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Embracing Seasonal Employment Opportunities in Hospitality

Posted on April 29, 2024

As the summer approaches, the anticipation of bustling terraces and fully booked reservations fills the air. However, alongside the excitement comes the challenge that plagues many hospitality companies: the scarcity of quality staff, exacerbated during peak seasons. Fortunately, there’s a solution in the form of flexi-jobbers, offering a tremendous opportunity to fill this void. Seasonal employment is your trump card.

In the dynamic hospitality landscape, seasonal employment plays a pivotal role. Flexi-jobbers have become indispensable for delivering excellent customer service at any given moment, particularly during peak seasons. As an HR or Learning & Development manager and CEO, you have no choice but to thoroughly examine the opportunities presented by flexi-jobbers for more efficient personnel management and greater profitability.

This blog post will delve into the rise and potential opportunities surrounding flexi-jobbers in the hospitality sector.

The Rise of Seasonal Employment

With the rising cost of living, many of us seek additional income opportunities. The seasonal employment system offers individuals who already have a job or are retired the chance to work unlimited hours without being taxed. In other words, your gross pay is your net pay. This system is also advantageous for employers, as they only must pay 25% of the normal contribution on wages.

Consequently, flexi-jobbers are experiencing a significant surge in demand. This trend has been further fueled by some recent regulatory relaxations and expansions of the system, allowing more employers to enlist the help of flexi-jobbers. While students used to dominate the many roles in hospitality, that is no longer the case today.

Seasonal Employment: More Than Just a Trend

In 2023, HR service provider Acerta released a report highlighting the substantial increase in seasonal employment. The survey, analyzing data from 9.700 companies and 75.000 employees, revealed a 48% increase in flexi-jobbers in 2022 compared to 2021.

By the end of 2022, the RSZ reported 108,074 flexi-jobbers at work in Belgium. 43% of all flexi-jobbers were younger than 35 years old. The majority of flexi-jobbers were employed in hotels, restaurants, or cafes. Nearly a quarter (23%) of all hospitality workers were flexi-jobbers.

In December 2023, HR service provider Liantis released new figures: 2023 was a record year. A whopping 50.2% of employers who were allowed to use flexi-jobbers did so. In the hospitality industry, the figure was as high as 69.6%. This indicates the growing need for personnel to cope with staff shortages. By the end of June, the RSZ already counted 120.000 seasonal employees. By the end of 2023, a surge of 45% was seen in comparison with the number at the end of 2022.

Seasonal Employment Hospitality

Seasonal Employment offers Opportunities for HR Managers

For hospitality HR managers, leveraging flexi-jobbers presents numerous intriguing opportunities. Flexi-jobbers provide the necessary flexibility and opportunities to increase or decrease your workforce depending on demand at any given moment. By strategically recruiting and deploying flexi-jobbers, HR managers can optimise personnel costs by avoiding unnecessary overheads during quieter periods.

2023 was a record year. A whopping 50.2% of employers who were allowed to use flexi-jobbers did so. In the hospitality industry, the figure was as high as 69.6%.

Furthermore, flexi-jobbers often come from diverse backgrounds, allowing your HR department to tap into a highly varied talent pool you might never reach. This enables you to utilise the flexi-job period as a valuable opportunity to train and potentially recruit them as full-time employees. By implementing smart onboarding and training programs, HR managers can attract top talent aligned with the organisation’s story, values, and objectives.

Seasonal Employment offers Opportunities for L&D Managers

As a Learning & Development Manager, you play a crucial role in harnessing the full potential of your employees, including flexi-jobbers. By implementing a carefully crafted onboarding and training program tailored to the needs of flexi-jobbers, you can significantly enhance their performance and productivity. This makes your flexi-jobbers immediately deployable and gives them the confidence that they are not thrown into the deep end without the necessary knowledge.

An educational program provides a unique opportunity to provide targeted training on essential skills within the hospitality sector. Consider tips on customer service, necessary communication, or technical skills. It also gives you an excellent opportunity to immediately familiarise your flexi-jobbers with the business’s values and story.

By the end of 2022, the RSZ reported 108,074 flexi-jobbers at work in Belgium. 43% of all flexi-jobbers were younger than 35 years old.

If your hospitality establishment invests sufficiently in the training and development of your flexi-jobbers, you will undoubtedly achieve remarkable results.

By offering flexi-jobbers the opportunity to further educate themselves or obtain specific certifications, you demonstrate to them, as a hospitality establishment and Learning and Development Manager, that you provide them with all the opportunities to progress continuously in their careers and become indispensable forces, perhaps even permanent employees, in your establishment.

Seasonal Employment offers Opportunities for CEO’s

From a strategic standpoint, CEOs can use flexi-jobbers to boost the growth and profitability of their establishment. By addressing your workforce planning in a smart and proactive manner, as a CEO, you will be able to perfectly align your personnel levels with demand and expectations during a particular season.

In other words, flexi-jobbers give you, as a CEO, the opportunity to quickly and efficiently scale your workforce without compromising the quality of customer service. By taking advantage of a flexible workforce during peak seasons, you minimise total labor costs and maximise your revenues. Consider it a tactic to increase your operational flexibility and better respond to sector dynamics.

Also, don’t forget that flexi-jobbers bring fresh ideas and perspectives thanks to their diverse backgrounds. Perhaps these incredibly valuable insights will give you a significant advantage over your competitors. Embrace these idea-expanding perspectives and learn from them as a CEO to foster an innovative business atmosphere and culture where your company can adapt lightning fast.

Seasonal Employees Hospitality

Make the Most of Your Flexi-Jobbers with MobieTrain

While employing flexi-jobbers comes with many benefits, there are undoubtedly challenges involved. A win-win situation arises only when you can deploy your seasonal employees as quickly as possible and have them integrate seamlessly from their first shifts, as if they were your long-standing permanent employees.

As mentioned earlier in this article, a tailored onboarding and training program is crucial. Unlike your permanent employees, you don’t have the time to give flexi-jobbers a long or extensive training every time. At the same time, it makes little sense to give them a huge amount of information all at once.

MobieTrain gives you the opportunity to create highly targeted learning tracks – as text or video – tailored to your flexi-jobbers. This way, they receive the information they need step by step and in the right order. This can range from how to best serve your customers to knowledge about the menu or food safety procedures. But also about the vision and story of the establishment, the operation of the cash register system, or the procedure they should follow when they are unable to show up at the last minute.

We also wrote about this topic in this article: How AI is helping retail to reach operational excellence.

Seasonal Employees as protagonists in your future strategy

The rise of seasonal employment will only continue in the coming years. Especially in sectors such as hospitality where the search for quality staff is a continuous challenge, the door for flexi-jobbers is wide open. By hiring and training them in a smart, pleasant, and efficient way, they can quickly evolve into proud ambassadors and indispensable links in your staff.

One thing is certain: for most hospitality establishments, flexi-jobbers will play a key role in their future strategy.

Training and deploying flexi-jobbers is one thing, but how do you attract them? Download our eBook about employee shortage in the restaurant business, and discover how to turn your hospitality establishment into a tasty brand that potential employees and flexi-jobbers will love.