How Hospitality Businesses Are Staffing Up In Today’s Market

October 27, 2021
min read

As businesses continue to rebound and adjust to a new normal, workers continue to be hard to come by. According to the National Restaurant Association, the industry is 1 million jobs below where it was pre-pandemic. Even as unemployment benefits come to an end, many corporations who have the ability to offer higher pay and more benefits still don’t feel confident that the labor shortage will get any easier, according to the CNBC Global CFO Council. There’s no denying it’s a struggle right now for businesses to hire the talent they want as everyone is fighting over similar labor pools.

With the ball being in the job seekers court, there is increased pressure on businesses to find ways to attract workers. “Employers are going to need to make their work so compelling that they'll reactivate people into the workforce,” says Steven Rothberg, President and Founder of If businesses don’t change to meet the needs of workers, they will suffer as a result. “It isn't that people won't want to work. It is that they won't want to work for those employers,” he points out.

Over the course of the pandemic businesses learned quickly the need to adapt was essential to survive. This theme continues to ring true as it relates to how businesses will have to continue to make changes to deal with staffing shortages. What we believe will be essential for businesses to compete in today’s market include; the adoption of a temporary labor model, offering flexibility, the integration of technology, and staying ahead of the curve as it relates to wages and benefits. 

Temporary Labor Sourcing 

As a result of the pandemic many businesses were forced to rethink their labor strategy. Over 71% of employers plan to shift more work to contingent, project, or contract labor this year, according to Randstand’s 2022 Talent Trends Report. Problem turned opportunity for many savvy leaders as many businesses have undergone huge labor transformations. For example, Amazon experienced severe problems during the onset of COVID but by flexing its model and hiring furloughed restaurants employees they were able to quickly bounce back and then some. 

Now amid a hiring crisis, many businesses have turned to temporary labor sourcing to help combat labor shortages and have seen great results. Jitjatjo’s Ondemand staffing platform leverages AI and Empathic Intelligence to instantly and accurately provide quality, vetted talent to businesses as quickly as within an hour. 

Flexible Work Schedule

The pandemic has changed the way we work, maybe forever. Flexible working has overtaken salary as the top benefit desired by employees in the U.S., according to a new report from Jabra that analyzes employee sentiments about hybrid work.

Jitjatjo recently conducted a talent survey within its own network to offer insight into the general sentiment around the current workforce and what workers are looking for in their next role. Flexibility in the workplace was a key theme with workers taking on numerous new responsibilities in their day-to-day lives over the course of the pandemic. As a result, many workers have turned to gig platforms like Jitjatjo which provide workers with flexible work opportunities that match their lifestyle.

When asked about personal reasoning behind choosing flexible work such as gig work, 60% reported enjoying the flexibility with scheduling; 43% reported having a primary job and taking gig work as a source of supplemental income; 18% work an array of temporary jobs with full time hours; 17% are transitioning to a new field; 16% reported being caregivers and needing the flexibility of gig work to meet their needs and 8% reported being current students who need the option to work as their schedules allow.

“People have made it clear: Flexibility will become a permanent foundation of the future of work — and business leaders who stand against this tide not only risk losing their talent, but also their stake in the economy of the future,” said Jared Spataro, corporate vice president in the Modern Work division at Microsoft.


Competition for talent begins with recruiting. To make the hiring and onboarding process as seamless as possible, many organizations have adopted a technology-based staffing solution allowing them to scale up or down as needed at a moment’s notice.

In addition, with the use of AI and empathic intelligence, businesses are provided with curated labor pools of talent who are screened and ready to work. Many platforms use an applicant tracking system designed to manage large volumes of candidate applications to streamline the recruiting process. From candidate assessments to automated vetting, businesses are provided with the candidate data they need to make quick decisions.

In addition, having a digital onboarding process simplifies the process with digital HR smart forms, paperless background checks, and automated reference checks. Some platforms also offer assessments and training directly in the platform. To compete for talent, providing an optimal user experience when it comes to recruiting and hiring is essential. 

Wages and Benefits

According to Jitjatjo’s recent talent survey, when asked about what incentivizes them the most as it pertains to getting back to work, an overwhelming 76% of survey participants cited higher hourly wage as a key incentive. In order to compete and meet demands of workers, many businesses including restaurants are offering higher wages. As a result, pay for hourly workers in leisure and hospitality jumped 13 percent this August as compared to a year ago. According to the NYTimes, a growing number of restaurants are moving away from the tipped minimum wage and some are even offering signing bonuses to new employees to attract new workers. 

Not only do workers want higher wages but they also don’t want to wait weeks to get paid. 42% of Jitjatjo survey participants cited access to instant pay following shift completion as well as increased benefits as priority incentives for returning to work. According to a recent Digiday article, on-demand pay is experiencing a boom and could be just the ticket for industries struggling to find and keep workers.

Key Takeaways

Staffing has become another roadblock for many businesses during an already difficult time. It’s important for businesses to evaluate their labor model and hiring process. Are they meeting the demands of workers?  What worked yesterday may not work today as many businesses are quickly realizing. Learn more about how Jitjatjo can help.


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