24/7 Hiring for a “Flagship” Dining Experience
Joynd note: we’d like to express our gratitude to Devin Jacobson, Director of Restaurant Systems for Flagship Restaurant Group, for taking the time to share his experience and tell the tremendous success story of this iCIMS/Proliant rollout.
Flagship Restaurant Group pushes the boundaries of dining experiences, how they source their food, and how they serve their guests. With ten types of dining concepts across 30 restaurants in the U.S., the Flagship team has to hire and manage a huge roster of hourly staff in order to deliver these stellar experiences on a consistent basis.
A mid-sized, ever-expanding company, Flagship employs 200 people at their corporate office and approximately 1800 hourly employees in their restaurants. With a recruiting department of just 2 part-time staff, the pressure for them to juggle a wide variety of time-sensitive hiring tasks was amplified by software systems that were so cumbersome that they weren’t being used. Flagship found themselves spending “absurd amounts of money” to promote their jobs and hire people, an unsustainable scenario.
The two part-time recruiters’ primary responsibility was to help set up new restaurant locations and job fairs to staff them. But once the stores were up and running, it wasn’t viable for them to perform the “Herculean effort” of continually growing and replenishing that roster of 1800 hourly staff. Flagship was desperate for a system that would make it as easy as possible at the store level for each of them to become their own recruiting department.
Enter iCIMS and Proliant. The applicant tracking system and payroll service companies have proven to be an excellent fit for Flagship’s needs. Restaurant managers are neither HR experts nor recruiters, but now they’re empowered to post jobs (“literally in 45 seconds thanks to iCIMS templates”), interview, and hire in a super efficient manner, which is crucial given the nature of the positions being filled.
Within the restaurant industry, referrals are king (70-80% of hires are referred by someone already on staff) and turnover is the nature of the business, so the process to get someone “known and trusted” onboard in a formalized way needs to be quick and easy. The largest obstacle for Flagship (and most companies in this industry) was the duality of their operating hours: with the corporate office working 8am-3pm Monday-Friday, and the storefronts being near 24/7, relying on corporate as a cog in the hiring process could be debilitating for business.
The integration between iCIMS and Proliant became a pivotal part of the process – prior to this, bringing someone on required a lot of data entry, and then it would take 3 days to convert the files between systems. Now when they hire someone in iCIMS, it takes 5 minutes to get them into Proliant, with no waiting for corporate’s office hours in order to get someone set up, which is VITAL for the pace at which hiring needs to happen in restaurants.
“You can have a dishwasher not show up for work at 5pm, get a referral, have that person apply, get hired, have them clock in by 6pm, and know they will get paid in a timely manner,” explained Devin of the unique needs of the restaurant industry. The integration has also improved the candidate experience, as each store can meet their needs in a confident, predictable, repeatable fashion, with the right technology to support them.
Now Devin receives email from his teams remarking on the ease of payroll, applications, and hiring. “They tell me, ‘You’ve made this hard to mess up’ which is not something you hear very often”, but is likely welcome feedback after so much work went into the implementation and integration.
Flagship made the commitment to iCIMS with the intention for it to be a long-term, scalable relationship that will grow alongside their business (even after evaluating other applicant tracking systems that were built more for the restaurant industry). Devin sees the Joynd integration as the “frosting on top” and spoke highly of his Joynd Implementation Manager and her counterparts at iCIMS and Proliant – they were very responsive, collaborative, and dealt with the many unknowns going into the project.
With their imaginative food, creative cocktails, and exceptional dining, Flagship has established high standards for service. This HR technology implementation and integration has provided them with the ingredients for a perfect recipe.