Hospitality is under threat as we emerge from the pandemic and the industry faces huge difficulty in recruiting staff to fit their demands. The perception of working in hospitality has never been positive so how do we create an environment where people want to work in it and overcome this staff shortage? This leads to the idea that these current staff shortages are not a talent crisis but a brand identity crisis. Attitudes towards working with restaurant and bar chains have always been negatively conceived and the need to rid this stigma is crucial to save businesses and operations.
Many workers have moved back home, some are not returning to work for their own safety and others have shifted away from the hospitality industry altogether by acquiring jobs they feel have more security. In fairness, staff are not returning to the same responsibilities they had before, their workload has doubled almost; constantly reminding customers to adhere to rules, more movement of heavy furniture to create a 2 metre distance from other tables, outdoor dining and an increase in takeaway orders. I mean, for the same wage packet as before there is no way of glamourising it to attract these in demand workers.
The Independent has reported Ireland has now lost an estimated 150,000 hospitality jobs as the Level 5 pandemic control restrictions cost the €9bn industry two of its biggest annual spending events. Also, reports from Big Hospitality UK state that demand for permanent staff was up 4.4 points month on month, a smaller increase than over the same period last year. As the new group of industry workers start to develop, they need to be provided with something greater than before.
See below the actions you can implement to help with your search for great workers and make them want to stay!
- Defining your roles and the responsibilities
What exactly is involved in the position you’re hiring for? It is no doubt your employees over the past year took on several other responsibilities that weren’t expected in their original role, from front of house to delivery driver. At the time it was all about adapting to the situation, one we have never encountered before so at the time you probably made do with the resources you had. As we should have now mastered the new approach it is time to start hiring for the right role, hire those who fit the description, preference goes to those who have experience in the role and start writing that job description.
- Glamourise the job description
With a lot of places facing the same difficulty of staff shortages, who knew this is where it would get competitive? You need to up your game with the job description; outline the specifics of the role, describe the nitty gritty and tell them why it would be a great place to work! This is essentially your marketing piece and the standard job description will no longer cut it. Make it sound energetic, fun and straight to the point.
What could make you stand out?
- Competitive salary
- Offering benefits (health insurance, gym discount)
- Opportunities to learn, attend courses, trainings and promotions
- Paid holidays and sick days
Employee wellbeing and the safety of staff are very important factors at the moment and a good one to highlight to your potential employees. You will also want to represent your restaurant’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion: emphasise the efforts you’re making to ensure a happier and safe workplace for everybody.
- Post in the right place
To find the right employee you need to post your job advertisement in the right place. Here are a few to consider sharing your advertisement on:
Other places that are a great place to advertise are your website and social networks. You would be surprised who looks at these platforms whether it is to view your menu, locations or generally just what you’re getting up to they will stumble across the careers section and see what’s up for grabs. Ask current staff if they know anyone looking for jobs and kindly ask them to share the open positions across their own socials; spread the word wide and far.
- Recruit your employees carefully
Of course you want someone who is hardworking, determined and motivated within the role. But bear in mind that as a centrally customer focused role your employee needs a great energy about them, a welcoming attitude and a great deal of patience. They need a good work ethic with a natural tendency to take initiative and a willingness to learn. There is so much more to the basic requirements, so when designing interview questions ensure they are structured in a way that can gain insight into these qualities and skills and whether they’re present.
- Prep your onboarding process beforehand
Great – you’ve found the one! Determined, hard-working and has amazing interpersonal skills. Now it’s time to onboard your new employee and perfect that skillset. Onboarding is extremely important and beneficial in training up the employee and preparing them for the role. Effective employee onboarding also has a positive impact on staff retention. Given the time and money you spent recruiting and hiring, you’ll appreciate how important that is. Once onboarded, implement a solid training plan and stick to it.
Bizimply recommend you read: Effective in-house training
So, how can the industry attract the good talent back? Hire great people and provide them with the 4 T’s. The right tools, the right training, trust them to do their jobs and allow them to take responsibility for decisions themselves so they can learn to serve the customers and enhance their customer experience.