Hospitality recruitment and onboarding: tips for peak season

restaurant team talking

Like all industries across the board, the pandemic crippled hospitality businesses. Staff shortages, on and off lockdowns, and reduced operating hours made survival tough. So much so that many hospitality businesses had to close down. 

The lift of lockdown restrictions in Australia is welcome news for the industry. It enables restaurants, hotels, and bars to resume full operations. Most are expecting an influx of customers as people are excited to go out once again without restrictions. 

As exciting as the end of lockdown may be, restaurant and hotel owners are in turmoil. Many don’t have enough employees for the busy season, 38% of hospitality businesses are short-staffed. A problem that most in the industry never faced before COVID-19. 

Tackling a problem you’ve never faced before can be tough. No need to worry though, we have the rundown on the steps you can take to recruit the staff you need in little to no time. That way, you can resume operations and leave your customers satisfied. 

 

Why does this matter?

Recruitment and onboarding is integral to any business. Recruitment ensures you hire the employees that fit the bill while onboarding integrates them by engaging and acclimating new hires with your business. 

Most businesses hire personnel without onboarding, new hires start work without proper training or guidelines. This causes a disconnect between them and your business. 

The onboarding process is essentially the training of new employees. It includes helping them understand their role, your expectations, and the company’s culture. 

Onboarding benefits your business in the following ways:

  • Acclimates new hires to your company’s goals and philosophy. 
  • Informs new hires of their exact role and responsibilities, resulting in better engagement of employees with the company. 
  • Helps retain new hires as they are acclimated and engaged with the company. 

 

How to rethink your recruitment strategies

To establish an effective recruitment strategy, you must do the following:

 

1. Focus on new recruitment channels

How and where you recruit employees impacts the type of profiles you get and how quickly you get them. You want to look at both proactive and passive recruitment channels, to make the most of your hunt. The former focus on sourcing, engaging, and attracting profiles for your business as an opening comes up, while the latter allows candidates to come to you. 

Live Hire is a prime example of a proactive recruitment channel. They have a pool of qualified talent for numerous industries including retail and hospitality decreasing hiring time by 46%. The main focus is to ensure that your business has access to the quality candidates it needs in the least amount of time. 

Marketing an open position on social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn, and letting candidates apply is an example of passive recruitment. You give candidates the chance to seek opportunities and let them come to you rather than actively look for them. 

By using both channels, you will have access to a wider pool of candidates. Which increases the chances of you hiring the right one. 

 

2. Put your candidates experience first

Candidates are more selective about the job they accept. Believe it or not, the hiring process plays a vital role in candidates’ decisions. You want to optimise it for optimal candidate experience. 

According to a study conducted by PWC, candidates prefer a hiring process that is tailored for them, is technology-based and provides instant communication. For a business to improve its process, evaluate your current process, identify and remove barriers, such as slow communication, that candidates may come across. 

 

3. Automate your recruitment for seasonal hiring drives

Seasonal hiring is common across the hospitality industry and the best way to tackle it is through automating your recruitment process, which saves a lot of time. A proactive recruitment channel automates the process and gives your firm access to tons of quality candidates. The channels allow you to sort through them by relevance based on location, experience, and so on. Using such a tool will make your hiring process much smoother and more efficient. 

 

How to rethink your onboarding process

With recruitment covered, now it’s time to rethink your onboarding process, making it more effective. 

 

1. Take your onboarding digital

Traditionally, HR sits with new hires and go through company policies, procedures, and have them sign documents for the onboarding process. You can save them a lot of time by making the process digital. By doing so, your company will notice more cross-team alignment and increased new hire retention due to an easier, more effective onboarding process. 

 

2. Establish personal connections

Making connections at work is important for new hires to feel welcome and become a part of the team. The onboarding process should encourage personal connections. The following are simple ways to encourage personal connections:

  • Establish a ‘buddy program,’ new hires are paired with a co-worker or ‘buddy’ to show them around. 
  • Host a welcome lunch for new hires, during the lunch the team and the new hire introduce themselves. 
  • Set up informal talks for the new hires with co-workers so they get to know the team. 

 

3. Provide a welcome pack

A welcome pack provides new hires with all the relevant information needed before they start. The packet includes details about the company, its policies, resources, stakeholders, and other information they would need. Welcome packs can either be printed or digital, whichever suits your business. 

Have trouble finding the workforce you need? Maybe it’s time to rethink the recruitment and onboarding process? You can start by finding a proactive recruitment channel that automates recruitment. Your business will save a lot of time and headaches linked to recruitment. Then, work on improving the onboarding process by digitalising it and encouraging personal connection. New hires will assimilate with the team faster, and the rate of retention will increase. 

Not sure how to take your onboarding digital? Ento can help you manage your workforce and digitalise onboarding. Our team has worked with hundreds of restaurants, bars, and hotels in Australia and New Zealand, improving onboarding and admin workflows. We can help your business make a successful post-lockdown comeback. 

Interested in learning more? Download this free resource:
The complete guide to attracting, engaging and retaining hospitality staff

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