5 Tips to Overcome Hospitality Recruitment Challenges Today
By Catherine Tansey
Staffing your hotel, guest house, restaurant, or café with top talent has never been more important. The internet has increased transparency and led to enhanced consumer awareness—and a willingness to voice frustrations publicly. At the same time, the rise of the gig economy and hyper-consumerism in all markets have increased short-term employment and a need for business owners to stay abreast of rising trends. These rapid changes come with many challenges, but finding, attracting, and retaining quality employees top the list.
Recruitment challenges are not unique to the hospitality industry, but simply put, people matter a lot in the business of making others comfortable. While today’s biggest hospitality recruitment challenges are nothing new, creative approaches are needed to find solutions in the modern era.
Top Challenges with Hospitality Recruitment:
The skills gap is affecting all industries and hospitality is no exception. Today’s challenges with hospitality recruitment begin at the first stage: finding qualified or highly trainable candidates.
You’ve searched far and wide, scoured hospitality job boards and reached out to individuals on LinkedIn. You’ve finally found the perfect candidate for the front office manager position at your boutique hotel, but can you entice this individual to work for you? Today is a candidate-driven talent landscape and, more often than not, the power remains with the job seekers.
High-turnover has always been a part of the hospitality industry. But today’s online culture has enhanced customer awareness and expectations, and providing a consistent guest experience can be difficult with regular employee turnover. The cost of losing an employee is more than the time required to find a suitable replacement. Loss of institutional knowledge and the hit to company morale are costly considerations as well.
Overcome Hospitality Recruitment Challenges
Overcoming hospitality recruitment challenges comes down to strategy. To solve for the problems in the recruitment and selection process, your organization must take a holistic, candidate-centric approach.
Focus on Employee Value Proposition
The employee value proposition is a way for employers to communicate the benefits and rewards of working for their organization. A strong EVP in the hospitality industry may include a flexible schedule, advancement opportunities at the company, benefits like 401K matching and health care, a warm and inviting company culture, and a sense of purpose in one’s work. According to Gartner, strengthening your EVP can reduce turnover by nearly 70% and increase new hire interest by almost 30%.
Offer Training and Development
The current workforce places a premium on advancement opportunities when considering employers, but the hospitality industry historically hasn’t been well known in this regard. Offer your staff training and development to show employees you’re serious about preparing them for other roles in your organization. For businesses in lodging, training about communication and body language can be simple and effective, while restaurants can reap impressive returns through basic food, beer, or wine training. Businesses benefit from the elevated staff knowledge and employees feel invested in – which is a win-win.
Prioritize Employee Referrals
Referrals from existing employees are one of the best ways to overcome hospitality recruitment challenges. Your current employees are well-versed in the workplace environment, expectations, and company culture. A referral from an employee—especially a top performer, communicates that a candidate likely shares the same core values and commitment to excellence as your organization.
Incentivize Top Performers with Rewards
Rewards come in many shapes and sizes, but they’re all an effective way to counter hospitality recruitment challenges. Salary bumps and monetary performance-based incentives (read: bonuses!) first come to mind, but there are other ways to make employees feel valued, especially in the hospitality industry. Is your organization a hotel or guest house? Consider offering a weekend for two in a coveted suite or a chance to dine on the house at the hotel restaurant.
Lean on Professional Help
Still struggling to find, attract, and retain the help you need? Professional staffing agencies exist for a reason—to make your life easier. Nelson has nearly 50 years of experience helping companies in the hospitality industry source superstar talent. If you’re interested in a hospitality recruitment agency, let us help you find the help you need today.
The business of hospitality is a uniquely personal one. Finding the right people to put your guests at ease is one of the surest ways to differentiate your business from others. Find out how we can help you today.