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Overcoming Challenges For Employers in Hospitality

Recently, I’ve spoke to a number of management level individuals in the hospitality industry and it seems that the hospitality industry in general is experiencing issues with staff acquisition and retention. There is be a shortage of experienced individuals in the jobs market and given the cost of recruitment, in both time and monetary terms, we need to make changes to our internal policies and procedures to better attain an retain team members. What other factors are impacting employment and how can we alleviate the pressure on the industry?

The Accommodation issue

We are finding more and more that there is a lack of accommodation for team members. This in turn impacts the number of people applying for jobs in Cork, particularly in the city centre. Not having accommodation nearby and a reluctance to travel long distances means that lots of qualified persons never apply for roles that are available.  Resorts like Ashford Castle and the Europe Resort have each invested over €3 million in the last few years to offer high-end staff accommodation in bespoke buildings on their resorts. The challenge is to do this in a city where accommodation is already in such demand. I have recently spoken to hospitality students and graduates outside of Ireland where I attended career briefings in Copenhagen, Sweden and at a Chicago hotel college, and there needs to be a lot of accommodation for people if they are to come to Ireland to work.

Some interesting facts:

  • By 2025, Ireland’s hotel industry will need 80,000 to 100,000 extra team members
  • That’s on top of the 230,000 people already employed
  • This does not include jobs generated by spin-off industries.

Building Employee Engagement

Having teams that are aware of and invested in company goals is a vital part of the process in meeting those goals. But how can we build their level of engagement around same? Trigon are the only hotel group in Ireland to use the employee engagement tool, Workvivo and we find it hugely beneficial across the business as a work communication tool.

Encouraging Team Feedback

Giving team members a voice and a choice is very important. We hold monthly Team forum meetings with a member of each department and really act upon the feedback from our team. We do surveys on Workvivo which allow the teams to make choices on the events we host and improvements we need to make.

We also have a health and wellbeing committee and plan in place. This helps the team reach their health and wellbeing potential and also create a better work-life balance.

Opportunities for training and development

We are very keen to develop everyone in our organisation. We run Ireland’s only Trainee Management Development Programme of its kind with City and Guilds accreditation. We have recently seen the first set of participants graduate from the course with very impressive new skills and qualifications. Managers say participants are more confident and engaged as a result of their training and studies. Not only is this a way of filling skills gaps internally, but it is also a retention tool, building loyalty with your team.

Celebrating Successes

It is important to nominate your team for awards at every opportunity. Sometimes we in the hospitality industry feel we are too eager, but we must remember that our departments and teams are so vast that one employee nomination is a drop in the ocean. Make sure everyone feels valued, even if it is only through internal nominations and monthly ‘team member of the month’ celebrations per department.

Build Your Employer Brand

For years the hospitality industry has failed to recognise their ‘other brand’ – the employer brand. This is the face we show to potential recruits, giving them insights into working with our teams and helps differentiate us from others in the hospitality industry recruiting for the same roles. It is a way of attracting top talent and bolstering the recruitment process, ensuring you become an employer of choice in your industry.

If you are interested in a career with Trigon Hotels; Cork Airport Hotel, Cork International Hotel and The Metropole Hotel; Please send your CV and cover letter to: careers@trigonhotels.com

Blog by Aaron Mansworth – Managing Director at Trigon Hotels

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