Top 3 Recruitment Challenges in Hospitality
Aug 2, 2012
By Angela Rose, Hcareers.com
Customers are the lifeblood of any restaurant or hotel, though without the right staff, the organization will falter and ultimately fail. While one might think that the current unemployment rate is indicative of a deep labor pool brimming with qualified and highly motivated job seekers, restaurateurs and hoteliers still experience numerous staffing difficulties. Consider the following top three recruitment challenges in hospitality.
Challenge #1 – Connecting with Suitable Candidates
The unemployment rate in July 2012 was essentially unchanged at 8.3 percent, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This equates to 12.8 million job seekers, not counting involuntary part-time workers (8.2 million) or those marginally attached to the workforce (2.5 million). As such, it’s not surprising that most job postings result in hundreds of applications or resumes—and many from candidates who are not qualified for the position for which they’ve applied. Finding time to wade through this flood of interest is tough, especially when you’re trying to keep your hotel or restaurant running. However, if you rely solely on an Applicant Tracking System, you may miss out on good candidates the software rejects due to reasons unrelated to their actual qualifications.
Fortunately, there are ways hiring managers and hospitality recruiters can improve their chances of finding the best needle in this enormous haystack. Some have found that searching the resumes posted by job seekers on job boards yields higher quality candidates. Others use job postings and resume searches in conjunction on industry-specific job boards like Hcareers.com, where they’re more likely to find experienced hospitality professionals. Still others connect with candidates through employee referrals. A new worker referred by a current employee is more likely to fit with your company culture and behave reliably.
Challenge #2 – Choosing the Right Candidate
Sometimes a pile of applications yields a multitude of candidates who seem equally qualified. On one hand, this is a good thing—you have a better chance of landing a good worker. On the other hand, more options means more time spent making a decision—if you want to ensure you’re making the right one. For best results, you need to conduct structured interviews after you have a clear picture of the skills and experience the position requires. Skills and psychometric tests, behavioral and cognitive assessments, background and reference checks are absolutely essential as well.
A bad hire, like an employee who steals, or one who doesn’t exemplify your company brand, can cost your restaurant or hotel thousands of dollars. You avoid costly hiring mistakes when you take the time to be thorough. It may be challenging, but it’s definitely necessary.
Challenge #3 – Keeping Those Top-Notch Employees
You’ve hired and trained the right candidate—good for you. Now you need to ensure that employee sticks around. To do this you have to create a sense of loyalty. Happy employees are more loyal, so keep them happy. If you cannot afford an annual compensation increase, find other ways to reward your best workers. Fair treatment, respect, flexibility and the opportunity for work/life balance may go a long way towards furthering this aim. Provide professional growth opportunities as well, and promote from within when possible.
Your competitors are seeking high quality employees as well. They want to hire someone who has done the job before. This means your best line cook or front desk person has a better chance of landing another position than someone without that experience. If you’re not keeping them happy, your competitors may be willing to try.
PKF Hospitality Research predicts that employment in hotels, resorts and other accommodations will see an average increase of 25,000 jobs in 2012. The National Restaurant Industry expects restaurant employment to reach 12.9 million in 2012. If your restaurant or hotel is among the thousands seeking qualified workers, we encourage you to consider Hcareers.com.
About the Author
Angela Rose researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues for Hcareers.com.