ITB 2024 Special Reporting
Why Does the Hospitality Industry Have Such High Turnover?
By Amanda Ferrin
Wednesday, 4th March 2020

Hotel owners and managers already know, turnover rates are high and the hospitality industry is one of the world’s largest employers, so it may be a surprise to some that it also holds an extremely high turnover rate of almost 74%.

This is way higher than the national average of 10% – 15%. It proves to be costly, where 52% of employee replacement costs often comes down to productivity.

To give the hospitality industry credit, it’s a seasonal industry by nature. New hires are brought in during high season and laid off during low season. Students are likely to pursue low-level positions, while not viewing it as an actual career because of the lack of upward mobility.

So, is all this turnover detrimental to the industry? It can be. Some of it is expected. However, issues like low wages, lack of opportunity and poor management practices should also be considered. Throwing these issues under the rug can prove costly.

The employee experience matters.

In 2018, Hilton made initiatives to make employee work easier, more productive, and more meaningful. This led to them dropping their turnover rating by 13% in 2018.

So, what can you do?

Reevaluate the onboarding process

Regardless of who you’re hiring, the onboarding process is when you prepare them for their duties and establish the relationship.

As a manager, consider asking about their career aspirations and their long-term goals. Even if they only work part-time, there may be potential to evolve their role over time. It also makes you stand out from other employers who may not ask these questions. A big reason why people quit is that they fill stuck in their position. A simple acknowledgment is a step in the right direction.

When assessing candidates, know what’s important

A recruiter will be able to help you establish what is important for your property. They will also be able to clear the clutter and bring you motivated candidates with the traits you’re seeking, while also alleviating some of the stress that comes with bringing in a new hire.

Make sure that background and reference checks are performed before onboarding. Given how much customer interaction there is in hotels, the last thing you want is to hire someone who is unable to be around guests.

Become an ideal workplace

Since the unemployment rate is low, the goal should be to become an employer of choice. With a shrinking pool of candidates, the cards are in the applicant’s hands. With all the options at their fingertips, why should they apply to your hotel?

Consider the perks of the job. Are there any? If not, you need to establish incentives, cultivate your culture and establish advancement opportunities. People talk. If you’re listing it on your application, make sure that it’s being incorporated into the workplace. Internal initiatives keep employees engaged and prevent them from seeking out your competitors.

It’s also important to recognize high performers. People like to be acknowledged for their hard work. Ignoring their performance can lead to resentment and resignation.

Are you struggling with turnover? If the local talent pool is not meeting your demands, let JDI help. Joseph David International is regularly ranked as one of the top hospitality recruiters in the country because we do more than find candidates; we find the ideal candidate for your specific needs. For more information about our hotel recruiting services, please click here.

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