Hospitality’s Hidden Recruitment Problem

Ask yourself this question – what’s the first thing you’re going to do when lockdown lifts?

Okay, it’s likely that a post-lockdown haircut is top of the agenda before other humans actually lay their eyes on you in real life. However, here at Harri, we’re betting that a trip to your favourite local restaurant or even a staycation is next. 

Days are getting longer, and the air is getting that little bit warmer. After a whole year of restrictions, and of course not forgetting Brexit, this all translates into a significant problem when it comes to talent shortages for hospitality. 

Despite this, there still seems to be a hidden misbelief that following the mass-redundancies that have occurred over recent months, there is an abundance of talent in the marketplace from which to recruit when business ramps back up again. However, our employer partners are all sharing with us the same story: when recruiting, it’s still difficult to find the best talent, even when much of the industry is closed. 

And this makes sense. Great candidates are being held onto for dear life by their existing employers who understand that their contribution will be key to recovery. And even those candidates who may have been open to a new role previously are now reluctant to make a move. Why? The threat of redundancy still looms.

With shifting expectations comes a greater challenge

2021 is going to be a far cry from the 10 consecutive years of growth that our industry experienced pre COVID-19. However, the serious challenges we face regarding a labour shortage are as prevalent as ever. With the rise of the gig-economy and the normalisation of the side-hustle, our industry suffered pre-COVID with stabilising our frontline workforce. Today, in our new reality, people have become accustomed and expectant of having to balance even more. The lure of a more flexible work life balance has always been a challenge for hospitality to compete with, but now, it’s going to be tougher than ever. Dare we say it – from the outside looking in, our industry is likely going to be seen as less attractive than ever before. 

Looking forward

As hospitality looks to rebuild after a year of furlough, layoffs and redundancies last year, it’s time to focus on how tech can support you in attracting and retaining talent. It’s never been more important for you to nail your competitive advantage – here are our top suggestions on how to do just that.

1. Invest in tech

You’ll need an attractive careers site, an innovative, stand-out application process and a way to amplify how many people are seeing your adverts through a good quality recruitment system. Here at Harri, there is a reason why we’re selected by businesses such as Radisson Europe, Mitchells & Butlers, Burger King and Demipower, KFC’s 2nd largest franchise..

Our platform isn’t just a recruitment platform, it’s focused on the entire employee experience and so impacts on your employer brand as much as your recruitment process. Great tech from the get-go in your application process has come to be expected as standard for younger generations and you’ll need to capture their attention amongst all the noise from the moment you’re recruiting.

2. Start building a warm-bench of talent, now.

How do you do that? By getting your name out there before you even post your job advert with your innovative new tech. While we don’t yet know just how competitive it’s going to be out there when it comes to levels of vacancies in the summer, we do know it’s going to be tough. So, to ensure you’re winning in regards to talent when it comes to recruiting, now is the time to give yourself a head start. 

Armed with an informative careers site, such as Harri’s Career Story Pages, that showcases your new EVP and a diverse bunch of employee stories that reinforce and tell a story of your EVP for social. It’s time to encourage passive talent to learn more about why they should join your organisation before you need to recruit them. Data suggests it takes top, passive candidates eight touchpoints before they decide to apply to your organisation…better get started now!

3. Focus in internal mobility

It’s inevitable that with our forecasted V-shaped recovery, that the time will come where you’ll need to compete for external talent. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t offset some of that need with a robust internal mobility strategy. 

Now is the time to dig out the results of your last performance review process, conduct new ones, and build a succession plan based on your forecasted revenues for 2021. Identify where you can train existing team members and progress them into more senior roles. Design training programmes to prepare them for these future opportunities. With a focus on their personal development, your talent will be less likely to be enticed by your competitors who are recruiting then, too!). 

Once armed with this valuable data, you’re then able to identify skills gaps and revert to point two above, where you can create a tailored attraction and content strategy specifically designed to attract and warm-bench talent within the skills gaps you’ve identified. Another pro-tip here – once you’ve identified any future talent vulnerabilities, Harri’s Social Employee Referral Scheme offers the perfect way to share a referral scheme with your existing team members, and reward those who provide you with good talent.

Mobilising your strategy

By utilising all of these resources, you will be well equipped with amazing talent, ready to open your doors and greet your beloved customers once again. Interested to find out more about how Harri can support your re-opening or forecasted recruitment needs, or just want some expert advice on recruitment tech? We’d love to hear from you!

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