If "You are What You Eat"...
The world of work is changing, both in how companies interact with their customers and with their employees. But are the potential management hires you talk to about important jobs at your restaurant keeping up with the latest? While it may not be a make-or-break question in an interview, finding out just what kind of media a job candidate is consuming will give you quick insight into what they know about managing, marketing and other elements of your business.
But instead of asking a potential manager about what the last book they read is, ask them to explain their daily media diet.
The book on their nightstand will give you a glimpse at what they are learning - heck, a majority of adults aren’t reading any books after they graduate from college - but their daily intake of information is going to speak volumes about their interests, their focus and the importance they put on being on the cutting edge. If all they do is check their Facebook page and the scores on ESPN, they might not be bringing much to the table to help your restaurant, but here are some blogs and websites which should perk up your ears if they mention them:
* Seth Godin (http://sethgodin.typepad.com/) : Godin’s blog is renown as one of the best spots on the Web for thoughts about business organization, marketing and customer satisfaction. Godin has had best sellers recently with “Tribes” and “Linchpin”, but is now focusing all of his insight online.
* Tom Peters (http://www.tompeters.com/): The Godfather of radical business thought, Peters puts out pithy videos, blog updates and videos to push the limits of how a business can succeed. If a potential employee has discovered Peters, they’re serious about work.
* Smartbrief (http://www.smartbrief.com/index.jsp): This website provides subscription email newsletters about the latest information in a variety of fields, from social media to accounting to the restaurant industry. Subscriptions can quickly fill up an inbox, but provide trend information that a savvy potential employee won’t want to miss.
* Fast Company (http://www.fastcompany.com/): A magazine that covers the full spectrum of business in the Web 2.0 world, including innovations in customer service, design and retail. Of all the many business magazines out there that a would-be employee could pick up, Fast Company is out ahead.
Now, a really smart restaurant manager applicant might do enough research to read this blog (on how to get promoted: How to Get Promoted in the Restaurant Industry.
It never hurts to ask. We consume so much content on the web, TV and our phones. How it’s consumed shows where expertise and interest intersect.