Three Ways HSS is Working With Clients to Keep Hotels Staffed and Profitable
As occupancy rates continue to climb, the biggest challenge for many hospitality venues is labor. Hourly wage rates have risen by more than 10% in many industries and have reached more than 17% in hospitality. Even setting aside the rise in wages, many hospitality venues such as hotels, restaurants, and banquet centers are having trouble simply filling open positions because the labor market is so tight. With unemployment claims now reaching pre-pandemic levels, this tight labor market is likely to persist well into 2022.
While contingent labor or temp staffing is one solution to this labor challenge, hospitality venues need to consider other outsourced services — in conjunction with staffing — in order to address the labor issue. Employing these additional labor strategies is key to meeting growing demand without degrading guest satisfaction.
Here are three key ways that HSS is working with its clients beyond contingent labor to meet today’s labor challenges.
1. A Boost to Recruiting
The shortage of talent in hospitality extends beyond hourly workers. The management teams needed to recruit, hire and onboard new team members are also operating at lower levels due to both layoffs during the pandemic and the tight labor market to fill these management roles.
Many hotels and hospitality venues are turning to Direct Hire and Recruitment Process Outsourcing models. HSS works with many clients on the Direct Hire model to find candidates to fill an array of positions, ranging from housekeeping and department heads to general managers and regional VPs. This fee-based service comes with guarantees to ensure the right organizational fit, pulling from an extensive pool of employees. HSS also offers Recruitment Process Outsourcing, which helps clients not only find candidates but walks them through the entire recruiting process. These services can help fill positions more quickly while reducing the managerial burden of hiring in hospitality.
2. Full Outsourced Services
With contingent labor filling gaps in internal staffing, hospitality venues are also opting to accomplish other functional operations through outsourced services. Outsourcing services can eliminate the need for internal employees or can help reduce strain on existing employees. For example, HSS offers kitchen cleaning and janitorial services that reduce the burden on Food and Beverage staff. Many hotels also choose the Full Department Outsourcing model that sees an entire housekeeping department recruited, hired and managed by a team at HSS. These partnerships ensure cost and quality controls.
Tight labor markets tend to drive innovation. However, the right partnerships are essential to making this a reality because innovation needs to be developed, tested, and verified ahead of a crisis. The KBS Innovation Center, housed at HSS’s parent company KBS, specializes in working with technology partners to raise efficiency and effectiveness for many essential cleaning functions. Some of its solutions have helped dramatically reduce the usage of energy, water, chemicals, and perhaps most importantly, time. With clients in retail, this level of efficiency drove down costs by as much as 25%.
As labor markets remain tight and occupancy rates rise, hospitality venues need solutions that help keep guest satisfaction high while remaining profitable. HSS is working with clients on more expansive strategies — far beyond staffing — to reach these goals as they look forward to navigating the ongoing recovery.
Working in the hospitality industry today is an exciting option that rewards teamwork and people with positive attitudes. Should you consider working for a hotel or resort? What can you expect when working in the hospitality industry? Like any industry, every role differs; however, some elements hold true, regardless of your position.
Here are the five top reasons people are joining the hospitality industry. Are you ready to take advantage of all the opportunities available to you in hotels? Do you have what it takes?
1. Positive Work Environment For those who work in the front of the house, a positive attitude is essential. Front-of-house workers interface with guests all day and must be ready to answer questions and problem solve as needed. Back-of-the-house workers work behind the scenes to keep things operating smoothly. For all workers, there is training happening regularly. Keeping a positive outlook helps those in hotels and hospitality tackle any changes or challenges that may come their way.
2. Teamwork Teamwork matters in hotels. Hospitality workers should expect a teamwork-oriented environment. Without teamwork, the atmosphere can suffer – so everyone needs to work together for the good of the guests! Keeping guests happy is at the heart of every hospitality business. There is also some cross-training that takes place, so that if you’re working in one department, you may receive training that enables you to fill in in other departments, if or when needed.
3. Opportunities for Advancement In the hospitality world, there are many opportunities to move up the ladder. Those who excel in this fast-paced environment are often offered a chance to try a new role. That provides employees with a chance to learn new skills and stretch their limits professionally. Often, someone who starts out working in a hotel kitchen can end up running the kitchen. Perhaps someone who starts out as a housekeeper can eventually lead the housekeeping team. Some employees wind up in leadership roles. There really are no limits for those who embrace the work!
