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Leveraging Temporary Employment Services to boost South Africa’s hospitality and tourism sector

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By Donné Nieman, Sales Director (Western Cape) at Workforce Staffing

As South Africa’s hospitality and tourism industry recovers from the devastating effects of the pandemic, we are once again seeing a shift toward direct hiring and greater full-time staff complements. While this trend underscores the resilience of the industry, the reality is that it is still volatile and subject to the influence of multiple external factors, including ongoing load shedding. Reputable Temporary Employment Services (TES) providers can be valuable strategic partners in helping businesses within the sector to deal with seasonal and other demand fluctuations, improving operational efficiency and cost effectiveness at the same time.

Outside influence

Covid-19 highlighted the vulnerability of the hospitality and tourism sector, but it is by no means the only external factor that can influence businesses in this industry. As an example, there have been significant delays recently with ships being unable to get into harbours in both Durban and Cape Town, which affects the industry in both these areas.

International travel still has not returned to pre-pandemic levels, although it is increasing, and ongoing economic pressures mean locals have less disposable income to spend on nice-to-haves such as holidays and meals at restaurants. In addition, load shedding has had a significant negative impact on the ability of many businesses to continue operations as normal.

The effects of the pandemic showed that a permanent workforce in the hospitality and tourism sector can be a liability when demand is low. Even without external influence, tourism is also heavily seasonal, which means it is not best suited to permanent staffing in general. A TES partner can assist both employers and those seeking employment, giving employees an entry into the job market along with the ability to gain skills and experience, whilst helping employers to source the flexible workforce they need to handle fluctuating demand.

Finding flexibility

A flexible workforce can help businesses in hospitality and tourism to access the skills they need to support operational requirements, but without the overheads that permanent employment brings. Staff can be scaled up or down as needed to cater to fluctuating demand, but with reduced risk and enhanced agility.

The right TES partner can deliver this flexibility, enabling hospitality and tourism businesses to enhance operational efficiency and reduce overheads by reducing the administrative component associated with sourcing and hiring skilled, experienced staff.

In addition, TES can help hospitality and tourism businesses to ensure that they can recruit appropriate skills through transparent processes. This is delivered alongside rigorous vetting processes and clear communication channels, while remaining compliant with relevant labour legislation.

The benefits of effective partnerships

Partnering with a reputable and compliant TES ensures hospitality and tourism businesses can leverage the flexibility they need to adapt quickly to changing needs, seasons, and market conditions. It also helps these businesses by reducing the administrative burden around the hiring process, including vetting and skills matching, as well as ongoing human resources requirements. All staff will be compliant with regulatory requirements for specific industries, will have the necessary skills and qualifications for the various positions, and will benefit from greater job security as the TES will be in a position to offer different contracts as needs arise.

South Africa faces ongoing uncertainty and unpredictability, including the global economic climate, local challenges like load shedding, inflation and reduced expendable income, and other external influences. This further reinforces the need to maintain a flexible workforce, and the right TES partner is instrumental in achieving this. It is recommended to partner with a TES that has the right credentials from a compliance and labour legislation perspective, as well as from a skills perspective, with a large database of employees to tap and the ability to deliver skilled staff on demand. This will help businesses handle the challenges of today’s environment as well as future impacts.  

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