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Tottentative measures for recruiting good people – Chapter 3: Measures to prevent manpower shortages

This report analyses the Japanese market.

1.Clarify the personnel to be recruited and never compromise in recruitment

In many restaurants, the reason why service levels do not increase, quality levels do not increase and sales do not increase is often due to mistakes in employee selection.
They hire people who should not be hired, and their performance does not increase.
We often see compromises in hiring, such as “I am not happy with this person, but I have no choice but to hire him” because there is a shortage of staff.
Hiring people with such compromises tends to lead to the result that it would have been better not to hire them at all.
Many managers hire people at a certain level and then try to develop them through training, but the essential aspects of a person’s character and service mindset cannot easily be changed through training, and the older they get, the more difficult it becomes to change them through in-house training. It is therefore very important to distinguish between those who are good recruits and those who are not.

In the service industry, particularly in the food and beverage industry, it is essential to recruit staff with a service mindset in order to raise the level of service.
Apple Store, which has a high level of service, hires people with a great smile who like to interact with people, rather than people with a lot of IT expertise.
Expertise can be taught later, but a natural smile and a love of interacting with people is very difficult to teach.

Secondly, it is not the ability that counts when hiring, but the effort and the way of thinking.
For example, the job performance equation can be expressed as follows.

“Work performance = ability x effort x mindset”.

And while ability and effort are only positive, the way of thinking has a negative effect.

For example, let’s say there are Mr A and Mr D here.
If Mr D’s ability is high and he scores 8 points, but his effort is low and he scores 2 points and his way of thinking is minus 3 points, then Mr D’s work results are as follows: Mr D, who is highly capable and hired because he thought he could make it quickly, is a drag on the organisation and hinders the achievement of results.

D = 8 x 2 x (-3) = -48

However, in the case of Mr A, if his ability was low and scored 2 points, his effort was 8 points and his way of thinking was plus 3 points, then Mr A’s job outcome would be as follows.

A = 2 x 8 x (+3) = 48

With the above results, hiring Ms D would seem to be highly competent and immediately useful, but in reality she is a drag on the organisation.
In the case of Ms A, she is not useful at first because of her low ability. But he makes more effort than others, so in time his ability increases and he becomes a great asset.

Relationship chart between human nature and competence

Ideally, personnel B should be recruited from the outset, but such people are hard to come by, and if they are, they cannot be hired without incurring a very high salary.

Therefore, as the next best option, it is important to recruit Person A, who has low ability at the moment but high human qualities, and to develop her ability to become Person B.

2. clarifying values and sharing values within the organisation

The first thing to do to achieve this is to clarify the values of the organisation and share them with everyone.
People who embrace the same values tend to understand each other’s behaviour, collaborate and approach each other more easily than those who do not, and communities and organisations are often formed by people who share the same values.

Values are particularly shared in religious communities, for example, Christian communities, Muslim communities and Buddhist communities, where values and ways of life have been passed down and shared across generations and time for more than a thousand years.
In a business organisation, values are extremely important because they influence the corporate culture, the specific behaviour of employees, the services and products received by customers and, consequently, the survival or extinction of the company.
Therefore, when values are clearly defined, only those who share those values will become customers and, at the same time, only those who can share those values will become employees.
Constructing values that are appropriate for the company and socially relevant, and getting employees to present and share them, is an important task for managers and leaders, and an important theme that should be clarified when starting a business.

For example, in our case, the first of our values is quality, the second is service, the third is safety and the fourth is management efficiency, and in sharing values, it is not just about what values we have, but the order of the values we have is more important.

(Reference) Our values.
1.A state-of-the-art food research institute, including a noodle-making machine that can produce delicious noodles second to none, and the world’s only noodle school that teaches quality, tasty products through digital cooking
2.24/7/365 maintenance, maintenance to the world
3.Development, manufacture and distribution of safe noodle-making machines that do not cause injury to the user
4.Continuous improvement of management efficiency for the benefit of all stakeholders

As described above, the first of these values, ‘quality’, which is less than the taste of the noodles, has become part of our DNA and has been upheld both domestically and internationally.
Then everyone, including newly recruited staff, has to follow this order of values.
If there is even one person in the mix who doesn’t think so or doesn’t understand them, we lose the trust of our customers.
Thus, recruiting people who share the same values is of paramount importance in order to achieve results.
Therefore, when trying to recruit the right people for the organisation, it is essential to first clarify the organisation’s values.

In order to continue to recruit good people, as mentioned above, treatment and a good working environment are essential items, and in order to achieve this, it is essential to continue to make a profit.

3. recent recruitment practices

The labour shortage is gaining momentum by the day and shows no sign of abating, but recruiting the right people is essential if you want to continue to grow your business in the future.

Here are some guidelines to help you recruit the right people smoothly

1. launch a dedicated recruitment website.

Although it costs a little more, such costs can be quickly recouped if you can recruit the best people, so we recommend that you first set up a dedicated recruitment website.

