#Hiring Trends for 2019

LABOR AND STAFFING STRATEGIES

As 2018 comes to a close, it is time to reflect on a great year of learning opportunities and then take those lessons and apply them to the upcoming year of 2019. Within the Hospitality Industry, there are many moving parts to consider to create an effective game plan for growth. Employees are the most crucial and will be the center of attention more than ever. Employees alone can make or break a pattern of success for Restaurants and it is how you recruit, train and retain your employees that will be the biggest hurdle for 2019. As history is set to repeat itself, be ready for a huge shift in staff retention. As the nation’s economy strengthens and unemployment rates trend downward, restaurants are likely to see recruiting and retaining employees become difficult once again. This labor issue was alleviated during the economic downturn in part to the great recession and fear of job loss. Restaurant employment growth is set to outpace overall employment for 2019 indicating that there will soon be a gap between open positions and available candidates. Modern recruiting methods will give companies a leg up in the hunt for top notch employees. Online job boards, social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter, and a company’s own website can generate interest among potential “B”, “C” and often “D” candidates adding fuel to the “turn over’ fire. It is with passive recruiting techniques that only the “A” players will emerge from the trenches and be motivated to take the next step forward in their careers. With unemployment at a record low and a strong economic forecast in our future, the resulting confidence in the labor market will ultimately create a high turnover of staffs as they look to grow and learn more. As jobs became scarcer in the depressed economy, people tended to stay longer in their existing positions. Now, turnover rates are beginning to rise again as the economy strengthens and peoples bank accounts swell. Employee retention strategies can include taking a personal, individual interest in workers, making sure they have the tools and knowledge to do their jobs well, encouraging open, transparent communication in order to resolve issues quickly and recognizing top performers to demonstrate that staff efforts are valued and appreciated. With an unstable and potentially shrinking labor pool on the horizon, operators will likely need to find new recruitment options in the years ahead. Leaders will now need to think beyond job board listings and other “quick and easy” methods of attracting talent and focus more on retaining experienced recruiting professionals in the Hospitality Industry to provide proven vetting techniques. The demographics of the U.S. population are constantly in motion, and so are the demographics of the labor force. While overall population growth is slowing due to the Millennial Generation waiting longer to have children, growth in the older demographic is ramping up, and those individuals are also wanting to stay in the workforce longer to recoup losses sustained from the Great Recession. The growing 55 and up demographic may and will be the solution to many hiring dilemmas in the restaurant industry, especially the full service segment. Not only will the sheer number of potential employees in this age range be dominating but, these experienced workers often bring much to the

table, primarily the want to recreate their personal experiences from decades past when they were

the guests in a packed full service restaurant dining room. Trending in 2019 will be the

redevelopment of training programs. Models predominantly used in the past, which focused on only

one specific position, will radically be redeveloped for cross utilization of labor. The long term

benefits will be staggering and revolutionary in that it can be a way to enhance productivity in the

operations as well as a retention tool to develop and retain the workforce internally. Employers are

quickly recognizing that their staffs are investments for long term growth and to retain these

individuals through structured training programs is paramount for their brands success.