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How One Startup is Helping Melbourne Hospitality

Member Stories
Melbourne hospitality cafe

Hub Australia

22nd April 2020

5 min. read

HospoHire, a startup aiming to revolutionise the hiring process for hospitality businesses in Australia, has transformed their business model to help Melbourne hospitality thrive and start working towards a post-COVID-19 world.

HospoHire has been working with the CoM X program, designed and operated by RMIT Activator, City of Melbourne, and Hub Australia to help boost the retail and hospitality sectors in Melbourne.

In the midst of COVID-19 and its effect on Melbourne’s businesses, HospoHire has worked to assist the once-thriving hospitality scene in the city, hoping to help those working in the industry develop their skills before they return to work or begin the search for new roles.

HospoHire founder Tom McAll has shared his journey into innovating for his business and discovering new ways to help Melbourne hospitality thrive once more.

How severely was Melbourne’s hospitality industry impacted when COVID-19 reached Australia?

The entire industry was brought to a standstill. The Victorian State Government acted swiftly and with great efficiency, and within a couple of weeks most venues had ground to a complete halt.

I don’t know of a single venue (nor corporate business) that was scenario planning for any event to occur on this scale.

 The damage that has been done to the industry is heartbreaking – many of our partners have had to let go of up to 90% of their workforce.

It’s a distressing situation to watch unfold, with some stats saying that hundreds of thousands of people lost their incomes within the first week of restrictions being announced – and many of those workers came from the hospitality and tourism industries.

What is HospoHire offering to those affected by redundancies and layoffs?

We have been working around the clock for the past few weeks to figure out how we can give back to our community during this pandemic.

Through our existing hiring system, we realised that we have the perfect tools to pair job-seekers and employers across multiple industries.

We want to help job-seekers find a suitable job to help assist the wider community throughout this period. Through HospoHire, employees and employers are matched based on compatibility rather than a piece of paper.

We asked ourselves how we could add value to job-seekers during this lag period until venues open their doors again, and we have taken it upon ourselves to ensure that job-seekers are as job-ready as possible before their re-entrance to the hospitality workforce.

This involves us providing a set of tools to help them upskill, with webinars on relevant skill sets, resume updating, and interview skills.

As well as this, we are ringing our contacts in the industry to maintain our relationships, knowing that when everything scales back up we are aiming to get our hospitality job seekers roles in venues that they genuinely want to work at.

This time has given us an opportunity to get this compatibility right for both parties.

What has been involved to get this off the ground so quickly?

To start with, an unbelievable team – their efforts have shown just how deep they were able to dig to get this done for our hospitality community.

Our systems infrastructure was already designed for a similar use so we have been able to repurpose it.

Initially, HospoHire was designed as an extremely efficient way to identify talent for venues seeking to recruit. Through the impact of COVID-19, we saw significant value in creating an interim platform for applicants to develop their skills and assets.

We are able to help them highlight their strengths while working on their weaknesses, which helps us put each applicant forward to the right venue when they’re ready.

We are lucky enough to work across 3 time zones, so this project has been almost around the clock work, but we’re very happy with the result.

Who do you hope to reach/assist with this change?

When COVID-19 hit, we were positioned a lot better than many of our partners as we’d undertaken some pandemic planning exercises in preparation in late January.

We realised that, as a tech company, remote working arrangements were not going to affect us like they would others – we’re very lucky that we don’t rely on customers visiting us every day, unlike our hospitality venue partners.

With that in mind, we thought that now is really time to give back to the hospitality community.

There are certainly organisations out there that operate as job boards, but once everything has returned to semi-normalcy, applicants aren’t going to want to apply to 50 different venues, and venues are going to be inundated with more applications than they can review.

HospoHire can help the process be fast, easy, and efficient for both parties –that’s where we can really give back.

Melbourne’s hospitality industry will scale back to its former glory swiftly as their customers return in droves, and prominent venue groups are starting to think about how they are going to do that – we want to be part of the solution.

If you’re in Melbourne’s hospitality industry and are looking for future roles or starting to plan for growth and hiring, contact HospoHire to find out how their recruitment methods can help you grow your skills and find the right fit.

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