Storefront Hires? Where To Find Them?

Business By l80bug79 Updated 15 Jun 2012 , 7:56am by scp1127

l80bug79 Posted 13 Jun 2012 , 2:26am
post #1 of 14

I have a storefront and looking to hire another decorator. so far the interns and ones i've interviewed have come up short. where have you had the most success (advertising for) in finding qualified experienced help?


13 replies
jason_kraft Posted 13 Jun 2012 , 3:14am
post #2 of 14

Culinary schools and local colleges with baking/pastry programs.

matthewkyrankelly Posted 13 Jun 2012 , 3:16am
post #3 of 14

Hiring is extremely local and different everywhere, even from one town to the next.

Talk to everyone about it. Brainstorm with people about where to advertise. I would talk to local Wilton Instructors, other bakers, talk to teachers, friends, your local librarian, craigslist, local trade magazines, etc.

But really, if you aren't friendly with the other bakers in town, now is the time to do it. If someone has been let go for cause, you will only find out over a cup of coffee. No one will ever write it down or tell it to just anyone. There's no sense in hiring everyone else's rejects. The hiring process is expensive to do right(time=money) or just dumb luck. The more you put into it, the more likely you will get a quality employee. A bad one will have you right back where you are now in six months.

People don't usually wear a sign that says what they do. You have to find them out. Hiring an employee is almost like doing the job search yourself.

Good luck and get to work!

scp1127 Posted 13 Jun 2012 , 5:16am
post #4 of 14

I don't have a storefront yet, but I do have an alternative suggestion.

I taught my 17 year old daughter to make everything we make. She had no experience but tremendous work ethic and the ability to "get it" the first time. It has been such a good experience that I have decided to hire someone with the above ethics and no skills. This person will not be secretly making my recipes her way. She will not have a way. I picked up the buttercream and fondant in a few Wilton classes.

This may sound like an extreme hiring plan, but when I had the construction business, we provided a service that no other company provided at the time. I had to train every person. It took about 6 weeks for me to get someone up to spped. But I didn't have a choice. Trying out this method on my daughter worked perfectly.

So if you can't find that perfect employee, make one. On a purely business note, pay them well so that they can't leave and make sure that you know that the person does not have the financial resources to duplicate your business.

SuzyXD Posted 13 Jun 2012 , 5:56am
post #5 of 14

The best luck I have had finding decorators has been through placing an ad on Craigslist, as well as voluntarily submitted resumes.
Whenever someone asks if we are hiring, I say we are always accepting resumes to keep on file, as well as a few photos of their work. Then, if we suddenly need help, I go to my file first. (It's helpful to mark the date a resume is submitted).
If there's nothing promising in the file, I place the Craigslist ad. It's cheap, and hits a large group of job seekers. I recommend you have the Craigslisters submit their resumes/portfolios to a separate email address, as there may be a lot to weed through, and you don't want it filling up your regular mailbox!
And good luck. icon_wink.gif

Unlimited Posted 13 Jun 2012 , 6:55am
post #6 of 14

Call your local chapter of the baker's union.

Originally Posted by scp1127

On a purely business note, pay them well so that they can't leave and make sure that you know that the person does not have the financial resources to duplicate your business.

Careful... if you pay them well, they will eventually have the financial resources to duplicate your business!

Avoid giving large bonuses or they could be your immediate competition once they have a huge amount of money dumped in their lap.

l80bug79 Posted 14 Jun 2012 , 1:09am
post #7 of 14

thanks for the info. some of these i've done and some i have not. most walk in employment seekers are wanting a "sales counter" job; not what i need at this point. I need someone to give a stack of orders to and they complete them. i've been open almost 2 years and to the point that i'm exhausted from being at the bakery all the time. as most of you know it's grueling to work every day 14-18 hours and more some days (6 and sometimes 7 days a week). Need to hang up some of my "work hats".

jason_kraft Posted 14 Jun 2012 , 3:07am
post #8 of 14

If you want to keep focusing on decorating, another option would be finding someone to handle the business and administrative tasks for you.

scp1127 Posted 14 Jun 2012 , 3:50am
post #9 of 14

Unlimited, I meant pay better than market. For example, if the market pays $10.00/hr, pay $12.00. On that level, the $80.00 will keep them with you but will not let them become competition.

In our areas, anyone on an hourly rate of pay would never be able to enter the market. But every employer wants an exceptional employee, so they will become as good as you.

