The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 431,000 people are employed in the leisure and hospitality industry in the Chicago area. Not all of them work in Chicagoland hotels, of course. But with more than 700 hotels in the region, it’s safe to assume that a huge percentage of those 431,000 employees are hotel workers.
How do hotels find qualified people for all of those positions? There are three common approaches ranging from “do-it-yourself” at one extreme, to using specialized hospitality staffing agencies in Chicago at the other.
Internal Human Resource Departments
Most businesses (of all sorts) use the time-honored method to find and hire employees. The human resources department advertises openings or recruits prospective workers, and then screens applicants in conjunction with the departments where the employees would be working. When hiring decisions are made, the company adds the workers to its payroll and administers everything locally.
Many hotels still use this approach. It has the advantage of giving management complete control over who is hired and who is working in the building. However, it has the distinct disadvantage of requiring an enormous amount of time and expense to find, vet and hire workers and administer a large workforce on a daily basis. It also requires human resources administrators to develop recruiting networks and expertise which might be well beyond the normal scope of daily operations.
Hotels which are part of a chain can often benefit from the parent company’s centralized recruitment processes and other systems, yet most of the burden remains on the shoulders of local hotel management.
General Chicago Staffing Agencies
Chicagoland has a large number of companies which hire temporary or permanent employees and lease them to employers. Some of these Chicago staffing agencies, like Prime Staffing and Allegiance Staffing, offer their services to the hospitality industry. Hotel workers are screened, hired and paid by the agency, and the hotel pays a monthly fee to the agency for each employee.
There’s one big downside. These staffing agencies in Chicago don’t just hire hospitality workers; they recruit, screen and employ all sorts of people for all sorts of businesses. They will hire bartenders, waiters and housekeepers for hotels, but they also hire forklift operators, welders and injection molding machine operators. Serving many industries may make their operation efficient, but it can’t match the industry expertise provided by the final alternative: companies dedicated to hospitality staffing solutions.
Hospitality Staffing Agencies in Chicago
More and more Chicago staffing agencies are specializing in specific niches. And several, such as Quality Hotel Staffing, devote all of their energies to meeting the needs of the Chicagoland hotel and hospitality industry.
It’s a “best of both worlds” solution. These hospitality staffing agencies handle the recruitment, vetting and hiring processes and manage payroll and benefits for the workers, just as general staffing agencies in Chicago would do. But without having to worry about hiring assembly line and mailroom workers, these agencies can develop deep connections and expertise specific to the hospitality business. They attract the best applicants and provide the highest-level of quality hotel workers – because that’s their only mission. Most also serve the function of hospitality temp agencies, providing workers for the short term.
There’s nothing wrong with keeping everything in-house; it provides the ultimate control over the quality of a workforce. In today’s world, though, efficiency and margins are key metrics for most businesses. That’s leading more hotel owners and managers than ever to conclude that hospitality staffing agencies are today’s best alternative for finding employees.