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Competition for hospitality jobs hits new high


The latest Hospitality Employment Index report from and People 1st shows that whilst the number of UK hospitality jobs has remained stable over the last year, the number of applications has leapt by 17% with more than 1,000,000 over the quarter. All areas of the country saw an increase in applications ranging from 35% in London and 43% in the North West, to huge increases of 71% in Scotland and 114% in Wales.

The quarterly report, produced by, the UK’s leading specialist hospitality recruitment website and People 1st, the sector skills council for the hospitality, passenger transport, travel and tourism in the UK, also contains specific analysis of the hotel sector, where applications averaged 62 per job across Hotel Management, Housekeeping, Porter, Reception – Concierge and Reservations Manager roles.

Although the hospitality industry has suffered skills shortages for some time, these soaring application levels do not herald an easy time for hospitality recruiters. Brian Wisdom, Chief Executive, People 1st explained:
“Despite these high levels of competition, some businesses still struggle to recruit people with the skills and personalities they need. Within the hotel industry, not only does this affect overall productivity levels but it also has a knock-on effect to labour turnover. This results in an ongoing need to replace staff who lack the motivation and commitment to remain with the company for a prolonged period.”

Although the level of competition for roles has risen within hotels, so has the proportion of hotel employers reporting that they have vacancies, hard-to-fill vacancies and skills shortage vacancies, illustrating that few people stay in the industry long term. In fact, one fifth of the existing hotel workforce leaves each year. To make matters tougher still, there have been 154,000 new hotel jobs created throughout the UK since 2010.

Ian Burke, Website Director,, commented: “Whilst industry skills shortages make life difficult for employers, they can position themselves to ensure that they recruit and retain staff that fit their desired profile. The question for hospitality employers now is how to attract and retain the most relevant candidates. There is no one simple solution, but a key component is to have a strong and meaningful employer brand, something which an increasing number of hospitality employers are successfully embracing.”

The Hospitality Employment Index is available to download free of charge at: