Attracting talent when pay is a challenge

Blog about attracting talent when pay is a challenge

Attracting and retaining top talent is a perpetual challenge. So much so that campaigns like Hospitality Rising have been launched specifically to tackle the issue of recruitment in the hospitality sector. Its efforts now show that one in three jobseekers are considering hospitality as a sector in which to work, compared to just one in five in August 2021. However, it’s still an ongoing challenge for many employers in sectors like hospitality to demonstrate career opportunities on offer. So how do you attract talent when pay is a challenge and manage the expectations of the younger generation?

Understand expectations

With more Millennials (those born between 1981- 1996) and Generation Z (born between 1997 – 2012) now in the workforce it’s crucial to understand what motivates them when it comes to work. Both generations now expect more than just a salary; they seek meaningful work with purpose, a positive company culture, and opportunities for rapid growth and development.

Promote company values and culture

Research shows that younger generations are attracted to employers who align closely with their values. In businesses where pay is a challenge, a positive company culture and ethos can be a selling point. Whether it’s a commitment to sustainability, volunteering opportunities or giving back, it’s important to highlight and showcase what makes the business unique. This not only helps to attract the right staff but creates a culture of inclusivity and teamwork which aids retention.

Provide learning and development opportunities

Investing in staff training aids retention but can be a powerful recruitment tool. Showcase your training programmes, mentoring schemes and other initiatives the business offers in your marketing to give candidates a feel for the business and how it develops its people.

Offer and highlight flexible working arrangements

Often the retail and hospitality industries can be off-putting for workers with families who require structured regular hours, however, the flexibility of the working hours available can make the service industry the perfect place to find those flexible work patterns.  The flexible options can include compressed workweeks, and flexible shift patterns (for example, offering four days on followed by three days off).

Cultivate your employer brand

Your brand ultimately plays a pivotal role in attracting talent. Developing a strong online presence, particularly via social media, allows you to showcase positive employee experiences, company events and behind-the-scenes glimpses. It can also highlight the commitment to employee well-being and career development. Read our case study on developing a positive company culture to align with your values.

Employee referrals

Recommendations from staff is one of the best ways to attract new talent. Encourage staff to refer friends who may be a good fit for the business with a reward for successful introductions. In the long term, this can also boost morale and retention, building a workforce containing trusted connections.

Use tech in recruitment

Leverage tech in your recruitment process to speed it up and reach a wider audience. Identify where your target audience is and use the appropriate tools to reach them – such as the relevant social media platforms.  Ensure that the company website is up-to-date and accurate. Use video interviews and assessments to speed up the process and make it accessible and appealing to a tech-savvy audience.

Highlight the perks!

If the salary options are limited, highlight all the non-financial perks and benefits on offer. These range from healthcare schemes to discounts or wellness programmes. For example, Bespoke HR offers its clients access to Wellness Cloud, a wellbeing platform for businesses. Staff can access training and resources for free. These benefits should be advertised along with the roles and highlighted during the recruitment process.

Another approach is to use gamification in the recruitment process. This involves creating engaging challenges or assessments that allow candidates to showcase their skills in an interactive way.

Attracting the younger generation to the industry requires a holistic approach based on more than salary. Through a positive employer brand, offering development opportunities and being creative when it comes to recruitment, businesses can attract and retain top talent even when financial constraints are a factor. Balancing the expectations of younger generations with the realities of the budget is key to building a resilient and dynamic workforce.