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JOEY Restaurants reduces time to interview by 60% with Workable

JOEY Restaurants brings casual, fine-dining to customers in Canada and the US. Using Workable, candidates are screened faster and interviewed more efficiently, agency use has reduced, and a data-driven hiring strategy is now in place.


The challenge

The solution

  • No reporting mechanisms to measure recruitment initiatives
  • Time consuming candidate experience required to reflect their employer brand
  • Hiring managers are full-time managers or chefs
  • Fast-moving, competitive hiring market with a highly perishable candidate market
  • High annual employee turnover
  • Hiring managers who can recruit in one central location, with the option to use on- the-go mobile-optimized tech
  • Analytics allowed for more strategic talent marketing spend, yielding higher volumes of candidates
  • An increase in candidate volume opened up new ways of interviewing, including the introduction of group interviews, reducing the hours spent in one-on-one interviews
  • Better candidate experience achieved through efficient screening and timely comms
  • Data-driven hiring strategy resulting in a reduction in agency use and more accountability of job boards

The challenge: A competitive hiring market and precarious recruitment process

JOEY Restaurants brings casual, fine-dining to customers in Canada and the US. It’s a family-founded business with a reputation for providing iconic hospitality to its guests, and for unleashing the potential of its Partners (its 5000+ employees). But a high churn rate is a known challenge of the hospitality industry, with every year bringing almost 100% employee turnover. And JOEY was no exception.

On the back of its strong employer brand, JOEY’s regularly attracts high volumes of candidates to open roles. But its slow, impersonal candidate experience fell short of the company’s world class reputation for service and risked losing them the best talent. Talent they needed to keep delivering for their guests at the highest level.

“In our industry great candidates get snapped up quickly,” says JOEY’s Manager of Recruiting & Employment Brand, Kelsey Bleakney. “If you’re a good server, bartender or chef, you’ve got options. We know that.”

Recruitment across the group’s 39 restaurants is driven by hiring managers who are first and foremost: full-time managers or chefs, running multi-million dollar restaurants. Without a strategy or disposable time and resources, hiring was impromptu and often in a panic.

When it came to job posting, “there was a lot of posting and praying,” says Kelsey. “Our hiring managers couldn’t track where quality candidates were coming from and struggled to keep candidates organized, and ensure they were contacted in time. This ate up sponsorship dollars, lost us some good hires, and reflected badly on the business.”

The solution: Easy to use software, optimized for mobile

With her background in recruitment technology, Kelsey knew that the right hiring software was the answer. A web development company working with JOEY, recommended Workable for its fast deployment and easy integration. Another endorsement came from one of JOEY’s internal recruiters.

“We needed a system that wasn’t going to be a thorn in the side of our operators,” says Kelsey. “Someone on our team had used Workable before at a previous company and loved its user-friendly interface. We tried it out and immediately saw how easy it was to use.’

To provide a seamless, high-quality candidate experience, JOEY’s hiring managers needed the resources to hire on the go, in-store. Optimized for mobile, Workable had the solution.

“Most of our computers are deep down in a basement office next to the kitchen,” says Kelsey. “Using Workable’s mobile app, our restaurateurs can look at their phone as they’re checking sections. They can contact candidates with one click, pop the phone back in their pocket and continue on their floor.”

As well as streamlining day-to-day hiring, JOEY needed software to plan for the future.

“We had to be more strategic in our approach, informed by greater insights,” says Kelsey. “I wanted to maximize the right type of candidates into our process and convert them to hires. Workable has comprehensive and easy reporting capabilities, which were perfect for us.”

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The outcome: More applications, faster screening and a new approach to interviews

Since moving to Workable, JOEY’s application volume has grown, and its approach to interviewing has changed as a result.

“We are moving in the direction from several one-on-one interviews scattered across the week, to one group interview,” says Kelsey. “Group interviews are efficient and a great way for people to shine in a crowd. But first, we needed the crowd. We weren’t getting the numbers before, but through Workable’s job boards we now are.”

With faster screening and more responsive, high-touch communication, candidate experience now matches brand expectations. Using Workable they can efficiently manage their growing “crowd” of candidates and book interviews at speed.

“Previously a candidate may not have been looked at in a week. Now, we’re checking every 24-48 hours with the goal of meeting all qualified applicants within 7 days.”

They’re also making labor (and cost) savings along the way, condensing interview hours into a more efficient block of time.

“Even a single tool like the email templates makes a big difference. It means we can rapid-fire invite people to next steps. Over a year, we will see incredible savings in terms of labor costs; so that’s time saved arranging interviews and on manual recruiting efforts.”

The future: Cost savings and data-driven hiring

Looking ahead, more efficiencies and savings are planned—using Workable.

“With the insights we can gather using Workable, we’re able to reduce our dependence on external recruitment agencies to just one or two specialty roles a year,” says Kelsey.

Better reporting and accountability of job boards means money is spent only where needed.

“From my dashboard I get a snapshot of each pipeline and can quickly see where we have enough applicants and where we don’t,” says Kelsey. “I can refocus resources where they most matter, improve our ROI and build better hiring strategies for the future.”

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