Skip to main content

An employer brand that’s made of the right Stuff

Caterer.com People Awards 2019 | Employer Brand and EVP Winners | Five Guys | James Tamlyn, Recruitment Partner

Caterer.com People Awards Winners Interview

With nearly 1.25 million followers on Facebook and another quarter of a million on Instagram, Five Guys is a brand to watch.  Reading some of the comments online it’s obvious that Five Guys’ followers are fanatical about the food, milkshakes, culture, in fact just about everything they do.

Five Guys won the Employer Brand and EVP category at this year’s Caterer.com People’s Awards, so we asked James Tamlyn, Recruitment Partner, how the brand built an enthusiastic and passionate workforce, proud to work for Five Guys

Big Success Equals Big Challenges

James commented, ‘Five Guys was not a well-known brand in the UK.  Our initial success created challenges; a huge growth agenda, a transient workforce, pockets of high employee attrition, and the associated challenges of communicating effectively with a rapidly growing workforce.

We wanted to create a strong voice to make sure potential recruits were aware of how tough and physically demanding working for Five Guys could be.  We had to address candidate’s expectations with the added goal of reducing attrition levels across all of our restaurants.

Five Guys Values

After four years in the UK, the brand had no real story to hold everything together. In 2017 Five Guys worked with Chatter Communications to define an EVP and employer brand that would bring the ‘Five Guys way’ to life as the business moved forward.

James continued, ‘we needed to communicate each of the Five Guys values & behaviours, Integrity, Family, Enthusiastic, Competitive, Get It Done, to show how embedded they are within our business. We wanted to stay true to the Five Guys ethos and let our people tell much of the story.

What is the Five Guys EVP?

Internal research highlighted that Five Guys is like one big family, committed to developing their workforce.  People are well rewarded and there is a proud and diverse workforce.

More importantly, the research highlighted 80 to 90% positive results across the board.  Five Guys had created a great place to work, for the right kind of people.

It’s a Tough Job

The research also confirmed how tough the job is. Recruits need serious stamina and strength to get through the long hours and meet the brand’s high expectations. And with only 2/10 people making it through their trial shifts, Five Guys discovered that they weren’t communicating this clearly enough.

Five Guys set about developing a creative direction, ‘The Right Stuff’, that would attract people who aren’t afraid to muck in and get the job done, who don’t beat about the bush and say what they mean. In short, People who bring their energy and never stop learning.

People have The Right Stuff

We asked James about ‘The Right Stuff’. ‘We wanted to give the audience a genuine in-your-face feel for the Five Guys environment. One that helped candidates self-select before applying, showed them exactly what would be expected of them, and made it clear that if you’ve got the Right Stuff, you’ll go far with us.

We captured lots of fly-on-the-wall style high-end footage across two locations, together with POV GoPro footage that dropped the viewer right into the heart of the action. It involved shooting multiple people in their roles, showing what they do and allowing them to tell it like it is’.

Five Guys don’t just run the videos on their careers website. They share them across social media and earlier this year the ‘hero’ video had reached 81,953 users and received 13,363 views on Facebook and over 7,000 organic views on LinkedIn, generating 10,853 clicks through to the careers site.

Getting the Right Results

In the last 12 months, Five Guys have seen a 37% decrease in 90-day attrition and a 40% decrease in overall turnover.

The brand has also seen a 163% to 105% reduction in rolling 12-month turnover for crew and a reduction from 66% to 24% turnover for managers,

James’ top 3 tips

Finally, we asked James for his tips on developing an employer brand and EVP.

  1. Be authentic, Tell people what it’s really like to work in your business, be open and honest for the outset.
  2. Get your people involved.  Your people are the experts who live and breathe your brand every day.
  3. Take all feedback, good and bad, on board and be constructive with it.  Share  feedback with the wider business and tweak your strategy as necessary.

Related articles