Recruitment professionals in the hot seat

Recruitment professionals in the hot seat

With the pandemic forcing companies to rethink their HR models, we asked six recruitment professionals about their greatest career challenges, tackling Covid-19- induced HR shortages, using technology to increase efficiency and helping clients adapt to hybrid work models,

A new way of working post-pandemic
The year 2020 was remarkably difficult. The pandemic has redefined major operations and forced many establishments to adapt to a new style of working. Thankfully, we were able to overcome challenges successfully and even support other companies in maintaining vital operations by offering effective online hiring tools. We feel honored to connect job seekers with employers looking to hire during these unprecedented times and to make thousands of jobs available through our platform.

The power of technology
There’s no doubt that Covid-19 created a lot of panic and uncertainty at the beginning. But, on the bright side, it helped shed light on how powerful technology can be, especially in terms of saving time and effort. We came to realize that there is a plethora of tools and software to support almost every kind of business. All firms have to do is choose the right strategies and tools that best suit their needs.

Automation and advanced recruitment tools
Using the right software in the right place makes an impact on every company’s functions. Therefore, we use an effective applicant tracking system that simplifies the recruitment process by leveraging technology while maintaining a personal touch. Automating things reduces the time and effort our team spends keeping track of all stages of the hiring process, which leads to increased productivity. We also use Evalufy, a video assessment platform, which allows us to interview and assess remote candidates with ease.

A go-to source for learning and development
At, empowerment has always been at the core of our mission. As the situation continues to develop and change, we remain committed to conducting surveys that highlight the latest job market trends and insights, providing tips and advice through our blog section, in order to help employers keep up with changes and gain insights into the most effective learning and development strategies.

Top three challenges
Recruitment, retention and motivation are still the biggest challenges in HR. HR leaders who lack the maturity to teach others about the importance of holistic working environments contribute to low staff retention. Enhancing the flow of communication among our team and with our candidates is perfected on a daily basis.

The importance of automation
The hospitality industry is a human connection industry. Remote work is largely unavailable, posing problems and creating staff shortages. Process automation has proven to free up resources, especially for HR. Cross training is integral in curbing staff shortages at all levels, including management.

Communication through digitalization
Digitization has definitely freed up resources. The implementation of a rich recruitment and onboarding system has actually improved communication without the need for continuous human input. HR professionals who are not leveraging this change are finding it quite difficult to cope with the stresses that Covid-19 has brought to the HR world.

Strategies to optimize recruitment
Remote recruiting, onboarding, learning and development strategies are very effective. Support to our clients now includes facilitating the whole recruitment lifecycle and/or setting up their systems to help them manage.

Balancing interest
After graduating from the Lebanese American University, I visited the U.S. and earned my certification in leadership training, which I consider as a turning point in my career. As a matter of fact, balancing the interest of management and employees was one of the biggest challenges during my years of employment and through the experience of managing my own HR consultancy business.

Business strategies for smoother operations
My main role during the pandemic has been to create strategies that keep the business running, focusing on the safety of our team by updating all of our policies and procedures, our technology tools, providing training programs for the team on how to deal with the new situation physically, mentally and how to keep customer service levels high.

The key role of technology
I believed in the importance of technology in HR department before the coronavirus began. All of our HR software is cloud software, and this helped us significantly during the pandemic, making our work easier and more efficient.

Implementing tailor-made training programs
We at Vacancy sarl have created tailormade training programs for executives and managers, teaching them how to develop new strategies and help their employees to navigate the post-covid reality in addition to creating a new service which personalized on boarding plans for HR, marketing, data entry and all administrative positions.

Career switching
My very first client was a five-star hotel opening in Bahrain. Developing a strong network and building meaningful, genuine and long-lasting relationships have been so valuable in my career. Gaining trust, earning loyalty and being recommended have been the greatest compliments.

Switching from a leadership role in F&B
operations to recruitment was certainly a challenge. Covid-19 was by far the biggest hurdle, but I stayed busy during the crisis and helped many candidates find great jobs.

