The last few years have been big for tourism in Chicago. The city has topped 50 million annual visitors for the first time ever, and that number is expected to rise even more over the coming years. New hotels like the Virgin, Lowes and Freehand, plus an influx of trade shows, are bringing millions of dollars of new revenue to the city and creating thousands of new jobs. In fact, city officials say that more than 10,000 new jobs have been created in the Chicago hospitality industry since 2010.
Filling so many jobs so quickly is a difficult task, one which most hotels would be hard-pressed to accomplish without help. Some management teams call on all-purpose Chicago staffing agencies to find employees for their hotels – but the smart ones use a “next generation” solution: hospitality staffing agencies.
These companies don’t have to worry about juggling job applicants for a number of different industries, the way that general staffing agencies do. They specialize solely in finding qualified hotel, food and beverage workers. And with the large and increasing demand for these employees throughout Chicago, agencies like Quality Hotel Staffing are doing a brisk business.
A Smart Business Model
For many years, Chicago staffing agencies have been providing temporary and permanent employees for local businesses. However, that approach doesn’t always work to an employer’s benefit, since the agencies are constantly handling applications for a wide variety of job categories in numerous industries. The tedious process of reviewing resumes and verifying previous employment may be the same across the board, but an all-purpose agency simply isn’t going to be able to rigorously screen candidates for hospitality jobs in the same expert way that hotel administrators could.
Hospitality staffing agencies fill that void. They’ve developed expertise in all areas of hotel, food and beverage operations and built networks throughout the industry, better enabling them to recruit candidates and properly evaluate applicants’ credentials and abilities. They can even make a few phone calls to their hotel industry contacts to further vet a candidate if necessary. Some go one step further, administering skills tests to applicants before they’re hired.
All sides benefit from this business model. Hotels know that Chicago staffing agencies which focus exclusively on hospitality jobs will have the largest pool of qualified employees, applicants know that hospitality staffing agencies will have the largest number and variety of openings – and the agencies profit from their decision to specialize. The end result: openings are filled expeditiously with workers whose credentials and experience have been fully vetted.
Additional Benefits for Hotels
Most staffing agencies in Chicago not only recruit and screen employees, but serve as their nominal employer as well. They issue paychecks and provide benefits, relieving clients of those burdens in return for a monthly fee.
The majority of hospitality staffing agencies work exactly the same way, hiring workers who are actually employees of the agency, not the hotel. This can be an enormous benefit to clients, who save money by “outsourcing” those tasks to the agency while gaining valuable cost certainty for their payroll. Naturally, hotels also benefit by being able to streamline their human resources and personnel staffs, allowing them to focus more on operations and less on the constant distractions of hiring and HR issues.
There’s one additional advantage for hotels: most agencies provide complete hospitality staffing solutions. That means they also function as hospitality temp agencies, able to fill a hotel’s short-term personnel needs to cover surges in business due to conventions, meetings, weddings or other events.
As Chicago’s tourism industry continues to grow, it appears that hospitality staffing agencies in Chicago will be growing right alongside.