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Why restaurant job applicants bail mid-hire

A new study shows prospects are quick to ghost an establishment they surmise doesn't deserve respect.

Finding prospective employees may be less of a problem for restaurants than getting the would-be recruits to complete the hiring process, according to a new study of why applicants bail.

The report shows that nearly three out of four (74%) will drop their effort to be hired if they suspect management is racist, and two out of three (62%) will flee if they learn of sexual harassment allegations. Roughly the same proportion (65%) will halt their pursuit if they encounter indications of a gender gap in pay.

About half (45%) of candidates won’t show for an interview or complete an application if they surmise current employees aren’t happy to be working at the place, according to the survey by StartMonday, a recruitment service.

“Unlike most industries, employers within hospitality and retail have no trouble finding talent,” concluded the report, which found that 47% of people working in the restaurant recruitment pool say they’re looking for a new job. “They do, however, have trouble getting job candidates to complete the hiring process.”

How do potential hires form their opinions of prospective restaurant employers? The StartMonday study found the internet to be the leading reference by far. Sixty-five percent of applicants check out the company’s website, and 31% look at employee-review sites, presumably like Glassdoor.com.

Indications of a restaurant’s favorability as a job site are also gleaned from social media (27%) and online customer reviews (24%).

Candidates can also be turned off by what they infer from the hiring process. If they have to wait long for any response to an application, “It tells them the organization doesn’t respect them as individuals,” concluded StartMonday. It found that 85% of applicants expect to receive a confirmation of their job request within two days, and 40% expect it within 24 hours.

Bad publicity can also sour a hiring. More than three out of four respondents (77%) said they would reject a job offer if they found out the company had lied to customers. Sixty-four percent said they’d rebuff an offer from a company that was known to be a polluter.

The report is based on surveys during February of 750 retail and hospitality employees, including front- and back-of-house restaurant workers.

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