The hospitality industry has been one of the worst affected economies since the onset of COVID. What was once brimming with opulent grandeur became crippled with the inability to invite, access, or entertain patrons. Some found solace in transitory business models with slender margins requiring high volumes, such as cloud kitchens and food deliveries. However, not many successfully tapped into these markets as the horror prevailed incessantly. Now that the hospitality industry has opened up in most locations worldwide, hospitality staffing faces another unexpected challenge in recruiting hospitality professionals.
Strange, isn’t it? With so many layoffs and retrenchments, you’d expect hospitality professionals to queue up with high hopes after the lull. But, what we’re witnessing is contradictory to the usual supply and demand laws. HR professionals are busy attempting to excavate skilled talent, but experienced hospitality professionals are either scarce or shying away from returning to the grind. Disconcerting? Sure! So, let's delve deeper to comprehend why it has become such a mighty task to attract hospitality professionals and the ways to combat these recruitment challenges.
The hospitality sector consists of four sub-industries. These are:
- Food and Beverage (F&B)
- Lodging and Accommodation
- Travel and Tourism
- Recreation and Events
If you analyze, you’ll realize none of these industries were spared. Thus, hospitality professionals were compelled to re-skill in order to adapt. Unfortunately, limited employment opportunities, a global recession, and volatile markets accompanied by deep-rooted fear cornered these employees into accepting diverse job roles. As a result, former hospitality professionals headed for greener pastures. Although many are hopeful about returning to refill vacant positions, a proportional rise in demand leads to competition among hirers. Hence, intermittent turnovers, market volatility, and cut-throat competition are some of the hospitality recruitment challenges 2022 faces. Let's break these into points to strategize effective HR solutions that can help this sector cope.
Hospitality Recruitment Challenge Number 1: Inability to Attract Suitable Candidates
- Most of the recruitment hurdles the hospitality industry must overcome lie in attracting quality talent. Indeed, this challenge is not limited to hospitality recruitment alone, and HR professionals are constantly on the lookout for ways and means to combat this hurdle.
HR Solution: Be as precise as possible while posting for vacancies. Even prior to scheduling any interviews, ensure you send out a basic questionnaire to applicants. That's how you segregate the wheat from the chaff, and you'll be left with a more suitable pool of talent to choose from, saving you much time, effort, and disdain.
- In this digital era, professionals seeking jobs always conduct a survey before accepting any job offer. Poor work culture and negative reviews may dissuade top-quality talent.
HR Solution: You can commence by requesting your loyal staff to publish reviews about your establishment's work culture and perks. However, this in no way implies that you intimidate your present employees or connivingly coerce them into posting exceptional reviews. Simultaneously work on improving overall working conditions. Also, remember that an interview is not just a one-way street. It provides potential staff the opportunity to understand your values and goals. Be courteous and create a lasting impression by engaging with the candidates who turn up. The fact is, it is a buyer's market, and there are several doors to knock on. Hence, top-quality hospitality professionals are likely to attend recruitment calls from multiple establishments. Matching industry standards as far as remuneration is considered tops the list of priorities; but, apart from that, applicants seek to relate to your company, the brand, and your work ethics. You must maintain an unblemished record of awarding promotions and placements based on merit. Nepotism, favoritism, and a biased workforce have the potential to crumble your entire recruitment ecosystem. Instead of spending extra bucks on an in-house HR, outsource the recruitment process to reliable RPO service providers to avoid such issues.
Also Read: RPO: Is It Right For Your Business?
Hospitality Recruitment Challenge Number 2: Combating Turnover
Did you know the turnover in the hospitality industry is twice and thrice more than other sectors? Leaving aside the pandemic and its constricting tentacles, even under normal circumstances, many employees leave within the probation period itself.
HR Solution: Recruiting quality talent is just one part; ensuring they stick around is just as crucial. The buck doesn't stop at recruitment. Invest time and effort in engaging activities and creating a nurturing work atmosphere, so your team is happy to return to the same workplace day in and day out. While interviewing candidates, be honest about your expectations, growth prospects, and the responsibilities associated with the job you are offering. Scout for talent willing to imbibe your work ethics and fit into your organization's culture. By doing so, you are buffering them against shocks that may provoke separation later.
Hospitality Recruitment Challenge Number 3: Location-specific Hurdles
The hospitality industry has many big players and MNCs. But, local managers conduct ground-to-mid-level interviews, if not all. This compresses the pool of talent you can attract.
HR Solution: Centralizing talent acquisition workflows enables you to reach out to a larger audience. Not just that, it also takes care of diversity and inclusion goals. Besides, recruitment becomes fairer, and the ability to maintain standards and consistency across branches becomes more feasible. Additionally, dynamic markets have lesser impacts on centralized hiring systems. This also means you can scale up hiring or turn it a notch down as per your needs. RPO service providers are your best bet to achieve this objective because they not only maintain an organized pool of candidates, but also provide vast flexibility in unpredictable hiring patterns.
Hospitality Recruitment Challenge Number 4: Lockdown-facilitated Influences
Unfortunately, sustenance measures forced employers to let go of a multitude of loyal staff, making them feel dejected and apprehensive about re-entering the arena. As a result, they either suffered without financial support or were re-skilled to qualify for other roles that mushroomed during pandemic’s peak. Additionally, these lockdowns evoked a paradigm shift in work environment models. Before COVID, not many hospitality professionals had even heard of remote work. But, after being coerced to take over available roles that offered the comfort of working from home, many no longer wish to apply for on-site jobs anymore.
HR Solution: Instead of reaching out to freshers and unknown applicants, why not give preference to those staff welcoming them with an apology? This will instill some confidence in them while earning you some goodwill among both internal as well as external customers. Begin with those who put in the most years to the least-experienced team member you had to let go of. This way, you are reinstilling their faith in professional loyalty. While most hospitality professionals are required to be present at the job location, you can offer hybrid work models where they may complete certain portions of their duties location-agnostically. If that is not a practical option, you can provide more flexibility concerning food, lodging, and travel. Much of these can be achieved in-house or through alliances that do not incur additional cost-to-company and can be offered with an understanding between you and your staff that these shall be applicable depending upon operational feasibility. By doing so, you are inadvertently offsetting the disadvantages of commuting to work regularly. Also, as and when possible, use virtual communication tools instead of insisting on the traditional in-person team meets.
While all this holds true, the fact remains that there is much competition in hospitality recruitment at present. But, this fact does not reduce the stress of recruitment. You still have to find a way to resolve this by scouting for proficient staff. Instead of letting this burden weigh you down, it's a whole lot easier, cheaper, and more productive to let recruitment experts handle this task. Yes, RPO service providers are adept at hiring hospitality professionals and bringing them to your doorstep without you having to do much. So let the professionals do what they do best while you concentrate on delighting your patrons.
With streamlined processes and seasoned staff adept at handling the entire recruitment cycle, Exela HR Solutions efficiently manages all your recruitment needs. Whether you seek contractual, part-time, or full-time employees, Exela brings you the most appropriate talent. Exela is a market leader in Business Process Automation. With end-to-end solutions and customized plans available, we take just as much delight in supplying you with the best talent as you do in enchanting your customers! Sample how we cater to your recruitment needs! Get on a call with us today!
DISCLAIMER: The information on this site is for general information purposes only and is not intended to serve as legal advice. Laws governing the subject matter may change quickly, and Exela cannot guarantee that all the information on this site is current or correct. Should you have specific legal questions about any of the information on this site, you should consult with a licensed attorney in your area.