HousekeepingNewsNews In Brief

Is now the perfect time to outsource?

A decision to outsource housekeeping service providers can offer significant cost savings

Why do many accommodation providers make the decision to outsource their housekeeping tasks, jobs, or even the whole department?

Convenience, flexibility, and cost savings are three good reasons to outsource, but since the pandemic many businesses also realise the importance of tapping into hygiene expertise, of employing passionate cleaning professionals and implementing a systemised approach to hygiene quality control.

Operators admit that even a whiff of dirt can lead to online criticism and a slight germ concern can be a ‘worst-case scenario’. In this era a bad hygiene review can do irreparable damage, kicking a business right in the bottom line.

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That’s why it’s so important to employ people who are keen to give the ‘white glove’ treatment to every corner of a property. For this level of scrutiny staff must be properly trained, care about their role, possess talents, skills, and a desire to flawlessly execute all the physically demanding cleaning services required to exceed guest hygiene expectations. In 2022 with expectations at an all-time high this is no mean feat.

On top of that, as the industry tries to return to a ‘new normal’ it is also encountering one of the worst staffing crises it has ever faced.

Accommodation businesses large and small, across the whole sector are struggling to recruit, and housekeepers and chefs are top of the list of job vacancies that are hard to fill.

Faced with these issues, even more accommodation businesses are looking to outsource housekeeping service providers for some, or all of their cleaning duties.

Once made, this decision can also offer significant cost savings, because expenditure can be paired down to the service required and overhead costs can be shared. Note that expert housekeeping specialists do not come cheap.

Talking about why accommodation businesses choose to outsource, Mark Watson, the General Manager of Jani King Australasia Hospitality told AccomNews: “We find that housekeeping is usually the first department that businesses decide to outsource because of its high turnover rate.

The main benefits of outsourcing are to help reduce direct wages, recruitment, and training costs.

“Most outsource service providers work by contract and offer a fixed cost; therefore, any fluctuations will be in line with revenue. The savings made on time, effort, manpower, operating, and training adds up to an overall cost advantage, and this makes a business more flexible and agile.”

Mr Watson explained: “By choosing to use a specialist outsourcing company, many businesses achieve a more productive, efficient service, often of greater quality.”

Furthermore, the recruitment process for an outsource company can be more effective at targeting talented housekeeping candidates and attract new people to the industry by providing specific training.

Candidates with no prior experience tend to thrive with training tailored to housekeeping roles, such as room attendant, house-person, public area cleaner, turn down attendant, uniform and linen room attendant, supervisor, and executive housekeeper.

While an outsource company concentrates on providing housekeeping expertise, systems, and hygiene management, it allows accommodation businesses to focus on guest services.

But outsource housekeeping staff also know the importance of working with the hotel team and offering excellent customer service.

According to Mr Watson, it’s vital for outsource providers to incorporate company-specific or property specific brand standards into the training.

And he says they must also invest in the latest housekeeping technologies, software, and infrastructure.

He described this as “harnessing technology to improve job performance”.

“Technology encourages a quick turn-around of room cleaning without sacrificing quality,” he said.

“Accommodation businesses are often so impressed with the technological solutions we use; they implement them too! This is because our systems are simple to learn and easy to use.”

However, he added: “Housekeeping is also very much about people, and accommodation businesses alongside outsource providers must invest in workers, those responsible for delivering the highest levels of service to guests.

“We aim to provide a managed housekeeping department that operates like a regular internal department allowing the accommodation business to function as a single team, but also feel like we are part of the family.”

His final words? “The delivery of impeccable housekeeping services is key to the success of an accommodation business and 2022 is the perfect time to look to outsource to a team that can provide you with the resources to thrive.”


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