The Rise of Mobile-Powered Talent in Hospitality

Smartphones and tablets are more than just a convenience in our industry today. They can help make money, save money, streamline operations and even attract the right talent.

By the end of this year, more than 2.7 billion people worldwide will be using smartphones. Although mobile use can be a distraction, when it’s applied correctly to business operations, it improves productivity by as much as 60 percent.

Not only do smartphones ensure your employees are more connected and informed, but they can also have a huge impact on your business performance. If used correctly, they can help offset some of the challenges restaurants and hotels face today, in light of wage increases.

Why Mobile Matters

Imagining a world without smartphones is close-to-impossible. The first devices, introduced in 1992 were smarter than their predecessors but were still limited in functionality.

Fast-forward 25+ years…

Today’s restaurant, hotel, or other hospitality operator uses mobile in many ways.

  1. Marketing: In the food and beverage industries, more than 80 percent of overall consumer traffic results from consumers searching locally on their mobile devices. In fact, restaurants are the most-searched mobile category. Diners and travelers utilize social media to share their experiences, reviews, and photos.

  2. Streamlining POS: The proliferation of tablet-based ordering is evident. Seeing a server with paper is rare these days. Sustainability benefits aside, the integration of mobile ordering and a POS systems speeds service and improves accuracy. But from a business standpoint, it also gives operators real-time data; consumer preferences, traffic patterns, and more.

  3. Talent Management and Operational Excellence. People are at the core of excellent service experience and they can make or break your hospitality business on many levels. Mobile systems -- used for hiring, scheduling, communication, analysis, and much more are ultimately the critical lifeline between your employees and your bottom line. Seemingly counter-intuitive, technology enables operators to master the people aspects of running a restaurant or hotel.

Business Management Through Mobile

By integrating your mobile-enabled scheduling system with your POS system, you’ll have a clear and up-to-the-minute picture of what positions you need to fill, at what times of day, and (in the case of multi-location brands), at which locations. 

Understanding your data is the silver bullet that enables you to manage staffing in the face of wage increases and talent shortages. 

All this information being available in one place, on the go, is a game changer for managers in the hospitality industry who need to be on the move the majority of their shifts. Using Harri’s newest application, Harri Live, frontline managers are granted with the ability to access live sales and labor data, full scheduling management, employee requests, communications, live compliance alerts and team data in one place, on the go.

Mobile is the Ultimate Key to Building the Right Team

The war for talent is raging in both the restaurant and hotel industries. Although 82 million hourly workers exist in the U.S., finding the right skill set in a specific place at a particular time of year presents an ongoing challenge to operators. Ebbs and flows in traffic make holding on to top performers challenging. Understaffing creates service issues but overstaffing creates financial issues.

The candidate pool for the hospitality industry is mostly mobile. As such, mobile recruiting tools give operators the upper hand in landing quality talent. Harri’s Job Seeker App provides candidates with the ability to upload a job seeker profile, browse jobs, and schedule interviews, all through the palm of their hands. The Harri App simplifies the job search by allowing candidates to monitor shortlisted job posts, applied for jobs, and scheduled interviews, all in the same platform. 

Finding and Hiring

Mobile enables operators to pinpoint, browse, interview, and ultimately hire those employees who will be the best fit. Employees have access -- via their phones -- to positions that work best for them. Mobile also enables you to screen, track, interview, and ultimately offer jobs to candidates from wherever you are. Having that access and efficiency at one's fingertips can be a true game-changer for busy hospitality managers. Just as online dating transformed the relationship world, mobile hiring will be the primary way qualified candidates look to “match” with the right employers.

The Harri Hire app allows hiring managers to post jobs, screen candidates, conduct interviews, and communicate with candidates all from the convenience of their mobile device. The application allows managers to syndicate posts to other job distributors and create links to share via email or text. Adding these mobile capabilities to the job search increases the talent pool exponentially.

