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The Staffing Crisis: Recruitment Challenges in Hospitality Industry

  • By Kamlesh Ranjan
  • October 30, 2023
  • 4 mins read
recruitment challenges in hospitality industry
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    There is no doubt that hiring is a challenging game, and in this digital world, no industry has been left untouched by recruitment issues. Today, a major industry facing recruitment challenges is the hospitality industry. After the COVID-19 pandemic, the hospitality industry has not been the same, the majority of skilled people quit their jobs and started their own hustle. According to a report published by the American Hotel and Lodging Association, 50% of hotel associations have found a shortage of skilled employee in their industry. 

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    However, this is not the only issue with the industry overall. A report published by the Federal Reserve Economic Data suggests that after the pandemic, a wholesome of 1.16 million people left the hospitality industry, leaving a huge gap. So, despite the factor that the hospitality industry is currently going in a good direction, the workforce is not skilled, and the people who are skilled are eventually looking for better opportunities because they don’t want to see the tough times they have seen during the pandemic. 

    So, in the end, it all comes down to the human resource department to get the desired candidate; however, with the rising challenges, it becomes a tough call to take for any recruiter. Here are some of the recruitment challenges in the hospitality Industry and how HRs can overcome them.

    Hospitality Industry Recruitment Challenges & Solutions:

    High turnover rates and how to retain candidates:

    The first and most important problem with the recruitment challenges in the hospitality industry is the high turnover rates or what you may like to call retention rates. The retention rate is a metric to analyze how many people are leaving the industry with the factor of the people getting hired, a higher retention rate means more people are leaving, and fewer are getting hired. Though it is the most common problem in any industry, however,  in the hospitality industry, it has become chaos.

    According to a report, on average, the annual turnover rate in the hospitality sector is around 73.8%, which this way higher than the national average of all the industry. This basically means that there is a systematical problem in the industry’s work culture. So, what is the solution to this issue?

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    Improving high turnovers:

    Well, the short answer for improving turnovers is to work around and improve the work culture in the hospitality industry to overcome recruitment challenges. Low wages, disorganized management, no employment benefits, and minimized career paths are some of the problems that make people change jobs frequently. Companies should implement training and development sessions for employees so they have a clear vision for their career path. In addition, working towards the goal of improvement in work culture would significantly help a lot. Positive work culture and an organization that cares about its employees is something that people strive for. 

    The issue with the Seasonal employment:

    See, the thing about the hospitality industry is that it is a season-based working industry, you’ll get more customers in the summer in the hillside area or beachside, but not necessarily in the winter. Mountains are prone to natural calamities like landslides and snowfalls, thus disrupting tourism and affecting the local economy. Most importantly, the majority of tourism is around the islands and mountains, and thus, it becomes a season-based opportunity for candidates. It is the major recruitment challenge in the hospitality industry.

    According to reports, approximately 40% of the workforce in the hospitality industry is part-time, hence making the industry a difficult one to survive for people who are looking for a stable career option. 

    Handling season-based employment issues:

    One of the major concerns for people doing any job is the stability factor; people are looking for jobs that don’t just provide them with money. However, it also gives them the necessary access to grow within the organization and hone their skills. One of the best ways to do it ensure that employees receive proper training to handle various job roles during peak and off-peak hours. As this is a season-based industry, temporary employment options cannot be ignored; however, organizations should give employees the option to return each season. Hotel chains can leverage this opportunity and transfer their employees to their next site based on the season.

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    Lack of technological integration:

    For an industry that keeps having a shortage of employees on a regular basis, it is quite tough to keep tabs on hiring new candidates. Technical issues are another recruitment challenge in the hospitality industry. Hence, it is important for an organization to have a steady and digitized medium of hiring within the company. This step will not just save time but will also help reduce hiring costs and save quality bandwidth. Implementing an Application tracking system and intelligent interview platform such as BarRasier will help a lot in fast-forwarding the entire hiring process.

    Managing online presence:

    In this digital world, it is not just important but highly necessary to have an online presence. Having a presence on social media helps a lot in building authority over the internet and establishing your organization as a reliable brand for the candidates. One key thing recruiters need to remember at the time of employing any candidate is that, for them, brand value is vital, each candidate wants to be associated with an organization that has a significant brand value. Surely, there are several challenges on the online platform. However, it also has a significant advantage: responding to negative comments and building a reliable follower base increases the chances of excellent applicants and candidates. 

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    At the end:

    Surely, there are endless possible reasons for having recruitment challenges in the hospitality industry. However, these are some of them that have a major impact on the industry. The hospitality industry doesn’t just need digitalization, but it needs a systematic managerial change and an uplifted work culture that empowers people to work and think for their future. In addition, it also needs a stable work environment that where candidate can rely on. An organization that cares about its employees tends to thrive in the toughest of circumstances. 

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