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HR Magazine, February 2001: Help Wanted

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HR Magazine, February 2001Vol. 46, No. 2

From Their Kitchen to Yours

Restaurants aren’t the only employers looking for kitchen help. Hospitals, retirement homes, senior centers, assisted living facilities and catering halls are regularly on the hunt for good employees. Organizations try to make good matches between graduate and employer, based on skill level, interest and temperament.

"We like to match the right people to the right job," says Robert Egger, founder of the D.C. Central Kitchen. "For instance, one guy told us he liked older folks, so we placed him in a senior citizen home, which has worked out great because he really enjoys the people."

At the North Texas Food Bank’s Community Kitchen, 50 percent of graduates are working mothers, which is why it’s important that graduates are placed in jobs that provide benefits and won’t interfere with family responsibilities.

The Kansas City Community Kitchen currently has a different approach to placement. "Right now we’re steering away from upscale restaurants because the stress level is so great and alcohol is available," explains executive director Jane Tally. "We’re placing people at hospitals, hotels, retirement communities, catering halls and corporate dining rooms."

At FareStart in Seattle, the opposite is true. Most graduates go to work for high-end downtown Seattle restaurants like those owned by Consolidated Restaurants. In four years of partnership, not a single of the half dozen FareStart placements has failed to work out.

"FareStart is very careful about matching the right people to the right company," notes Loree Wagner, Consolidated’s director of marketing. "Even when we’ve requested somebody, if they weren’t going to be the right fit, FareStart suggested someone else."

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