Careers Advice

Top tips for hiring the best pub candidates

One of the most important aspects of running a successful pub or bar is its people. But, hiring the right employees can be challenging and daunting.

Hiring the right employee pays back in employee productivity, a successful employment relationship, and a positive impact on your pub business. On the other hand, hiring the wrong employee is expensive, costly to your work environment, and time-consuming.

1. Define the role

Sounds simple, but a clear, concise job description for every job within your pub or bar is essential. Clearly outline the responsibilities of the candidate to help them assess whether it’s the right job for them. Equally as important is outlining your philosophy and vision for your business. The staff will be the living embodiment of what you want your pub to be – right candidate, right pub, right job.

2. Cast your net wide

Use a job board. Get your job out there and in front of the biggest interested audience you can so you can get the pick of the very best candidates out there. 

3. Be different

Create an advert that ensures it’s the pick of the bunch. Be different, share your vision and values. Talk about the person you want, not just the skills they should possess.

4. Be picky

Be clear when you receive CVs about the skills, attitudes and standards you want and expect. This in turn will ensure you don’t waste time interviewing people who just don’t fit you and your business. 

5. Trust your instincts 

The pub business often attracts people with outgoing personalities and who enjoy socialising. If you’re sitting in an interview and don’t get the right ‘feel’ for the person, chances are you’re right. While CVs, covering letters and endorsements are great, if the personality doesn't fit your pub, look elsewhere. 

6. Ask the right questions

Ask the questions that you want answers to, not the questions you think you ought to ask. This is your business, your values and your money. Try to gain an insight into personality.  Perhaps ask candidates to respond to specific scenarios to see if their responses match your expectations.

7. Try before you buy

Not sure about a candidate? Not sure they are a good fit for the business? How about giving them a couple of shifts? This way you can observe how they interact with customers and colleagues and get a feel for their work ethic too. 

8. Enjoy your workforce 

The pub and bar business is a dynamic place to be – no one wants to work in an environment that’s not stimulating and fun, so don’t allow it to become like that. Yes, it’s a business first and foremost but don’t forget that a happy workforce stays together. 

Helen Lees from said:

“Building a great team is one of the most rewarding measures of success for a pub owner; it creates a winning environment which drives the growth of individuals and the company. Although recruitment can be a time-consuming process, it is one of the best time investments you can make and can take your pub from good to outstanding. 

“Simply put, if you hire the right people, most other things tend to take care of themselves and you can get on with the enjoyment and job satisfaction that comes with running a pub.”