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uworc: HR Agency for Hotels Promises to Perfectly ‘Match’ Employers with Job Seekers

uworc, a new digital human resources agency has entered the Greek market aiming to help reduce the staff shortages recorded in the hospitality industry.

Launched in May 2022, the digital agency is designed to simplify the recruitment process in the hospitality industry (hotels, restaurants, catering – HoReCa) by connecting business owners with appropriate, well-trained, and enthusiastic jobseekers.

“Here at uworc we do not want to be just another job-finding platform, but a place of trust for people in the tourism industry,” uworc’s founder, Paris Economou, said during a recent media briefing in Athens.

With a background in tourism himself, coming from a family that owns three hotels on Mykonos, Economou said that he can relate to the stress of “filling the gap” between a hospitality business and lack of staff.

“Our focus is to carefully create the perfect ’employer-employee matches’ and thus build long-term, strong and permanent professional relationships,” he said while presenting the company to journalists.

uworc in August was already cooperating with 47 employers and helped fill 193 job positions in the hotels, restaurants and catering sectors and finding work for more than 3,250 job seekers. Among employers that turned to uworc for assistance in staffing are renowned hotel brands such as Mandarin Oriental, Ritz-Carlton and Jumeirah.

How it works

Through the interactive uworc.com platform, employers and job seekers initially interact in an online environment.

One of the main goals of uworc is to provide job seekers, who seek to find work through the platform, with continuous and alternating winter-summer job positions, considering that some businesses are seasonal (hotels). The platform also provides training to job seekers, as well as opportunities for professional development.

The interactive process begins with employers sharing with uworc a list of vacant positions and required qualifications and job seekers sharing his/her resumes and preferences.

The matching process begins through a specially designed algorithm combined with specialized data from the uworc team that ensures for the most suitable resumes to match the ideal job positions quickly and efficiently.

Once a “perfect match” is succeeded, uworc offers on-sight training to the selected job seekers, according to the “matched” employers’ business standards, before the beginning of the season.

It is noted that in case of “no matching”, uworc repeats procedures.

In the case of hotels, by the end of the season employers can “pre-book and pre-rehire” any employee for the next season.

Data: Which job positions have the most vacancies

While presenting uworc’s advantages, Economou shared important data on the market and labor demand in hospitality enterprises collected during the first months of uworc’s operation this year.

According to the data, the greatest shortage of staff for hotels in 2022 was recorded in the positions of service workers (18 percent), housekeeping (16 percent), cooks (11 percent), bar staff (9 percent) and receptionists (7 percent). Accordingly, restaurant owners were primarily looking for cooks (36 percent), kitchen staff (22 percent), waiters (21 percent), staff for deliveries (7 percent) and bartenders (7 percent).

As for destinations with the highest demand for employees, Mykonos (46 percent) is at the top and followed by Athens (22 percent) Metsovo (5 percent), Mani (5 percent) and Halkidiki (5 percent).

Staff shortages were also recorded in businesses on the islands of Santorini, Lefkada, Tinos, Naxos, Crete (Ierapetra), Limnos and Serifos.

Over 34 percent of the resumes received by uworc came from non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

Why the staff shortage? uworc gives the bigger picture

While addressing employment issues in HoReCa businesses, Economou told journalists that the main reason (29.17 percent) for an employee’s departure from an enterprise is the living conditions.

Other reasons an employee calls it quits from a business is non-compliance with initial working agreement (25 percent), lack of communication (22.22 percent) and finding a higher-paying job (19.44 percent).

Regarding the bigger picture, Economou said that the main problem of the staff shortages in hotels is seasonality, which leads many workers to abandon the tourism industry altogether.

For this reason, Economou said, the uworc platform includes job positions in both summer and winter destinations for the job seekers that wish to work all year round to find their perfect “match”.

Already “matching” job seekers and employers in Greece, the Netherlands and Austria, uworc plans to expand its activities in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates within 2023.

Victor Simosis.

The uworc platform was developed by Victor Simosis, the creative managing director of “The Smiling Hippo” digital agency.

Greek Deputy Tourism Minister Sofia Zacharaki was present during the presentation of uworc and referred to the importance of human resources in the tourism industry. The deputy minister highlighted that staff upskilling and education are high on the Tourism Ministry’s agenda.

Greek Deputy Tourism Minister Sofia Zacharaki.

On the issue of seasonality, Zacharaki underlined that among the ministry’s main priorities is to extend Greece’s tourism season, which will benefit all involved: businesses, workers, families and communities.

“Extending the tourism season can not happen overnight but we have made progress and continue efforts in this direction, ” she said.

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About the Author
Nikos is Greek-American born in New York, USA, and has lived in Greece for over 30 years. He is the managing editor of Greece's leading monthly travel and tourism guide, the Greek Travel Pages (GTP) since June 2008 and of news site GTP Headlines since its launch in September 2012. Nikos has also served as international press officer for the City of Athens and for the mayor. He has a degree in Mass Media and Communications, specializing in Journalism. Nikos is a native English speaker and speaks Greek fluently.

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