4. See the World There are also opportunities to travel and meet people from all over the world. If you enjoy experiencing a different state or country, you can often find chances to work in another location. Many hotels and resorts will allow staff to move to other properties within the chain. Many employees enjoy living in different locations.
5. Putting People First People are at the heart of everything. Once you’ve shown how valuable you are to an employer in the hospitality industry, they will be looking for ways to keep you happy and fulfilled. Caring about the workers translates into the workers caring about the guests. People are at the heart of it all, so employers who successfully keep their teams understand that treating people well is more of a priority than ever.
Robert Lara, Area VP for HSS, speaks about success and opportunities for work in hospitality.
Working in Hospitality Could Be for You!
If you look forward to lots of variety in your day and are able to embrace change while keeping a positive outlook, the hospitality industry could be an ideal fit for you. Entry-level roles can lead to more opportunities for those who embrace teamwork and put people at the heart of what they do. Working in the hospitality industry might be your next career move!
In this episode we explore some of the long-term impacts that the COVID-19 crisis may have on the hospitality industry and how leaders in the industry are deploying solutions. We include some insight into how some HSS clients are emerging successfully as occupancy rates begin to rise.
“We’re hearing of significant cross-utilization due to labor shortages over the past year, where salaried managers and employees from other areas of the hotel are pitching in to clean rooms on busy days. This has the effect of artificially boosting rooms productivity while reported managerial labor stays relatively flat and productivity in other areas is potentially adversely affected.”
“There has always been a high expectation for cleanliness in hospitality,” says Burke. “Moving forward, these expectations are going to be even higher. Beyond guest rooms there will be more attention paid to the cleanliness of public areas, fitness centers, swimming pools, and food and beverage operations.”
Full Departmental Outsourcing Raises Standards and Lowers Costs
A recovering hospitality industry is challenged to meet higher expectations from guests while working with reduced levels of staff and management. One solution for many hospitality organizations is full departmental outsourcing. These programs fully manage housekeeping departments from recruiting and training, to equipment and chemicals. HSS controls costs and drives quality so that the properties can focus on guest service and occupancy. HSS Outsourcing raises guest satisfaction scores while lowering costs by as much as 30%.
Is Outsourcing a Solution for COVID Recover?
For many properties, the impact of COVID came in layers. First came the extreme drop in occupancy and loss of revenue. This was followed by a loss of talent at all levels of the industry due to lay-offs, early retirements, and migration to other industries. The third wave came as occupancy levels rose and guests began to return amid a labor shortage. There is another component related to guests having a higher expectation of cleanliness. For many properties, full departmental outsourcing can be a solution to these challenges and may be the key to succeeding in coming months and years of recovery.
How Hospitality Outsourcing Works
Our outsourcing programs manage the entire operations of a department from the executive housekeeper down to the hourly employees, but it is important that these programs are fully tailored to the needs of a property to match quality standards. We start by identifying some of the key gaps and operation elements that HSS Outsourcing can offer. We combine cultural standards into our best practices to create exceptional service experiences and consistently train to the 10/5 rule, property knowledge and standards of greeting. To ensure that standards are consistently applied, we have a dedicated person that oversees our training as well as a director of quality control to make sure the cleaning staff is keeping up with the standards set.
Delivering Quality Results
Integrating your service brand culture with our business culture is standard operation procedure. We’ve adopted Forbes Three, Four, and Five diamond service standards as well as Quality Audit standards, all of which contribute to the excellent service we offer on a consistent basis.
Putting Concerns to Rest
Some hotel, resort, and casino operations leaders might feel reluctant about outsourcing fearing that they could lose quality control among their properties and even a sense of pride and ownership. But ownership, brand standards, and a tailored experience are are essential to our outsourcing model. We developed our training to match the brand of the current client and ensure that the outsourcing employees will follow just that, as well as meet the performance standards set by the client. Obviously, with the outsourcing model, we structure and build a model to fit the client’s needs. We develop and carry that through our division and have the resources to create that.
Building strong partnerships to overcome post-pandemic challenges
Hospitality Staffing Solutions was recently featured in Hotel Management International in reference to their recent partnership with Aimbridge Hospitality to overcome the challenges facing labor shortages caused by the pandemic.
