It’s been a rough couple of years for the hospitality industry. But, now that the worst of the pandemic is behind us, people are beginning to book holidays again and this summer is expected to be a return to pre-covid levels of leisure travel. 

At this point, most countries have significantly eased or fully eliminated their covid restrictions so it seems we are finally feeling the light at the end of the tunnel shine upon the hospitality industry.

With those hurdles behind us, the hospitality sector still has one major challenge: addressing the industry's historic staffing shortages.

To help with the process, we’ve identified four things companies should do to increase their chances of attracting and retaining talent:


What Is the Current Staffing Outlook for the Hospitality Industry?

After covid shocked the sector and left many hospitality workers out of a job or on government furlough schemes, there was an exodus of talent from the industry. Many people decided to shift their career paths and move into other industries to find a clearer sense of stability.

Now, with consumer demand back to normal, the European hospitality industry is struggling to fill open roles and keep up with demand. In Portugal, one out of every six positions in the industry remains unfilled. In France and Italy, it’s one out of seven and in the UK it’s one out of eight. (Source: World Travel and Tourism Council).

This is unsustainable. Hospitality companies must be agile and adapt to this new reality with a holistic approach to attracting, nurturing, and retaining talent.

How Do We Address the Hospitality Staffing Shortage?

Even before the pandemic, attracting and retaining talent was a serious challenge. Now more than ever, it's important for businesses operating in the hospitality sector to work on improving the perception of the industry to make it more attractive to newcomers and veterans alike.

While there is no magic formula to solve this issue, there are things companies can do to help ease their staffing pain and bring new life into the industry.


Focus on Staff Well-being 

Hospitality has always been tough work, with long hours, physical and mental exertion, and notoriously low pay. Anybody who has worked in a successful restaurant can tell you how demanding and stressful a busy dinner service can be.

Putting all of your energy into serving others is exhausting. It's time for hospitality employers to recognize this unique effort and offer more substantial support to maintain the well-being of their staff. Establishing employee well-being programs can be an effective way to help your workers combat burnout. 

Managers must be more attentive to the needs of their team members, and actively work to help them find solutions to their problems. It’s important to check in often with your employees and listen to what they have to say. 

This allows you to understand how they feel about their role on the team and gives them a chance to have their voices heard. An employee who feels recognized and supported will be much more motivated to stay engaged with their job and remain at the company.


Be Transparent About Salary

This may seem simple in theory, but wages have always been a sore spot for the reputation of the industry. Facing a historic staffing shortage and a significant rise in tourism for the upcoming season, now is a good time for hospitality businesses to start addressing this pain point.

When you post a job description in an attempt to acquire new talent, it may be to your benefit to include a clear description of what the salary range for the position is, as well as any other notable perks that will be included in the compensation package.

Being transparent about salaries will make it easier to find the right candidate for your position and help reduce time wasted in the recruitment process.


Offer a Clear Career Path

The last two years have seen workers in all industries take a look at their long-term career paths more closely than ever. People are thinking about their future and they want to have stable work with room for growth.

It’s crucial for hospitality companies to communicate to potential recruits that there are many career paths available in the industry. More importantly, due to the staffing crisis, talented, dedicated workers will be able to move up the ladder faster than before. Recruiters should use that detail as a selling point when trying to attract new workers.

If you are hiring for an entry-level position, you should talk to candidates about the career path beyond this position and where it could take them.

Discussing the career path during the interview process will not only give the candidate a clear idea of how they can grow from this position, but it also allows managers to understand which people are likely to stick around in hospitality for the long term.


Provide Training

A great way to show employees that you are invested in them is to provide training opportunities. 

In-house training programs can be incredibly effective at nurturing and retaining talent. Being able to help your staff develop their skills not only makes them better at their current role, but it can prepare them for the next step up the ladder with your company.

Some hospitality companies that have implemented significant training programs have seen great success. They are able to identify entry-level staff with leadership potential and help them hone their skills to make the most of their natural talent.

The more you show that you are truly invested in the professional development of your employees, the more likely they are to return that investment with loyalty and dedication.

If you think your company would benefit from establishing its own training regimen, Hosco has teamed up with Lobster Ink to launch Hosco Learning Solutions. The goal is to provide training capabilities to small and mid-size companies in the hospitality industry so you can help them upskill and retain staff.

Want to know more about how Hosco Learning Solutions can help your company? Book a demo with a member of our team and learn everything you need to know.

Book my Demo: Learning Solutions