4 Things You Can Learn From Starbucks' Recruitment Process


You can learn a lot from Starbucks' recruitment process.

From discovering what interview questions they ask to what processes they use to find new candidates.

Since 1971, Starbucks has established itself as the world's leading coffee chains.

One of the biggest reasons for its success is its customer service.

Sure, their coffee might taste great, but there's something special about a Starbucks that keeps millions of us flocking back every single day.

This customer focus philosophy was instilled by the CEO, Howard Schultz from the start and remains a cornerstone of everything they stand for to this very day.

The question is, how can your business attract and hire the same type of customer-centric employees?

Here's the secret to Starbucks' recruitment process success.

No stone is left unturned

A lot of companies operating in the hospitality and retail industries will be the first to admit that they usually work pretty swiftly in hiring new employees.

The issue is, it often leads to high turnover rates and doesn't always result in high levels of customer service.

Starbucks takes a refreshingly different approach to this by running a thorough recruitment process.

While the interview stages are simple enough, the screening process is a lot more complex.

The American coffee masterminds like to check if the candidates are an ideal cultural fit and have the experience to fulfil the job role.

Second stage interviews are very different from a majority of competitors too, with them being held in front of a panel.

Having more people casting their eyes over the candidates gives the hiring manager a more rounded point of view.

All-in-all, the recruitment process can take up to three weeks, with interviews often being held at multiple locations and with different managers of a branch.

Applying this level of detail into the hiring process ensures every new employee fits right in and is passionate enough to provide an excellent service to their customers.

Hiring is made fun

The words 'fun' and 'recruitment' aren't usually associated with each other.

However, Starbucks prides itself on creating a joyful and exciting recruitment process from start to finish.

On their website's career page, they mention 'Be yourself. We want to get to know you' ' which is a mantra they carry into every recruitment process.

They recognise that their employees may spend 37.5 hours with them every week, so it's important to create an environment that they love being a part of.

Starbucks tries to get this 'fun' mantra over during its hiring process by keeping the interviews light, warm and conversational.

According to reviews on Glassdoor, many candidates mention how at ease they felt during the interview and that all of the employees were enthusiastic.

Candidates can even have a free drink when they arrive!

Think about how your business welcomes its candidates.

Are your staff aware of them? Do they make an effort to make them feel comfortable? Is there a fresh, vibrant atmosphere in the office?

You must make the right impression, otherwise, the candidate might look for a job elsewhere.

Personality trumps everything else

Personality is integral to customer-facing roles.

There's nothing worse than being greeted by a rude or dull employee.

Starbucks like their team to be enthusiastic, full of life and personable.

That's why they don't ask for a CV as a part of the recruitment process.

Instead, they just get the candidates to fill out a tailored application form.

By answering a certain set of personality-based questions, they have the opportunity to get to know people before inviting them to an interview.

They even apply this process to senior roles too!

Nowadays, technical skills and experience may get you through the door, but it's the character, personality and soft skills that'll get a candidate the job.

Granted, ditching CVs might not work for you.

However, it's definitely worth incorporating a personality-based questionnaire or specific interview questions into your recruitment process.

Only simple interview questions are asked

Trying to ask complex brainteasers or wacky interview questions work for some businesses.

But that doesn't mean that keeping it simple is the wrong way to go.

Starbucks only ask simple competency-based questions so the candidate can feel at ease.

Deciding whether this works for your business depends on what kind of role you're looking to fill.

For example, if you're searching for an IT technician, it's worth using complex problem-solving questions as this is a key part of their daily job.

However, using competency-based interview questions are ideal for a customer or client-facing role, as you need to understand how the candidate's experience has helped them remedy certain scenarios.


The secret of Starbucks' recruitment process is out!

All-in-all, their customer-centric philosophy is useful to any role, it's just a matter of incorporating it into your hiring strategy.

Creating a fun work culture and environment like Starbucks should be something you want to do, while their thorough processes are essential in making the right decision.

If you implement all of these factors, you'll have a team that is loyal, passionate and hard-working.

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