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Training

Classroom (and breakroom) education is becoming history. A third of all education now involves online or distance learning. Although live hands-on training will always be an essential aspect of the hospitality industry, onboarding and engaging employees is more effective when done on the learner’s terms -- when most convenient for him or her. A smart Learning Management System can also match the type of training to employment stage. Important modules like health and safety and sexual harassment prevention education can be easily standardized and deployed across an entire chain or group of locations and operators can monitor and coach along the way -- from anywhere.

Scheduling

The ability to set a schedule, shift-swap, and scale up or down -- from wherever people are -- is critical to employee satisfaction and operator control. A recent study revealed that a whopping 87 percent of workers value having control over their schedules.

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Cloud-based mobile scheduling apps have become something of a commodity. When you’re choosing a system, you need to pick the one that works for both you AND your employees.

As compliance becomes more important to today’s operators, choosing a system that acts as a “gatekeeper and sherpa” can save headaches and legal/financial woes in the long-run. Functions like facial recognition, fair work week considerations, overtime infringement, and much more add an extra layer of security for operators.

A truly smart scheduling system (like the one Harri recently launched)  combines seamless demand forecasting, activity-based staffing systems, and streamlined demand forecasting. An optimized sales forecast and schedule for a 50-employee full-service operation can be created and published in minutes. 

The ability to share schedules and company updates nimbly is available to employees and managers using the TeamLive app by Harri. In addition to having a platform to share live company updates with employees, managers are also able to participate in a team chat, fostering effective labor operations. 

Communications

Studies show that when employees are engaged, profitability increases more than 20 percent. In the hectic hospitality world, ensuring that engagement during the workday is challenging.

Mobile enables individuals and teams to better share policies and concerns and to celebrate successes -- 24/7. Direct SMS messages, team communications, dialogues between people who perform the same function, and even brand newsletters are all possible with the right mobile functionality.

Harri Live is the most powerful mobile application on the market granting frontline managers the ability to drive communications to employees in multiple channels, even at the point of clock in with TeamHub by Harri, our biometrically controlled time clock.

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Ultimately, Mobile Integration Can Control Your Profitability

We’ve addressed specific functionalities that mobile can deliver, but what ties it all together -- and leads to success -- is the integration of all of these mobile benefits. 

All too often, vendors will sell a mobile solution that addresses one aspect of the talent loop (e.g., hiring or scheduling), but having an end-to-end and fully integrated system will save you time -- and make you money -- in the long-run.

Having all your key data in one accessible place will enable you to analyze your business and make immediate and meaningful people-related decisions, even when traveling.

Your profitability, employee satisfaction, compliance, analytics, and the future of your brand are all (literally) now in the palm of your hand.

We’re committed to helping our client partners with best-in-class solutions that solve for labor-related challenges -- and helping YOU realize that 60 percent increase in productivity...now and into the future.

The Better Way to Schedule in a Fair Workweek World

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Credit: NBC 10 Philadelphia

Across the U.S., an increasing number of state and local governments have passed (or are in the process of passing) “fair workweek” legislation. These measures, sometimes referred to as “predictive scheduling” requirements, are written to provide shift workers with greater stability, predictability, and flexibility in their work schedules. For example, these laws fine employers if employees are not notified in advance of their schedules or are asked to work both closing and opening shifts. They also require employers give part-time staff opportunities to increase their hours before adding new staff. 

While the retail and hospitality industries scamper to make sure they are not in violation of the new laws, the right technology can make Fair Workweek policies easier to implement. Smart scheduling -- with its real-time reporting and alerts, as well as an integrated approach to labor costs -- has become all the more essential as such legislation expands. 

Why the Industry Shift

According to the Fair Workweek Initiative, the group promoting the legislation, workers in part-time, hourly-waged jobs experience unpredictable, last-minute, fluctuating work hours. This instability makes it difficult for them to coordinate childcare, make a budget, or stick to school schedules or second job responsibilities. 

For example, a single mother may arrange paid childcare and purchase a bus ticket, only to arrive at her restaurant job to learn that she’s no longer on the schedule due to a last-minute change. She’s already out the money she just spent trying to make her wages for the day.

