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Growing Hospitality Trends Affecting Hiring in 2022

The pandemic had a major impact across all industries. However, few were impacted like the hospitality industry. Government restrictions led to furloughs and layoffs of nearly a quarter of the hospitality workforce a year into the pandemic. As the world adjusted to ever-changing circumstances and employees began to reevaluate their priorities in a movement dubbed "The Great Resignation," the hospitality industry took a second major hit. In August of 2021, 890,000 workers left their jobs (double the national average). When it comes to facing recovery from the talent shortage in the industry, there is a long road ahead. Restaurants are short 3 million workers, 58% of hospitality workers intend to leave their jobs, and many hotels are operating with 70% of the housekeeping staff they need. Yet, the industry navigates these roadblocks with admirable resistance, and 2022 brings a breath of fresh air to the hospitality industry with changing trends that could revitalize hiring in hospitality. As companies face the challenges of rebuilding their workforce, it's important to keep these trends in mind. Ready to hire? Contact us today.

Competition for New Hires

Reasons for the worker shortage in hospitality vary considerably. Many employees lost their jobs due to furlough, layoffs, or business closings. For many, this meant finding a new position in another industry. As the pandemic lingered, workers left the industry because of health fears, burnout, a need for child care, etc. Now, as leisure travel is rebounding, business travel is expected to increase as well, and hospitality companies are eager to accommodate these potential customers. Yet, as employers hope to fill employment gaps, they'll be required to look at the changing expectations of post-COVID employees. To succeed in the competitive hiring market, employers should consider these methods to attract candidates.

Digitizing the Employee Experience

Across the hospitality industry, companies have used digital technology to improve the customer experience. Kiosks for things like contactless checkout or food orders are common. Newer conveniences include keyless entry, self check-in, flexible contactless payments, mobile concierge, and instant messaging with customer service. However, employees have been mostly overlooked in this digital transformation.Putting digital technology into the hands of hospitality employees has the potential to streamline a variety of tasks. The use of mobile communication platforms can decrease redundant tasks and improve efficiency while keeping coworkers connected and engaged. Even IoT investments designed to enhance the customer experience can improve conditions for workers. For example, connected systems allow leaner teams to provide a satisfying experience while customers use digital systems for taking care of tasks like ordering, payments, requests, booking, and contactless check-in/out.

Unpredictable Consumer Demand

Personal and business travel is increasing, but conditions could change in an instant. While pre-pandemic travel was largely consistent, businesses that depend on business travel and tourism could be in for a roller coaster ride before things even out. While leisure travelers indulge in "revenge travel", businesses could see a surge in customers. However, recent history has left the hospitality industry wary of a new variant, or other unforeseen circumstance, that may have the potential to derail travel once again.Besides investing in mobile-friendly options that allow customers to conveniently make arrangements, employers will need to consider ways to manage a fluctuating workforce. This could mean hiring part-time and temporary employees that can be sourced at a moment's notice.

Meeting Customer Expectations

There's no doubt that customer expectations have changed during the pandemic. As a company leader in the hospitality industry, you already understand the connection between meeting customer expectations and achieving financial success. However, managing the expectations of your customers will also make the jobs of your employees exponentially easier. Today's guests are increasingly expecting modern and contactless options when they travel. This could include keyless entry or remote check-ins for hotels and mobile ordering and reservations for restaurants. Many hotels are investing in options like mobile concierge and instant messaging with customer service. As business travel resumes, expect smart hotel rooms that guests can control from mobile devices and areas designed for work-ready tech, like "Zoom Rooms" for remote meetings.

There is no doubt that the hospitality industry is facing permanent changes brought on by the pandemic. However, these adjustments could present an opportunity for positive changes that entice new and returning workers to the industry. As the turbulence in the industry begins to even out, employers should prepare to meet the needs of workers in a competitive hiring market. As employees return to the workforce, considering the new frontiers of the hospitality industry could present unique opportunities for a career change. For both parties, working with a recruiter can be a positive way to find a perfect hospitality career match in 2022. Employees hoping to find work will have access to unique opportunities and a streamlined hiring process, while employers with unique hiring needs can simplify the journey to find talent.

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