Addressing the Top Challenges for Human Resource Team in Hospitality
HR in hospitality presents increasingly more challenges in recruiting, managing and retaining staff. The demands are high, the rewards are often low, and many customer-facing positions are stressful. The hospitality industry was also hard hit by the pandemic as “remote” work was not an option for most positions. This led to even higher churn as employees sought positions in other industries.
Traditionally, customer service positions hover at minimum wage, which leads to demotivation that impacts a company’s ability to satisfy customer expectations. This makes finding top talent highly competitive, as experienced customer service-focused long-term employees are often far and few between. H
ere we look at the common challenges HR faces in hospitality for 2022, with solutions to help resolve them.
Increasing Employee Attrition
Although every industry experiences attrition, the hospitality human resources tends to be the hardest hit. This is extremely detrimental as maintaining a consistently high level of customer service requires trained, experienced, and, most of all, motivated employees. In 2021, average turnover rates across all industries was 25%, while in leisure and hospitality, that number skyrocketed to a staggering 129%. Low employee retention rates make it extremely difficult to meet customer expectations, especially when new employees mean more employees in training.
The employees on the front lines need to provide knowledgeable service allowing them to problem solve on the spot and meet customer needs. According to a study at Cornell University, it costs an average of $5,864 to replace a single employee. Understandably dissatisfaction due to factors such as low pay and demanding schedules facilitate turnover, but poor management also contributes to churn.
Solution: HR in hospitality calls for deploying self-serve tools that allow employees to make schedule and time-off requests. This makes it easier for staff to maintain life/work balance. Also, effective training/onboarding to prepare new employees to fill their roles successfully reduces stress and provides a higher quality of customer service. Finally, monitoring employee performance reviews to ensure employees have one on one time with supervisors to voice concerns, address career goals, and monitor employee satisfaction levels helps manage expectations and improve employee engagement.
Time Spent on Training & Developing New Hires
As mentioned above, insufficient training and development lead to employee frustration and failure to meet customer expectations. High churn creates a continuous flow of training needs, which strains the onboarding system, often leading to a team of undertrained new hires unable to do their jobs. Managers are also put under unnecessary strain, unable to focus on their jobs, assist their teams, improve team engagement and help team members with customer issues. This all contributes to job stress. In critical customer-facing positions, this places undue stress on new hires while negatively impacting customer service.
Solution: Hospitality HT management should invest in onboarding software that creates a consistent process to ensure each new hire is trained prior to entering the workforce to ensure they are prepared to fill their roles and meet customer expectations. This improves levels of job satisfaction, reduces time spent on managers having to do face-to-face training, and creates a more streamlined onboarding process to get new hires out on the floor faster.
When employees are unsatisfied in their roles, morale drops and makes it impossible to present a happy, service-focused experience for customers. This negatively impacts your brand, leads to poor reviews, and can quickly impact your bottom line.
Solution: HR hospitality management can empower employees to learn their roles with proper training and self-serve tools that encourage development. Ensure each shift is optimized with enough people to serve customers without stress using scheduling and HR planning tools. This ensures managers make informed decisions based on high and low customer flows. Anticipate employee needs using analytics and reporting to increase satisfaction.
Acquiring Top Talent
As mentioned above, each resignation costs over $5000. Acquiring top talent helps ensure positions are filled with experienced managers and staff, so they are prepared for their positions. Recruiting candidates with the right skills from entry-level to senior management ensures success with a top-down effect that positively impacts those in customer-facing positions.
Solutions: Make sure the best candidates never fall through the cracks in the hiring process. ATS software ensures you efficiently manage and automate the applicant tracking process to find top talent fast. You can also maintain a growing talent pool of external applicants to reduce the need to run ads and sort through applications.
You can also create an employee database to quickly search for internal prospects who demonstrate the potential to fill more senior roles as they become available. This reduces the cost of filling each role while ensuring the right candidates are fed into your interview, offer and onboarding process efficiently.
These solutions provide the tools HR managers need to reduce employee churn and find top talent.
About the Author
Kayla is the Marketing Manager at Paypro Corporation overseeing all inbound and outbound marketing and sales efforts. She has 7+ years of experience working within the B2B and SaaS based solutions space and thrives on creating messaging and campaigns that introduce products and services to those who need them most.