Supporters also say that in some ways, restaurant technology has made this situation worse for hourly workers as more businesses are using algorithms to automate workers’ schedules based on projected customer demand, often on an hourly basis. 

To encourage more sustainability in work-life balance, fair workweek policies include advance notice of work schedules, access to more hours, adequate rest between work shifts, and flexible, responsive schedules. 

Fair…But Complicated

While Fair Workweek legislation may help create more sustainable work lives for employees, they involve a long list of regulations and expensive fines for employers. Let’s dive into Philadelphia’s Fair Workweek Employment Standards Ordinance, which goes into effect January 1, 2020. Under the new law, an employer must pay $1,000 if in violation of any of the following:

  1. The employer must post and provide written notice of work hours no later than 10 days before the first day of any new schedule. Beginning on January 1, 2021, the written notice must be provided no later than 14 days before the first day of any new schedule.

  2. Employers must maintain records for 2 years showing compliance, including good faith estimates of work schedules, modifications thereto, written consent to work shifts, offers of work shifts to existing employees and responses to those offers, as well as payroll records showing predictability pay (time and a half).

  3. For each employer-initiated change to the posted work schedule that occurs after the required advance notice, the employer must pay predictability pay in addition to the employee’s regular pay for hours actually worked.

Philadelphia is the 8th jurisdiction to pass such laws. New York, LA, Seattle, San Francisco, San Jose and Emeryville, Calif. have similar requirements and in some cases, even steeper penalties for infractions. In fact, between 2007 and 2018, the full-service restaurant industry paid $213.5 million in overtime and minimum wage violation fines while limited service restaurants paid $44.4 million in that time. 

Industry Response

Fair Workweek legislation, with its detailed oversight, costly consequences and extensive recordkeeping requirements, has a strong possibility to become an administrative nightmare in the hospitality and retail sectors. 

In response, some operations have developed a new role specifically designed to combat law violations -- the field manager, a salaried employee that visits locations with last-minute staffing needs to prevent asking shift workers to work at a premium rate.  Others operations have already created dedicated finance teams whose sole purpose is managing the total cost and identification of such Fair Workweek violations.

Yet the answer may not be adding more personnel. Staying ahead of violations requires real-time reporting as well as an integrated picture of how individuals’ schedules affect the big picture of the operation as well as compliance. The right workforce management software platform can provide such a holistic solution by not only preventing and notifying compliance issues but also providing a means to mitigate such risk consistently and predictively in the first place.

Industry Solutions

As a talent technology platform, Harri can help employers create schedules that offers next-generation tools to support operators in navigating Fair Workweek regulations. Specifically,

  • With Harri, a Good Faith Estimate document is integrated at the point of onboarding for employees to review and sign. In states like New York, the Fair Workweek law requires employers to provide employees with a good faith estimate of their work schedule upon hire and an updated good faith estimate if there is a “long-term or indefinite change.” The updated good faith estimate must be provided to the impacted employee as soon as possible and before the employee receives the first work schedule following the change.

  • When managers publish or change schedules, Harri provides real-time infraction alerts for Fair Workweek violations and forecasts premium pay fees. Fair Workweek laws requires employer to pay premium wages for schedules not in compliance --- often a flat amount for “clopening” or time and half of the employee’s hourly pay for schedules that have been changed without appropriate advance notice.

  • With Harri, users can view the detailed reporting behind all the premium payments that resulted from scheduling changes. This offers real-time visibility into potential and accrued scheduling penalties granting a real-time account of realized and potential violation costs, which may vary by state.

  • The Harri interface offers an integrated approach to pushing Fair Workweek violation data immediately to payroll for a real-time and reliable picture of labor costs.

  • With Harri, employees’ records – schedules, premium pay, and schedule changes – are stored on the cloud-based platform for ease of recordkeeping, in compliance with Fair Workweek regulations. 

