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Building Up Your Staff for Hiring Season

Building Up Your Staff for Hiring Season: Strategies for Successful Finding, Interviewing, and Onboarding Candidates

Hiring for hospitality businesses is always a challenge. With the onset of the pandemic, the mass exodus of hospitality workers, and inflation, finding qualified candidates can be difficult. Now, ramping up for the hiring season just added another dimension. But don’t give up just yet.

Even though there is a shortage of workers available, there are three things working in your favor. These aren’t exciting or positive things—at least on the surface—but they do offer hope in finding good workers. These include:

  1. Less competition-When Covid hit and then the Great Resignation, many hospitality businesses closed their doors for good. So now there are even less hospitality businesses looking for job candidates.
  2. Increased cost of living-The rise in inflation, (currently at 7.7%), is pushing workers back into the workforce. Many are taking second jobs just to keep up with rising prices.
  3. Better pay and benefits– A lot of hospitality companies have restructured their compensation and benefit plans to entice more candidates to apply.

Use All Possible Resources

There are a multitude of places to post your job openings this season—more than ever before. But you don’t want to just throw out the job opportunities everywhere and hope they stick. Instead, you want to be strategic about it so you get the best possible candidates quickly. Here are seven strategies you will want to consider for bulking up your staff at this critical time:

1. Attract job candidates NOW!-Don’t wait until the last minute to begin attracting candidates. Start now posting on your company’s social media pages that you are hiring for the holidays or busy season. If you don’t have a social media page, start one or two today. The top ones you want to set up an account on are Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. These have millions of people tuning in and some of them might be the people you want to work for your company.

Instead of just posting on these sites, “Looking for a cook,” include some very crucial information. For example, begin with explaining the pay your hospitality business offers along with the benefits. Then let them know about the available open positions.

Make the posting exciting and uplifting. Remember you are trying to attract people so you have to be concise, informative, and attractive. You want people to like your message enough to click on the link to find out more. Here are a few examples:

Notice how the company ad starts off with, “Ready to change your life for the better?” That is real attention-getter and has a better chance of sticking in someone’s mind even after they’ve read it. When posting on social media, you are selling the open positions in your company. It’s not just telling the masses that you need help. But it is conveying to the reader how they will feel when they begin working with you.

This next posting lets the reader know what the benefits are right away. It also sends the message that being a “Roadie” means you’re special. It means you are part of something big. The goal in your social media postings is to promote your business, not just the role.

There’s still time to sign up for our #ReadyToBeARoadie Hiring Day event tomorrow! Click the link to schedule your interview at a location near you (Texas Roadhouse)

Be sure to keep track of who dominates your core audience. This way you can customize your messages to them. To get a feel for who your true page audience might be is to evaluate your page analytics or insights. This isn’t difficult to do:

  • For Facebook-Access Facebook Insights via your hospitality’s business Facebook page via Meta Business Suite on desktop.
  • For Twitter-Access Twitter Analytics from the left-hand menu bar or go to www.analytics.twitter.com. From mobile, you can view Tweet activity when you select a specific Tweet on your timeline.
  • For Instagram-You can access Instagram Insights via Meta Business Suite on your desktop or via your business Instagram profile on mobile.


2. Be flexible-One of the most commonly reported priorities for job seekers is greater flexibility. Taking care of children, working another job, or going to school are some of the reasons candidates desire flexibility. You need to find a way to meet the candidate in the middle when it comes to these flexibility demands. For many hospitality businesses, particularly restaurants and hotels, this can be a daunting task.

One way to do this is to allow talent to pick their own schedules instead of randomly assigning shifts. Another way to this is to split up shifts. For example, if someone needs the afternoon off, have them work from 7:00am to 12:00pm. Then have another employee cover the rest of the shift. This works great if the employee working the second half needs the morning off. Being flexible requires effort and creativity, but it is worth it to provide quality service this season to your customers.

3. Hire internally-If the need is for a specific position, borrow form another position. If you can survive by going down a hostess in order to fill the spot for a valet, switch. There may be a learning curve to overcome, but that might happen faster than onboarding a new hire. No hospitality business wants to be stretched thin with talent, but doing this should work in a pinch.

4. Make the application process easy-Include a link in your postings and ads that takes the candidate directly to an easy to fill in application. Job candidates today expect an easy, mobile-friendly application process when applying for new roles.

5. Consider speeding up background checks-Some services can conduct fast background checks at a cost. Or, you could have candidates sign a waiver to have a background check prior to the interview. This will cost more if you don’t hire a candidate. But it helps to speed up the process so you can move on to onboarding the candidate.

6. Prepare in advance for the interviews-Schedule the interviews to happen right away. Consider using Zoom or other video outlets to save time. Also, now is not the time to prepare your interviewing style. A quick review for interviewing and onboarding candidates can be found in these helpful videos.

7. Increase wages-If you can, bump up current wages for new hires. Keep in mind this might only be for a season, so stretching to the outer limits might be worth it. Offering an attractive sign-on bonus can also help to attract talent. Even though wages are increasing in the hospitality market, offer a step above what your market is paying.

Become the Employer of Choice

Remember that it’s important you sell the job and the company as a whole. Hopefully you’ve already been building your employer brand and are developing a following. Doing so is never too late. But even if you haven’t started, now is a great time. You want to stand out from the competition. Today it’s a job seeker’s market, and they have their pick when it comes to which hospitality business they choose.

A hotel can’t be successful without hardworking and committed employees. A restaurant won’t survive without quality talent. Make sure you’re doing everything you can to attract, interview, hire, and onboard the best candidates possible. Begin today marketing and selling your business first, then the positions you’re hiring to fill. Do this and you’re on your way to a successful hiring season.

What Can Gecko Do for You?

Gecko Hospitality is committed to your success. Unlike other recruiting firms, we want to understand your business’s culture and requirements, not just what job you need filled. We put your needs first so you can focus on your business and not just on filling jobs. We are focused on quality, not quantity. Our goal is to ensure we are working with the right candidates for the right teams, at the right time.

1. Network – Our network includes thousands of industry professionals. There’s a wealth of qualified talent outside the restaurant & hospitality industries – and we bring them to you! Gecko Hospitality has over 200 franchisees and recruiters whose markets are broken down by territory, which insures proper recruitment representation for our clients.

2. Fees – Our fees are competitive across all industries we serve; no more paying double industry average fees to source qualified candidates. Plus, you only pay a fee when we find the candidate.

3. Focus – Based on our 20+ years of placing candidates, we know how to screen resumes so your hiring manager can focus only on qualified candidates who fit your culture and your requirements.


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