With COVID being managed and travel restrictions being reversed, travel and tourism revenues and guest numbers have increased over the last 12 months. These figures continue in a positive trajectory. The challenge that remains is staffing these bustling properties as guests return. As hospitality companies compete for talent, here are the four top trends for 2023 according to experts:
1. Increase in flexible work schedules and the candidate experience.
A 2022 McKinsey article states as one of their trends that “Employees are expecting more flexibility” in their day-to-day work schedules. Flexibility can not only be a mix of remote and in-person work, but also in the variety of the jobs they take on within the organization. Executive Recruiter, Sarah Perkins Latimer, Managing Director at Philippus Miller III & Associates, states, “I am pleasantly surprised by the number of hospitality companies that are preserving and embracing remote work opportunities. They are benefiting from a larger pool of candidates and are able to attract/retain skilled individuals.”
Additionally, Michael Vigna, Vice-President of Talent, Empowered Hospitality comments, “Candidates want flexibility. They care more about the overall experience than the actual job or pay alone….so companies should lead their recruiting efforts with the answer to the ‘Why should I come work for you?’ question …convince the candidate to work for the company….then figure out what role is best. This is where we have seen lowest attrition rates.”
2. Automation in the hiring process.
Candidates applying to organizations are more commonly submitting through online forms and artificial intelligence programmed by recruiting users are becoming more and more involved with initial screening of candidates. While these technologies do bring efficiencies to evaluating candidates in volume, they are not perfect. Latimer encourages candidates to “lean into your network and follow up with the person who appears to be hiring for the role.” She shares that hiring utilizes AI services more commonly, which makes it feel easier for a company to screen for qualified candidates, but these technologies can sometimes ignore the importance of diversity. It is important for employers to remain intentional and deliberate in candidate relationship development.
Latimer encourages candidates to “lean into your network and follow up with the person who appears to be hiring for the role.”
3. Career pathing and stability.
Vigna states, “Companies that are succeeding in winning over talent are selling the company and candidate experience when employed first, then selling the job and the pay second. What comprises the candidate experience? Benefits, stability, career path, quality of life once the candidate becomes an employee.” When employers can offer lateral and upward career paths, allowing employees to try different experiences without leaving the organization, they will have lower retention rates.
4. Balancing personal guest experience with technical efficiency.
Employees need to be open to training on or come to the job with expertise in using technology to improve the guest experience without additional labor costs. Latimer observes, “Marriott and Sonder appear to be making the largest changes in overhauling guest experiences and rewriting marketing initiatives. Guest expectations and needs are changing while the fear of a recession looming. Balancing these two elements is crucial for success.” Voice-activated technologies, online reservation systems, SMS concierge, and guest support services are all mechanizations to be managed and programmed by hotel staff and need to be communicated during hiring.
The hospitality industry outlook is encouraging. As venues open back up and companies adjust to attract talent, the robust forecasts for 2023 and beyond are optimistic and bright. Latimer says, ““I'm very optimistic for the future of the industry.” and Vigna reiterates that the companies who are adjusting to new ways of attracting and retaining talent will continue to be formidable competitors.
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Lisa Rangel is the Founder and Managing Director of Chameleon Resumes LLC , the premier executive resume writing and job landing consulting firm named a Forbes Top 100 Career Website. Lisa is a graduate of the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration.