all or combinations of the scenarios at least have half a day allocated. After introductions and resume review, ask them to perform any of the following:

Evaluation #1

Provide candidate a notebook. Ask them to go alone into the food service area/s and document their findings.
  • Write what they like
  • What could be improved?
  • How would they make the improvements?
  • When would they make the improvements?
After completing this assignment, have them review their project with you, the Regional Representative and if you can, invite some key personnel from your organization.
Pay attention to:
  • How did they write?
  • Did you think the candidate understood your operation?
  • What kind of things would they improve?
  • Did the method of these improvements make sense?
  • Did they prioritize improvements?
  • Were they able to communicate their vision and understand yours?
Evaluation #2

They are to "hands-on" cook; they will need to know where items are located. But that is all the help they should receive.

Cook the following items for 5 people:
  • Soup
  • Starch
  • Sauce
  • Open item
After completing, have them review their project with you, the Regional Representative and if you can, invite some key personnel from your organization. If they can pull this off, then you know they have a good understanding of food
Pay attention to:
  • How they reacted under pressure?
  • Were they organized?
  • How did the food look and taste?
  • Did they take risks or go conservative? For example what kind of soup did they make? A safe/conservative soup would be chicken noodle. Most people like chicken noodle.
  • Did they match the starch and sauce? Was it pasta with red sauce, rice and gravy?
  • Did they ask any questions of you prior to heading to the kitchen or go at it blind? Like “What do you like?”
  • Did all the items tie together or did it appear they were planned as individual dishes?
  • Did they get food all over themselves?
  • Most people will cook in the style they are most comfortable.
  •  
Evaluation #3

They are to prepare for an upcoming event.
  • The budget is $15.00 per person.
  • You think 300 people will attend
  • Ask them to include a drawing of the set up.
  • Allow them time to ask questions
When complete, have them review their project with you, the regional representative and if you can, invite some key personnel from your organization. If they can pull this off, then you know they have a good understanding of special events.

Pay attention to:
  • How they reacted under pressure?
  • Were they organized?
  • Did the diagram minimize waiting?
  • Were items in logical order?
  • How detailed were they? Did they include plates?
  • Did they ask good questions to better under understand the event? For example:
  • Did they ask to see the space?
  • What is the event for?
  • Is this a yearly event, if so what was served last year and how?
  • What did you have in mind?
  • Is the event for your company or visitors?
  • Did they take risks or go conservative. For example was it plated, buffet, or food stations?
  • Did they mention table clothes, skirts?
  • Did they ask about decorations?
  • Did the menu make sense?
  • Did all the items tie together or did it appear they were planned in silos?
  • Did they include beverages?
My favorite question is, “Why do you want to work here?”   From the Client-Liaison's point of view, what is your??????



Thoughts and Comments?  Post as a member of Foodservice.com or Facebook below
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Posted by Brian Carrick on 11/23/11 at 9:16 AM EST

Thanks for the interesting post, I try to read the Foodservice News.com each and every day and even though I am not a member of the front of the house, I can appreciate the F&B aspects and the personnel manager's outlook on staffing issues. Thanks! B. Carrick c/o the Elemental News of the Day @ http://elementalnewsoftheday.blogspot.com/.
Posted by CLC Association on 11/23/11 at 9:32 AM EST

Brian-
I focus on Non-commercial, Onsite contracted foodservice. All is written from/for a Client-liaison’s point of view. However many topics cross all lines of disciplines.

I am new to post here and have been very pleased on the results. I am glad you are such a loyal reader.

I hope you will let me know if there are any topics you may have interest. Thank You!!





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