Why outsourcing is the answer to the hospitality staff conundrum

Published on: Tue, 07 Jul 2020
By: Lorna, CEO, redwigwam

At redwigwam, we like to think we know how to get workers on-site and integrated into your business at short notice. For this reason, we’re fast becoming the temporary recruitment provider of choice for the hospitality industry – where resourcing requirements are hugely variable.

For many businesses, 2020 has been a period of intense uncertainty. And while we've all lived with widespread restrictions on all of our everyday lives, many would agree that hospitality businesses have been amongst those who've been hardest hit. 

However, I think a common misconception is that uncertainty means lack of opportunity – a static time that leaves businesses in the doldrums.

Uncertainty can certainly lead to volatility. This can be stressful for a business as the unpredictability makes the future hard to plan for. But it also means that an organisation needs to focus on staying sharp, keeping a finger on the pulse, and looking for opportunities as and when they arise.

No sector understands uncertainty better than the hospitality sector. Resourcing in this industry is notoriously difficult even in 'normal' times, as the scale and scope of operations varies from day to day and service to service, even during the boom times. Being able to flex resources is crucial in order to respond to the ebb and flow of demand – day or night.

Take a sports stadium, for example, where attendances can vary hugely from week to week and on-the-day ticket sales can be incredibly unpredictable. Such short notice makes it tough to know how many catering, bar and waiting on staff are required – too many staff and money is wasted on personnel who are left twiddling their thumbs; too few staff and it becomes almost impossible to deliver a quality service.

In recent times, the team here at redwigwam have been working closely with businesses in this space – businesses that bring a whole new meaning to the phrase “spinning plates”. We’ve taken the time to learn more about the challenges these organisations face, and we believe we are ideally placed to help them to make the most of opportunities by helping them to hone the outsourcing process.

We understand that hospitality businesses might be fearful of outsourcing to agencies where they perceive quality and punctuality of staff to be something of a lottery.

That certainly isn’t the case with us. We’re revolutionising the way businesses match with workers. In bringing technology and our experience to the temporary employment market, we are providing fully vetted and validated workers in the most flexible and efficient way.

Transparency and efficiency

We pride ourselves on being able to fulfil 98% of our roles within just 4 hours, helping clients achieve better margins and manage their costs effectively in the process. As we employ all of our workers directly, there are no issues with payroll, and hirers can simply match with workers and take advantage of any opportunity 24/7.

In such an unpredictable industry, it is important to have a tight grasp over those elements that are controllable. We understand how important transparency can be when it comes to matching and paying for temporary staff, which is where we really excel.

The businesses we support value our service because we can take away many of the administrative headaches and allow them to focus on the event at hand. Because we employ all of our workers directly, we take responsibility for payroll, National Insurance contributions, and holiday pay. In return, our responsible hirers share our belief in good treatment and quick pay for hardworking staff.

Creating a team mentality

As anyone experienced in the hospitality sector will tell you, trying to put an effective team together can feel like an uphill struggle. The nature of hospitality contracts can, of course, make it difficult to maintain a steady workforce and the pool of talent can be somewhat transient – often made up of students whose availability can chop and change at short notice.

Yet the success of an event relies on the quality of the service; and getting service right demands that a team works together like a well-oiled machine. Having workers who know each other, communicate well, and have good morale can help a hirer to get the best out of them.

So, how do you develop a team mentality when you’re hiring through an agency? At redwigwam we’ve got a solution: a simple and straightforward refer-a-friend scheme for our workers.

From talking to temporary workers we know that they are more likely to attend shifts, work hard, communicate, and apply for roles again if they are working with friends.

Through our incentive scheme, we reward workers for referring friends who share the same work ethic and possess the same skills as themselves. We have also invested at our own expense in providing the most talented and dedicated workers with a whole raft of perks. For example, achieving a 4 out of 5 or a 5 out of 5 rating (employers are asked to rate workers out of 5 at the end of each job) is rewarded with retail discounts and vouchers for local attractions – helping to get the very best out of our staff for your benefit.

Thanks to our rating system, workers who have received a good rating (4/5 or 5/5) are automatically matched with the same hirer again and given priority for similar work. This can take a lot of the stress out of bringing in extra resources, giving the employer peace of mind and the freedom to concentrate on other priorities.

On the Bench

As our relationship with hospitality businesses has developed we have also developed a system known as “On the Bench”. This service allows hirers to book a basic level of resource – say, 80 bar and waiting staff – for an event, before requesting another 40 reserve staff who may or may not be called upon at short notice. By keeping workers on standby it is possible to check their availability and draft them in at short notice to supplement a team and bring in extra, quality assured staff members.

This has been proven to be an incredibly effective way for hirers to flex their resources at the very last minute. Given our online system can be accessed 24/7, hirers have the ability to notify On the Bench workers on evenings and weekends when a typical recruitment agency would be closed.

Providing hirers with all the tools

Through our brand new app, we are bringing a whole new level of connectivity and functionality to the temporary work market. Not only can vacancies be listed and applied for through the app; timesheets can also be submitted and signed off in one place, from anywhere and at any time.

But there’s more up our sleeve, too. Our system even provides directions for workers to their upcoming job and allows hirers to geo-locate their workers should they fail to arrive on time for a job. Should a worker un-book themselves from a job for any reason, they must also provide an explanation via the system to be eligible for future work with us.

Looking for a flexible workforce?

In times of uncertainty, it is crucial that businesses make smart decisions and seize the opportunities that are presented to them. If you would like to know more about how redwigwam can help you to do this, get in touch.