If you took a random poll on the street, many people would probably tell you that working in the hospitality industry is easy. They might think that the responsibility is low and that the tasks that must be completed are relatively simple. As a result of this, many people wrongly believe that all you need to staff the hospitality industry is a group of warm bodies. In practice, this could not be further from the truth. Quality hospitality employees have some characteristics that allow them to perform their jobs well. The truth is, not everyone is cut out for the hospitality industry, whether they are full time or temporary employees.
So what should a hiring manager be looking for? How do you identify good hospitality employees in an interview when candidates are putting their best foot forward?
- Communication-This is one of the first things that you should be on the lookout for. Many hospitality employees deal directly with your guests; without the ability to communicate effectively your guests will not receive proper customer service–crucial in this industry–and will likely be unhappy. Even back of house and support staff must be able to communicate well. Although they might not constantly deal with customers, they might at some point, not to mention that the hospitality industry is fast paced. Whether cooks need to get food prepared for a catered party of 100 or your maids need to turn over twelve rooms for waiting guests, an inability to communicate will surely lead to disaster.
- Look For: eye contact, well formed answers to interview questions and alert body language
- Multi-Tasking- Every position in the hospitality industry must be able to do several things simultaneously. This is where those unfamiliar with the industry seem to get confused. Although the tasks might be relatively simple, the ability to work on several things at once and get everything done correctly is a must. Servers must pay attention to multiple guests at the same time; hotel clerks must greet and answer telephones. Without multi-tasking, the job simply does not get done.
- Look For: examples from their past work that indicate an ability to multi-task; try asking two- or three-pronged questions that relate to slightly different topics.
- Attitude- Different personalities tend to excel at different jobs. While a higher strung, aggressive personality might perform exceptionally on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, those traits will quickly become a problem in the hospitality industry. You need staff who are able to remain calm and deal with customers and potential problems in a straightforward yet relaxed manner. Without the right personality, your employees will not do well with your guests.
- Look For: a candidate who smiles, answers to questions that hint at optimism
- Flexibility- This is another crucial trait for quality hospitality workers. For a temporary agency, it is an absolute must, as our temps will be changing assignments frequently. In the hospitality industry in general, an employee must be open and adaptable to changes. While doing business, things can happen quickly and employees must be able to react to the changes in order to best serve customers. Without flexibility even the most confident and intelligent people will not be effective workers in the hospitality industry at any level.
- Look For: open-minded candidates who can explain to you why flexibility is important
Quality hospitality employees often make the difference between success and failure in the industry. If a business traveler gets superior service at a hotel while meeting with clients in Phoenix, he is likely to remember that and book a room at the same hotel next time he’s in town. He might even tell co-workers about that chain when gets back home to Scottsdale. Realistically your customers don’t know whether they received that great service from a temporary worker or a permanent staffer; they just remember that they would spend money with you again.
It’s that time of year again: the holidays are officially upon us. With the holidays comes a rush of requests for vacation time. It seems like a large portion of your staff wants to take time off, and coincidentally they all need roughly the same days. Along with the requests come stories of already purchase airplane tickets and spending time with aging family.
This time of year can be very difficult for a manager. You have to remember that your staff is comprised of people with personal lives and plans, but at the same time you need them to understand that business does not stop just because it is the holidays. Lost productivity now can easily lead to lost clients or customers after the New Year is officially rung in and everyone is ready to come back to work. Some estimates put the losses associated with planned absences such as holidays at 26.6% of base payroll. If you do not grant requests, you are likely to harm morale and in some cases even lose employees. If you do grant the requests, then the business itself might suffer. Finding balance can be very difficult.
There is a compromise available that will help your employees get most of their time off, while making sure that your business is staffed around the holidays. You can easily cover employee vacation time using temporary staff. You will need to make an internal plan that ensures that you have someone in every department at all times. Then you can fill in the gaps with temporary staff. Think about all of the functions that a temporary worker can cover for you:
- Answering phones and communicating with your customers
- Handling mail and ingoing/outgoing packages
- Data entry
Those functions are aimed at managers who work in an office environment. The hospitality industry also experiences the same problem. In their case, however, the holidays generally mean an increase in sales. While you will want to keep as many key people on as you can, some will need time off. You can replace these employees in their absence with temps as well. Clerks, food servers and even cooks can all take time off to spend with friends and have their shifts covered by temporary workers. Hotels, parking services, caterers, you name it–temporary staff can be a great solution to employee absence around the holidays.
