Are you hiring?

Are you hiring?

Do you have any vacancies? 

Can I drop off my CV?

These are possibly the most popular enquiries we get here at Canvas, whether that be in person, through our website or on social media.

Another conversation we commonly have, instead, with other café and business owners are the challenges of hiring and retaining great staff.  

We regularly hear horror stories of business owners struggling to hire and keep great staff.  Thankfully, it’s been some time since we felt as though we hired the wrong candidate (touch wood) and we have a feeling it is in part to do with how we hire.   


Our first blog post is aimed at anybody who may be interested in applying for a job with us, but also anybody interested in understanding our hiring process. 


Here’s our hiring process.


1.    When an enquiry is made we give candidates our application form (this is attached below) and we expect candidates to complete this and return it with a CV and Cover Letter (by email ideally). 

Note:  CV’s without an application form or application forms without a CV are ignored.

2.    CV’s are screened and candidates who pass this stage will be contacted to schedule a 15-20min telephone interview.  This is an opportunity for us to find out a bit more about you, reasons for applying, we will explain the role more and finally explain the next stages in the hiring process. You can also find out a bit more about us.

3.    Next is a traditional face to face interview where we will ask for references.

4.    Following the face-to-face interviews are three trial shifts lasting 4 hours each, which are paid.  There won’t be any time on the coffee machine during these shifts (that comes later) - you’ll be barista help, running tables and taking care of important behind the scenes work. 

5.    Depending on the time of the year, if we have a Basic Barista Course taking place we sometimes ask candidates to join one of our barista courses.

6.    We follow up interview with feedback on the trial shifts. We’ll talk honestly about what went well and what might need improving and we also want feedback from you. 

7.    If you are successful you will be given an offer of employment.  

8.    Should you choose to accept (which we hope you will!), we’ll invite you in to go through your contract and some admin.   

9.    As part of our on-boarding we will also have you watch some videos about coffee – including this one which we particularly love on Good Hospitality by Peter Dore Smith from Kaffeine https://tampertantrum.podbean.com/e/peter-dore-smith-tamper-tantrum-birmingham-2014/


Although we’re a speciality coffee shop and are excited about coffee, contrary to popular belief we don’t specifically look for coffee experts or even those who are experienced using an espresso machine.  

What’s more important to us, is that we find people who are proactive, care about delivering good hospitality, like coffee and are willing to learn and work well in a team.


We’re not going to lie,our hiring process is long (for good reason too).

Because it’s so long we completely get this puts some people off from applying, and unfortunately in the past we have lost good candidates because the process can take some time.


Making potential candidates aware of this ahead of time and setting some expectations is one of the purposes of this blog post.

The upside however is we’ve found the process helps us pick the right people and this in turn we believe has had a positive impact on our culture and staff turnover and in turn a better experience for our customers.

Always wanting to improve things, so if you have any comments or feeback please leave a comment below.

At the time of writing this blog post Canvas was 5 years old, employed 10 staff and the average length of service of the team was team was 2.43 years (mean) and  1.83 years (mode).

If you’re thinking of applying here’s our APPLICATION FORM, complete it and send back to us with a CV and a covering letter to hello@canvascoffee.co.uk