The hospitality industry is constantly evolving, with new trends emerging as the industry still recovers from the effects of the pandemic. From the rise of flexible work options to the increasing demand for employee wellness, the world of recruitment in hospitality is constantly evolving.
According to the BLS, the US economy is projected to add 8.3 million jobs from 2021 to 2031. Of those, 1.9 million jobs (which is 23.1% of all new jobs projected) are expected to be in leisure and hospitality. Also, leisure and hospitality added an average of 79,000 jobs per month in 2022, showcasing the demand in the industry amidst layoffs in other industries.
Attracting and retaining top talent is crucial for success in the hospitality industry, as it directly impacts the quality of service, performance, productivity, and overall success of the company. With the unemployment rate being 6% for this industry and more people traveling this year than in the past few years, staying ahead of these trends is crucial for recruitment and employee success.
Read on to explore the top eight trends in the hospitality industry and how they can help companies remain competitive, attract the best candidates, and adapt to a changing workforce.
1. Strong Employer Brand
Now more than ever, having a strong employer brand will ensure a company stands out from the pack. A strong employer brand ensures hospitality companies attract and retain talent. If hiring professionals attract skilled and dedicated employees, it can lead to improved service and productivity.
Also, a strong brand gives employees the opportunity to feel connected with their company, which can lead to being more engaged and productive. When employees are proud of the team and the work they do, they’re more likely to stay with the organization long-term.
Be sure to highlight everything that makes the company a great employer, from DEIB strategies to being military-friendly. This helps build an inclusive team and foster a culture of care. Marriott does a great job with this by having a page on their site for veterans, where they applaud different skill sets and experiences and highlight opportunities to support talent as they transition to the civilian workforce. Employees who feel valued and supported by their employer are more likely to be satisfied and more motivated to work.
2. Staff Well-being
Exceptional hospitality experiences begin with a staff focused on well-being. With more choices for employment due to the smaller talent pool, employees are seeking positions where well-being is prioritized. People want to know that they are seen, cared for, and valued by their employer. If they feel they’re not getting this at their current employer, what’s stopping them from looking elsewhere?
According to Indeed’s Work Well-being 2022 Insights Report, 90% of people believe how they feel at work matters. Yet, only 49% of people report their company is measuring happiness and well-being. Also, 86% say that how they feel at work impacts how they feel at home.
Companies need to focus on all aspects of well-being, including financial, mental, physical, social, and professional. When companies focus on this, it can lead to increased levels of happiness, purpose, and less stress.
For example, MGM Resorts has The MGM Resorts Foundation, a “nonprofit organization...created in 2002 as an employee workplace giving program.” They have an Employee Emergency Grant allocated to support their employees in times of emergency. This is helpful since employees who need help can receive it and are able to take care of what’s important first so they can bring their entire selves to work. It is so important to show employees the company cares about them, inside and outside of work, which can lead to happier, healthier, satisfied, and more productive employees.
To help ensure a greater opportunity for employees to be satisfied and stay with an organization, company leaders should focus on measuring and supporting the well-being of their team. Enhance the company’s employer brand by showcasing how employee-centric the brand is and how people are first!
3. Flexible Working Arrangements
A 2022 McKinsey article states as one of their trends that “Employees are expecting more flexibility.” By offering a flexible work environment, employees are able to pick up shifts and work at locations that best fit their schedules. This allows employees to create a working experience aligned with their expectations and growth that best fits where they are in their careers. This also helps with employee satisfaction, since employees are happier and more engaged when they have more control over their schedules.
Most importantly, flexible working schedules can improve customer satisfaction. The hospitality industry is fast-paced, customer-facing, and involves high pressure situations, which can lead to high stress and burnout. With flexible work arrangements, employees are able to work when they are at their best so they can provide better service to customers – leading to increased customer satisfaction.
To ensure companies stay relevant and flexible, add flexible working models. This way, hiring professionals can attract top talent and stay ahead of the competition in the modern workforce.
