Hiring and Scheduling of Employees
The employees you hire and schedule become the face of your coffee shop. Despite the important logistical and design details you add to your space, customers will primarily associate your shop with your team members and their customer service. Your team will also influence the Google reviews and social media attention your coffee shop receives. This makes the hiring and scheduling process vital for sales and for proper representation of your brand.
While searching for trustworthy, hardworking, kind employees can seem daunting, we believe it is better to wait a little longer for a solid hire than to settle for someone you do not feel comfortable representing your coffee shop. We use the following steps to search for excellent new hires. First, we ask existing baristas if they know anyone they would highly recommend for the job. Of course, we do not guarantee that we will hire their recommendation, but we thank them for their suggestion and follow up quickly. Next, we consider our customer base and reach out to eligible candidates for an interview.
After this, we post jobs on joinhomebase.com (we also use Homebase for shift scheduling). Homebase’s job posting function allows you to post your job on additional job sites and to link these job listings to social media posts. We also convert our online application into a QR code and add it to our “Now Hiring” posters that we hang around our coffee shop. This allows customers to apply instantly or to send the link to interested friends. As people apply online through these links, it creates a database of potential baristas for our manager to consider when it is time to hire.
Once you schedule interviews with potential candidates, it is important to ask both logistical and meaningful questions during the interview. This helps to better understand the candidate’s personality, work ethic, and values. When we perform interviews, some things we look for are kindness when they speak about others and their past work experiences, maturity and confidence in conversation, humility, punctuality and professionalism, a desire to go above and beyond, and an appreciation for our company values.
We do not require past barista experience, though it can be helpful. However, oftentimes previous baristas have poor technique that needs to be retrained, so we typically prefer employees with no experience. This way we can train them properly without worrying about bad habits affecting our drink quality. No employee is perfect, but overall we look for employees who desire to grow their skills and serve others well. We hope these interview questions provide a helpful guide for you as you search for quality baristas.
Next, your shift scheduling method for your baristas makes a huge difference in your staff turnaround and coffee shop environment. We choose to treat our team members like we want to be treated, especially when it comes to creating a shift schedule. Rather than creating an unpredictable shift schedule that changes each week, we decided, as much as possible, to create a consistent base schedule for a 2-4 month period of time. While the base schedule remains constant, team members may still trade shifts with managerial approval for various legitimate reasons.
We want our baristas to have dependable work schedules so they can live their personal lives more freely. The consistent weekly schedule also simplifies scheduling for management. After trying this method, we found that our team members’ trust in management increased. Additionally, employment turnover decreased, and barista relationships with customers grew. These intentional relationships built between baristas and customers increased sales and grew our customer base. We value this mutually beneficial environment between management and staff as it effectively communicates our care for employees and customers.
In order to cultivate a welcoming, caring atmosphere in your coffee shop, it is important to begin with your baristas. When your baristas feel cared for and respected, your customers will feel cared for and respected. Taking the time to find quality candidates and create consistent weekly schedules can be overwhelming. However, the many benefits certainly make it worthwhile. We highly recommend you consider our interview methods and scheduling methods as you grow your coffee shop!