When I have been interviewing recruits recently, I have noticed that the more excellent people I have interviewed, the more they have painstakingly looked at our website and are convinced of our policies before applying for a job.
Therefore, we are more likely to hire the right people because they are applying for a job based on an understanding of our values.
On our recruitment website, we make it clear what kind of people we want, by clearly defining the company’s values, mission and management philosophy.
In addition, if the company’s status is presented in as much detail as possible, in the shoes of the people applying and in a life-size manner, it is easier for applicants to understand if it is the right place to work for them.

On the contrary, sometimes people apply for a job without looking at the website.
These are people who try to work for a company without knowing what kind of company they are going to work for, so it can be assumed that they are not very serious about life.
Therefore, setting up a recruitment website is an important barrier to recruiting the right people.
If you do not know how to create a recruitment website, we can guide you through the process.

2. recruitment of women and foreigners

We started recruiting many women almost 20 years ago and have successfully transformed our company.
Generally speaking, for the same cost, we can hire far more qualified women than men.
Women are particularly suited to sales, which is becoming very complex because of their consistency, and their attention to detail is essential to raising service levels.
In our company, women are currently active in almost all departments, not least in the sales, development and production departments, and half of the board members are also women.
There are also more than 10 foreigners of various nationalities, including Chinese, Malaysian, Russian, American, Korean and Vietnamese, and the number continues to increase.
And there is absolutely no difference in salary based on gender or nationality.

3. development of the working environment

One of the reasons why udon noodle and ramen shops are shunned by many job applicants is because their work environment is a model of 3K.
Creating a pleasant working environment is becoming one of the most essential and important factors in order to continue to recruit the right people in the future.
Trying to do this requires a bit of investment, but these are positive investments that will always pay off.
In particular, in the kitchen we use boilers with high heat and large soup kettles, so if the heat is from gas, the environment in the kitchen becomes a sauna in the summer, which is a very difficult working environment and not a good environment for the people working there.
We hold monthly udon school, soba school and ramen school at our head office and Tokyo branch, and for the students’ reference, we use electricity instead of any gas for all thermal power.
This makes for a very comfortable workplace, even in summer.
In particular, the boiling kettles and the skimming range have a high thermal efficiency and produce almost no exhaust heat like gas, so the surroundings don’t get hot at all.
At the same time, monthly utility bills are very low, as shown below.

(Reference case) Switching from gas to electricity to improve working conditions while increasing profits

1. Comparison of fuel costs between IH and gas (in the case of ramen soup, based on 300 cc per serving of pork bone broth with a concentration of 8°C; this data is calculated from actual measured data of soup cooked in the past)

Gas
21.6 yen per cup
IH
5.77 yen per cup
Gas
8.33 hours for a high of 80 cups
IH
8.9 hours for a total of 91 cups

2. the difference in one year when 100 servings of soup are cooked per day and the number of working days is 25 per month

IH
14,425 yen/month
173,100 yen/year
Gas
54,000 yen/month
648,000 yen/year
Difference
39,575 yen/month
JPY 474,900/year

If gas is converted to induction, it further reduces cooling costs and improves the working environment, so workers do not quit.

4. promote a way of working that takes into account the individual circumstances of each worker

Mothers with small children were very important workforce players in restaurants as part-timers and always took care of their small children.
However, in the future, more and more employees will have parents with caring conditions.
Therefore, creating working conditions that allow employees to work while caring for a family member with a nursing condition will become an important theme.
In addition to small children and nursing parents, it will also be important to balance the operation of the shop with the working style that suits each individual’s circumstances, as there may be employees with any other circumstances.

5. protect the health of workers

Eight years ago, our company started serving in-house lunches with organic vegetables.
As well as being organic, it is also chemical-free, additive-free and provides all employees with a healthy lunch and evening meal free of charge.

As a result, our employees are healthier and take less time off.

Another key feature of the free, healthy lunches is the large number of young women working at Praxair, many of whom are part-females, compared to surrounding companies.
Thus, the provision of healthy meals makes employees healthier, and in conjunction with this, it is easier to recruit good human resources.

Most udon noodle and ramen shops also offer makanai meals.
Switching from makanai meals to healthy meals is a good idea.
This makes the employees healthier and less absent, creating a great situation for both the restaurant and the employees.

However, it is difficult to switch only the meals you serve to healthy meals, so you switch all the food you serve in your restaurant to healthy food with good ingredients, with no chemical additives and no preservatives.
Naturally, the cost of ingredients is higher, so prices have to be increased.

This will attract good customers who also take care of themselves.
It also extends the life of your customers, so they will use your restaurant for a long time.

Originally, it was a given that food was good for health because it nourishes the human body, but the number of shops offering strange food has increased due to profit priorities.

6. shop exteriors, interiors and uniforms

Young people these days also care about the way they look.
It is also very important that the workplace makes you feel proud to be there.
If you have a workplace where just being there makes you feel good, then it is not a pain to come and visit every day, but rather something to be proud of and boast about.
This may not be something that can be done immediately, as it requires investment, but it is important to understand the importance of these things and to move step by step closer to the ideal.

The same applies to the uniforms you wear on a daily basis, and it is also extremely important that they are tasteful, look professional and make you want to wear them.

Continued in Chapter 4: Strategies to increase sales and generate profits.

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