Selecting Personnel

The selection of well-trained, productive employees is vital to a food ice operation. The success of any operation depends upon the work of capable, well-organized workers. The selection of employees is usually the responsibility of the food service manager. However, in a few situations, the employees may be hired by higher management and assigned to the food service manager. This undesirable procedure is not recommended. A competent food service manager should have the authority to hire and fire employees under his or her supervision.

High turnover is costly and unpleasant. In addition, it demoralizes entire staff. Hiring is a serious business, and managers should be I prepared for this responsibility.

It is first of all important to try to determine whether an applicant really wants to work and wants this job. In addition, it is important for applicant to know as much as possible about your institution and its ides, your food service, and the job for which you are interviewing. 3re is a large turnover among new employees during their first thirty s on the job. This is costly; for the most part, it can be avoided by careful hiring, careful orientation, and thorough introduction to the job. e following tips can help you avoid high turnover:


Try to find out as much as possible about the ability and the v~ ness of the individual you are interviewing.

4. Seek trained employees as often as possible. Make sure the 000 what will be expected of them.

There are numerous ways of obtaining workers. Explore the market. Often the best workers are recommended by people a working for you. Here are some ways of finding employees:

  1. Through your employees or through personal contact.
  2. Through a newspaper advertisement. Be specific, candid nformative.
  3. Through human resources agencies. Employment agencies, churches and by social and civic organizations can also be hi
  4. Through food service training programs, such as at comr colleges.
  5. Through welfare agencies.
  6. Through professional organizations such as the Hospital, Educational, Educational Food Service Society.
  7. Through private employment agencies.


When you have a job opening, attempt to get a large number of cants. Remember that the more applicants you get, the more like are to find the best employee. Sometimes you will have telepho quiries about the job. Accept them graciously and explain as mi possible on the telephone; then invite the callers to come in and out an application. Use an application form which is fairly compr sive, so that you will be able to determine how well they can rea write and get an idea of their training. Be sure the application is out accurately and completely, even if you have to help the applic do so. In most institutions, the prospect fills out the application and is then either told that he or she may be called back for an intE or is asked to stay for an interview on the same day.

Whatever the case, the application should be studied by the service manager before the personal interview. The personal interview is a very important part of the hiring procedure.


The personal interview is used for sizing up, selecting, and hiring personnel. It can yield much information. Interviewing is not ah easy It is hard to tell whether a person will be right for the job in question. However, The more interviewing you do, the better and more e


d you will become. It is important that you try to put the applicant

Se. You will want to get the following information from the inter(hy did he or she leave the last job?

ow much training has he or she had?

rou will need to observe the following:


~ental alertness

motional stability

Nih want to know something about the personal and work history of Lpplicant. You will need to investigate the references and analyze ~terview with the individual. It is best to have a plan for your inter,Know what you are going to ask the applicant and why you are ~ 2) g to ask it.

Fhe items listed below cover the genernl principles and techniques

te~i~Wing. If you keep these things in mind, you will most likely

a successful and productive interview.

aring for the Interview

.1st the questions that you are going to ask.

rhink about how you can ask the questions gracefully.

3ather the materials you will need for the interview.

a. Job description.

. Job specification.

~. Application form.

~. The interview pattern which you have worked up.

~. If a test is to be given, the test papers.


Purpose of the Interview

ro get information. To get all the facts and personal characterlsics such as attitude, feelings, and personality traits.

ro give information. It is important at this time that the applicant mow or be informed about the job—that all the facts about this job ~e laid out. An interview is a two-way street—you must get to know he applicant, and the applicant must get to know about the job. Fo promote good public relations. Remember to extend to the applicant the same courtesy you would show to a guest. Every applicant is a potential customer.

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Tips on Interviewing

000 1. Be pleasant and courteous to th~ applican-t-a-t-all times. Remem public relations are involved, too.

2. Have your plan well organized.

3. Know the ins and outs of the job available.

4. Interview in a~pyjya~~uiet place that is freejrorrLdi5traction

5. Put the applicant at ease. Offer her or him a cup of coffee cigarette. Be as relaxed as possible.

6. Listen carefully and avoid, talking abnllLyQUXself.

7. Try not to interrupt the applicant

8. Schedule time for the interview and do not rush. Hasty deciE often turn out to be foolish ones.

g. Avoid asking leading questions. Try to ask open-ended quest Open-ended questions require an explanation rather than a y

no answer.

