Using Technology to Attract Employees

Now is the time for the hospitality industry to update hiring practices to secure the best team. Here are a few strategies for attracting the post-pandemic worker in a tight labor market.

In anticipation of what many are calling the second roaring 20s — an onslaught of pent-up consumer demand is exactly what the hospitality and leisure industry needs as we head into the summer season. If its arrival is meant to usher in the great comeback, the industry needs enough staff to greet customers when they arrive.

According to our recent weekly hiring report, overall jobs are up 62% compared to pre-pandemic norms and up 102% year-over-year. Further, hospitality jobs are up 209% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing 57% month over month growth and 283% year over year growth. As such, there are plenty of jobs – the challenge is finding workers to fill them, and understanding how employers can incentivize people to return to work.

The labor shortage we face today is multifaceted. While many believe extended unemployment benefits are disincentivizing workers from coming back, this isn't the whole story. Access to affordable childcare, lingering health and safety concerns and the millions of people who reevaluated their work during quarantine are also giant contributors.

Now is the time for the hospitality industry to update hiring practices to secure the best team. Here are a few strategies for attracting the post-pandemic worker in a tight labor market:

Use technology to find top talent

Technology makes it possible to meet workers where they are — a win for the worker and for you. Technology also makes it possible to engage the right workers with the skills, location, and job preferences that match your open roles. This immediately saves time and effort on both sides, while giving you the confidence that you’ve hired the right people.

To help speed up hiring, businesses can cut down their hiring process to just a few days by using technologies that pre-screen candidates instantly and go straight to the interview. Virtual hiring can make interviewing less of a hassle for everyone and lead to faster hires.

In addition to hiring, technology can greatly improve operations at hotels and restaurants, leading to better employee retention. Unfilled shifts put your managers behind, stress out your team, cause high turnover and damage your customer experience. By using technology, owners can build a flexible workforce and cover open shifts instantly.

Offer benefits that post-Covid workers want

For employers looking to staff up, offering a livable wage and key benefits is the only way to stay competitive in the current market. Workers are demanding more out of restaurant and hospitality jobs. Employers should consider offering higher wages, flexible scheduling, skills training and health insurance. In our recent survey, we found that the top three benefits workers want are: flexible hours and scheduling (89%), employee discounts (76%) and job skills development and training (54%).

We’re seeing an increase in tuition reimbursement and education benefits to attract talent too. A major QSR now offers debt-free degrees in Agriculture, Culinary, and Hospitality to all eligible employees. Meeting workers where they are in life and understanding their needs is critical when hiring in today’s competitive market - it can be the difference between a successful hire and unfilled shifts.

Get creative when recruiting

Restaurants and hotels target younger generations through apps like TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat — making it easy to apply in Gen Zs format of choice. Short video applications are also being used by large hotel and restaurant chains in addition to partnerships with hiring platforms, which allow people to send in applications with just a few clicks.

Applicants with little or no experience might have not been considered pre-pandemic, but first time job seekers are up 35% year over year, and with some training they will likely be great employees. It’s also a smart strategy to consider candidates from other industries- many will have valuable transferable experiences and skills.


a man smiling for the camera
Mathieu Stevenson is CEO of Snagajob.

Looking ahead to the future

The labor shortage is a significant challenge that makes a very real impact on businesses. In order to stay competitive, businesses need to put their best foot forward to attract and retain the staff they need to operate. Only then will businesses fully be able to benefit from the resurging boom of consumer travel, spending and demand post-COVID.

About the Author

Mathieu Stevenson is CEO of Snagajob.