5 Tips on How to Win Back Good Employees
By Angela Rose, Hcareers.com
Unemployment remains historically high, and the ‘fiscal cliff’ has the government on edge, but the hospitality job sector is booming. According to data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the leisure and hospitality supersector has added 238,000 jobs so far in 2012, making it one of the healthiest industries in the U.S. Of course, it did not escape the Great Recession unscathed. Some hotels and restaurants downsized while others saw employees poached by competitors.
The best of these lost performers represent a pool of valuable talent – and it’s one you should be tapping for any open position. They know the inner workings of your hotel. They’re familiar with the operations of your restaurant. They require little, if any, training. Rehire them and you will save time in the form of recruitment and money in the guise of productivity. But first, you have to win them back – here’s how.
1. Keep Tabs on the Best
Whether you had to let your star concierge go because of the economic downturn or lost your best bartender to the new joint across town, maintain contact after they’re gone. You can do this in many ways, from connecting on social media to periodic friendly emails ‘just because.’ Of course, you must request their current address, phone number and personal email before they leave –and make sure their exit is on the best terms possible.
2. Offer something more
Your super-efficient front desk clerk or lightning fast busser probably didn’t spend much time unemployed. You may not be able to win him back with the same old same old. Consider ways in which you can offer him something more. A juicier hourly wage is one place to start, however you may be able to entice your former employee to return with the promise of a premium shift, scheduling flexibility or cross-training opportunity.
3. Don’t rule out a promotion
The hospitality industry is famous for advancement potential. Bussers may aspire to become famous chefs. Maintenance professionals may dream of running a hotel – and sometimes these aspirations and dreams come to fruition. If your former top performer is one who is eager to advance her career, you may tempt her back with a promotion.
4. Emphasize culture
As the old saying goes, “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.” Wait staff that leave for what they perceive to be a better opportunity, or sales and reservations associates pursuing more money elsewhere, may discover that their new job isn’t living up to the promises. Remind these former employees about the little things that make your restaurant or hotel special, whether it’s a supportive atmosphere, family focus, commitment to fun or whatever else your establishment has to offer.
5. Address all concerns
Sometimes employees leave because they are unhappy with something in their work environment. You need to learn why they made an exit before you can address their concerns. If you’re pursuing a downsized former team member, you may have to deal with a bit of resentment as well. Stress the value you place on her previous contribution and your desire to see her return. Then hear what she has to say.
Rehiring a former top hospitality performer offers unbeatable return on investment. Not only will you save time on the recruitment and training process, but your boomerang employ may become one of your most loyal, inspiring loyalties in others as well.
Read more employer career tips. Find more hospitality jobs by visiting the career center.
About the Author
Angela Rose researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues for Hcareers.com.
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