Managers in the hospitality business have a tough job. They must deal with vendors, customers, store design and maintenance as well as employees. Non-managerial positions in the hospitality business tend to be unskilled and low paid, adding another layer of challenges. The workers can be less than reliable and often here today, gone tomorrow.
Hiring new employees in restaurants, bars and nightclubs is typically accomplished by relying on traditional methods such as – taking applications of walk-ins looking for work; asking current employees if they ‘know somebody’; or perhaps placing a sign in the window or posting to newspapers or CraigsList. These methods do produce results, but are they the best methods?
Here is a typical hiring scenario. The establishment hiring manager does one of the above recruiting methods and as applicants come in, they have them complete an application and perhaps the floor manager will spend 5 minutes talking to them. The application goes into a pile of others and when enough are collected, the manager will shuffle them into piles and narrow them down. (If they placed an ad on Craigslist, the results can be overwhelming and chaotic. ) While this is a major distraction to running an establishment, it is also inefficient and contributes to high turnover because the hiring choices have not been vetted enough to identify the best candidates.
Most hiring activities occur when an establishment is either understaffed or growing, both hectic times. So, why do businesses continue to use these methods? First, the unstated reason is that managers like to see a prospective employee in person and “size them up”. Second, people generally do not like change. In fact, when approached with new ideas or methods, many people look for reasons to say no rather than yes.
New online tools including Ovation are making the organization and management of the hiring process in hospitality businesses much more effective. Let the computer post the jobs, keep track of the applicants, sort them best to worst and provide a steady stream of workers. By keeping a job open at all times, fresh applicants will fill the pipeline. A good online hiring solution will rank the applicants with the best suited ones rising to the top. By taking the stream of applicants out of the restaurant and onto an online platform, an establishment can better spend time developing and implementing training programs. Well trained employees are better and happier employees and since they represent the frontline in hospitality, that is very important.
The hospitality industry is a stepping stone industry for many people. Gen Y’ers, students, and people in transition represent a large part of the pool of employees and applicants. Competition for good employees is stiffer than one might guess. To pick the gems from the pack, businesses must go to where the employees are – job boards like Indeed.com and SimplyHired.com and social networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Getting professional job posts out on these sites is best done using the vast array of Internet software-as-a-service (SaaS) tools. Fortunately, the change from traditional hiring to the new hiring environment can be easy and fun.