In any industry additional staff might be needed to compensate for members of management to be away. While it is difficult to lose a manager for a vacation, we all know that they need and deserve it from time to time. One strategy to help make sure that everything is covered when a manager is absent is to increase the amount of staff that you have on hand that work directly on operations and not management. A call to a reliable temporary agency is the easiest way to make bring in temporary labor that is prepared to work right away. You will not have issues with the temps showing up, because they all are asking for work, regardless of the time of year.
One of the most flexible options that any staffing agency can ever offer their clients is the option to try out an employee on a temporary basis and then decide whether or not they would like to hire the employee on full time. This is a great option for both the employer and the employee, as it fuses the best aspects of both temporary employees and direct hire services.
There are many reasons that an employer benefits from finding new staff in this manner. Let’s begin with the benefits that are borrowed from temporary staffing and direct placement as separate entities.
- Save money up front by not having to fund the hiring process or costs associated with payroll and benefits.
- Save time by locating a capable employee with a phone call as opposed to the interview process.
- You can immediately replace an employee who leaves unexpectedly.
- You can retain peace of mind knowing that your new staff member is coming from a trusted source.
While those advantages exist for temporary staff and direct placement, temp-to-hire offers its own advantages due to its flexibility.
- You can make sure that your company really needs a new staff member. We have all been there: we identify a gap in our operations and automatically assume that we need a new hire to fill it. Sometimes we regret the new hire because we realize that if we changed some internal processes or simply outsourced something, we could have bridged the gap more effectively and at a lower cost.
- You can make sure that the new hire meshes from a company culture and personality standpoint. It might take a while to truly gauge new person’s personality and work ethic. The temporary aspect of temp-to-hire gives you this trial period.
- We handle your probationary period for you. Temp-to-hire employees come in knowing that the job might not last. In spite of probationary periods, regular hires do not usually take this into consideration. This can make termination considerably more difficult and uncomfortable for the employer.
- You have the ability to easily replace the employee in the event that you decide that you do in fact want another staff member, but feel that the original employee that you located might not work out. It just takes a hassle-free phone call to replace the temp with someone who is a better fit for your needs, which may change slightly after the original employee comes on.
While temp-to-hire is a great option, it may not be for everyone. Some employers know for certain that they need a permanent staff member, while others know in advance that their staffing issue is a temporary situation. If your situation does dictate that you need flexibility you will likely be very happy with the temp-to-hire option. We arrange everything so that you only have to focus on your bottom line.
There are many benefits of using a staffing agency. While some people feel that only well-established companies or firms that operate in particular industries have enough “extra resources” to properly use temporary labor or direct placement services, this is simply untrue. In all reality, a staffing company itself is an “extra resource,” especially for a smaller business that is growing.
When your business grows, owners and managers find themselves with a lot more on their plates, often in a short amount of time. Partnering with a staffing agency can take some of those responsibilities off of your plate and give you more time and money to focus on the factors that will really drive and organize your company’s growth.
Think about what a staffing company can do for you
- Save Time- As you are growing, you will need to devote time to welcoming new clients while making sure that your existing ones are still serviced. This means you might not have time to go through the hiring process. Staffing agencies go through the hiring process as part of their business model, so why not save the time and call in reinforcements that can be there on short notice?
- Save Money- Hiring staff costs money. Once you calculate in your (or your hiring manager’s) time, along with the money involved in listing job ads and increased insurance and payroll costs once you find your staff, you likely have a large figure. Some HR managers have estimated that the figure can be as high as $2,000.00. It doesn’t take much math to realize that a phone call to a trusted staffing partner costs less.
- Put You at Ease- Staffing companies evaluate and hire every single day. They know how to spot good candidates and determine whether an applicant would be good fit for the positions you need filled. When you hire someone, you never know how the person will work out. A staffing company can send employees who have proven their value by working for previous clients of the staffing agency and already shown that they can work out. You also have the ability to try out a temporary worker, so if you choose to let them go, it is an easier process than firing an internal hire. You can also replace them with a phone call, so that you always have the level of staff that you need on hand.
- Give you Flexibility- Perhaps this should have been first on the list for benefits to a growing company. As you grow, you do not need to be hampered by anything, especially the staff that is helping you expand. Staffing agencies make growing and downsizing your staff easy. You do not have to worry about difficult terminations as temporary workers know from the start that they are not permanent. If you originally want temps, but later decide you want to keep them full time, a staffing agency allows your business to be nimble.
As your business expands, you have a lot of things to worry about. Staffing should be an important thing but not a costly and time consuming one. The economy is gradually starting to improve, not just in Phoenix or Flagstaff, but all over the country. Think about the solutions that temporary labor can provide for your growing company.