Specialty Food Magazine

Spring 2020

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

Issue link: https://www.e-digitaleditions.com/i/1220124

Contents of this Issue


Page 38 of 75

At a time when higher-paying industries may be luring talent away, specialty retailers need to get creative when sta ng their cheese counter. 6 Tips for Recruiting and Retaining Cheese Sta BY JANET FLETCHER SPECIALTY FOOD SPECIALTYFOOD.COM SPECIALTY FOOD SPECIALTYFOOD.COM CHEESE FOCUS W ith unemployment at historically low levels, finding good employees for the cheese counter has never been more challenging, retailers say. Even widely admired employers like Zingerman's in Ann Arbor, Mich., and Bi-Rite Market in San Francisco report that they struggle to fill positions. And in some communities, high-paying entry-level jobs in technology are luring young people away from careers in food. To keep the cheese department fully staffed, today's retailers need to be more strategic about recruitment and more thoughtful about retention. Conversations with several top cheese merchants around the country reveal some tactics for successful staffing in these competitive times. 1 Cast a wide net. Of course, you use online sites like Craigslist, Culinary Agents, and Good Food Jobs and post your openings on the pages of relevant Facebook groups. But does your own site have a page listing open positions? Do you have in-store signage to alert customers to the opportunities? Your own customers can be good targets as they probably live near your store and clearly like cheese. Bi-Rite senior recruiter Faun Skyles recommends networking with local organizations, from the community college's placement office to the city's economic development department. Make sure they know about your company and its core values. If you can't get away from your store, invite the economic development officer to come tour your facility and have lunch. Get informed about local job-training programs and mission-based hiring programs for people, such as veterans, who need an assist to get back in the workforce. Zingerman's targets local culinary schools. "Because we're retail, we can give the grads better hours than restaurants," says manager Grace Singleton. The store has also recently developed an internship program to create a pathway from school to a fulltime job. 2 Incentivize employees. Your staffers understand the company culture and can be your most effective recruiters. Good people want to work with other good people. Several retailers use financial incentives to motivate employees to recruit capable friends. Typically, they offer a small reward for facilitating a new hire, with a bonus if the recruit is still on the job after three or six months. "Nothing is more fulfilling than catching people doing great things and praising them for it. And there's nothing better than watching an employee blush from getting praised in front of their peers."

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Specialty Food Magazine - Spring 2020