Beyond the Service: Exploring the Talent Crisis in Hospitality and the Power of Employer Branding

Published August 10, 2023

The hospitality industry has always been a people-focused industry. Whether it’s hotels, restaurants, cruises, or casinos, the success of the industry depends on the quality of the people who work in it. However, the COVID-19 pandemic caused many hospitality workers to leave the industry, either because of job loss or burnout. As a result, the industry is facing a talent shortage, making it more important than ever for companies to have a strong employer brand.

In today’s competitive talent landscape, a candidate’s decision between two opportunities often comes down to one crucial factor: a clear career path. Companies must recognize that candidates view their current job posting as a stepping stone toward future growth. By effectively communicating the potential trajectory of this opportunity and providing transparency regarding career advancement, organizations can significantly differentiate themselves from others solely focused on the immediate job at hand.

Additionally, it’s not enough to merely discuss career progression; showcasing leaders within the organization who have successfully climbed the ranks provides concrete examples of what the journey entails and what it takes to achieve such progress. While many organizations claim to foster a culture of internal promotion, the presence of current leaders who have experienced this upward mobility turns this concept into a tangible reality for candidates, enabling them to envision their own progressive career trajectory.

Here are some reasons why the employer brand is so important during the talent crisis in the hospitality industry:

  • Attracting top talent: A strong employer brand can help companies attract top talent by communicating their unique culture, values, and benefits. This is particularly important in a competitive job market, where candidates typically have multiple options to choose from.
  • Retaining employees: A positive employer brand can also help companies retain their existing employees. When employees feel valued and supported, they are more likely to stay with a company long-term. This is particularly important in the hospitality industry, where turnover rates are traditionally high.
  • Building a positive reputation: A strong employer brand can also help companies build a positive reputation in the industry. This can lead to increased customer loyalty and better business performance.
  • Differentiating from competitors: In a crowded job market, a strong employer brand can help companies stand out from their competitors. This is particularly important in the hospitality industry, where many companies offer similar services.

Enhancing the employer brand requires a concerted effort from all levels of the organization. Here are some strategies that companies can use to improve their employer brand:

  • Clearly defining company culture and values: Companies need to clearly define their culture and values to communicate to potential and current employees what makes them unique.
  • Investing in employee development: Companies that invest in employee development demonstrate a commitment to their employees’ growth and success, which can lead to increased loyalty and engagement.
  • Providing competitive benefits: Offering competitive benefits, such as health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off, can make a company more attractive to potential employees.

Companies that invest in their employer brand can attract and retain top talent, build a positive reputation, and differentiate themselves from their competitors. By defining their culture and values, investing in employee development, offering competitive benefits, and communicating their employer brand, companies can improve their chances of success in the competitive hospitality industry.

To hire effectively and at the pace with which you’re growing, you need to work with a search firm that can keep up—and also talks the talks. At Comhar Partners, we’ve worked in the hospitality space to successfully hire executive-level positions. This means we have a deep understanding of the industry and a finger on the pulse of its rapidly changing landscape.

If you’d like more guidance or want to have an open conversation about your talent and hiring needs, please reach out to Comhar Partners. 

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