What I mean by competition, you don't want someone who has good business knowledge, someone who has the education or borrowing power to open a shop, or someone who is so self-motivated that they will save their pennies to open.

We can all judge the person in an interview and tell if the person has the ability and means to not only come up with $50K to $100K in cash, but then have the ability to be successful. Very few people with that kind of cash or education work for $10.00/hr. It's just common sense.

jason_kraft Posted 14 Jun 2012 , 5:01am
post #10 of 14
Originally Posted by scp1127

We can all judge the person in an interview and tell if the person has the ability and means to not only come up with $50K to $100K in cash, but then have the ability to be successful. Very few people with that kind of cash or education work for $10.00/hr. It's just common sense.

It's impossible to judge the financial situation of a potential employee from an interview. They may have wealthy relatives, a trust account they are waiting out, friends with business knowledge who would be willing to partner to open a competing business, and so on.

If you can find an employee who knows what they are doing, I wouldn't refrain from hiring them just because they have the means and/or motivation to open a business one day.

scp1127 Posted 14 Jun 2012 , 9:10am
post #11 of 14

Jason, I rarely disagree with you, but after personally having about 200 employees over the years in my three businesses, I am very good at finding exactly what I need to know.

Just like in sales to a business owner, you have to get them talking about themselves. Then with a little steering and leading, I know everything I need to know. Am I wrong sometimes? Yes, but not by these issues. In my construction company, we did a specialized service that no one else offered. Every hire had the potential to be my competitor because they learned my trade. But none had the skills to run a business or to deal with the rather elite group of executives and project managers.

My dad taught me when I was young, "Do not train your future competitor".

I can learn values, feelings about family and children, previous work gripes, hopes, dreams, etc. When asking about transportation, a quick question about how to get to work if the car breaks down will give the extended family finances. Talking about where they live and have lived is also an indicator. I ask about their parents. They will give the level of education and where they work in just chit chat. I hate that but if you get them going, they won't stop.

And I'm sure you can tell that I can find out their level of business knowledge. Relatives with money do not lend to the inexperienced. Even if they do, you know they will fall into the 85% that fail.

jason_kraft Posted 14 Jun 2012 , 2:53pm
post #12 of 14

I can see where you're coming from, but on the point about business knowledge, who's to say they won't partner with someone who does have said knowledge, or acquire it themselves through education or just paying attention to what's going on on the business side?

By excluding ambitious self-starters from your hiring pool you are also precluding the possibility of promoting people from within your organization to autonomously operate new internal ventures.

For example, we hired a very capable intern who got up to speed quickly and required little supervision. She was eventually hired as a full-fledged pastry chef, she was able to take over all baking and decorating duties near the end of my wife's pregnancy, and we ended up selling her the business with minimal training and downtime necessary for the transition. In my view, having a good succession plan in place is more important than trying to avoid hiring people who may compete with you in the future.

KoryAK Posted 14 Jun 2012 , 6:15pm
post #13 of 14

I feel your pain - hiring SUCKS. I pretty much have to train from the ground up around here so I mostly look for someone with a good attitude and some kind of natural art ability.

scp1127 Posted 15 Jun 2012 , 7:56am
post #14 of 14

I sold my construction company to a large company that paid me to teach them the methods. I got the same amount of money for a year by sending my foreman to the job sites. I never even went and made the same living for that year. During that time, I started a smaller construction company closer to home.

The bakery is my daughter's. The retail store will be structured so that I will not need a manager. I wil need a full time baker, maybe two, but they will not become my competitors. I'm not that dumb. Of course, it could happen, but it will be a very slim chance. My dad managed to keep employees from becoming competitors and they did try. Our friend started Iams Dog Food in his garage. He is also a great mentor to me. You have to be smarter than your employees. If not, you can be overtaken. Another reason I harp on education and experience.

I'm not that interested in the sales value because you and I both know that the value is not that great. I just move on. Last week I saw an opportunity on Friday and by Tuesday, I had launched a new business, complete with website and beginning inventory. Now I have two businesses to run. That's my MO. I see an opportunity and jump on it.

I do expect my daughter to take this business as far as she can and then sell it. But I hope it is multi-faceted and actually worth something. Right now, any scratch baker with $50K, a new vehicle, and marketing skills can duplicate me. It doesn't have to be an employee.

Quote by @%username% on %date%