Category: COVID-19

Road Warriors Tackle Recruiting During Pandemic

We’d like to thank our “Road Warriors”, Gustavo Orozco and Kelsey Jeffords, for the tireless commitment to their jobs and overall team success during the midst of a global pandemic. When our clients began to reopen their doors, Gustavo and Kelsey stepped up to support our Talent Acquisition group, putting their personal lives on hold to travel to multiple clients nationwide and deliver critical recruiting support at a pivotal time for TSC. With their assistance, we’ve been able to rehire nearly 2,000 associates. We recently caught up with our two “Road Warriors” on their journey providing assistance for the Talent Acquisition team throughout the country.

Female recruiter, Kelsey Jeffords and male recruiter, Gustavo Orozco.

How long have you been with The Service Companies?

Kelsey: I’ve been with the company in a staffing operations role since January 2014.

Gustavo: I’ve been with TSC since March 2018 and have always been involved in the company’s staffing operations.

What is your current role or what is the focus of your role?

Kelsey: Talent Acquisition. I recruit a variety of positions for our casino hotel clients in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Gustavo: Right before the pandemic I was a Strategic Operations Manager. In June I became a member of the Talent Acquisition team, traveling to and recruiting hospitality staff in Connecticut, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Seattle, San Francisco, South Lake Tahoe, and Reno.

What traits does a Road Warrior need to have? 

Kelsey: A Road Warrior should be willing to live life on the road, have strong work ethic, dedication, and lots of energy!

Gustavo: A willingness to travel frequently and the ability to efficiently perform your role from any location (airport, coffee shop, hotel lobby, car, etc…)

What’s been your biggest accomplishment or the most rewarding aspect of your new role?

Kelsey: The most rewarding part of this job is to be able to give others an opportunity to work. It’s always an accomplishment when the applicants that are hired are happy and able to provide for themselves and their families.

Gustavo: My biggest accomplishments have been seeing how my work impacts different parts of the nation. Establishing a better relationship in person with coworkers who I had only met through video before has been very rewarding. 

Any tips for traveling during COVID/a pandemic? 

Kelsey: Make sure to always wear your mask, especially when dealing with different people on a day-to-day basis. 

Gustavo: Enjoy the outdoors. If you’re traveling to a new place, keep your distance and stay safe. Being outdoors is a convenient way to do so.  I normally like to jog/hike outdoors when I visit a new city. 

Gustavo and Kelsey played critical roles in managing our talent pipeline with their recruiting efforts during one of TSC’s, and the nation’s, most unprecedented times. The dedication and teamwork that these two team members have displayed over the last 6 months is nothing short of outstanding.

Interested in joining our team? You can learn more about the various positions available at The Service Companies, including recruiting, operations, and business development positions, here.

Relearning Service Standards Post Pandemic

We are thrilled to hear reports of many clients and industry friends opening their doors again.  While safety is of critical importance when returning to work post pandemic, as a company we have created a mandatory virtual reactivation and orientation for all associates returning to work. This covers many safety protocols as outlined by the CDC and refresher training for PPE and chemical usage. 

We understand in addition to safety training there is an essential need for refreshing service standards when it comes to customer and employee interactions. Many standards that have been ingrained and consistently practiced throughout the hospitality industry over the years look different today. For example, having meaningful interactions while remaining distant, expressing an emotional connection from behind a face covering and the hospitality zone known as “10 & 5” moving to “10 & 6”. 

Since our return to the workplace, we found some helpful tips for managers and team members to adjust to necessary changes and navigate comfortably within our crowded facilities. 

  1. Keep Smiling! Yes we can still read facial expressions while under that mask. This has been a fun ice breaker for the team.
  1. Associates along with some customers are trying to get used to adjustments for basic interactions, like escorting a guest to a specific location. Even while wearing a face covering we still must provide others appropriate physical space and always keeping our face covering intact, so speak more loudly and clearly while maintaining a safe distance. 
  2. Same as before, eye contact and a nod is important to let a guest or coworker know you are listening intently and understand their message. 
  3. Something as simple as delivering a guest request could feel quite awkward with new safety measures.  While some properties have procedures in place to deliver as far as the door, others may require attendants to enter a guest room.  Whatever the standard, ensure your employees are comfortable and have opportunities to practice each process.
  4. As many in the industry are navigating through this new normal it is important to take a regular pulse on how our employees are doing and feeling. Be sure they know how to escalate a request where they may not fully understand. When in doubt have a manager or office staff follow up to ensure your employees and customers have resources along the way.

It is obvious that nonverbal communication is more important now than ever.  Continue to role-play scenarios during your daily briefings.  The ultimate goal is having an empowered team, well-versed and comfortable engaging with one another, always creating a warm and hospitable environment.

people wearing masks sitting at desks with arms raised

We would love to hear how you have changed service standards within your properties and facilities. Share your thoughts in the comments section!

Staying close to associates during the COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19 has created an unprecedented and difficult situation for people around the world. With so much uncertainty around the virus and its effects on our lives, we believe that communicating with our team on various levels is key to keeping them safe, healthy and well-informed. With a team of over 8,000 employees located across the country, it is of paramount importance to our leadership team that we are regularly communicating with our employees on how to stay healthy, how we are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, and what that means for our operations. How can other service providers or hospitality companies ensure they are reaching their employees with important information? Here are a few of the ways we have used existing communication platforms to effectively communicate with our employees during this difficult time:

  1. Mass Texting – The majority of our employee base are hourly housekeeping, stewarding, EVS and food & beverage associates who are dependent on text messages instead of email communication. Employing mass text messages, supplemented by with email communications, has been one of the most effective ways for us to communicate our updates and pandemic response across our company.
A screenshot of a cell phone

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  • SHINE on Shift – We developed our weekly SHINE on Shift communication in 2017 to easily and effectively communicate important information to our teams in the field. Our SHINE on Shift includes important topics such as our mandatory training topics, pre-shift calendar, benefits information, best practices, department updates and safety information. During this pandemic, we have added additional information around COVID-19: our pandemic response plan, CDC recommendations on preventing the spread of COVID-19, and other essential COVID-19-related information for our managers to communicate at their properties or facilities. Here is a snapshot of our SHINE on Shift from March 13th.
  • Mandatory Webinars – Our Operations and Safety leaders have been hosting daily webinars for our Supervisors and Managers at our hotels, casinos and resorts. The goal of these webinars is to keep our leaders in the field informed as well as listen and respond to their questions and concerns.
  • Dedicated Safety Site – Our Safety team expanded their safety-dedicated website to include a section on COVID-19. People within our organization can access the site at any time to review coronavirus-specific FAQs, guides, our company’s response, best practices, and CDC and OSHA recommendations/guidance.

How has your company ensured communication is reaching your team? Leave a comment below.