The foodservice industry as a whole has been the hardest hit. As we all plunged into lockdowns of various levels, one thing remained clear – the hospitality industry – and food along with it – suffered greatly with reduced staff and drastic adaptations made to maintain some momentum. Sadly, we saw many well-known local eateries slowing to a close, impacting not only the economy but livelihoods as well.
Moving into Spring, the public is optimistic for the resurgence of hospitality and eateries alike. As we embark on our collective new normal, increased outdoor dining is happening – this often means employers on the back-end are working fearlessly to quickly build back their team. Yet; with the mad dash to reopen, quickly hiring and onboarding employees is a challenge. Not only is there competition from neighboring businesses to find and hire the best talent, there is a challenge to quickly get people on your payroll – and with minimal contact. Businesses are adapting how they hire and onboard just as they have adapted to everything else in the past year.
Searching for Talent While Remote
Perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of hiring in the current environment is maintaining distance while remote. It has now become a norm to reduce the amount of face-to-face contact for health and safety reasons; yet, when it comes to recruitment and interviewing potential hires, this process presents a challenge, especially for hospitality. Much of hospitality recruitment is done best face to face and in person, due to the nature of finding the right fit for the customer experience. Fortunately, there are solutions out there, like applicant tracking applications, that have done the hard work and adapted their systems to offer a paralleled hiring experience.
Using intelligent filtering and “knockout questions”, employers can filter out bad candidates before they even look at a resume. Some even require a video introduction allowing the applicant to record a short video on their phone and submit it alongside their application. This helps the hiring manager in maintaining a connection with a potential recruit while also gaining a sense of a person’s personality before beginning the interview process.
While interviewing has fallen more in favor of traditional ways, such as phone call screenings, our digital age has enhanced this process with solutions that could only be viewed as innovative. Automation is the term for 2021 and through automation, employers can automatically set interview schedules that fit their busy calendar while also allowing for video conferencing-styled interviews. What this has done is enable employers to continue to focus on the operations of their business while allowing these systems to do the heavy lifting in the background. It adds a little more automation to the whole process, while keeping some of the human element intact.
Onboarding Talent While Remote
Onboarding has forever changed. From in-person paperwork, orientation, and training – onboarding, for a majority, if not all, businesses have been conducted remotely. In many ways, traditional forms of onboarding was an administrative burden as half the day was lost in forms and documents alongside updating payroll and employee schedules.
Ramping up business does not afford employers the luxury of wasting time on lost paperwork. Getting the employee to be ready to work and have all the documentation completed as soon as they step into the kitchen is the most important and efficient way to operate. Much like Applicant Tracking, Onboarding solutions have begun to embrace the idea of remote onboarding, in a paperless process.
Once an employee is offered a job, they are introduced to an onboarding step-by-step process that organizes and controls the requisition of required paperwork. This also reduces the need for additional in-person visits to review all documentation.
Newly hired workers will have access to all required steps, due dates, and required documentation at their fingertips. They will even have access from a mobile device. Paperless onboarding solutions takes out the administrative burden of chasing down the right forms and documents. Once that employee finishes the process, they are ready to come to work.
Complying with Wage and Labor Regulations
With each new employee being set at different pay rates, additional challenges such as overtime rates, tipped wages, split shifts, and more, are now becoming more efficient thanks to online tools.
Maintaining wage and labor compliance requirements is now simpler to do with the help of payroll systems that can automatically upload new hire information directly to the payroll system, making the process faster.
In helping the burden of reviewing payroll abnormalities and errors, like with wage adjustments, taxes, withholdings, an intelligent payroll system is key. Intelligence is a way of saying that the payroll system automatically has all variables needed to calculate for tips, tax, and benefit deductions while also flagging errors when payroll is being run. That way, business owners save time by only having to review exceptions.
Making the “Old Normal” New Again
It is an incredibly encouraging thought that this year, the food service industry will be able to move closer to normal and operate at their full potential. With that thought comes plenty of challenges to overcome. Hiring and onboarding a team back to normal levels can be a daunting and time-consuming exercise. With new digital resources to help alleviate the burden, employers can streamline the process of finding the right talent while using that same technology to assess whether they are a good fit team for the role.
Similar technologies are driving to a more remote and paperless onboarding process – one that will minimize the need for excessive exposure by having newly hired employees ready to work on day one. Integrated payroll compliance makes sure that wage and labor information is entered once and that results are accurate and compliant..
Technology’s role in reducing administrative time, ramping up employees faster, and finding the best possible talent is helping to make the “old normal” new again.