OK restaurant manager, or "hospitality management professional"...the inevitable happened and although our "organizer and chief" keeps telling us the economy is "improving...albeit slowly..." you now find yourself in the job search arena. You have years of experience. You know you are talented. You know there are restaurant management jobs nationwide. But because you are a loyal, dedicated, tenured employee you are facing the question "where do I start now". You realize that there are nationwide restaurant recruiting agencies, so start there. Skilled restaurant management recruiters are or "should be" the experts in the field, right? But the question remains, what do you look for in a recruiter to know that you are a dealing with a top restaurant recruiting agency?
Start with the basics. Homework a potential agency. When you search the term "restaurant management recruiter", you will get dozens of results. Begin right there, start looking at websites. Look for an agency that is seasoned in the business. What is their history? Who are their clients? From where does their experience come? But don't be lured by the "face paint" of a company's flashy website. Anyone can add flashing lights and bells and whistles to their site. Let's go deeper. Look for profiles of their recruiting team. Hopefully they are proud enough of their team that they feel like advertising their talent. Look for a recruiter with experience in the restaurant management recruiting field. Look for a recruiter who is a seasoned veteran in the industry. Better yet, look for a restaurant management recruiter who can identify with you. Best of all, a recruiter who is a veteran restaurant manager.
Who better to identify with you than someone who knows what you do because they can say "been there...done that". Look for a recruiter who speaks your language, and who can talk "the restaurant business" with you, someone who realizes the day to day work load you carry as a restaurant manager. It is so much easier for you to be able to talk to someone who relates to you. When it comes to maximizing your search efforts you will be much better served by an agent who identifies with you one on one.
Remember too that the best restaurant management recruiters are those who realize that they work for you, not just their clients. You should sense a genuine, caring desire to help you in your search from your recruiter. An excellent restaurant management recruiter will spend time with you. Too many candidates who call me have already been beaten up by an agency who has taken all of 5 minutes to get to know them, before telling them that they are sending (slamming) their resume to a dozen clients that will be interested in them. And oh..."be sure to call me when the client calls you!" Come on! Your recruiter should be interested in knowing you, your talents and your desires for your career. And you can't get this in a 5 minute phone call. Your recruiter should take the time to not only talk to you, but he should "listen" to you as well. Yes it is important for him to know what your skills are. But is equally important for him to know what motivates you, to know what kind of a concept you are looking for, and to know where you want to take your career. Your relationship with your recruiter should be a partnership not a master/servant relationship.
Which brings me to this point. A top restaurant management recruiter will be as much a coach as anything else. He will help guide you to his client companies with whom your background, talent and skills fit perfectly, and that can also deliver to you the future path you are looking for. A skilled, concerned recruiter will help you identify your skills and talents. They will guide you through the process of homeworking yourself and potential companies to make sure the match is perfect. And they will guide and council through the entire interview process.
Finally, your restaurant management recruiter should be results oriented. A good indicator of this is the frequency of conversations you have together. Look for that recruiter to call you frequently keeping you updates and inquiring about results on your end. Look for that recruiter that is examining all of his options on your behalf. He should leave no stone unturned.
Remember that working with a restaurant management recruiter is a hand in hand process that should result in a positive end for both parties...and for the client! All national restaurant recruiting agencies are not created equal. You deserve to work with top restaurant management recruiters, because your career is worth it!