The hospitality industry is still reeling from pandemic lockdowns and restrictions in many areas, including US casinos. Staffing issues have plagued casinos across the country, but a solution is afoot.
To combat the high turnover rate, casinos and gambling companies are relying on technology and progressive tools to provide a more in-depth hiring process for recruiting and retaining talent.
Millions of people quit their jobs during the pandemic and the hospitality industry seemingly changed overnight. When speaking about historically high turnover rates at the Global Gaming Expo, Deana Scott, CEO of Raving, a casino, and hospitality consulting company stated:
“It’s been 50% since I’ve been in the industry, and we thought that was a good turnover rate, but if you remember from school, 50% is an F. We’re now up to 52% or 53%. This staffing issue has been around and it’s still around, and we need to find different ways to address it.”
One common obstacle Scott sees in US casino hiring practices across the board is a lack of innovation in their technology. “You would think that with gaming technology, we’d be ahead of the curve, but when it comes to back-of-house resources, it’s typically lagging other technologies,” Scott said.
Workers are 85% more likely to stay if the tech supports them
In addition to this stat, Scott also states that employees are 230% more engaged if technology is available in their vocations.
“We all know that pay and benefits, work flexibility, career advancement, opportunities for growth, culture fit, and a well-known brand all provide reasons for employees not only to choose you as an employer but also to stick around.
Every one of these areas has a technology piece, whether you’re recruiting, doing licensing or career advancement, or using onboarding systems training programs. We’re now technology companies. As much as we come kicking and screaming, technology is who we are.”
Keys to lowering turnover at US casinos
Ezra DeLodge is a tribal lieutenant governor of the Absentee Shawnee Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma. She believes that the key to effective staffing starts with the onboarding process.
“We have an employee website, electronic-application services, and kiosks in our lobby that all allow communication,” DeLodge said. “Technology plays a big role in everything we do, but when you boil it down, it comes to communication.
Are we sending a clear message about what we want to accomplish in attracting people to want to come to work for us? There’s been a huge shift in making sure who we’re looking at and retaining talent.”
Jeff Gray, a Raving partner who specializes in business optimization, has a unique view on hiring practices. Gray urges companies to view applicants as if they are potential customers.
“You want them to give you their time for money. You have to give them more than that. They have to have an experience and career path. They have to be treated well and be in a culture and environment to grow and expand. If you treat them like customers and family members, they’ll stay forever.”
According to Gray, tech companies such as Amazon are now compensating employees daily to motivate their staff. “See what the competition is doing and look at other industries,” Gray said. “You guys are casinos. You have lots of cash.”