5 Things You Must Know Before Working with a Restaurant Recruiter

As any restaurant manager who has ever been out of work knows, finding a job is no easy task. Locating positions of interest in a concept that fits your career goals and then convincing the hiring managers you are the one to hire is no small matter. It can be frustrating, particularly if the search has taken some time. Enlisting the assistance of a specialized restaurant management recruiter can ease some of the pressure for you. Doing so can also help you target your efforts to only the most promising opportunities.

It’s about the network:

Professional recruiters have developed large networks of business contacts within many concepts and segments of the restaurant industry. While you are diligently scouring newspaper and internet ads along with the masses, they can uncover leads and vacancies that have not been advertised or even announced. Since the majority of opportunities are not openly announced, using a management recruiter gives you an advantage over job seekers who rely solely on information that is posted in the public domain. Recruiters also can serve as career advisors.

For example, a restaurant executive recruiter can help an individual rewrite his resume to better highlight the candidate’s experience and knowledge. In addition to working with you to refine your application materials, a skilled recruiting professional can offer guidance on everything from answering tough interview questions to negotiating the best compensation package to how to dress for your first day of work.

Not every recruiter is right for you:

When selecting a management recruiter, it’s important you choose an individual who is an expert in his or her field. If you are hoping to find a position as an Executive Chef, someone who has experience in fine dining will be better able to understand your needs and the expectations of potential employers. Ask friends and colleagues for referrals. Consider contacting a few management recruiting professionals in your field to gauge the level of rapport you have with each. Above all, make sure you are comfortable with the person with whom you have partnered and are confident that he or she has your best interests at heart. Always remember that you should receive a recruiter’s assistance free of charge. Management recruiters are paid a fee by companies to locate qualified candidates, so view any recruiter who asks you to pay for job-search services with suspicion.

Full disclosure will help:

When speaking with a recruiter for the first time, be open and honest about your background, experience and career aspirations. He or she needs to know as much about your professional life as possible to determine the right opportunity for you. Are you looking for relocation? What are your salary requirements? Do you prefer working for a large or small restaurant concept? Are you willing to train out of state? The information you provide may prompt the recruiting professional to suggest promising positions with restaurant concepts that you had not previously considered. You also should disclose to your recruiter any aspects of your work history that may generate concern from prospective employers, such as a long period of unemployment, termination, or credit history. The more upfront you are, the easier it will be for a management recruiter to assist you.

It’s all in the follow up:

After each interview or phone call your recruiter arranges, call to let him or her know how the meeting went. Your feedback can provide information that can be leveraged in follow-up communication with the employer. This could pave the way to a second or final interview. This will also prompt your recruiter to solicit feedback from the interviewer for you. By following up, you also may receive valuable insight into your interviewing skills and learn about any concerns expressed by the hiring manager. Throughout the relationship, be forthright in communicating any changes in your career needs or availability. If you’re interviewing for other jobs that you’ve set up on your own, let your recruiting manager know. He or she may have contacts at the company and could be able to help you secure the position.


Although using the services of a skilled restaurant recruiter can significantly improve your odds of locating employment, even the most successful recruiting professionals may need time to find the perfect position for you. Don’t get discouraged. Recruiters continually mine their sources for job opportunities and may suddenly discover an opportunity that is right for you. If you’d like a status update, don’t be afraid to call your recruiter with questions or updates on your career (promotions, layoffs, etc.). Checking in with him or her on a regular basis ensures both of you remain focused on the best opportunities for you. A skilled restaurant recruiter can help you find the right job faster and open doors to new career opportunities. By maintaining communication, you’ll be in the best position to locate and secure your next position.