Recruiting Top Talent in Tough Markets

Take a look at the search results on the top job board search engines for “Restaurant Manager” in Washington, D.C. and the results may surprise you:

– Indeed: 1,939 Restaurant Manager Jobs in Washington, D.C.
– CareerBuilder: 397 Restaurant Manager Jobs in Washington, D.C.
– Monster: 39 Restaurant Manager Jobs in Washington, D.C.

Though this is not a scientific experiment, it tells any restaurant recruiter, restaurant HR professional, or restaurant operations personnel hiring in DC that it can be a challenge to find quality Restaurant Managers in what has become a very competitive market.

According to the National Restaurant Association Analysis, the Restaurant Industry remains a bright spot in the nation’s uneven post-recession job market. For example, the restaurant industry shows solid job growth at more than double the overall economy. On the state level, Texas (10.2%), New York (9.9%), Hawaii (9.8%), Louisiana (9.2%), and the District of Columbia (8.3%) show the strongest restaurant employment growth between August 2010 and August 2012.

What does the Bureau of Labor Statistics have to say about the restaurant job market in Washington, D.C.? In 2012, the District of Columbia was right along with 37 states that recorded unemployment rate decreases. DC and 42 states registered unemployment rate decreases from a year earlier. Back in September 2012 the largest monthly increase in employment occurred in Texas (+21,000), followed by Pennsylvania (+17,800) and the District of Columbia (+14,200). Washington, DC experienced the largest month-long percentage increase in employment, at +2.0 percent.

So how does this all impact or affect DC’s restaurant and hospitality industry? It demonstrates that restaurant managers and hospitality professionals in the area are a hot commodity. In addition to being highly recruited in their own field, these candidates are also being recruited out of the restaurant industry by other industries that can provide a different quality of life with higher wage scales. After all, who wouldn’t want to hire a candidate that can manage people and work long hours with a strong motivation to make more money?

This data illuminates current DC job trends, while also providing insight to help you navigate the market and start exploring new channels to find the best candidates. Look at your current bench strength to start developing your own talent. Another key is to examine and evaluate what you’re paying your employees, particularly in DC. Consider looking at the People Report data, as it can tell you if your wages are competitive enough to hire the talent you’re looking for to fill restaurant management jobs.

This article was written by Brian Medina and originally appeared on It is reposted here with his permission.