As Fair Workweek laws become more commonplace in local governments, finding the right solution means you’ve found a cure for such complicated compliance issues, not just prevented them. Visit Harri and request a demo to see how it works for yourself. 

VAGABOND WINES ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP WITH HARRI TO RECRUIT, ONBOARD AND RETAIN NEW EMPLOYEES

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Vagabond Wines, the independent award-winning wine bar and shop, has partnered with Harri, the leading workplace management solution for the hospitality industry. The collaboration will see Harri provide a range of innovative end-to-end technology solutions across all six Vagabond sites, for hiring and on-boarding of new employees, together with ensuring the operator is both GDPR and ‘Right to Work’ compliant.

Riette Carter, Head of People & Culture at Vagabond Wines explains:

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“We will be expanding quite rapidly over the next 6-12 months and required an intelligent end-to-end workforce management solution for hiring and onboarding of new employees.  I especially love the on-boarding technology, which has enabled us to say goodbye to paper, whilst also being able to access the technology through a tablet and app. Everything is automated and templated and most importantly for our Managers it has removed the pressure and heavy burden of managing each of the individual elements of the recruiting and onboarding process, which in turn has hugely assisted them with their time-management – literally giving them back time in the day to deliver the key elements of their role.  For me, I can sleep at night knowing everyone has their ‘Right to Work’ checks in place and the business is completely compliant.”

“In the near future, we’ll be looking to adopt Harri’s TeamLIVE for rostering and TeamHUB solution, which features facial recognition technology, a ‘happiness/feedback’ function for employees, together with training and compliance software.”


Peter Willis, Commercial Director at Harri UK, commented:

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Teaming up with Vagabond is a really exciting partnership for us because it’s such an inspiring time to find out more about wine and discover new favourites. One of Vagabond’s partners, Winemaker, predicts that English wines will be the next big thing. They tell us 2018 was a great harvest and the rise of the English wine-making sector will only continue. In addition, Winemaker sees a rise in the price of Prosecco – up to £35-40 a bottle. Operators should consider natural sparkling wines too. Free of preservatives, these are a fresh and vibrant choice, fermented in the bottle in a slightly unusual style. However, this minimal processing helps to keep the price down so it’s certainly one to consider for the wine list.

Here are five top tips from Winemaker to help customers get the best out of wine:

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for advice – if there is a sommelier, use them. Tell them the wine you like and the budget you have. Even if you feel you don’t know how to pronounce a place of origin – ask away.

  • Don’t get stuck in a rut – try something different. Nobody wants to taste mediocracy so be adventurous – try something new and different.

  • Smell the wine – stop and really smell it instead of taking a sniff. Most of our taste comes through our nose – the trick is to get those aromas back through the nose.

  • Spend a bit more – just a little bit more. Most of the price of cheap wine is duty and tax. Add an extra £4 and there’s more room for the producer to make a better wine. Think £10-12 retail and £20-30 in restaurant – that gets you a good wine.

  • Come and try some English wine – the quality has improved dramatically. We’ve learnt what works in a particular area. We’ve got a better climate than we’ve had traditionally. The English wine industry is an exciting place to work and the producers are pioneers. 

 For further information about Harri visit https://harri.com/uk


Harri Partners with OutMatch to Increase Retention for Hospitality Brands

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Next generation workforce management technology expands capabilities to assess candidates and further inform talent acquisition decisions.


Harri is now partnering with OutMatch, a predictive talent analytics platform for employee acquisition and development. The new integration will allow Harri’s customer base to administer an OutMatch talent assessment during the application process, empowering recruitment managers to increase hiring confidence and promote employee retention. 

Through its partnership with OutMatch, Harri has furthered its capabilities to build teams and screen candidates by fostering an even deeper understanding of potential team members. OutMatch works to identify low and high potential performers and filter the candidate pool based on those who pose the best fit to ultimately attract, hire, and retain the right talent for Harri customers.

