Coromel's View


Moving Coromel’s View!
July 14, 2011, 8:40 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I have combined my job blog and my opinion blog “Coromel’s View” the new address is:  https://sites.google.com/site/jimcoromel/ Come visit me there!

 

 

 

 



New Job search time!
February 6, 2011, 6:08 pm
Filed under: View point | Tags: , , , , ,

It’s started!  The Hospitality Industry has some job recovery going on . Nice!  According to the People Report Workforce Index (PRWI) out of Dallas, TX, first quarter 2011 showed 49% of surveyed companies reported high restaurant management turnover.  That’s up from last year’s 1st quarter of 33%.  Their index surveyed 66 restaurant companies and included, McDonald’s Corp., Darden Restaurants Inc. and The Cheesecake Factory Inc.

(Read more: http://www.nrn.com/article/employee-turnover-restaurants#ixzz1CuWzv3Je) Take heed of this; The good companies are planing for growth now.

If you have been languishing unhappy in a company because you were concerned about leaving in an uncertain job market, now is the time to move.  First though you need to keep in mind a few things; do your homework on where you want to go.  Draw up a list of companies you wish to pursue.  Make sure they are on solid ground. Read, read, read about them in the industry trade papers.  Go to websites like http://www.marketwatch.com/.  If the company trades publicly plug in their sign and check on what the different analysts are saying.

Say you have decided on, and learned, everything about Company” A.”  What’s your next move? You need to look at YOU! Before even being considered you are going to fall into one of two categories for the company hiring manager.

  1. Strong candidate
  2. Not strong candidate

Answering who you are can take some hard introspective accessing. In this economic market companies do not look at unemployed managers like they look at employed ones.  Their reasoning is this.  They feel if someone is unemployed they were let go “first” because their company felt they were the weakest.  If they left their company before they found another job then that brings into question their ability to make a “good” decision.  Either way the unemployed guy is at a disadvantage in this market.  The one exception is if their company closed down a large amount of locations or went out of business itself.  For instance Charlie Brown’s Steak House and Bug a Boo Creek Steak House did this Late in 2o10. They shut down a large number of their restaurants.  Everyone knew it and recruiters could bring those candidates to their clients.  If you fall into the unemployed category your best chance is going it alone.  Clients do not pay recruiters to find them unemployed candidates.  They pay us to find top people currently working in the industry. You will need to act as your own recruiter.

Okay now we’ll take a look at your resume. First off you need to show longevity in your career. No job hopping! You can get away with a, 1 or 2 year stay but if that becomes a pattern you will lose out to some one who shows better staying power. Back in the good old days lots of managers would hop jobs to increase their base salary. Some companies would bring them on board because there was just not enough people to choose from. Those days are gone. So if you have been with a company for two years think twice and try to stick it out for a couple of more years. My clients like to see no more than three jobs in the last ten years.

Did you leave the industry? The nature of hospitality is long hours at all times of the day, night and having to work weekends. Some folks decide it’s time to try something else. They will get into real estate or retail. Companies don’t like that. They feel if the person left the industry once they will do it again when times are good. Do yourself a favor. If you don’t like managing in the Hospitality business then don’t go back. Its not worth it for the company or you.

Now if you fall into the group which has stayed and busted it out lets take on your resume.

Set your resume up with current job experience first and progress down going back to your first job. Your job description should have bullet points with what and how you achieved goals. Something like this:

General Manager (last 4 years)

Company A Cleveland, OH January 2001 to Present

  • Increased guest traffic by 15% over a 2 years by becoming more active in local community by volunteering. Instituted a server pick your schedule for the month contest with proof of 30 hours of volunteer time in a 3 week period.
  • Brought total alcohol cost down to 23.8 % from 26.2% by insisting bartenders do daily pour tests before each shift in front of a manager.
  • Awarded  company GM of the year award for most improved store 2009.
  • Restaurant volume 3.8 million dollars per year.

You can add more but don’t make it long winded. Keep it to the important stuff.

Education comes after. If you have gone to college put it down along with your major, and degree. If you did not finish put down your years completed along with your GPA. Never put down the year graduated.

Finally your personal interests. Give the hiring manager an idea of who you are.

You don’t need an objective. You can go into your goal for the future in the interview. As far as personal information put down your personal e-mail address as well as your phone. You do not need to put your personal address.

In a cover letter let them know you are interested in their company for “X” reasons. Make your letter brief. Tell them the best time you can be reached. A long drawn out cover letter is no good. If you feel like you need to get somewhat long winded use bullet points. Always follow up your resume with an email or if you can a phone call to the hiring manager.

Make sure your voice mail message is professional! When a hiring manager calls and hears it. It is an important impression. Never use your company e-mail address only a personal e-mail.

Never make your resume public on the job boards! If companies are paying members of those boards they get updates when their company names are found in a resume. Many times I have received calls from candidates who were terminated for this reason. And many times I have received phone calls from clients telling me they just saw one of their managers resumes online and are looking for a replacement. Be smart!

