How Can VMS Help Hospitality with Temporary Workforce Management?

Safiyah Ouaugena


The past few years have seen hospitality face significant setbacks. With Brexit and COVID-19 impacting both the talent pool and profitability, many businesses are still catching up.

Hospitality has always had a high churn workforce, with many treating it as a ‘pit stop’ job rather than long-term career. However, now more than ever, low retention and skill shortages mean hospitality cannot afford to waste time and money on inefficient processes.

Simply ‘making do’ with in-house resources (e.g., Excel, conventional HR platforms, and email/telephone communication) may seem like the more affordable option. However, with poor visibility and inefficiency, they ultimately cause costly errors and lengthy manual admin.

VMS, however, can support fast-moving, high-churn temp labour from vacancy to invoice. Often cloud-based and automation-enabled, they can accelerate efficiency and even offset operational costs. This means you can secure high-quality temp workers fast—without sacrificing core business activities.


What areas could VMS help hospitality in?


Skill Shortages

After a total of 660,000 hospitality job losses in 2020 (Insights on Hospitality Recovery

Monthly Analysis Report December 2020—, many now view hospitality as a sector with low job security. Few school leavers/graduates consider it a long-term career path, and 64% of previously furloughed workers are reskilling and switching careers (The State of Hiring in the Hospitality Industry 2022—Occupop).


660,000 hospitality job losses in 2020 (Insights on Hospitality Recovery Monthly Analysis Report December 2020—


Now more than ever, widening the talent search and accelerating time to hire are top priority.

A cloud-based VMS can connect you with multiple suppliers simultaneously, enabling access to a larger talent pool. With real-time data, you are notified of updates in real-time. This means you can collaborate with suppliers in accelerating vacancy to placement, securing the right candidate ASAP.


Cost Control

Hospitality faced huge financial losses during lockdown, largely unable to continue remotely as other sectors did. With already damaged margins, skill shortages have forced many to raise wages to attract candidates. And with the recent energy crisis seeing many reduce trading by at least two days per week (Food and drink service firms are most likely to cut trading to tackle energy costs—ONS, 14th November 2022), operational budget leakage isn’t an option.

Siloed manual systems make human error inevitable and can lead to accidental overpayments and duplicate invoices. In the current industry climate, these are unaffordable errors.

With a cloud-based VMS, details need only be entered once and are automatically shared with all relevant parties. This vastly reduces manual admin and, therefore—human error. With relevant parties able to view the same timesheets and invoices in-real time, potential overpayments can be identified and solved immediately.

An optimal VMS can enable further accuracy with autogenerated invoicing from timesheets, ensuring all payments are in exact proportion to hours worked.


Agility & Scalability

Hospitality has always seen its workforce fluctuate on a seasonal basis. However, with COVID-19, the peaks and troughs are becoming more unpredictable. At present, future travel restrictions remain an uncertainty. This means businesses in larger cities and touristic areas must be ready to scale accordingly to sudden change.

Traditional license software often has poor adaptability for rapidly changing needs. Many have limited storage capacity and large upfront costs. Additionally, non-temp-labour-specific systems mean only a portion of functions are likely to be used, reducing ROI.

Cloud-based VMS offers easily scalable storage and specialist features for temp workforce management. Cloud-based servers can accommodate huge data volumes when workforces need expanding and are often available on an ‘as-needed’ basis. Cloud-based VMS is frequently available on a Pay as You Go monthly basis (usually per worker), ensuring complete ROI.


Candidate Experience

With vacancies currently outnumbering the unemployed (Labour market overview, UK: May 2022—ONS), candidates have the upper hand. This means it’s essential for businesses to make a positive impression on candidates right from the get-go.

Inefficient recruitment processes can cause candidates to abandon applications. This is especially true for hospitality: many positions are low-wage and taken up by young people and students temporarily. With low candidate investment and a wide pool of alternatives, hospitality businesses cannot afford to lose talent—especially at this early stage.

With the right VMS, you can provide a quick and intuitive candidate experience. Suppliers can connect with candidates via the single login system and even provide mobile-enabled processes for increased ease and accessibility.

With automated functions, you can speed up vacancy to hire, preventing valuable talent from being left waiting and losing them to competitors. All updates to the hiring process can be communicated via automatic notification. With this you can take immediate action when the right candidate comes along and engage them ASAP.



Getting Back on Track with VMS


A supporting system for high-quality temporary labour is key to hospitality’s post-COVID-19 and Brexit recovery. Complex tech stacks are simply draining valuable time and money from businesses that need to focus on growth and profitability.

With the right VMS, temp labour management can become effortless from vacancy to invoice. Without lengthy, error-prone admin, and high operational costs, you can maintain supply of quality temp labour and ensure future success.


Get in touch today to learn more about the ENGAGE platform.

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