Manning River Times

Navigating seasonal staffing: Expert tips for hospitality businesses

Plan ahead to ensure you have enough staff available for your busiest times. Picture Shutterstock
Plan ahead to ensure you have enough staff available for your busiest times. Picture Shutterstock

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Ask any hospitality business owner or manager and they'll tell you that managing seasonal staffing issues is one of the most challenging aspects of working in this industry.

Indeed, the success of hospitality businesses during these periods relies on the efficient navigation of seasonal staffing concerns around key holidays, vacation seasons, or specific events.

It is not only staffing numbers that pose a challenge, ensuring that there are enough skilled workers to meet the increased demand while maintaining service quality also poses a concern.

So how can hospitality businesses effectively manage seasonal staffing and ensure no lapse in operations or quality of service? Here's what we discovered.

Don't leave recruitment to the last minute

This likely feels a lot like common sense, but it's easy to backbench recruitment for seasonal periods when there is so much else going on in the lead-up to these periods. Wherever possible, advertising for seasonal staff should be done well in advance.

Not only does this assist with planning, but it can also see you accessing a larger talent pool that already possesses the skills or certifications necessary for your business. Forethought in the recruitment process will also allow more time for onboarding or further training.

Offer competitive compensation

If you want reliable seasonal staff and the assurance that they will be there when needed, ensuring you are paying them well and fairly is paramount. As seasonal staff are casually employed, they are under no obligation to remain working with you if a better offer presents itself.

Incentivising them with added benefits and proper compensation is your best bet when it comes to retaining the staff you worked so hard to recruit during these seasonal periods.

Leverage technology

Don't only rely on traditional recruitment methods such as agencies or advertising, there are an increasing number of developments in the technology space geared towards making hiring easier.

For example, one option, a platform called Sidekicker, is revolutionising how hospitality business owners can find temporary staff. Using the platform, you can browse and select available staff who have already been vetted and their qualifications verified.

With ratings from past employers visible on each Sidekick profile and hiring recommendations powered by technology, you can easily see who is reliable and best suited for your business. The platform allows you to find staff last minute or well in advance and you can also build preferred talent pools and send work offers or time sheets directly.

Eliminating the need to advertise or interview, it is easy to see how embracing tech advances in this space can seriously minimise the stress associated with sourcing skilled seasonal staff.

Plan for the unplanned

No matter how well prepared you are, the nature of hospitality means that things can change in an instant. Being flexible and feeling equipped to quickly and easily deal with sudden staffing shifts and availability is essential.

This again ties back to making good use of all available tools with specifically designed recruitment apps taking the lead in these instances. Facilitating fast hiring, they provide virtually instant access to available staff in your area, ensuring you can fill staffing gaps within a matter of hours or even minutes!

Look for trends & use data to your advantage

Every industry can benefit from tracking trends and reviewing available data. In hospitality, this can provide key insights into when a business is most affected by seasonal staffing concerns.

It can also be used to inform best practices or strategies for how to manage these periods by showing how busy it may get, when most leave requests occur and as a result, how many staff will be needed to cover this.

In short, planning ahead, leveraging technology and remaining flexible are the keys to success when navigating seasonal staffing. By adapting their approach and embracing modern recruitment methods businesses can meet customer demand and continue to provide exceptional service throughout peak periods.