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Winning Back the Workforce in 2023

Today’s workers have reassessed their relationship with work, and are pushing back on rigid hours, calling for more flexibility, and refusing to sacrifice their personal lives to make a living.
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As this tumultuous year comes to a close, the hospitality industry continues to face steep staffing shortages. There is no denying that as tourism rebounds and bookings rise, the current hiring challenges are an acute source of stress for leaders across the industry. To compete in hospitality, the expectations of guests must be exceeded a tough task made tougher without the staff needed to ensure every guest receives the attention they deserve.

As a result, many leaders in the industry want to better understand the cause of this shortage, whether it will continue into 2023, and steps that can be taken to recruit and retain top talent in the new year.

The hard truth is that the current staffing challenges will not simply disappear in the new year. While economic pressure has slowed the demand for tech workers, the immense demand for skilled hourly talent will continue to outstrip supply even in the face of recession.

This imbalance in supply and demand has powered a change in employee expectations. Today’s workers have reassessed their relationship with work, and are pushing back on rigid hours, calling for more flexibility, and refusing to sacrifice their personal lives to make a living.

As a result, today’s employers are struggling to retain talent and have also found it challenging to build pipelines of top-tier applicants for open roles. A recent survey conducted by Hireology found that respondents believe the greatest challenges heading into 2023 are low talent supply, meeting changing candidate expectations, and competing with competitors on pay. Nearly half of survey respondents affirmed that these hiring challenges are negatively impacting their bottom line.

However, there is good news. Today’s job seekers have clearly expressed what can be done to win them over. While pay will always carry a substantial amount of weight, it certainly is not the only factor affecting the modern talent market. In 2023, candidates want roles that provide increased flexibility, clear pathways for growth, and a welcoming company culture. Additionally, they are no longer willing to jump through hoops when applying for open roles.

So, what can hospitality leaders do to strengthen their workforce in 2023?

  • Implement flexibility: While most hospitality roles cannot be done remotely, flexibility can come in different forms. For example, employers can offer more control over scheduling, more PTO for hourly or part-time workers, and mid-shift flexibility to address challenges like doctor appointments or childcare.
  • Build clear growth paths: By building clear career paths for every role and defining what success looks like each step of the way, employers in the hospitality space can show candidates exactly what opportunities are available to them and what it takes to get there. In addition to career paths, allow employees to expand their skills and explore other avenues of growth at your hotel by offering learning opportunities or job shadow programs.
  • Create a welcoming company culture: A welcoming company culture is a crucial motivator for workers today. The best way to promote this type of culture is to ensure your core values are embodied by leadership. When leadership buys into creating a healthy culture and understands the big picture, the company values will trickle down to the rest of the organization.
  • Rethink your processes: Today’s job seekers are losing patience for employers who drag out the hiring process. How long does your hiring process take from start-to-finish? Which steps take the longest? Are there steps that can be streamlined? Once your hiring process has been audited, take steps to make it more efficient and transparent. For example, maybe you’re losing candidates because you’re requiring too many interviews. In that case, you might consider condensing interviews or offer virtual options.

When it comes down to it, these adjustments are all quite simple, however, implementing such changes can make a substantial difference in your hiring and retention results. By finding innovative ways to meet the desires of your current employees and prospective candidates, hospitality leaders will be better positioned to successfully navigate hiring challenges in the new year.


About the Author:

Adam Robinson is the co-founder and CEO of Hireology, driving his mission to help business owners make better hiring decisions using predictive data and innovative technology. With more than 20 years of experience, Adam is a noted recruiting industry expert and speaker. He is the author of The Best Team Wins: Build Your Business Through Predictive Hiring, host of The Best Team Wins Podcast, and columnist for Inc.

Adam has been named a finalist for Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst&Young, added to the Chicago Tribune’s Blue Sky Network of Chicago’s top innovators, listed in the Chicago Tech50 by Crain’s Chicago Business, and named a “Top 25 HR Industry Game Changer Under 40” in 2015 by Workforce magazine.  Under his leadership, Hireology was listed at #94 on the Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest-growing private companies in 2016 and listed at #332 in 2017. Hireology has been recognized nationally as a “Top 50 Best Workplace” by Inc. magazine and a “Top Company Culture” by Entrepreneur magazine. Hireology was named the “#1 Talent Management Platform” in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and “#1 in Customer Service” in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 by Human Resources Online magazine.

Adam is passionate about entrepreneurship, donating time to a number of organizations that support the entrepreneurial cause. Through multiple leadership roles at Entrepreneurs Organization, he has helped to develop and launch programs that teach core business skills to early-stage entrepreneurs around the world.

Adam has a BA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and received his MBA from DePaul University. He’s a member of the Economic Club of Chicago and lives with his family in Chicago, Illinois.


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