“Employee turnover is the most costly challenge facing the hospitality industry today,” said Joe Miliziano, COO of Harri. “Through our integration with OutMatch, we are able to provide our clients with additional support in the applicant screening process enabling them to find the best match for their business and ultimately deliver stronger employee retention.”

This partnership allows employers to directly send an assessment to candidates and automatically receive the results upon completion. An OutMatch assessment require less than 8 minutes to complete and boasts a 97% completion rate. Hiring managers are able to view the status and candidate match score in their Harri dashboard promoting and facilitating informed hiring decisions.

“The key to great hospitality is a great employee base,” said George Ehinger, Vice President of Partner Relations. “We are excited to partner with Harri to help match purpose-driven people with the right hospitality opportunities.”

About Harri

Harri offers a next-generation software technology platform that helps hospitality business build, manage, and engage their teams. With more than 30 modules, the platform provides solutions for talent acquisition, employer branding, applicant tracking, scheduling, time & attendance, communications, compliance, and analytics. With 1.4m job seekers and 10,000 employers, Harri is a best in class solution that helps solve for the labor-related challenges that plague the hospitality industry. Based in New York City, Harri works with top hospitality brands including Radisson Hotel Group, CAVA, Snooze A.M. Eatery, Burger King, ThinkFoodGroup and more. For more information visit http://www.harri.com 

OutMatch, Transforming the World of Work

OutMatch empowers companies to make the best decisions about their people, from hiring and development to leadership and culture. Our predictive talent and culture analytics provide employers with a competitive edge through a deep understanding of their candidates, their CultureDNA™, and the behaviors that drive success. The result is outstanding employee performance, transforming average workforces into high-growth, high-performance companies.

HARRI & HOSCO ANNOUNCE INTEGRATION PARTNERSHIP TO BRING FRESH, NEW TALENT TO THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY

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Harri, the leading workplace management solution for the hospitality industry, has announced a partnership with Hosco, the hospitality network operating across the UK, Europe, Middle East and Africa. The two businesses have joined forces to launch an integration for hospitality operators which will provide them with access to Hosco’s innovative and interactive job platform of over 500,000 qualified hospitality professionals.

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The integration comes at a time when according to The Society for Human Resource Management, 60% of job seekers abandon an online job application in the middle of completing, due to the length or complexity of the application process. The integration between Hosco and Harri will solve this issue as it uses ‘one click apply’ to ensure the process is quick, easy and seamless for candidates resulting in limited applicant drop off.


With the implementation of a one-click apply integration, candidates will now be able to apply for a job via laptop, tablet or the Harri app, in a matter of clicks. Harri’s intelligent software also gives operators access to valuable tracking and reporting data on jobs posted to the Hosco platform, indexing each job posted against the all-important application, hire, and time to hire metrics as well as the ability to benchmark Hosco against their own cost per applicant and cost per hire KPI’s.


Peter Willis, UK Director at Harri, commented: “We’re absolutely thrilled to be partnering with such a global giant in the jobs platform space to bring operators an abundance of much-needed, unique and qualified talent to our industry. Hosco is so much more than a job board – it’s engaging and interactive, whilst also allowing candidates to create social profiles. We’re absolutely committed to reaching the new tech-dependent generation of candidates and we believe Hosco, with their new, social approach to online recruitment will help us do this.”


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Derek Pilcher, Commercial Director at Hosco, mentioned: “Hospitality is one of the fastest growing industries on earth, representing 10 percent of global employment. However, it's also suffering from a significant talent shortage and high attrition rates. Our innovative technology, in conjunction with Harri's application tracking system will deliver a significant impact to hiring within the hospitality industry as a whole reducing, even more, the time spent by HR teams on sourcing and recruiting talent. On one side, it will reduce the application time for candidates with the goal of optimising the numbers of CVs sent into employer ATS’s, and, on the other, employers will receive greater candidate volumes with the matching experience and skills they require to meet the ever growing talent demand.” 


For further information about Harri visit https://harri.com/uk

For further information about Hosco visit https://www.hosco.com/en/