4. Gen Z Talent
Career advancement is important to Gen Z talent, with 67% saying they want jobs that will enable them to learn skills that advance their career. This is a talent pool available and interested in growing with an organization.
Gen Z talent also brings in diverse perspectives. Their varied backgrounds and experiences can bring fresh perspectives to the hospitality industry and help companies better serve diverse customers. This talent pool also prioritizes authenticity, making them customer-focused and willing to provide great service – as long as they feel valued and their values match their employers.
5. Corporate Responsibility
According to Glassdoor, almost 70% of workers surveyed said it’s extremely or very important that their employer has a brand they’re proud to support. Also, 77% of consumers say they would be “more willing to purchase a company’s products or services if the company demonstrates a commitment to addressing social, economic and environmental issues.”
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts has a separate page highlighting their commitment to social responsibility and their belief that “you can do well by doing good.”
Companies that demonstrate a commitment to corporate responsibility are viewed more positively, which can enhance their reputation, credibility, and build consumer loyalty. This is helpful when attracting and retaining talent. Those who focus on corporate responsibility are more likely to obtain talent who are interested in working for organizations that align with their values.
6. User-Generated Content
90% of consumers say authenticity is important when deciding which brands they like and support. This highlights how job seekers want to see content from relatable people and understand what it's like to work at a company – showcasing why leaning into employee-created content is beneficial.
Candidates appreciate how authentic user-generated content is and trust it more than videos the brand creates itself. Allow employees to embrace their creative side and let them create content such as their “day in the life” or create work vlogs to showcase the team and the culture in an engaging way.
These videos are great to add to the career site, social media channels, and use in advertising so candidates can learn from and connect with employees.
7. Diversified Media Mix
Diversifying the company’s media mix is critical to achieving success and accelerating applicant growth. To help talent attraction strategies, companies must ensure they are on TikTok, Snapchat, and social media. Also, to help ROI, diversifying the number of vendors the company is advertising on helps. This can accelerate applicant growth at lower costs.
8. Skills Development and Career Growth
For hospitality companies to prepare for the future, they must understand and plan for today, tomorrow, and a year from now. Investing in internal talent mobility is a great way to do so, and companies should focus on skills development.
By understanding the organization’s short and long-term goals, they will also learn what the organization needs and the gaps there are. Then, employers can identify opportunities for upskilling or reskilling to reinvest in current employees to ensure long-term success. By training the current team on the gaps, employers can align learning and development with the current and future needs of the organization.
Also, career mapping is beneficial. It not only motivates employees to invest in their future, but can be helpful to see where growth opportunities are and understand talent needs for the future.
9. Meet Candidate Expectations
If candidate expectations are not being met, it can lead to turnover and a bad candidate experience. Hiring professionals should put the candidate/employee experience first and evaluate expectations "so employees feel valued and appreciated, and know their needs are being considered.”
Hiring professionals can start to manage candidate expectations better by reviewing the application, interview, and onboarding processes from start to finish every few months. Look for any areas where expectations might need to be revised and update job descriptions and marketing materials to ensure it matches accurate expectations. This allows companies to maintain expectations with candidates and employees.
Tip: Meeting candidate expectations starts from the candidate's first interaction with the company and through the hiring process. It sets the tone for the experience and expectations with the company. Ensure everything, even hiring events, accurately reflects the company and open positions.
10. Pay Transparency
Pay transparency has become a trend recently, and it can be beneficial for hiring professionals. It can help save money on advertising costs, since job seekers will know the salary requirements and only click on job ads that match their expectations. This can increase engagement with job seekers who are truly interested and are a better fit for open positions.
This is also beneficial for candidates, since they’re able to be more selective on the jobs they’re applying to, saving them time when filling out applications.
In the fast-paced and ever-changing hospitality industry, staying ahead of recruitment trends is essential for attracting and retaining top talent. Refreshing hospitality recruitment strategies allows companies to stay ahead of the game and maintain a thriving workforce.
If you’re interested in updating your hospitality recruitment strategies for today’s workforce and don’t know where to start, reach out to us!