You've heard about the labor shortage for the last several months. And if you're in the restaurant or grocery business, it’s been real. The U.S. has more jobs available than workers to fill them. How can businesses compete for essential temporary and part-time workers during one of the busiest times of the year?
According to PeopleReady, employers posted 19 million available positions in the last two months, with 75% of them still unfilled. It will take at least a month to fill those jobs. With the holiday season upon us, hiring is a top priority.
The picture looks challenging for restaurants. Executives with major restaurant chains lament the staff shortages and are scrambling to find ways to fill jobs. CNBC recently reported, "Restaurant executives have painted a bleak picture of staffing challenges to investors on their earnings calls in the last two weeks. CEOs like Domino's Pizza's Ritch Allison, Chipotle Mexican Grill's Brian Niccol, and McDonald's Chris Kempczinski shared details on how eateries have shortened hours, restricted ordering methods, and lost out on sales because they can't find enough workers."
For the grocery industry, staffing up is also proving to be a significant challenge. The main reason for turnover? Burnout. About 56% of grocery workers say their jobs are too exhausting. While most companies spend time engaging and retaining their corporate employees, they're not spending enough time considering frontline workers' needs.
The staffing landscape has changed dramatically throughout the pandemic. Some experts believe that the need for more secure employment with health benefits was why workers chose to leave in droves. But there's more to the story. "The Great Resignation" is affecting frontline organizations the most—including restaurants and grocery stores. To uncover what employees want, examine reasons why workers are leaving. A survey by software firm Axonify found it’s largely about:
Axonify reports, "People aren't just leaving their jobs during The Great Resignation. They're taking advantage of newfound opportunities emerging from an unprecedented economic rebound. After more than a year of uncertainty, people are reprioritizing how they work and live."
Understanding the mindset and needs of modern frontline workers can provide clues as to new ways to attract and retain talent, including seasonal workers. They want flexible schedules, more appreciation, and more positive work relationships. In other words, they want productive, fulfilling work that makes them feel optimistic about their employer at the end of a shift.
For seasonal workers, employers should consider the following:
It's not too late to hire your holiday dream team. Here are some strategies to help.
Identify and find your target holiday staff.
Think about who might benefit from picking up some extra work during the holidays. Many people are looking for flexible schedules, additional income to cover holiday costs, more work experience to add to a resume for a longer-term job search, or a chance to learn a new set of skills and make a change. Consider where your target employers might be. Who are they?
While you might be desperate to fill positions, "bad hires" can hurt business. Avoid hiring mistakes even when you're understaffed.
Be creative with recruiting
The goal is to get more applications in your hiring queue. Use existing and new recruitment tactics to generate leads and find the best people.
While studies indicate that employees value flexibility and work environment more than compensation, offering competitive pay during the holidays is still essential.
To offset these holiday hiring costs, take care of your customers and attract new ones. Upside is a cashback platform that supports restaurants and grocery stores by guaranteeing profits. While you focus on managing hiring costs during the holidays, Upside works with businesses with no upfront costs or technical training required.
Update your advertising
Developing intriguing ads seems like the most obvious "go-to" option for filling open positions. But here are some tips for getting more out of your ad budget.
Use smart scheduling software
Labor management technology can customize schedules to meet employee needs and provide a level of flexibility that attracts new employees. There are a number of platforms that help managers appropriately staff the unique customer spikes during the holidays. Also, workers can communicate seamlessly with leadership and co-workers to adjust schedules and share important staffing updates. This level of transparency—and flexibility— empowers managers and workers.