Recruitment remains top fear for hospitality sector

Hospitality recruitment staff shortages
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As the world emerges from two years of lockdown uncertainty, confidence in the UK hospitality sector should be sky high – although according to business leaders, the ongoing staff shortage crisis is putting the champagne very much on ice.

 

Covid may be sailing into the past, but the strangling impact of staff shortages continues to prevent hospitality from benefiting from the post-pandemic boom.

This is according to new research from CGA and Fourth’s Business Leaders’ Survey, which revealed how firms in the leisure and entertainment sectors are scrambling to find workers in 2022.

Three in five say they will recruit at a greater rate than usual this year, up 13 percent already since the last confidence survey in December. However, nearly ten percent of roles remain vacant and only half of bosses recon they will find the staff to fill them by year’s end. “Our survey highlights the level of concern that the scramble for staff is causing across hospitality,” said Phil Tate, CGA Group CEO. “While there are some signs of improvement in the first quarter of 2022, major shortages and severe upward pressure on pay are likely to continue throughout the year. On top of other rising costs, supply issues, the end of VAT relief and fragile consumer confidence, it is yet another challenge to the recovery of the sector, which needs and deserves sustained support from the government.”

When asked how they were coping, bosses said they were tackling the issue in a number of ways. Although with competition hotting up, most strategies were aimed at retention of existing employees with pay rises (77 percent); improving engagement and communication (85 percent); creating more learning opportunities (82 percent); or focusing on mental health and well-being (72 percent).

Others were turning to technological solutions, with two in five employers saying tech was “most useful” for managing bookings and payment; 18 percent for managing workforces; and 14 percent for controlling inventories and stock. However, just 22 percent of leaders think their business is ahead of the market average on technological innovation. “Technology can play a key role in helping businesses do this, and also ensures they can hire, train, engage and retain workers, providing smart solutions to manage consumer demand accurately in these testing times,” said Sebastien Sepierre, managing director of EMEA, at Fourth.


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