The pandemic has had an enormous impact on the hospitality industry. In some areas, businesses are slowly reopening. But many potential job candidates are reluctant to return, mostly because they don’t know what to expect when they get there. Reassure candidates by sharing your policies and safety plans upfront in job postings, on your website, and in the interview. The good news is that you are likely to have your pick of top candidates, not only because of layoffs and reduced hours but because candidates are likely to look for new jobs if their previous employers responded badly to the pandemic. You can attract the best people by showcasing how you deal with their concerns.
Hospitality is, by nature, a customer contact job. Few hospitality jobs that can be performed remotely. However, shifting any behind-the-scenes jobs that can be performed from home to a remote situation can reduce the number of people in the building. Share that information upfront in the job description. Candidates are searching for jobs with work-from-home or remote capabilities. Give them the information they want while they are actively searching for a new position.
The less physical contact staff has with customers, the better. Encourage customers to prepay online, with an app or over the phone, so you don’t have to handle cards or cash. Create videos for your website and to share on social media. Talk about your new procedures during initial phone screenings and the traditional interview. Sharing that information shows the candidates how you are focusing on everyone’s best interest (your employees and customers) while also getting them excited about your proactive action plans.
Share what you will do to keep employees and guests safe. Some states and localities provide guidelines, as does the CDC, for example:
- Social distancing to six feet
- Providing masks and asking that they are worn
- Using disposable products
- Taking temperatures at the door
- Spacing out workstations
- Controlling guest traffic with signs and floor markings
- Providing plexiglass barriers
- Making gloves and hand-sanitizer available
- Installing touch-free equipment and propping doors
Again, it’s easy to have these policies in place but showcase how you implemented. Talk about them in your interviews. Create an FAQ section on your company’s website and get the information public. Not sharing that information implies your hospitality company has something to hide or just doesn’t care.
Spell out what is expected of employees who may have been exposed to COVID-19. Typically, they should self-quarantine for 14 days. If you can compensate them for this time, it’s ideal. This will prevent employees from being tempted to come to work when they are sick because they can’t afford to miss a couple of paychecks.
Don’t make promises you can’t keep as far as layoffs go. It’s difficult to predict what the coming months and years will bring. Be realistic about whether it’s likely that a layoff will be temporary or a long-term reduction in force. Explain what your company had to do back in March and April. If you don’t share it now, your job candidates will do research on their own – either before accepting the job offer or shortly after starting.
What is your policy for guests who refuse to comply with safety procedures? Will you back them up if a guest refuses to wear a mask? One of the most popular employer branding questions that’s coming out of the pandemic is “what did you do for your employees during the COVID-19 pandemic?” These two areas strike right at the heart of those questions. How are you keeping everyone safe?
Work with a Specialized Hospitality Recruiter
Hotel and restaurant managers who make the well-being of both guests and employees a priority will always be in great demand. At Horizon Hospitality, we are experts in recruiting top hotel and restaurant managers and executives. Contact our hospitality recruiters today to get started.