Lack of investment in workforce training and development will leave a massive gap in meeting hospitality labour requirements.
Let’s face it; the UK hasn’t got the best track record in the service elements of many industries, in particular, the hospitality sector. The last stats I read suggest that over 60% of the UK’s hospitality workforce come from other regions, primarily mainland Europe. The looming uncertainty over visas represents significant concerns for industry staffing. Today’s mobile workforce, which often considers 12 months in one job to be too long, indicates that staffing will likely be a problem for the foreseeable future.
Properly trained and experienced staff are an essential, integral part of delivering customer excellence. The hospitality sector as a whole needs to invest more in value-add training, utilising government assisted apprentice programs, and other back to work schemes. Investment in human capital is a wise decision to ensure high service standards and business growth. Failure to recognise this has severe consequences for operators and brands.
Hays Salary & Recruiting Trends 2019 guide, based on a survey of approximately 23,000 employers and employees, states that 92% of employers have experienced skills shortages within the past year. Skills shortages are threatening both employee morale and hiring plans. There is no sign the problem will be solved soon, with over three-quarters of employers planning to hire staff over the next year.
Compensation is often crucial in finding the right talent, but it’s not all that is important to the modern workforce. According to the report, employers continue to underestimate the appeal of offering a positive work-life balance, and the value this can have as a tactic in competing for talent. Only 18% of employers think work‑life balance is important to attract staff, while 30% of professionals prioritise this when considering a new role.
Today’s environment requires creative solutions and flexibility. From apprenticeship programs and online courses to university tuition reimbursement and scholarships for recruitment and retention purposes, operators and brands need to prioritise human capital investment.