Hunters of the lost workforce

Customers are ready to go. And after the long pandemic hibernation, restaurateurs are looking forward to welcoming them back to cafés, bars and restaurants as the warmer weather arrives, if not before. But staff shortages are already an issue. What can be done to find staff, apart from putting up a sign in the window?

Hunters lost workforce

When summer comes, hospitality industry businesses will awaken from deep slumber. Even last year, people could hardly wait to finally get back out again! But who will bring them drinks and who will prepare the meals? During the lockdowns, many excellent staff members drifted away from the industry to other sectors – for example to testing and vaccination centres, supermarket checkouts or public transport. How can this ‘lost’ workforce be recalled? Fresh ideas are needed to make the hospitality industry an appetising prospect once again.

Search in the places where people spend time

More and more people are spending more time online, even when looking for a new job. Platforms like LinkedIn, Indeed and Stepstone offer a direct line to potential candidates, with Stepstone having a website especially for the hospitality and hotel industry: on, employers target adverts to precisely the people they need. Something not generally known is that sales portal eBay has long been much more than just a place for second-hand items. Interesting job offers can be found here and it’s easy to filter by postcode.

Sector-specific Gronda is another useful resource, and not just for sharing ideas or finding inspiration in a large community of restaurateurs. The website also has a jobs page with pre-selected applicants for hotels and the hospitality industry. Saving time naturally comes at a price and Gronda has an annual fee. Free, but requiring more effort, is a search on social media platforms.

Young people and students can be reached on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok – in addition to advertising at universities. YouTube tutorials offer step-by-step explanations of how these platforms work and what to keep in mind. Exciting and informative ‘We want you!’ posts quickly attract plenty of interest. Searches work best when the business is already a regular user of social media. Generally speaking, searching on several platforms is more effective than relying on just one. And of course, finding good staff online is no breeze – it takes time and sometimes even a little money.

Freshen up your look

How do potential employees see a business? For a contemporary appearance, a good web presence is everything. After all, the internet is usually the first place to find out more about a company. An informative, professional and user-friendly company website and an engaging and interesting social media profile are today’s online business cards and can even mean that people apply to you for a job on their own initiative. Those less experienced in web design can use services like DISH to create this kind of website quite easily. Vacancies can also be advertised on your company website alongside an informative company profile. Introducing the team, mentioning company values and including a hello from the boss can all help to suggest approachability and convey the idea that this is a good place to work.

Appreciation for a job well done

What good are applications if employees don’t stay for long? Employee satisfaction is just as important as customer satisfaction. A pleasant, relaxed working atmosphere attracts new employees and retains those already employed in the company. And customers feel better, too, when the team is in a good mood and enjoys the work. Things that make a big difference are a certain amount of plannability and flexibility in terms of working hours, as well as subsidised or free food. Group training opportunities or small celebrations like barbecues or anniversaries also help the team to bond. Employees should not feel that they are just ‘tools’ but are valued colleagues.

Answering the right questions

For both restaurateurs and the staff they seek, it is equally important to think about who the ideal candidate really is. Job ads are more likely to succeed when they answer these 5 questions: Who are we? Who are we looking for? What do we expect? What are we offering? What are we asking for? (Type and method of making contact and provision of documents). It is also important to define the ‘Essential’ and ‘Desirable’ criteria so that applicants see a specific requirements profile and can target their application. This could include the qualifications and language skills that are required and those that are ‘nice to have’. The more information given about the job, the greater the chance of a successful match.

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