Candidate Selection and Hiring in Hospitality

Selecting and hiring new staff for your coffee shop may seem daunting – and with good reason. These are the people who will represent your business, serve your customers, dictate the success of your venue and will end up being the people who you spend more time with than your friends and family. There is a lot to consider.
However, don’t be fooled or disheartened. Picking the new members of your team is an incredibly exciting opportunity!
It’s the chance for you to build an excellent team around you to help drive your business forward. It’s an excellent chance to make some important decisions that could really pay off in the long run! With this in mind, it’s hard to know where to start and how to go about it – we all want to find the best people for our business after all. 
So here are our top tips to help you find, select and hire the best candidates for your coffee shop or venue.

Finding Candidates

The first step is to find candidates. There will be plenty of people looking for jobs just like the one you’re hiring for, so you need to let them know. How you go about this is up to you and will depend on how quickly you want to find someone. Some of the most effective ways to find new candidates are:


There are countless job sites with thousands of visitors everyday. Some of the larger sites will be more generalised whereas others will have a focus on hospitality specifically. Some of these sites will charge for you to advertise the role, so keep your budget in mind when selecting which site you choose to use. You’ll attract a large pool of candidates through this method, so be sure to review submissions carefully.


Depending on your coffee shop, you may already have a profile on a social media site (if you haven’t already, you should). This page will likely have loyal followers who like or are regular customers of your business so why not see if any of them want to work for you? A simple post or two advertising the position is a great way to advertise the position.


It never hurts to look closer to home. You could put up flyers in your coffee shop or near the store. Another trick is to ask your colleagues for referrals. This is a good idea because you will have the advice of someone you trust (we hope you can trust your staff) and you have a chance to prescreen the candidate through word of mouth. Depending on the position, you can always consider recruiting internally for promotions.

Selecting and Hiring Candidates

Now that you’ve gathered a pool of candidates, the next stage is to find the right candidates to progress and potentially take through to the hiring stage. Here are our top tips for this process:

Know what you want

Before you start sifting through applications, set a rough minimum criteria. This will help speed up the process as you can eliminate any CV’s or applicants that don’t pass the benchmark. When interviewing, have specific questions prepared so you can get the answers you want.

Be Objective

It can sometimes be tricky to remove emotion when making decisions about people, but at the end of the day you need to do what’s best for your business. Don’t be afraid of tough decisions, as these often lead to the biggest results

Respect the Interview Process

Take the interview process seriously. The first step is to choose the correct interview manager. Choose the manager of that particular part of the business – such as your head barista for example. They will not only end up working with this person regularly (so rapport is important) but they will also have experience in the role they’re interviewing for – meaning they’ll be better at helping find the right person for the job!

Value Personality

Experience is important, but your coffee shop runs on service. The personality of your staff is crucial. You want them to be warm, personable and good with people. Your staff and their service is what will bring people in the door and keep them coming back, so make sure you choose someone that can do this for your coffee shop.

Trial Candidates

Once you’ve narrowed it down to a few candidates, invite them in for a trial shift. Make sure you have someone for them to shadow or an idea of what you want them to do. It should only be a few hours long (2-4), and either you or their potential manager should be there to oversee the shift. 

Be Open Minded

When you start this process, you’ll probably have an idea of exactly who you want to fill the role. Unfortunately, this person may not appear out of thin air so you need to keep an open mind. One of the greatest things about people is their potential. So, look out for someone who you can grow and train into the team member you need as well as someone who is already there.
There you have it, you’re ready to start searching for the new member of your team! 
This process may take time, so be patient. Follow these tips and you’ll be sure to find a great new staff member for your coffee shop. 
Good luck!
Recommended1 recommendationPublished in Systems & Process, Working in Hospitality

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