What Will it Take to Win Hospitality Workers Back in 2021?

How are hospitality companies going to convince workers to return?

It has been nine months since COVID-19 caused a wave of lay-offs in the hospitality industry. Although hospitality workers are some of the most passionate people about their jobs, necessity pushed many to find careers in other industries. So, once the pandemic subsides, will they be willing to jump back into the notoriously tough hospitality industry? Or will they have settled firmly into their new career tracks? Hospitality companies probably won’t be able to just post their jobs on their website and wait for workers to come flocking back. So, how will they convince workers to return?

Reach Beyond Job Boards

Despite high numbers of unemployment, many employers are having a hard time getting the right candidates to apply to their jobs. Their ideal candidates might not be looking at hospitality jobs anymore, or they are happily employed somewhere else. This means companies will have to do some reaching out and cold calling to candidates.

But where to start? Past applications and resumes can unearth candidates that may still be interested in a company. Social media, especially LinkedIn, can be a lifeline for finding candidates who may have recently left hospitality. Keeping company pages active on these platforms is also helpful in signaling to professionals that your company is still a viable employer.

Stay Competitive with Benefits

If your company has never offered health benefits, this is a good time to reconsider. In light of the pandemic, workers have been much more aware of the importance of healthcare, including coverage for mental health. If you already offer benefits, but only for certain levels of employee, consider expanding coverage to more roles.

And don’t just stop at generous healthcare packages. Provide plenty of extra resources for employees to maintain their emotional and mental health, like facilitated access to counseling services and encouraging workers to take mental health days off. Also, consider the fact that many workers have had to adjust their family lives recently and possibly stepped back from a career to care for family members. Could your company offer childcare assistance or increased paid sick days to make the transition back to the workforce less stressful? Giving candidates that piece of mind can go a long way in being an employer of choice.

Show them their professional future

No crystal ball required here. But, after settling into a new industry and learning the ropes, workers will probably be hesitant to uproot their professional lives yet again. They will need to see a clear, long-term path with a company. First, illustrate a potential career path for any role you might be hiring for. Then, establish clear goals for that role, as well as how they will be measured. Finally, communicate this early and often to candidates.

Work to Rebuild Trust

There is no point in hiding any previous lay-offs due to COVID, so be candid about what happened and how those decisions were made. To rebuild trust, a company has to be as transparent as possible with its employees. But, workers will want to know that a company will do everything in their power to avoid losing people again. Share your plan for if something like this happens again.

Also, create as many support structures as possible. Provide workers with resources to navigate benefits, create mentorships, and create reliable channels of accountability with management. Whatever you can do to show workers that you are there to support them beyond just a paycheck, do it!

Tap Into All Available Resources

When your company is struggling to convince candidates to switch back over to hospitality, try partnering with a hospitality recruiting specialist. Not only will they have a large network of hospitality professionals, but they can also lend a hand in persuading candidates to return to a hospitality career path. The recruiters at Horizon Hospitality have the resources and expertise to attract talent to your company. Contact them today to learn how!

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