HEI TrendWatch: Your Path to Employee Retention

The UK’s descent into a double-dip recession in the first quarter of 2012 put a furrow on the brow of many business leaders across the hospitality industry. While most sectors were left reeling though, hoteliers were able to breathe a partial sigh of relief, according to the Hospitality Employment Index (HEI) report Q1 2012, produced by People1st, in partnership with Caterer.com. But even though the HEI indicated that hotel job ads were up compared to the first quarter of 2011, there were strong indications that businesses need to invest in their future by finding ways of increasing employee retention.

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Consolidation and Investing

Compared to the same quarter last year, the number of ads for hotel-related posts rose from 16,780 to 17,734 — a five percent increase. And although recruitment is going up, there’s still a general sense that 2012 is a year of consolidation, where employers have put a hold on any expansion plans, opting for caution until the economic outlook becomes clearer.

That said, a good workforce is the beating heart of any thriving company and, if recruitment plans are being sidelined due to rough economic conditions, it’s important to make certain businesses seek out the right staff and invest in them once they’re hired. That’s why we’ve put together the HEI TrendWatch for you, highlighting some of the key points involved in employee retention. Have a look at it, share it, print it out, keep it.

The Two Paths to Employee Retention

As the HEI TrendWatch shows, the HEI report identified two major ways of ensuring employee retention: choosing the right person for the right job; and investing in staff by offering training and development. These are the ways companies can enable their staff to reach and surpass the levels of excellence they set out.

“Hospitality is an industry that is dependent on good people and we encourage businesses to seek out and train talent as soon as possible,” say Ian Burke, Director of Caterer.com. “The impact of doing nothing could see a struggle to deliver excellence when a good impression is key for future tourism.”

The Right People for the Right Role

Getting the right people for the right job may sound like an obvious thing to say, but, when it comes to employee retention, it’s crucial. The HEI report indicates that some roles in the hotel industry are inundated with applications, because many people believe them to be unskilled positions. This increases a recruiter’s workload and makes it harder to find a suitable candidate with the right skills.

Take managerial roles — in the first quarter of 2012 there were 86,739 applications for managerial positions: that’s 28 applications per job. For Hotel Management alone there were 43,030 applications and only 1,282 ads. These positions are highly skilled and hoteliers seek specific types of people for these jobs — people who have confidence to lead and understand the business inside out. Using the tools available on Caterer.com, like Your Jobseeker Audience, recruiters can refine their search for quality local candidates with relevant experience and get an overview of jobseeker levels in specific locations. This makes it easier to find someone that’s more likely to be retained by a business in the long-term, because they already have the right skill-set.

Invest in Your Staff

The second route to employee retention, highlight by the HEI, is training and development. “Businesses are recognising the benefits associated with engaging employees and enhancing their experience through training and development,” says Ian Burke. “Industry accolades support employers to showcase excellence and the Best Employers in Hospitality awards are a perfect example of partnering the best employers with the right employees.”

Companies investing in their staff and rewarding them by providing continuous training and development at every level, will take huge strides towards creating a motivated workforce — one that knows their employer is interested in their employees’s career progression and one that can see there’s a long-term goal that benefits them as well as the business. And, a highly skilled and motivated workforce will also help customers have a better all-round experience, which, in turn, can help improve a hotel’s reputation in the long-term.

Get Ready for the Future

Employee retention is all about long-term thinking — planting the seeds for future success. And, if companies employ the right staff and then invest in them, then they’ll be in a better position to take their business to the next level when the economy stabilises and growth plans can go into overdrive.

For more future trends, read the full HEI report at Caterer.com. For more industry news and updates, visit the Caterer.com blog, and watch this space for the next HEI TrendWatch.

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