Human resources manager, Rusty Bucket Restaurant & Tavern
How did you get into this profession? In early 2013, I was working as the general manager for Cameron Mitchell PremierEvents when I learned there was going to be a position opening up in our human resources department. The Rusty Bucket Restaurant & Tavern, a sister company to Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, was looking for a human resources manager to focus on associate relations and recruiting. Honestly what I loved most about my role with the catering division was the people side of the business, building relationships and helping to solve problems. The thought of focusing all of my time on these areas made me extremely excited and eager to talk details about the Rusty Bucket HR manager role. After an extensive interview process, I was offered the position and transferred to our home office. This profession is a perfect fit for me, and because I have such a passion for the hospitality industry and all of the amazing people that work in it, coupled with me being a true brand ambassador for our company, it makes me a perfect fit for the profession.
What are the qualities of an excellent resume? There isn't a perfect answer for this. However, there are certainly things that I look for and things that I don't gravitate toward. The resume itself should be easy to read with their contact information and employment history very clear with dates and positions held highlighted. In the hospitality industry, most management positions have the same or similar tasks from restaurant to restaurant, so the list of responsibilities doesn't carry so much weight for me. If a candidate was a general manager at a restaurant for four years, I'm aware of what responsibilities they had, but I do look for details such as sales volume of their property or how many associates they managed. I typically have a good understanding of their qualifications within one to two minutes of looking over the resume. Once their qualifications match what we are looking for, the most important part comes during the interview to determine if they will be a great fit for our company and our culture.
What are two interview deal breakers? Just two? Well then I'd have to say low or no energy would be a top deal breaker, especially in the hospitality industry. Our managers work in high-energy, high-volume environments and they need to lead and coach a group of associates and ensure that our guests are taken great care of. If an interview candidate doesn't seem to have the passion or energy to be excited about that, then I have a hard time wondering why they are interested in the career. Secondly, if a candidate has no questions for me about our company or the position, it's a red flag. I'd like to think that an interview candidate is also interested in whether or not we are the right fit for them, so if they don't ask questions I assume they have lost interest. I've actually had a candidate ask me 20 minutes into a phone interview, "What company is this again?" The conversation was over very quickly after that.
What's the most exciting thing happening in your industry? There are so many exciting things happening in the restaurant and hospitality industry. Our industry isn't shrinking or becoming stagnant – it's growing at a rapid rate. I'm lucky to be a part of it, and I'm extremely lucky to be part of an amazing and growing company. The Rusty Bucket will be opening five new restaurants this year, which means there are lots of great opportunities for growth within our company for our current managers and associates as well as great people joining our team from other companies. It's incredibly exciting to be able to watch a high school ProStart student (a culinary and hospitality vocational program for Ohio high school students) start working in our kitchen at age 17, work hard, and eventually have the ability to become a salaried sous chef helping to manage one of our kitchens. We have several sous chefs who worked their way through that program and have very bright futures ahead of them, and any one of them could end up being a corporate chef for us one day. It doesn't get any more exciting than that!
What would you change about the industry? I wouldn't change a thing! I love the restaurant business, I love our company (both Cameron Mitchell Restaurants and the Rusty Bucket), and I love that I'm in a position to help bring great people into our company and to help effect change in a positive way.