Networking matters
We offer more than just sourcing talent; it’s about being an extended part of our clients’ organizations, going above and beyond to assist them and to help our candidates. One must be very creative when it comes to finding suitable candidates. Networking is increasingly important, and we encourage diversity and flexibility within the industry.

Efficiency through a state-of-the-art CRM system
We use a state-of-the-art CRM system with an applicant tracking system. Everything is on the cloud, so we have access to our entire system on our phones, which enables us to deal with urgent situations. As an international recruiter, I use a wide variety of social media to reach, connect and stay in touch with candidates and clients. Video interviewing (live and pre-recorded) is becoming increasingly relevant.

A toolbox of tips
Covid-19 was certainly not a time to hide. I communicated every day with people around the world, which allowed me to gain a valuable insight into their businesses during the various lockdowns. I am able to share a toolbox of tips with clients who are in need of advice.

Fostering a pro-change culture
Our milestone has been to foster a culture that embraces change and implements our best practices to create a higher quality employee experience. Despite challenges on both HR and the employee side of the equation we have successfully made strides in this area with no signs of slowing down in the future.

Adaptability and teamwork as coping mechanisms
Employee safety is of crucial importance during the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Adaptation has been imperative to tackle these problems by adamantly following the procedures laid out by the necessary Covid protocol. In addition, problems that include the lack of human resources available have been managed by efficiently designating teamwork/delegating tasks more effectively.

Enhancing productivity
Technology has had a positive impact on productivity, allowing us to access essential resources on a wide array of devices, irrespective of location and/or geographical distance. Services such as cloud technology have enabled us to boost staff productivity and efficiency. Internally, our recruitment/ project management software is helping us understand what needs to be accomplished and implemented in order to achieve our desired business goals.

Strategy re-evaluation
We help firms reflect on the essential next steps, analyzing what has worked and things they’ve learned in the process.

Bridging the gap between expectations and perception
I draw great satisfaction from advancing the careers of others and creating sustainable added value for companies. The biggest challenge today is bridging the gap between customers’ (hotel/employer) expectations and the perception employers have of themselves.

Dealing with staff shortages
When Covid-19 hit, many employees who had contributed to making huge profits in previous years were laid off instead of being helped through the crisis. This is not how you build loyalty. The only way to overcome the shortage of staff is to show appreciation and genuine care for employees to regain trust.

Smart technology for optimal workflow
Our processes have always been highly technological in order to give our qualified recruitment consultants time to focus on personal interactions with applicants and customers. This must be the goal of every HR department: get your processes right, let smart technology support your work and take care of your employees.

Hybrid work: the new normal
Living alongside Covid-19 is making hybrid work models as common as color televisions. The key to success is to identify areas to install contemporary models that are effective and goal oriented while nurturing personal interaction where it is important.

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About author

Rita Ghantous

Rita Ghantous is a hospitality aficionado and a passionate writer with over 9 years’ experience in journalism and 5 years experience in the hospitality sector. Her passion for the performance arts and writing, started early. At 10 years old she was praised for her solo performance of the Beatles song “All My Love” accompanied by a guitarist, and was approached by a French talent scout during her school play. However, her love for writing was stronger. Fresh out of school, she became a freelance journalist for Noun Magazine and was awarded the Silver Award Cup for Outstanding Poetry, by The International Library of Poetry (Washington DC). She studied Business Management and earned a Masters degree from Saint Joseph University (USJ), her thesis was published in the Proche-Orient, Études en Management book. She then pursued a career in the hospitality industry but didn’t give up writing, that is why she launched the Four Points by Sheraton Le Verdun Newsletter. Her love for the industry and journalism led her to Hospitality Services - the organizers of the HORECA trade show in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Jordan, as well as Salon Du Chocolat, Beirut Cooking Festival, Whisky Live and other regional shows. She is currently the Publications Executive of Hospitality News Middle East, Taste & Flavors and Lebanon Traveler. It is with ultimate devotion for her magazines that she demonstrates her hospitality savoir-faire.

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