Making It Through This Hiring Challenge

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Although many people have been vaccinated by now, we are still in the middle of the Covid pandemic. New government regulations extend unemployment pay and – as recently added – COBRA benefits pay until September 30, 2021. This situation presents a huge hiring challenge for businesses. In articles, networking events, one-to-one conversations, and virtual events, everyone is complaining about how difficult it is now to find the right people. Many speak of a “national staffing shortage” in the hospitality industry.

As a recruiter, I have made the same observations in our own hiring efforts. There are either few to no applications coming through, or there are many coming through, just not the ones with the skills we need for the position. In the latter scenario, it is exciting at first because we think, “Great – I have so many applicants who want the job I’m offering.” And then you spend hours reading through all the resumes and answered screening questions just to find out that none of them have the skillset or experience you need for the position. Proper hiring is already a time-consuming task. And now with the applicant shortage, it can quickly become a frustrating undertaking.

However, there are a few tips that business owners can follow during these tough times to come out as winners from this hiring challenge after all.

Staff Retention

You may find yourself in the situation of not having enough staff to cover all your shifts. Cross-training is a must. A team member who can work in every area is very valuable and we recommend an increase in pay as they take on more responsibility. You may need to rely on existing staff to pick up the slack and even work overtime to get the job done. Make sure to keep your staff happy and motivated so that they want to stay on board. Come up with staff retention programs where you reward employees for outstanding performance. Create little competitions such as who upsells the most pizzas tonight and give out small prizes for the winners such as gift cards or dinner for two on you. Engage your employees in idea sharing to make them feel important, giving them a voice in areas that could use improvement. You might be surprised about some great ideas your staff has about making existing processes more efficient.

Advertising the Position

While you work on your staff retention program, continue to focus on your hiring. Besides the traditional online job posting platforms, advertise the position through postings on your social media sites and LinkedIn account. Recently referrals are proving to be successful. Ask your employees, vendors, business partners, friends, family members, neighbors, networking contacts, and customers if they know someone who might be interested or a good fit for the position you are offering. You could also host a hiring event such as a job fair with auditions. TrainerTainment has great tools for these types of hiring events. These activities will help you with the hiring challenges.

Job Posting Platforms

In addition to your focus on staff retention and advertising the position through referrals, there is still the opportunity of finding the right person for the position through the online job posting platforms. There may be ten applications to go through before you get to the one that is a very promising one, but the effort is worth it when you can bring the right, new employee on board to join your team, and that new team member came through an online job posting platform.

Hiring challenges may continue until the end of September when the unemployment and COBRA benefits expire. If you would like to have a partner to help you hire, please reach out to me at Our proven process can make your search for the right person/people much easier.

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