How the biggest hospitality brands are tackling recruitment ahead of reopening

>>How the biggest hospitality brands are tackling recruitment ahead of reopening

Whitepaper | Ready for reopening

Flow Learning conducted a survey to understand the areas that operators were most concerned about relating to the onboarding and recruitment of talent after the lifting of current COVID-19 restrictions. The survey results represent more than 74 operators and over 1,000 sites.

Operators are planning for a recruitment surge

The survey revealed that on average operators had seen their employee numbers reduce to 62% of the levels of first lockdown in March 2020, with the biggest reduction coming in entry-level front of house roles. Operators expect employee numbers to increase to 86% by June 2021 which means we can expect a big recruitment surge in the coming months.

‘We’re closed at the moment, and while we have dabbled with takeaway and deliveries in some of our venues, the destination led venues are closed. We entered the lockdown with the goal of really ensuring that people would have jobs to go to after lockdown. First of all, we’re trying to get by with the resources we have, so the recruitment need is not huge but already we have 60-70 new open positions and the number will go up to 150 by May. The total number of new people to bring on board is probably around 15% of our workforce so there is quite some work to be done’. – James Godwin FIH, Resources & Administration Director, Harbour Hotels

Re-inducting existing team members, making people ready for service coming out of lockdown

Coming out of lockdown this time, it’s likely to be more difficult as there will be a double challenge. Many of the same issues with staying covid secure and reassuring teams, but this time with the additional likelihood of many new starters, needing to be trained on company culture, ways of working and standards.

78% of the respondents to the survey said that in preparation for re-opening they are renewing training materials and updating existing technologies. People need to feel confident coming back to work because they can then inject that confidence into their coworkers and customers, ensuring everyone has a great experience.

Communication is the key in building up that confidence in people, making them aware of what changes have been made in the venues as well as assuring them that everything will be safe for the employees once they return.

‘When people have been at home for 6-7 months, you can’t just give them the training materials and say here’s what you have to do. People’s mindset needs to be refocused because work environments might be different. You need to encourage them to think differently. For re-onboarding we’re not only offering covid training but also an induction day – welcoming staff back to D&D, we want you to come back focused and more aware. We’ve also been holding site specific webinars by managers to their teams, what to expect, what’s going on, what training they need.

A good strategy is not to give info in all one go, try to build a journey so they don’t get too much too quickly. You need to set the standard and make people aware of what they’re coming back to’ says Adam Harwood, Head of Learning & Development, D&D London.

How are businesses positioning themselves as being a preferred employer in this competitive marketplace?

The pandemic has changed how people work and we won’t be going back. People want to have more work-life balance, they don’t want to do 12-hour days, 5-day weeks. 31% of the responders said that they are updating the benefit package in preparation for the mass recruitment but also welcoming back their furloughed staff. There has been a shift in that companies are now sharing the benefits of coming to work, over and above pay.

New joiners don’t just look at remuneration but how the company is treating its employees: is it a safe working environment, do employees have a voice, is wellbeing important? What is more, career development is very important.

‘The flexible working has really evolved with the pandemic. It was coming anyway but in many ways things have moved forward 10 years. And I do believe this is one of the key positive takeaways from the pandemic.’ – Peter Ducker FIH, Chief Executive, Institute of Hospitality

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