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Digital Workers: Untapped Solutions to Hospitality Recruitment Challenges

07-Nov-2023

Hospitality is an industry synonymous with warmth, culture, and a dash of luxury. Behind this veneer, however, is a pressing concern – an increasing shortage of reliable human resources due to recruitment challenges. Recent data from the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) highlights that a striking 87% of hotels in the U.S. are under-staffed, with 36% facing acute staff shortages. This doesn’t just impair service quality but, in some instances, dictates if an establishment can even operate.

This problem will be multifaceted to be sure, but one of the hospitality industry’s solutions for recruitment and retention might be an unexpected one: Digital Workers.

Digital Workers Defined

A Digital Workforce is the name Centelli gives to the automation we help businesses implement. This is because, in fact, what we employ is far more like bringing on a human employee than adding complicated new technology to one’s business. Digital Workers alleviate your staff of various routine tasks, so they can concentrate on customer services and adding value. By running on the systems your business already has in place (no new software or hardware is required), they emulate human actions such as keystrokes and mouse clicks. They accomplish their tasks with enhanced speed, efficiency, and accuracy – all without ever needing a coffee break.

Digital Workers’ Impact on Recruitment and Retention

Whether you’re a downtown diner facing a front-of-house crunch or a sprawling resort grappling with back-office intricacies, Digital Workers can be your knight in shining code. They reduce the necessity for expansive staffing, enhance the roles and satisfaction of existing personnel, and refine customer-facing operations. This overall uplift in work quality and environment serves as a magnet for potential employees and a tether for existing ones, boosting both recruitment and retention.

Moreover, post-2020 brought a seismic shift in work dynamics across sectors. The world witnessed a migration to remote work settings, with many industries embracing the flexibility it offered. While the hospitality sector, given its intrinsic nature, couldn’t fully transition to remote work, there are aspects where Digital Workers can make a difference. By automating administrative and certain operational tasks, the need for employees to be physically present at a specific location can be reduced. This allows organizations to offer more flexible schedules and even limited remote roles, catering to the contemporary workforce’s increasing demand for such roles.

According to Indeed’s Work Well-being 2022 Insights Report, 90% of workers value the way work makes them feel. Staff well-being, perhaps unsurprisingly, is a huge factor in hospitality organizations’ ability to hire and keep adequate staff to run well. In hospitality, the emotional well-being of employees is closely tied to work conditions and flexibility. By integrating Digital Workers, hospitality enterprises can address this, ensuring a workforce that’s not just present, but content and motivated.

Centelli’s Impact Through Case Studies

Let’s take a look at some real-life examples from Centelli’s portfolio of how Digital Workers have helped give a jolt of energy to various hospitality organizations.

Davidson Hospitality:

Davidson Hospitality Group
In an industry where precise data management is paramount, Davidson Hospitality was constantly bogged down by manual data reconciliations. The intricate and tedious nature of these reconciliations meant long hours for accountants and an increased risk of human errors. Davidson’s team was spending 80-85% of their time on reconciliations.

Stepping into this scenario, Centelli swiftly identified areas where automation could replace manual labor. By initially handling reconciliations for five banks and later scaling up to 80, we unlocked new potential for the accounting team. This shift not only led to enhanced job contentment but also boosted the overall operational efficiency of the department.

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Village Hotels:

Village Hotels
While Village Hotels enjoyed a flourishing business, the operational side was increasingly strained with repetitive and mundane tasks. These tasks, although necessary, detracted from the staff’s ability to focus on guest experience. The management’s vision was clear: enhance the guest experience, streamline operations, and reduce costs.

After a comprehensive discovery phase, Centelli introduced its game-changing Digital Workers to manage these routine tasks. These bots now efficiently manage 14 processes, from handling guest bookings in the Contact Centre to overseeing gym membership administration. Not only has Village Hotels achieved better accuracy and swifter processing times, but they’ve empowered their staff to focus on roles that genuinely enrich the business & the customer experience.

Neil Cryer, the Head of IT Operations & Projects at Village Hotels, reflected on the partnership saying, “It isn’t an out the box solution. Centelli look at the problem, and work with us to find a solution together.”

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Clermont Hotel Group:

Clermont Hotel Group
As Clermont expanded its portfolio, it encountered challenges with diverse booking formats from various channels. Recruiting and retention were hurdles, exacerbated by the need for manual data transfers despite some existing automation.

Centelli’s intervention during the lockdown introduced “Bertie,” the Digital Worker, which seamlessly integrated with Clermont’s systems and cut down manual redundancies. This intervention led to happier customers, fewer errors, and, of course, enhanced employee satisfaction.

Chris Ball, Business Development Director Clermont Hotel Group, states, “We already had some automation within our booking processes, but … there was still a lot of manual data transfer to be done. … a Digital Worker could perfectly complement existing processes, by behaving just like a human does – but way more efficiently.”

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Beyond Hospitality

The application of Digital Workers extends far beyond hospitality, of course. Centelli’s advanced solutions serve a wide range of industries. In the automotive world, Digital Workers have enhanced the efficiency of dealerships and leasing companies by automating tasks from pricing analysis to administrative duties. Within supply chain operations, they operate ceaselessly, transforming everything from invoicing to preventative maintenance. In the healthcare sector, Digital Workers streamline chart management and onboarding, enabling healthcare staff to shift their focus from administrative tasks to prioritizing patient care.

In Conclusion: Elevating Hospitality’s Heartbeat

Digital Workers redefine the workspace. By taking over repetitive tasks, they can allow hoteliers and restaurateurs to attract and retain passionate staff. The staff, in turn, can now focus on the art of hospitality, thereby enhancing job satisfaction and career longevity.

With Centelli’s expertise, we’ve witnessed hotels and restaurants rejuvenate their teams. Seeing the renewed vigor and job satisfaction of a company’s staff post-automation integration is one of our many inspirations.

If you’re hoping to be the hospitality hub where both staff and guests thrive, contact Centelli to get started on your digital transformation. Together, let’s shape the future of hospitality, where every interaction counts, and beyond.

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