The Search Hospitality Pivot – How we reacted to the pandemic to support the healthcare frontline.
Of all the sectors that felt the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown, few experienced it with quite the ruthlessness as hospitality and healthcare. As pubs, restaurants, and hotels were ordered to close, millions found themselves out of work, some furloughed, some not. The dramatic overnight suspension of the hospitality sector was only matched by the enormous demands suddenly placed on the healthcare sector as hospitals, care homes and other medical facilities became key battlegrounds against the virus.
The pandemic has required a herculean national effort to overcome and much of this effort has involved getting the right people into the right positions to carry out the roles so crucial in Britain’s COVID-19 defence strategy.
From hospitality to healthcare
Search has maintained a large and successful healthcare division for many years, and it was this scale and infrastructure of operation that allowed the business to react quicker than most and support its hospitality team in placing workers into key positions.
Through an existing NHS contract, Search Health & Social Care experienced an immediate flurry of bookings in hospitals as the virus took hold, for roles such as ward hosts, cleaners, and catering assistants. However, there remained a risk that supply might fail to keep up with demand. It was at this point that Search recognised that many of the skills possessed by hospitality workers were transferable to the healthcare sector.
By the end of May, Search Hospitality had placed over 300 temps into healthcare positions. A figure that had grown to over 400 by the end of June. These hospitality workers boosted the ranks of the 1,300+ health and social care temps that Search had also placed into key worker positions.
More than just filling healthcare jobs
As one might expect, the British healthcare sector places stringent demands on compliance and an expectation that workers have the necessary accreditations to perform their roles.
Search Healthcare provides learning and training opportunities for workers who may wish to take their careers in other directions and, as such, were able to provide healthcare providers with workers who had the necessary training and accreditations.
This proved to be a major advantage to our healthcare clients who knew that, not only would they be acquiring quality workers, but that compliance was not something they’d need to worry about.
This was especially true for those workers we provided to the care home sector. With the rules around these residences being especially rigorous, Search provided training and testing so that they could operate in a way that was compliant and safe for themselves and the residents in their care.
Emma Tugwell, Search Associate Director went further,
“Search Hospitality has supported our healthcare clients through this pandemic with the normal grit, determination and hardworking ethic that hospitality temporary workers possess. One thing which has really stood out for me is the customer service element our workers are skilled in; this key attribute has allowed them to show empathy throughout and provide an exceptional service even in the hardest of working conditions.”
Preparation for a different future
Though the first steps out of lockdown are being taken, until COVID-19 has been eradicated, both the healthcare and hospitality sectors will be shaped by the threat it poses. It will mean an even greater onus on cleaning and infection control and a need for workers who can routinely alternate between healthcare jobs and hospitality jobs.
The hard work and agility demonstrated by Search Hospitality during this time has allowed us to build systems and processes that mean we can react quickly to this new reality and continue to play a vital role in ensuring two critical pillars of British industry have the workers they need.
How can we help you with your hospitality and healthcare recruitment?
If you think that we could help you meet your hospitality resourcing demands, then we would love to hear from you. Take a look at our hospitality in healthcare case study and Get in touch today for a no-obligation and confidential chat. You can also find out more about Search Hospitalty here.