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A Look at Restaurant Career Mobility

This post brought to you by National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation . The content and opinions expressed below are that of upstartHR.

This post continues our overarching discussion of the importance of restaurant careers and the opportunities available within the industry. Today the focus will be on the mobility of those employed within the field. Here are a couple key statistics from the infographic below:

  • 9 in 10 restaurant workers 35 or older have moved to higher-paying jobs in the industry after their first job.
  • Even newbies enjoy the restaurant industry’s upward mobility: 71% of employees 18-24 land a more lucrative gig in the business after their first job.
  • The abundance of restaurants in nearly every community presents opportunities and experience to land other positions.

When people take a job, whether in a restaurant or elsewhere, the hope is that there will be future job growth and/or opportunities further down the line. If I was recruiting to fill positions for a restaurant, I’d want to highlight those future opportunities as a key selling point to get someone to come work for my employer.

These statistics, as seen in the graphic below, do just that. Not only is there a wide variety of positions avaiable with varying degrees of responsibility and complexity, but there is also an opportunity to grow and advance through the ranks over time (whether with the same employer or with another).

One of the long-standing norms for workplace compensation is “if you can’t get a big raise at your current employer, just change jobs.” The incredible variety and availability of positions in the restaurant industry is well-suited to allow job seekers the opportunity to grow and develop their careers while staying within a single industry.

Check out the graphic below, titled “Restaurants: The Launchpad to Career Growth.”


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We Wish You…

Merry Christmas

Captain Awesome in his new Rudolph threads

From the Eubanks house to yours, we wish you a very merry Christmas!

Whatever reason you have to celebrate this time of the year, enjoy it. I pray that you’re blessed beyond measure and that you take a little time to bless others as well. Any opportunity to bring joy to others in the form of a smile, a gift, or a heartfelt comment is truly worthwhile.

We’ll be back next week with more HR fun. :-)

I Sent You a Meaningless Email–Um, I Mean eCard

I sent you an eCard.

Screenshot 2014-12-18 13.21.20No, really. I care so much that I took the two minutes to fill out an online form and email (spam) dozens of people all at the same time with a message that is so vague and so general that I could have sent it to people that I don’t even know with virtually the same results.

Now wait for the music and art to load. Want a hint? There will be an inoffensive instrumental track, saying, and picture with my name stuck on the bottom. Yes, I know I’m the most thoughtful person ever.

Now read the one-line template message that I thought was so meaningful that I took you away from your work, family, or other obligations just to get you to look at this eCard.


Editor’s note: This is obviously a joke, but please keep this in mind when you are communicating with employees. The same rules apply. If you’re taking them away from work, make it worthwhile. I have received dozens of these “eCards” in the past few weeks, and not one of them was as meaningful as a single handwritten note or personal message. If you are sending a message, try to be as targeted as you can. Enjoy your day!


Newsflash: HR Creates a Policy

Breaking news

Anywhere, USA – This morning we got word that someone in HR created a policy. We’re not sure what the policy was as of the time of this report; however, we were assured by our sources that it was “highly necessary” for the business to continue functioning.Policy

Our resident HR expert, Stu Pidhead, had this to say, “I have been a long-time believer in policies. Without them our employees would run rampant, exercise their own judgment, and be able to do pretty much whatever they want. How can we expect to run a business when employees have autonomy for how the work gets done or choices when it comes to rewards and recognition? No, no, and no. We have to restrict those things for the good of our employees and the world. They just don’t know better, and we have to educate them.”

For those just learning of this story, there is a longstanding tradition of policy creation within the HR profession, and many HR professionals see this function of their job as the most important. According to an anonymous source, “We like to make the rules, because it gives us more power. We got bullied in elementary school, but now it’s our turn to take charge.”

HR has long been known by many terms of endearment, including “the policy police,” “those jerks that make all the rules,” and “fun suckers.” This tradition of creating policies dates back to the creation of the human resources, or “personnel,” function in the 20th century.

Another source who asked not to be identified made this comment: “Rumors of organizations reducing policies and eliminating rules are just that–rumors. My philosophy is ‘the more policies, the better we’ll be.’ From social media policies and rules about how long people can stand at the water cooler, we want to control every aspect of these peoples’ lives while they are at the work site. Hey, that gives me an idea for another policy…”

Updates to this story will be shared as we discover them…

Engagement Tip #49: Highlighting Employee Interests

I talked previously about my jump to Republic Wireless. I love the phone and the service, but I also love following the company’s blog and learning more about who’s behind all of that greatness. Recently they shared a very unique idea that I wanted to explore today.

