Fighting COVID-19 with HR automation

Rehire employees with HR automation

FSR magazine reported that Google searches for, “What does furlough mean?” increased over 5,000 percent during COVID-19. That’s a clear broadcast that workplace communications are not transparent or consistent, both of which are a recipe for high employee turnover. While retention has proved a long-standing challenge for the hospitality industry, HR tech is an effective way to bridge communication gaps within enterprise-grade businesses.

The most successful restaurants are the ones that realized the right tech stack provides their teams with the tools and flexibility to handle the high-velocity changes surrounding COVID-19 restrictions and environmental conditions. Despite this, HCM initiatives are often backburnered, leaving employees, a business’ most valuable asset, in the dust.

How did we get here and how can your HR tech stack help your hospitality business deliver high-performance service during an uncertain time?

Industry-wide furloughs and the operational impact

Nine months into COVID-19 and the hospitality industry is still adapting. One of the most hard-hitting impacts that we’ve seen since the start of the pandemic is a growing reliance on hourly employees and the front-line service they provide. COVID-19 demands operational change. Whether that change is the allocation of additional staff to sanitize the workspace or a complete scheduling upheaval to accommodate new dining regulations, business performance directly correlates with people performance now more than ever.

Yet despite this, the hospitality industry saw massive employee layoffs during the pandemic’s peak. Forced into a financial bind, businesses had to make do with more responsibility and less staff to handle it all.

Picking up the pieces

When hearing the phrase “second wave” in terms of COVID-19, we tend to think of the second wave of the virus. And rightfully so, especially as hospitality businesses work tirelessly to prepare for the unexpected and keep employees and customers safe.

However, HR professionals also need to consider the second wave of applicants looking for work. As Full Service Restaurant News points out, hiring back the last employee out doesn’t always make the most sense. This means that managers must not only sort through massive amounts of applications but also prioritize who to hire in order to keep up with the growing demands of a great customer experience.

Hospitality businesses need to evaluate their HCM tech stack to initiate rehiring efforts effectively and at scale.

Re-evaluating the capabilities of HR tech

When positioned correctly, HR tech can be a massive cost driver for enterprise-level hospitality businesses. 

Employees are the foundation of any well-performing organization. But those employees need to be identified, hired, onboarded, and trained. None of which are an easy feat, especially when working with arduous and fragmented technology. FSR magazine notes that it’s crucial to “assess what types of traits are beneficial for you to deliver on the ideal customer’s experience.”

Hospitality businesses can take one of two paths, each with their own unique challenges.

  1. Rehire furloughed employees
  2. Source fresh talent

We know that hiring initiatives are difficult to manage on top of COVID-19’s operational and compliance challenges, but HR automation and employee communications can be leveraged to ignite rehiring strategies for a high-value hiring funnel.

HR tech to rehire furloughed employees

In response to the pandemic, we combined superior communication tools with employee health check functionality to facilitate trust between hospitality employers and employees.

If your business had to lay off employees during COVID-19, reaching back out to those workers after an extended furlough period can be awkward, to say the least. Harri’s multi-platform messaging tools enable you to stay in touch with employees during active employment and layoff periods. This is crucial in keeping employees updated on store reopenings, sanitation policies, and to answer their most pressing questions regarding returning to work. The result? Improved employee trust and a smoother return-to-work period.

HR tech to source talent

While mass-industry layoffs mean more talent potential for your team, you still need to allocate team members to sift through the tens of thousands of candidates. An HCM tech stack that can automate this process will save you an invaluable amount of time, effort, and labor-related costs.

If you’re hiring during COVID-19, every single hire matters. A poorly matched candidate sets your team back in sourcing, training, and payroll.

Harri’s pre-hire tools take the labor out of finding the right talent with:

  • Customized application flows
  • SMS and chatbot application processing
  • An easily navigable candidate tracker
  • Automated onboarding documents

Automated HR processes present a win/win opportunity for all parties involved. Time spent manually monitoring candidates can now be used to find the right talent. And because you found the best candidate matches for your team, you’re more likely to retain those hires.

Loyal employees result in a better employee experience — this drives people performance which naturally lends itself to a stronger customer experience. Everything ties together and it all begins with those initial HR processes.

Looking ahead to HR automation

The challenges of high-volume hiring will never go away, even during a time like COVID-19. As hospitality businesses begin to arm their teams with the right tools, like an automated HR stack and an integrated HCM platform, it’s up to HR professionals to showcase the value these services bring. Streamlined HR processes empower teams to solve operational challenges and continue building an excellent customer experience.

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