The challenges of hiring hospitality staff


Nargis Jafferali

The challenges of hiring hospitality staff

Hospitality recruitment is tough. It needs to be done correctly to ensure you hire the right staff and they stay for as long as possible. But even when you're introducing a new way of doing this, a better way, there are still obstacles to face.

Here are some of the most common challenges our team have come across:

1)    Re-education

You may have the greatest idea and have even implemented a process to facilitate this…but changing people’s habits can be a gruelling task. As human beings, we prefer our comfort zones, the warm feeling you get when you have something familiar to hand.

So, if you’re bringing something new to market – a new product, a new process, a new experience – it can be a challenge to change people’s perception in order to get them to not only understand and accept your offering but ultimately buy into it.

For our team, we come across this roadblock a lot since there are still people who are hiring staff in the old-fashioned ways: using agents, posting on job boards and relying on social media – and to enlighten them that it’s needn’t be such a long, costly process and encourage them to use our App instead… well that’s no easy feat!

So how to overcome it? Make sure what you’re trying to explain is clear-cut, easy to understand and relevant to your audience. Oh and have patience…things can take time, so respect that and good things will come.

2)    Budget

Working in the fast-moving world of hospitality means that budgets are kept quite tightly bound. There are so many things that the money has to stretch towards, and the allocation of resources in this sector is a military operation.

We’ve come across both sides of this regarding hiring budgets. First you have the employers who believe that in order to ‘save time’, they bring in a middleman, normally in the form of a recruitment agent who’ll typically charge a fee but promise to deliver on quality and suitability. Most employers we hear from end up getting bombarded instead of finding relevancy, with more time invested in filtering through the masses to find a glimmer of hope. All this, and they’re out of pocket by thousands!

There are other employers favouring the ‘free’ method – posting their jobs on social media and hoping to fill it without spending anything on 3rd party assistance. Sure, they save the pennies if they don’t use paid advertising, but, trust me, it’s a full-time job to make contact with any candidates to establish availability and suitability, and can take weeks and months to accomplish.

Working against budget constraints can be tricky even when your proposed costs are small, especially when dealing with larger organisations where all costs need to approved in a chain. However we’ve found that by someone successfully engaging with your product or service, even through a free trial (something we always offer our new employers), you’ve more chance of jumping the queue and beating the budget. If a potential customer can road-test your offering, AND love it, why wouldn’t they pay for it?!

3)    Marketing

Marketing your product or service in the right way is crucial to achieving professional success. The wrong strategy means that no-one knows about what you’re doing, and that’s lost business.

Whilst it’s common knowledge that these days a healthy marketing campaign relies heavily on social media presence, even that itself is changing rapidly. It’s becoming less of a creative space, and more of a scientific process, making sure to play into the rules and regulations of the various algorithms enforced by the likes of Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

The challenge we’ve faced is making sure we remain current and quirky, as well as inform our followers about exactly who we are and what we do. We’ve achieved this by incorporating variety into our online presence, making sure there’s something for everyone, as well as inviting our community to know all the inner workings of our brand. Our weekly blog for example is a first-of-its-kind personal insight into the highs and lows of launching a startup, and it’s written by our Founder.

But it’s important to stay relevant to your audience. Keep on top of trending topics in the industry you’re working in, the latest news, and what people are discussing. This will help your visibility as well as appeal to a wider audience.

Thanks for reading!

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