At Republic, we aren’t actually corporate robots stored in closets at the end of the work day (although I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords). We’re people with talents, hobbies, and interests outside of our work providing value for our members through our phones and service. If you happen to wander the halls of Republic HQ in Raleigh, North Carolina, you’ll see dozens of framed photos of employees that answer the question: What Do You Love? (Source)

republic wireless employee engagement

Photo credit: Republic Wireless

The company, instead of having silly employee headshot photos that nobody actually likes, gives employees a chance to show off their creativity, interests, hobbies, etc. For a number of reasons, I really like this.

  1. Instant conversation starter, especially for new folks, whether they are talking to existing employees or if they are talking to the newbie about their photo.
  2. Everyone is forced to remember that employees are much more than what they are for the ~40 hours a week they are in the office.
  3. This reminds me of the Dale Carnegie quote, “Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” I think Dale would agree that this satisfies that requirement as well. People want to be recognized for who they are.

Have you ever seen anything like this? Do you like it? Hate it? What are your thoughts? What would be on your picture? 

The Ultimate Holiday Party Flow Chart

I don’t know about you, but I have seen, read, and heard more about holiday parties this year than ever before. Honestly it’s more exhausting reading this stuff than actually planning, hosting, and cleaning up after one of the things.

  • Should we have one?
  • Should we not?
  • What should we call it?
  • Who should we invite?
  • Should it be mandatory?
  • Should we serve alcohol?
  • And every other variation of this question has been published, posted, tweeted, and shared. Seriously? We need that much discussion on this?

The solution you’ve been waiting for

To go ahead and put your mind at ease, I created a flow chart to help you make the decision.You can thank me later.

Should you have a holiday partyYou’re welcome.


Can I (and Should I) Fire An Employee for Social Media Content?

google job candidatesThere is a phenomenon that doesn’t get talked about much publicly, but it’s something that in-the-trenches HR folks deal with fairly regularly. While we want to “rise up” and think about big picture, have a strategic viewpoint, and assume the best, there are always going to be friction points that hold us back. It’s a part of the whole “working with people” thing. :-) Today I want to talk through a few recent questions I have received around the impact of social media in the workplace.

We recently hired someone, but after he started I found out that he is posting offensive content to his Instagram page. Should we fire him? This is his first real job after college.

In some cases, it’s perfectly acceptable to terminate someone for what they are sharing online, especially if it would be harmful for your company if it were to come into the public eye. In this case, I’d take a coaching approach initially. The guy’s in his first job and might not realize the implications of what he is sharing. Take him aside, explain why he should NOT be sharing offensive things on a public social media site, and ask him to make it private and/or stop.

One way I’ve had success with this in the past is by framing it in terms of how someone they respect would see it. For instance, “I know that Joe thinks a lot of you, and that’s why he pushed to bring you on board. What would he say if he found out about this?” That’s often times motivation enough. We forget that maturity is delayed in kids these days for numerous reasons, and the first step should be to educate, not criticize. Don’t assume they know that the behavior is offensive.

We absolutely do not look at anyone’s social media profiles before we hire. That’s discriminatory, right?

Not necessarily. Often times I would not have time to research people online simply due to the time factor. With a full slate of work I didn’t have time to look up every single person (the recruiting process was already long enough). But there was one key time that it really saved us from embarrassment and lost revenue. We were pursuing work with a branch of the military known for its close, community-style relationship. Everyone knows everyone, right?

We had a backup candidate we were going to submit for the effort, and I went out to Google to find him on LinkedIn (because I heart LinkedIn for recruiting, by the way). His LinkedIn profile was the second item in the Google search results. The first? An article about his arrest for indecent exposure and subsequent legal actions. Due to the specific community we were dealing with, having that candidate in our proposal would have made us look clueless and would probably have cost us a sizable chunk of money if we lost it completely.

I don’t always Google my candidates, but I have a good reason to.

Now, would I forego hiring someone because they have pictures of them having a good time on the weekend shared on their Facebook page? That’s going to depend on the company culture, the person’s overall value as determined by the hiring process, and the exact nature of what I find in a search. It’s certainly not a blanket “no,” but it also isn’t a blank check for “anything goes,” either.

There’s a little thing called negligent hiring that I would bring up here to the naysayers. The basic premise is that if you have information that the candidate did something wrong in the past and could reasonably be expected to to it again to the detriment of those around them, then you have a responsibility to the rest of your staff to NOT hire the person. If we find out something about a candidate that would bring financial or other harm to employees, company, or customers, it’s our responsibility to keep that kind of people from getting onto the payroll.

Whether you want to warn them ahead of time or not is entirely your call. As long as you have some measure of transparency in the recruiting process, the candidate shouldn’t expect anything public to be off-limits.

What other questions do you have about social media and how it has added complexity to everyday HR activities? I’d love to offer some advice!

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