Going Beyond the Welcome Desk: Hospitality Recruiting Challenges

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Stillwater Admin

The reality that hospitality recruiters face is that there simply are not enough people to fill all the positions that are vacant. This problem serves to compound itself by putting more demands on the people who are already working in hospitality, which is an industry driven by customer service and client satisfaction. While there was a great deal of growth in the hospitality industry over the last decade, the effects of the novel coronavirus in 2020 drove hospitality demands to plummet. In the face of economic recovery and new safety measures that are making travel and leisure viable again, there is now an emerging increased demand on the hospitality industry, its workers, and hospitality recruiters. 

The Challenges of Hospitality Recruiting

Before we can address solutions to hospitality recruitment problems, we must first understand the challenges of this industry, especially given the current situation. 

Challenge #1 - High Turnover Rates

It is no secret that the hospitality industry has some of the highest turnover rates. While this could be caused by a myriad of factors, the problem of turnover has existed since the inception of the industry. In the hospitality industry, nearly 20% of the workforce is under the age of 25, and most employees in this age group work in hospitality in conjunction with other jobs or while they are attending college. This leads to another common challenge….

Challenge #2 - Part-Time Employment

Many people who work in the hospitality industry work only part time. Whether this is due to family or school commitments or because they hold other jobs, it limits the number of working hours the average hospitality worker offers and requires businesses to have more staff on the payroll. From a business perspective, this means more benefits paid out and more personnel to keep track of. 

Challenge # 3 - Customer Service Skills

The hospitality industry is driven by interpersonal skills and appealing to the needs and wants of the customer. In an industry saturated with options, the only way to set your business apart from the competition is customer service and client satisfaction. This requires every employee to possess people skills. From the front desk to the laundry room, and everywhere in between, your employees represent your company to the client. It is important to find candidates with a strong work ethic, high tolerance for rude behavior, and overall focus on customer experience. 

Challenge #4 - Wax and Wane

The hospitality industry is particularly affected by seasonality of services. During summer months and holidays when travel is high and people have time to indulge in luxuries, business is booming. Flights and hotels sell out, the lines at restaurants and spas are long, and amusement parks and concerts are packed. However, when school is in session, the demand for services wanes. This puts both employees and employers in the awkward position of reducing hours and  income, and managing coverage to maintain a balance between customer service and cost-effectiveness. 

Solving Hospitality Recruitment Problems 

To overcome recruitment challenges and find the right talent, hospitality recruiting agencies use a variety of solutions. 

Solution #1 - Highlight Value Propositions

Many job searchers have an idea about what is expected of hospitality workers and the climate they will be working in. So what will set your company apart and attract well-qualified candidates? Employees want more than to clock-in, serve customers, and clock out - they want a clear idea of the values of the company and how they can both make a difference and have their own professional growth and development nurtured. And you want employees who will work hard and help to grow your business. To achieve this, top recruiters highlight the value of the job beyond the paycheck. Part of the job posting should include details about benefits, career advancement opportunities, company culture, and perks such as employee discounts, partnerships, and on-site amenities. 

Solution #2 - Easy Application and Hiring Process

One of the biggest turnoffs for potential employees is having to continually fill out the same information on several job applications only to never hear back. When you simplify the process by requesting a resume or using talent pools, you are much more likely to draw in candidates. The hiring process should be just as simple and include quick call backs, efficient interviews, and orientation processes. Many people want to start work right away. If you have a delay in call-backs, start dates, or drawn out training programs, your talent may have already moved on.

Solution #3 - Build a Brand

People want to work for employers they can trust, and seek out hospitality jobs in places they respect or enjoy visiting themselves. They want to feel proud to say they work for you (and you want them to promote their positive experience with you!). Building a brand that is known for excellent customer service and as a great place to work helps qualified candidates seek you out. Pay attention to your client base and the reviews that are posted about your establishment. 

Solution #4 - Source Your Talent Acquisition

When searching for employees, don’t be afraid to ask for help from specialists. Recruiting agencies with well-developed talent sourcing procedures and robust talent pools can easily find and match the right candidate for your positions. For long-term recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) to manage your entire talent acquisition process or surge recruitment outsourcing (SRO) to fill vacancies quickly for the short-term, you get the benefit of a proven talent fulfillment process. From sourcing candidates to interviewing, vetting, and follow-through with the onboarding process, recruiting companies are a cost-effective way to staff quality employees. 

At Stillwater Human Capital, we offer highly-trained, specialized recruiters who can focus specifically on the hospitality industry and have access to invaluable sourcing tools and resources. Put their skills and experience to work for you to fill the gaps with quality staff you’ll be happy to retain. For assistance overcoming hospitality recruitment challenges, connect with us today.  

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