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Reference List Recruiting

I ask every person I interview (either face to face or over the phone) for a list of five to seven references of people who work in the restaurant industry. I want the personal contact information of high-caliber individuals who can give me some idea of what this person is like to work with. I make it clear that these references do not necessarily have to be managers. With this simple request, I turn one résumé into five to seven possible candidates.

The next step is to call the people on the reference list. If you are interested in the individual who gave you the list of references, do the reference checks and make your decision on that individual before you begin to recruit from his or her reference list. If you are not interested in the person who gave you the list of references, don’t bother with the reference check. Just recruit people from the person’s reference list.

The conversation goes something like this: “Hi, my name is Howard Cannon, I was speaking with someone the other day who mentioned that you were one of the best people in the restaurant industry. I happen to own a restaurant company, and I am looking for the best people money can buy. I wanted to know if you would be interested in meeting me at my office to discuss the career opportunities I have available.” If the reply is yes, set up a meeting time. If the answer is no, thank the person for his or her time and move on.

This strategy has the potential to get you staffed quickly and cost-effectively. Again, people love being complimented. Thus, you should have no problem finding people to speak with you.

Food for Thought: Many people think recruiting is about finding a person to hire, but recruiting is really about finding a person to interview. You cannot determine whether you want to hire someone until you have done a through interview and reference check.

To learn more about Restaurant Expert Witness, Howard Cannon, and the expert services he provides, please click here:  Howard Cannon, Restaurant Expert Witness – Bio;  Visit:;  call: 800.300.5764  or  Email

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