10. Try to be a good sounding board for the applicant’s expressiO attitudes, feelings, ideas, etc. Strive to learn not only what E

cants think and feel, but why they think or feel it.

11. The hest interview is a free, easy, relaxed exchange of idea tween the manager and the applicant.

12. Skillfully and courteously ask questions that will give you a facts.

13. Make notes for record purposes.

14. As soon as the interview is concluded, write a summary 0 interview form.

15. If at all possible, ask your administrator to also intervie’ applicant.

Interview Follow-up

1. Check all references. Try to talk to at least two people who applicant has worked for or with. Listen carefully to what the~ to say. However, remember that the applicant must feel that she will get a good recommendation if this person has been as a reference.

2. When checking references, ask about the applicant’s p~ teachers, and supervisors on other jobs to gain clues about

her attitudes toward authority.

3. Try to find out why the applicant wants the job. Specifically, fi why he or she wants to work and what satisfactions he or

looking for.

Here is an actual illustration of point 3. An administrator req

one day that a consultant interview a prospective second coo



interview turned out to be very interesting. The applicant was well qualified, well trained, and seemed ideal for the job. However, when the interviewer inquired why she specifically wanted this job, she replied that she wanted a new sofa and would need to work to get it. The interviewer pursued the question further, and it turned out that she really had no plans to work beyond securing enough funds to purchase the sofa. This experience illustrated that in-depth interviewing brings to light important information. The food manager felt that the applicant might be suitable for vacation relief but not for a permanent position.

After interviewing several applicants for the job and after investigating the references, it is time to study and decide who is best suited for the job. Try to determine which applicant fits the job best. Remember that if this is a job where a person works alone, a highly sociable person probably would not fit. The reverse is also true—if the job involves working with others, you will want a fairly sociable person to fill it. Withhold all decision making until the facts are in and you have had time to study and consider them. Discuss the applicants with your administrator, your consulting dietitian, and your assistant. Get their opinions and their

thoughts on who would be best suited, but remember that the final deci- ,.. I sion is up to you. Also, remember that matching the individual to the job is a difficult task, and you will not always be successful. However, by following the tips and guidelines discussed, you can make a good try.


Once you have hired new employees, it is important to put them through an orientation session or program. Orientation is the introduction to the employee’s new tasks. The more they understand at the very beginning, the quicker they will adjust to their new jobs.

It is natural for new employees to feel some anxiety or, as some eople say, to be nervous. They are wondering, "Will I like the job?" ‘Will I be able to do a good job?" "How do I start?" "How well will I get Llong?" "Will I be able to get ahead in this job?" Encourage new ~mployees to talk about their feelings. Also encourage them to ask ~uesti o ns.

Another important kind of help for the new employee is to make sure he or she has enough to do. Nothing is more frustrating for a new yorker, full of energy and enthusiasm for a brand new job, than to sit round with nothing to do or to have to be involved in busy work. Job atisfaction is at the top of the list of things people need in order to feel appy and established in their work. A good training program can make key contribution to bringing along someone new on the job. When emiloyees are thoroughly trained to do their jobs well, they acquire conidence and a sense of accomplishment. They measure management’s


interest in them and their own interest in the food service oper

II I i~iI

terms of how much training they receive. They realize the im

~values their services by investing time and energy in them.

The manager also helps new employees by following up

progress. He or she should show continued concern by fre checking to see how well the new cook or the new diet aide is out. The best way to maintain your workers’ interest in their jc demonstrate your interest in them. The ability to handle new pec be learned. There are some food service managers who are r more adept at orienting new employees. Then there are other m who do not have the patience that is required to orient new emi If you, the manager, keep in mind the importance of orientation, make the necessary effort to be successful at it.

Often, a major cause of trouble for the employee is a lack plete information at the start of the job. A new employee in ~05 of only some of the facts is bound to make errors and to gain rr impressions. When breaking in a new employee, it is best not to that he or she already knows some of the ropes. A more effecti’ nique is to provide all new employees with a complete rundow entire food service operation and particularly with all the fact their new jobs.

