VIP Hostess Turned Technophile

My first real job was in the service industry, and like so many of you, so were my second, third, fourth and fifth. Starting as a VIP Hostess, I worked my way from the front door (literally!) to the Marketing Director’s office.

Although I am no longer part of the industry, I guess you could call me an honorary member of sorts. I don’t work in the service industry, but I do work for the service industry.

And this is why:

Having held several positions during my tenure in hospitality, I had a unique opportunity to occupy a front-row seat to the frustrating, tedious and stressful “show” of pulling all the restaurant and bar groups into a cohesive brand performance every night. Each department faced their own unique challenges, but the global hurdle was hiring.

As a Marketing Director, I worked alongside everyone from the back-office, kitchen staff, wait staff, management, talent etc., and in each group the key to success was finding the right person for the right job.

Posting on Craigslist and Facebook was our idea of recruiting.

50% of the time, it worked every time.

The other 50%, it was a mistake and we were filling the same position over and over. For us, hiring wasn’t about a #culturefit. It was quick, and it was dirty.

The name of this game was quantity — If we received enough resumes, read enough cover letters, conducted enough interviews, we would eventually find someone who was good enough.

That was and, for the most part, still is the method utilized by hiring managers nationwide.

But this wasn't the only problem we faced when it came to hiring…

One word: paper.

It’s all still on paper! Barely anything having to do with hiring is digital or automated in any way. I can't even tell you how many piles of resumes (aka black holes) we used to have in our office.

Unless an applicant happened to come in at the right time when a manager was in, and when that manager was in the right mood to conduct an interview — their resume went into the black hole.

As I transitioned from front-of-house to management, especially in my final year, I kept having the same thought over and over:

Why, in an industry with more than 30 million jobs and nearly 70% turnover, was there barely any technology to help people hire or get hired in the service industry?

That’s when I decided to quit my job 2.5 years ago and get to work. If no one else was going to build it. I would.

I started Sirvo because there was nothing out there for us.

My ultimate goal is to leapfrog the industry into the modern age of connectivity and to bring hiring efficiency to a sector that hasn’t changed since the 70's.

Who knows where the service industry is headed? A lot of people think robots are going to take over our jobs. But they wouldn't say that if they looked at the projected numbers of hospitality employment in the year 2020.

I'll give you a hint — Those jobs aren't going anywhere. But I predict the way service industry jobs will be found and filled is ready to be DISRUPTED.

If you want to see what I’m working on, check out Sirvo.

Sirvo is a Denver-based startup changing the way people hire and get hired in the service industry. Sirvo connects great companies to top talent with an easy-to-use online and mobile application, making the hiring process efficient, yet thorough for all levels and positions in the service industry. Sirvo is currently in private beta.

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