Develop A Long Term Hiring Strategy
Too much hiring in the hospitality industry is on an ad hoc, as-needed basis without the type of “holistic,” long-term planning that focuses on the entire organization, instead of one small part, and future as well as current staffing needs.
In the high turnover hospitality industry, a long-term hiring strategy might sound like an impossible dream, but even the fastest-paced enterprise can benefit from this more “corporate” approach. A more engaged workforce, greater employee loyalty and service, and reduced turnover are key benefits of long-term planning.
At Larkspur Hospitality, a rapidly growing hotel company, long-term hiring strategies are a given. “Larkspur’s objective is to be the first choice among the most talented candidates in our industry,” says president and CEO Dennis Markus. “The company has aggressive growth plans which can only be achieved by attracting the best human capital -- people who will constantly strive for new, different and better ways to contribute. As Larkspur Hospitality grows, we anticipate exciting new professional growth opportunities for our team members.”
Who thinks long-term?
Organizations like Wendy’s and Tim Hortons and the large hotel chains such as Fairmont, Starwood and Four Seasons, which have a culture of identifying, training and developing their talent tend to use a long-term approach, says Jordan Romoff, vice president of Lecours Wolfson, a leading North American recruiter of hospitality executives, managers and chefs. “They tie ‘people development’ into the long-term strategic plan and will generally be the most successful in meeting their current and future needs. If this is done, then recruitment, retention and succession planning almost take care of themselves.”
Larkspur’s answer is to offer attractive rewards for long-term loyalty. The company offers everything from a variety of insurance plans to attractive matching pension plans and from recognition programs to discounts on company services and products. Their long-term strategy is clearly to provide careers to talented job seekers.
What about smaller operations?
Not all operators in the hospitality industry have the deep pockets to offer such a comprehensive package of benefits. Some pay minimum wages in positions with high burnout. Others hire “reactively” when they see obvious cracks in their organization. But they can still adopt some of the winning elements of the big guys.
It’s not difficult to establish a long-term hiring strategy even in the highest turnover hospitality sectors, says Romoff. “By developing a metric/system that identifies ‘talent’ and ‘fit’, your turnover will decrease. The caveat is that an organization must reach a certain size to provide growth opportunities, which can be difficult to do in a Mom and Pop operation or one-off. The smart organization will look at the equation of happy employees = happy shareholders = high profits = happy guests.”
Long-term hiring tips
Smart employers in the hospitality industry know that to find the most professional job seekers, they have to think long-term and be professional in the way they lead and manage.