The COVID-19 pandemic had enormous impacts on the U.S. hospitality industry. Losses of more than 3.5 million workers were recorded as people stayed home from restaurants, hotels, and other travel destinations. While this impacted the front lines of the industry most heavily, it also hurt the backend, where technology workers keep systems for booking, scheduling and more running efficiently. Now, travel and dining out have resumed in bigger numbers than ever, but organizations are having trouble hiring the IT staff they need to keep operations flowing.
It’s not from lack of trying. It’s simply that in-demand positions such as data analysts, web developers, and IT support have become harder to fill. Companies have needed to work harder and smarter since the pandemic’s end to find the talent they need.
Here are some of the top hospitality staffing solutions available in 2023 to help you maximize hiring efforts and find the right people for your team.
1. Use an Employee Referral Program
Your employees are one of the best sources for recruiting new workers, and if they’re rewarded for doing so, they’ll be happy to recommend people that they know are looking for work. The keys to making an employee referral program work are making sure incentives are attractive enough and including an introductory period (usually 90-180 days) in which referred employees need to work successfully before rewards are earned.
2. Offer Competitive Wages and Benefits
Your tech hiring efforts will be made more challenging if you don’t offer competitive wages and benefits. With so much demand for tech workers, even those offering competitive wages may have difficulty hiring staff. If you can offer unusual benefits, like flexible scheduling, remote work, or other items your employees want, you may be able to attract top workers that wouldn’t be interested otherwise.
3. Hire at Colleges and Trade Schools
Going straight to technology schools and colleges to look for talent could give you advantages over other companies trying to hire. Schools can help you identify promising students, and you can form relationships with them before graduation so they’re more likely to come work for you as soon as they have their degrees.
Some colleges have job fairs you can participate in, or you can approach career offices directly if you want to start initiatives. Mentoring programs and internships are other programs that form relationships, and they can yield top hires in the industry.
4. Two-Way Interviews
In any field where hiring is difficult, workers who have their picks of jobs will be evaluating potential employers just as much as employers are evaluating them. Formalize this process by instituting two-way interviews where the goal is to give stats about your company while getting information about the applicant.
Most interviews used to be two-way before COVID-19. Now, many consist of the applicant answering questions on video, with no opportunities to ask their own questions. A return to more two-way interviews is a good method of ensuring positive, cultural fits for positions and the respective companies, as this can improve retention.
5. Decentralize Hiring
Many larger hospitality companies have multiple locations. In these instances, it makes sense to decentralize hiring rather than having one main process running out of the national or international headquarters. Local recruiters and hiring staff will be more successful in finding talent in that area, rather than trying to do so from distant locations.
6. Consider Bootcamp Grads
An IT bootcamp is a concentrated course teaching essential skills and providing real-world training for people seeking jobs in the information technology field. Coding bootcamps focus on the hard skills that employers desire. As a result, bootcamps can provide an accelerated path to a rewarding technical career.
The strength of a Boot Camp graduate lies in their ability to put essential skills into practice, rather than merely understanding the theory. As per Indeed.com, these graduates are well-equipped to produce quality code, offer unique problem-solving approaches, and excel from the get-go, making them just as competent as those with Computer Science degrees. Boot Camp graduates are a force to be reckoned with!
7. Improve Retention
The more workers you can hold onto, the fewer you’ll have to hire. There are many ways to improve retention including creating positive and encouraging cultures, making sure employees are engaged in their work, and giving raises or improving benefits when possible.
If you need help hiring in the hospitality department, GDH can bring its top-notch staffing strategies to work for your company with workforce solutions made easy.