A good way to begin orienting a new employee is to tour the department. While doing so, you may want to introduce the ot ployees. This helps to make the new worker more at ease. In ad visit to the serving area and introduction to other departments the worker a personal interest in the welfare of those whom hE will serve. Orientation is a planned introduction to the work e ment and to the people in it. This can be done by introducing 1 employee to the staff and by discussing the following:

1. The objectives, philosophy and function of the food service ment

2. The policies and procedures of the institution

3. The personnel policies handbook

4. Work responsibilities and procedures

Table 8-1, New Employees’ Orientation Guide, will serve as

for the food service manager when orienting the new employeE

The job description and work schedule should be expla detail to the new employee. A job description, as we have dis previously, is a written outline of the job. It gives management’s tations of the employee as well as the conditions of employme work schedule lists the duties and tasks with the approxima needed to complete each task (see Table 8-2). When the employe


‘ork, she or he will need this detailed explanation of the work that be done. It really serves as a time schedule. Written schedules are ~at help in that they tell new employees who is to do what at what




of employee Date employed Date orientation completed

visor: ________________________________________________


Area __ __ Date discussed comments___

~ppization, objectives, policies

roduction to staff

rsonnel policies
Lp~LioI_- __ ___ ____ __________
iges _____ Work hours
:k leave _____ vacation ________ ___________ 3
we of absence
iforms and dress
rsonal app~{ance
alth insurance
3 insurance
cial secu~y
tire men
~j~ge of address
3 of telephone____
{~performance review
cjpjinary~tion____ __ ____
~lth examination Dates:
‘reemployment physical __-- _____
;hest~~y __ ___ ______
description_and work schedule
ie schedule

I ot work procedures tor the position:

Supervisor’s signature


Service Guide for Health care Facilities, State of California Department of Public

Berkeley, California, p. 28.




I~H1,I~ ________________________

KITCHEN HELPER NO. 1 6:30—3:00
Lunch 1—1:30

6:30-6:45 Make coffee, set up beverage station.
6:45—7:30 Work on tray line—beverage station—as checker.
7:30-7:45 Break.
7:45-8:30 clean up the beverage station, milk dispenser, etc.
8:30-10:45 Strip trays and work at soiled end of dishwashing machine; wash pots a
pans; take garbage out.

11:15-12:30 Work on tray line—beverage station—as checker.

12:30-1:00 Clean up beverage station.

1:00-1:30 Lunch.

1:30-3:00 Strip trays and work at soiled end of dishwashing machine; take garbage c

mop kitchen.

Perform other duties as assigned.

* Food Service Guide for Health Care Facilities, State of California Department of Pu Health, Berkeley, California, p. 26.

To teach anyone how to do a job, we need both written and spok communication. Telling someone, or posting a list on a bulletin boa is not enough. The four-step method of instruction is a good way handling this problem.

Four-step Method of Job Instruction

1. Put the learner at ease. The learner should understand what is pected so that she or he may feel relaxed about the job. OutI this carefully and try to find out how much the learner already kno about it.

2. Present the operation. Tell, show, and illustrate each important s one at a time.

3. Next, try out the performance by having the employee do the job 8 explaining why each thing is done.

4. Last, the follow-up; let the employee go ahead with the job alo Return frequently to check.

Using this four-step method, how can we teach a new employeE

make coffee? Think about the steps to be explained and demonstrate

1 Courtesy of U.S. Dept. of Health, Education and Welfare, "Food Service in Nun

Homes and Related Facilities," Slides and Commentary, p. 3.


The next item that needs to be explained in detail to the new em~‘ee is the time schedule. The time schedule should be posted two tks in advance for all employees. Any abbreviations, special nota5, and so on should be noted and explained. It is important that the employee understand every aspect of her or his job.


new employees go through a break-in period before they learn the ~es. It is a trying time. They need a helping hand and understanding dance to get properly oriented and functioning smoothly as part of operation. It takes special attention and extra time on the part of nagement. Getting someone new on the job started off on the right is certainly worth the effort and a big benefit for everyone con-






Discuss several desirable ways of finding food service workers. Discuss one undesirable method and explain why it is undesirable. What is the purpose of an interview? Note ten helpful tips on interviewing. What are the steps in the follow-up of the interview?

Why is orienting new employees so important? Describe an institution’s policy of orienting new employees. Does it provide all important aspects mentioned in this chapter? If not, what steps would you add?

Using the four-step method of job instruction, describe how to teach a new employee how to set up trays or to make coffee.



Food Service Management—A Human Relations Approach

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