I hope this helps. Let me know if I can ever be of help or if you would like to talk with me just drop me an e-mail with your number I can be reached at jcoromel@alliancesearchllc.com. I would be more than happy to hear from you. Lets make 2011 a great and promising year!

Jim Coromel

Senior Recruiter

Alliance Search, LLC



Treat the candidate as you would your Restaurant’s guests.
February 11, 2010, 6:27 pm
Filed under: View point

I used to pop the hood of my old ’72 Dodge Dart Demon, “Jenny” and shove a pencil in the carburetor to open up the butter fly valve.  This was before fuel injection.  It would solve the flooding problem when I got too aggressive with the gas pedal starting the car. The pop, pop, BANG, pop releasing from the tail pipe and the occasional fire flash from the carburetor is pretty much what our economy is doing now.  We know it is getting ready to kick over but we must endure the sputtering fireworks of ignition first.

Last month I talked about a short list of what the candidate can do when interviewing. This time I want to talk about the client.

I was conducting a search for a client and for whatever reason it took a long time to get back with the candidate at every step in the process.   Yes for sure there were others being considered but the amount of time without a courtesy call had the candidate thinking after all was said and done.  “Do I really want to work for this company?  Is this how they treat the people who are working for them now?”   Treating someone professionally is a two-way street.  Even if a company does not choose a candidate they have an obligation to leave them with a good feeling about the process,  and the idea  they valued the candidate for wanting to interview and join their team.

One of my clients who I have worked with for 4 years now said it this way.  “Jim,  if we do not select a person  to join the team I want them to at least go away from the process knowing we are a decent caring company.  And if anyone of their friends asked about us they would not throw us under the bus. They would speak highly of our process, our company,  and how we treated them with respect.  I want them to feel they can come into one our restaurants and be a valued guest in the future.”

As a recruiter it is always difficult to present a company when they have a bad reputation in the market for how they treat their people.   A good thought for the client is to treat the candidate with the same care they use with their guests.  It helps turn a negative for the candidate who is not choosen into a positive and defines your company as a great place to work!

Jim Coromel



If only there was a pill for personal responsibility!
September 4, 2009, 2:26 pm
Filed under: View point

I was reading a report today in Restaurant News by Paul Frumkin entitled “Industry criticizes report’s suggestion that fast-food bans will curb obesity” It seems the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council has come out with a report recommending quick service food chains should not be allowed near schools.  This according to them would slow down childhood obesity.  This also lends fuel to the argument certain cities and states have of raising the tax on so called “bad foods.”  Making them more expensive and thus less attractive for people to eat.   Here is the problem I have.

The quick service chains have given us choices now.  Salad’s, green apple slices with kid meals.  You can actually walk in to a Micky D’s and if you want,  eat healthy.  The problem in my mind is not so much about the food as about whether or not parents are teaching personal responsibility.  There is not a kid who doesn’t know apple slices are better for you than fries!  What parents need to focus on is being more diligent in teaching their kids personal responsibility.   Is it really the restaurant’s fault when a parent allows their kid to eat thousands of calories at one sitting?   Groups that go after forcing the person’s choice by taking it away or penalizing the consumer with extra taxes on what they deem inappropriate foods miss the point.  Educating people and teaching about personal responsibility gives them the tools to make the right decisions and wins the day.  By penalizing them all you do is decide the average person is too dumb to make an intelligent decision about their eating habits.  I understand the State’s interest,  it’s more tax revenue, plain and simple.  But as a nation we are stronger the more we educate and teach personal responsibility.    Allowing people to be grownups making their own decisions based on an educated assessment of the choices is more difficult at first.  In the long run  it is key to changing the eating habit of our children.



The New GM’s and National Restaurants Winning at the Local Level.
August 21, 2009, 4:31 pm
Filed under: View point

More and more casual dining restaurant companies are realizing the importance of general managers who know how to market their restaurants to the local areas. This is new for some and old for others. GM’s have always needed to understand operations, finacials, employee and management staff motivation, as well as in store guest relations. But here is the kicker, more and more, success is defined in the casual dining industry by putting in place general managers who know how to market. Knowing how to market is a whole other skill set all together. You can’t be successful if you are an introvert.    Success comes with your ability to reach out and interact with other businesses and groups in your local area. You need to become involved with your community. Charity work, local sports, schools and area businesses. People in your community must not look at your restaurant as “XYZ Bar and Grill” but as “Your Place.” Your face has to be synonymous in your community with your company. You need to get out and be the “sales guy.” On the other hand companies, you need to give your GM’s some tools to compete. Because its the company who allows their separate locations to react locally who will win the day. Case in point in southern New Jersey their are two national restaurants side by side. One of the restaurants is a “Phillies” bar. They organize Phillies parties on game day. They have the TV’s tuned to the game. They have specials. The staff is motivated and wears the teams hats. It’s a real fun time. The other restaurant can’t get the games on the TV because their home office feels the expense to upgrade to a sports channel on their satellite TV is too cost prohibitive. Guess which restaurant is packed on Sunday afternoon?