Aimbridge Hospitality, a hotel management company, who has done business with HSS in the past, was looking for assistance when it came to staffing their hotels post pandemic. With the rise in travel, they needed to be able to staff their hotels on a moment’s notice. And that’s where HSS, the hospitality division of KBS, came to play. HSS can provide a national reach to meet to the staffing needs of Aimbridge properties. Together the team has produced strategic ideas and innovated ways to reach the needs of the hotels. HSS has assembled a “mobile team” of hotel room attends to travel to the designated areas to fulfil the hospitality needs of those hotels that require this additional assistance.
Understandably, now more than ever, Aimbridge is centered on guest satisfaction with the cleanliness of the public areas as well as the guest rooms. With that comes great focus on choosing the highest quality staff for their properties. Through HSS’ national recruiting network, they can place the best staff in the roles needed. HSS and Aimbridge Hospitality provide multiple extensive trainings to their employees to be sure they can meet the needs of the property in cleanliness and safety.
“There has always been a high expectation for cleanliness in hospitality,” says Burke. “Moving forward, these expectations are going to be even higher. Beyond guest rooms there will be more attention paid to the cleanliness of public areas, fitness centers, swimming pools, and food and beverage operations.” ED Burke, VP of rooms and engineering operations, Aimbridge Hospitality
Together in partnership, HSS and Aimbridge Hospitality are rising above the challenges to provide a clean and safe stay for all their guests. While serving over 220 properties, Aimbridge realized it is taking more than just housekeepers to keep their properties afloat, but with the bundled HSS and KBS family, they can help provide the hotels solutions to the challenges faced inside and outside of the property.
Aimbridge is grateful to finally have a partnership with the “[same scale reach and passion that we have.
Housekeeping Week 2021 from Hospitality Staffing Solutions
HSS is the largest national staffing provider focused on the hospitality industry. And, as a KBS company, we are part of the largest privately held facility services provider in North America. And so it’s understandable that the 40th annual International Housekeepers and Environmental Service Week is a big deal for our organization. HSS has been celebrating with our housekeeping teams at hotels, resorts, and casinos in over 40 States and over 100 markets across the U.S.
Housekeeping Week Across All HSS Branches
Here are some highlights from HSS staff thanking the thousands of housekeeping professionals who have been an integral part of the hospitality industry. Through good times and bad, hotel housekeeping teams have ensured that hotels, resorts, and casinos are safe, clean, and a second home to guests. You can also view a playlist of all the complete HSS Happy Housekeeping Week Videos as well.
Maintaining Housekeeping Staff Throughout the Pandemic
It’s important to note, that HSS is able to maintain a pool of housekeeping staff by continuously recruiting and remaining in touch with the needs of those building a career in hospitality. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, we were able to maintain employment for many workers by finding them jobs within the network of clients outside the hospitality industry through our parent company KBS. Serving as essential workers in pharmacies, fulfillment centers, senior living facilities, and manufacturing plants, HSS was able to supply these industries with needed workers while maintaining relationships with hospitality employees.
Among findings about the deep impact that the pandemic had on hospitality workers, the survey also shows that hospitality workers strongly align their career aspirations with the hotel industry and valued returning to work:
87% of respondents said they would like to return to work in a hotel or resort
81% said they would feel safe returning to work in a hotel
91% said that they have received adequate training to work safely.
90% said they have the supplies needed to perform their jobs safely and effectively
HSS worked with with ClearlyRated to compile the data for this study. ClearlyRated (formerly known as Inavero) administers more staffing agency client and talent satisfaction surveys than any other firm in the world, reporting on more than 1.2 million satisfaction surveys from staffing agency clients and job seekers each year.
Building A Career Through Hotel Housekeeping
Celebrating Housekeeping Week each year is really an extension of the work that HSS teams perform every day. We view housekeeping as a skilled profession and a career that many of our own teams participate in every day. Housekeeping jobs from entry level to management are a viable and strong career path for many people and HSS has encouraged the advancement of housekeeping staff within its clients organizations and within its own. Here is a quote from one of our thousands of housekeepers:
HSS opened opportunities for me. It was a job that really gave me stability. They’ve given me respect and understanding. I love working for this company. All the people who work here open their hands and hearts. I’m really pleased to be here and I want to grow with HSS.
They have focused on keeping employees growing by motivating them, following up and driving them. Employees work together with HSS and always get a helping hand. You feel supported when you can talk to any representative and they are there to listen to you.
Thanks again for a great Housekeeping Week 2021 from the entire team at HSS and KBS!