EXCLUSIVE LABOUR SOLUTION OFFER for Restaurants Canada members.
Now more than ever, operators across Canada are in a constant recruitment cycle, often spending (and wasting) far too much time on job boards. While many of these boards cite high numbers of qualified job seekers, any restaurant will tell you that the gap lies in the location of these applicants. Applications from job seekers located hours away and “speculative” applications from other provinces or countries cost recruiters enormous amounts of time to review, particularly if they need a role filled “yesterday”. Swob’s focus on the needs of the hospitality market and on closing the location gap is what led to Swob’s big differentiator: its hyper-local focus.
Swob is a web and mobile recruitment app explicitly designed for hospitality and foodservice recruitment. Originally launching on mobile, the app experience allows users to scroll through jobs in their community and, when they find one they like, swipe right to learn more and apply. Swob was custom-created for entry-level hospitality jobs, and its growing client and user base has streamlined the online recruitment process for restaurants across Canada.
The visionary entrepreneurs behind the award-winning recruitment app are Stephanie and Alex Florio, a brother-and-sister team. They initially struck on the idea based on their lived frustrations in finding local part-time, entry level jobs. Since those original conversations, they’ve raised funds and designed, built and launched Swob, becoming the first Canadian company to win Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Mobile Canada’s “Pitch To Rich” competition in May 2018. They’ve also earned many awards and accolades for the success of their business and product quality and sophistication.
During the original research and development phase for Swob, Stephanie notes they made listening to restaurant owners a priority, building their feedback and experiences with traditional job platforms into the solution design. “If you are missing your bartender, that’s a crucial thing. If you need to call somebody to come in as soon as possible, that person needs to live nearby. We built in a feature called “maximum applicant distance” that allows the employer to select a certain radius around their business. That was a huge lesson learned for us. We’re very location focused, and that ties into our recent update.”
In December 2022, the Swob team launched their new, enhanced “Swob 2.0” version with design and feature updates on both mobile and web. The improvements in the new release were based on their client and applicant feedback to date and refined by input from human resource professionals at McDonald’s and Recipe Unlimited. “We wanted to understand the pain points recruiters experience using other job boards,” says Florio. “I think success lies in taking the time to really listen and designing a product people really need and want. We were very fortunate to have the opportunity to sit down with experts and gather their feedback and wish lists and I think it really shows in the product. If you’re not listening to what people want, why would you expect them to use your product?”
WHO’S USING SWOB?
“Using swob has been a great experience for us. It allows us to connect to applicants in a way we couldn’t before.”
– Micheal, People Manager at McDonald’s
“Swob is an incredicbly user-friendly tool that makes it easier for us to post jobs, find qualified applicants and fill our positions.”
– Valerie Rock, Senior HR Manager, Lone Star Texas Grill
Stephanie points out that the decision to launch a web-based version of Swob was based on increased client demand and the opportunity to reach new potential hires using different technologies that aligned with varied age demographics and job-seeking behaviours. “While we tend to attract a younger audience, many retirees are getting back into the workforce and this trend grew during the pandemic. There are also a lot of new Canadians using our platform, so we wanted to enhance our offering with a web-based version that was simple to use for anyone, on any technology.”
This insight has already paid off. Employers continue to use the web-based application to post their jobs and job seekers are now able to choose between the mobile app, which was specifically designed for prospective employees, and the newly enhanced website.
The team’s focus on maintaining a local focus led to a redesign that helped draw in more job postings to ensure there are a healthy number of roles available across different communities. “In Toronto, I might have 200 jobs to consider, but there may only be 50 jobs available in Ottawa. We really want to ensure that everybody across Canada is getting enough to choose and select from. That’s why we’ve partnered with large employers to make sure Swob is filled with open, quality roles for all job seekers.”
SWOB BENEFITS FOR RESTAURANTS CANADA MEMBERS:
Save 10% on job postings on Swob Individual and Monthly plans.
Connect quickly and easily with verified local candidates – set your own recruitment radius.
Award-winning platform designed for and with the foodservice and hospitality industry.
Saved job descriptions – no need to re-enter job details.
ONLINE HIRING TIPS FROM STEPHANIE FLORIO AT SWOB:
- Keep postings short and sweet. If it’s an entry-level role, keep it simple and to the point to attract more candidates.
- Include perks. If you offer a signing bonus, free staff meals, parking or special staff amenities or activities, list them. These extras can make a real difference to applicants.
- Show you care about your employees. If you offer specialized training, wellness programs or access to services and apps, let prospective hires know.
- Be responsive and gracious. Recruiting can be stressful, but how you engage with applicants speaks volumes about your workplace culture. The “best” candidates typically have options and, in this market, taking care to put your best foot forward can make a big difference to recruitment success.
- Move fast. It’s an employee market. If you see a great applicant come in, try and engage immediately or you may miss out.
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