But it’s not all about sports. Its about the GM’s getting out and interacting with the local area. And it is here I think many companies are missing the boat by not having older GM’s on their team. Let’s face it you really don’t see older managers in the casual dining concepts. GM’s are mostly in their mid to late 30′s a few in their forties. I would argue that General Managers in their late 40′s and 50′s are much better equipped to interact with the community. Their life experiences are greater and they move with ease when it come to socially interacting with the community. They are better for the most part in being able to reach outside of their restaurant. Companies would be wise to recognize this as they alter the formula for what makes a successful GM and restaurant.



Easy to look at the bleak side or thanks Jill and Kevin.
July 25, 2009, 4:56 pm
Filed under: View point

Given the world and economic situation it’s easy for us all to look at life from a dark perspective.  The cliché is we see the glass as half empty,  but is it?  You know it can just as easily be half full.  When I look at the suffering of what our parents and grandparents endured through a depression and two world wars  I end up shaking my head at what we call our plight.  Think about it.  We have defined ourselves as victims.   The media is centered around gotcha reporting trying to spin the news day in and day out.  Trying to make news “sexy” for the sake of ratings instead of just reporting it.   We force our publicly traded companies to toe the line on crazy expectations based solely on short term quarterly news that “experts” report on.  It’s ridiculous.  We all know it but we all walk down the path like brain dead “nimrods.”  which brings me to the whole point.

While watching the Today Show this morning I was introduced to Jill and Kevin’s wedding.  Here in the middle of all of this swirling quote un-quote horrible stuff happening in our world, two people and their friends and family get together.   They pull off a wonderful statement about their commitment to each other and the future.   It’s time to celebrate that!  Things are only as bad as you allow yourself to make them seem.  Let’s take back the dawn!  Thank you Jill and Kevin for letting us peek in!



HIRING MANAGER HELD HOSTAGE! OR HOW ROBIN HOOD HIRED A MERRY MAN.
July 12, 2009, 8:04 pm
Filed under: View point

By now those of you who know me know I have a cynical streak, and it’s in that flavor of prose I will take you back to the “olden days” before human resources and testing. The days of Sherwood Forest. Let us venture back and look at Robin Hood’s Company,“ RH Merry Men.” The guys who robbed from the rich and gave to the poor.

When Robin needed to hire a Merry Man or Merry Woman, he would talk with the candidate first. Get a feel for him. Perhaps take the guy to a stream with a log spanning it’s width and in simple combat, see how the guy handled himself. Later they might go out and share some of the King’s deer and some grog. A way just to feel him out. Robin would then say his goodbyes to the candidate and go off and talk about him with his trusted Merry Men. I can imagine Robin saying to Fryer Tuck; “ What do you think Tuck? He seemed to know his way around a bow and arrow.” Tuck might have chortled back; “ Yes but would he be as steady against the King’s men?” In the end Robin would make the decision as to whether or not he’d hire the guy based on a lot of human intuition and observation. Lets skip ahead to present day.

Now, the candidate is met with a quick phone call and if she passes a few internet tests about personality, intelligence, math and reading skills, we move onto a face to face interview. A lot of times if one person does not like her during the process, she is sent packing. The idea is if, out of 4 people “Joe” doesn’t like her, we stop moving ahead. If she does not score well on a certain test, The answer is; “I’m sorry she wasn’t a fit.” What is happening is we’re wrapping ourselves up with excuses to not hire a person thereby making no one at fault if the candidate fails. The hiring manager, is protected. “It wasn’t my fault for the bad hire.” “We all liked her!” “She did excellent on her tests.” But hear this. It’s not the hiring manager’s fault. It’s whoever is above them and how they hold them accountable. What the person at the top misses is hiring a candidate once you know they technically understand the job is a totally human intuitive process. By giving up our humanness to the system we are losing some great people. Let’s face it, If the hiring process were left to tests and decisions by committee during Britain’s Darkest Hour, they never would have picked Churchill to lead them out. I’m not saying stop the tests either. I am saying don’t make them the mitigating factor. Don’t let one person on the team stop the whole team if the others all like the candidate. Four years ago I had a great candidate who was passed over by one of my clients during his first interview. He didn’t run a food cost that the client felt he should have. Although very professional he was not as “put together” as the other candidate. I took him to another client. A smaller company who was looking for the right person. They took their time an got to know him. They didn’t even give the candidate a single test! It took two weeks and then they made him an offer. Today his restaurant is one of the top two in the market. He runs an independent and puts it to Olive Garden and Ruby Tuesday, Long Horn, Chili’s and MacGrill all day long. What of the company that did not hire him? Their restaurant isn’t even close.

If Robin Hood had tests he might have wanted to see them. He might have wanted to hear Tuck’s opinion. But in the end he would have made the decision based on what he thought. Companies need to rely on their people interviewing. Hiring Managers are going to make mistakes. Don’t beat them senseless for it and they won’t be afraid go out on a limb for the next Churchill. You will get stronger candidates. It’s really not science. It’s what one person gets when they sit down across from another and take a measure.

Run the background check though ;)

Talk with you soon,

Jim




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