Hiring Challenges In Hospitality

Hiring Challenges In Hospitality

The hospitality industry has always had to balance the challenges of taking care of their employees while taking care of their customers. Now, the pandemic has added another layer of complexity to an already nuanced industry. After a tumultuous year in the industry, the leisure travel and restaurant sectors are finally starting to see a bounce back. But in the time it’s taken hospitality companies to restart their hiring efforts, many of their former employees have found new jobs in other industries. Creating a change that has left many hospitality companies having to make do with less staff. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the biggest hiring challenges in hospitality as well as a few tips to help your business overcome them. 

Finding Candidates

According to new research conducted by The Caterer, nearly 82% of hospitality employers say that it is harder now ever before to recruit suitable staff. Beginning early this year, the U.S. has been experiencing an ongoing trend of employees voluntarily leaving their job. It’s been coined The Great Resignation, nearly every industry is feeling the pain of it and the hospitality industry is no exception. According to this year’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 750,000 leisure and hospitality workers are dropping out every month. In the face of a mass exodus, finding candidates becomes critical. 

How to Tackle This Challenge? 

Start by using effective candidate sourcing methods to meet candidates where they are. According to our recent survey, 87% of hourly workers say that they use Facebook above all else when job hunting. A sourcing strategy that utilizes the power of social media to attract both active and passive candidates can go a long way to increasing candidate leads. Partnering with Work4 and our proprietary candidate lead generation system can help you to source the candidates you need at scale. 

Social Media Usage Graph

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The Image Problem

The hospitality industry as a whole has an image problem. Hospitality jobs are often thought of as low-wage and entry-level with little opportunity for career advancement. They are seen as servile in nature implying that the host is beneath the guest. The truth is that working in the hospitality industry requires passion, pride, and talent. The key lies in presenting employment opportunities in the best possible light.  

How to Tackle This Challenge?

Become an employer of choice with employer branding efforts. Simply put, employer branding is telling the story of what working for your organization could be like. It’s achieved by using specific messaging to help attract hospitality prospects that embody your ideal candidate persona. Learn about employer branding and why it’s so important in the article below. 

What is Employer Branding

Wage Wars

Talk of raising the federal minimum wage to $15 has been going around for quite some time, but at this point, it’s still just that, talk. And, in an industry that has historically offered low wage rates, the shift to a candidate-driven market that is demanding higher pay has put a lot of hospitality companies between a rock and a hard place. The most obvious way to tackle this would be to offer a higher wage, but what if you can’t afford to increase wages across the board? 

How to Tackle This Challenge?

Lean into your employer branding to promote your company culture, values, and career advancement opportunities. Additional benefits such as transportation, child care vouchers, or free meals can go a long way to placing your brand in front of the competition. Additionally, consider giving employees the option of a set or flexible schedule and create an employee referral bonus program. In our Hourly Candidates Survey, we found that bonuses, benefits, and flexible schedules were the top contenders behind pay for factors that motivate candidates to apply to job listings.  

Hourly Candidate Viewpoints

High Turnover Rate

Turnover in the hospitality industry is notoriously high. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the rate of turnover in the hospitality industry is 2 to 3 times the rate of all other industries. One of the reasons for this is that the industry is seasonal by nature. New hires are brought in during peak times of the year and let go during the off-peak periods, but with a creative strategy, turnover can be reduced. 

How to Tackle This Challenge?

The process of reducing turnover begins even before a candidate becomes an employee. Every new hire comes with an element of guesswork, and when you’re short-staffed, it can be easy to grab warm bodies as quickly as you can. But longevity is a characteristic that you should screen for during the interview process, no matter how desperate for help you may feel. 

When screening resumes, look for candidates who stay in positions for longer periods of time. During interviews look for crossover skills like empathy, creativity, and an eagerness to learn. This is an industry where soft skills like enthusiasm, reliability, and a love of people are all factors that can keep employees on the job longer. At the end of the day, better hires equal better employees.

Developing Existing Staff

One reason for so much attrition in the hospitality industry can be attributed to a general lack of processes for developing existing employees. When faced with unclear career paths many employees will choose to leave an organization for one that can offer a clear path for professional advancement. 

How to Tackle This Challenge?

Work to implement programs for employee development. This investment in your existing employees can not only help close the skills gap but also allows you to create your own talent pool of trained employees with the potential to become trained managers. 

Overcoming Hiring Challenges in Hospitality Together

With all the unique HR challenges in the hospitality industry, there’s never been a better time to invest in your talent acquisition strategy. Having the right partner can help you streamline your hiring process and automate mundane tasks to make it easier to focus on more strategic initiatives. Work4 is the leader in high volume candidate sourcing, employer branding, social recruiting, and candidate nurturing, in the hospitality industry. Contact us today to see how we can help you reach your hiring goals. 

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