Is your next staff member hiding in your database? It’s time to check.

Let’s be honest, every single business in hospitality and retail is struggling with attracting and keeping staff at the moment.

But you might already have a head start without even knowing. What do we mean? 

Your own customers!

If your customers are engaging with you when they aren’t on-premise, there is a good chance that they feel pretty good about their relationship with your business or brand, and might even be a real advocate.

So who better to help recruit your next gun barista or head chef than a customer acting as a brand ambassador?

These skills might not be lurking amongst your customers, but word-of-mouth chatter about your business could be just the thing in finding your next hire.

How do you tap this potential skill-mine?  Here are a few ideas:

For a general staff recruitment drive – send an email to the customers in your database with the call to action to get prospective employees to land on your jobs page.  If you don’t have one, you could use a TalkBox form to collect details and build a database of potential employees.

Create a Section in your TalkBox account about your company’s Jobs Centre or employee page on what it takes to work for you.

TOP TIP – then drop the section into your monthly newsletters

Hosting a recruitment event or open day? Why not engage a partner like to create a series of digital ads targeting your ideal staff profile? Combined with a TalkBox landing page form you can funnel people into booking sessions that meet their skills.

TOP TIP – create a journey that educates and nourishes prospective employees by sending a series of emails from key staff and follow up with an SMS the day before the event to confirm their coffee order

Once your new stars have been recruited, use a customer journey to onboard and engage them in your business and brand. 

Staff are your most important and valuable brand ambassadors, so make sure you are giving them the communication attention they deserve.


By uploading staff members to your TalkBox account, and tagging them as such, you create a staff segment and communications channel that sits in the same TalkBox account used for customers. Now you can include them in previews of your major campaigns and menu changes, etc. Giving them the information they need to keep your customers engaged when they visit and feel valued themselves. 

A couple of staff journey thought starters for you:

  • All new staff are sent on a welcome and onboarding journey. A bit like your customers, but more focused on your story, key points of difference and areas of the role they need to focus on. This journey can be adjusted based on the different roles within your business
  • Send longer-term employees on refreshers about key elements of your business such as your loyalty program, key menu items or even your cocktails menu.
  • Remember saying thanks to staff is just as important as customers, so a tenure-based customer journey that recognises months and years of service with a carefully crafted email (and maybe even a voucher to come and be a guest for a change) shows you care about your staff as much as your customers.

The Impact Data team is here to help
Niel Vaughan
Author: Niel Vaughan