Hospitality being the embodiment of people connecting to people, our human capital then automatically should be the most important asset we have. Every hotel or chain always talks a great deal about how important they judge their associates and all they do for them. But do they match their company values to their team members' values? Do they feel comfortable and able to empower their associates to deliver that important connection to their guests in full trust? Does selection still take place based on skill level and experience? Are interviews the right way to select?

In a digital tech world, where the environment and so many other demands take center stage and the financial influence of the past year's pandemic is so deeply felt, what should be the minimum base of human capital focus and what is your advice to all hotels/chains out there...

IDeaS - A SAS Company

This viewpoint is co-created with IDeaS a SAS company
More information

Aradhana Khowala
Aradhana Khowala
CEO I Chair I Board Member I Adviser I Keynote Speaker

Post pandemic we are gearing up to rebound and reopen as a sector, customers are enthusiastic to return but hospitality businesses are scrambling around for workers. Job openings in the US, UK, EU and many other markets are at a record high yet the number of vacancies far exceed hires, in some places setting records for the largest gap. The swarm of those who have left or do not want to come back to their jobs highlights how hospitality workers around the world are rethinking their jobs after the turbulence of Covid. While there are many factors at play for this, it does raise uncomfortable questions about the aspirational quotient of our industry in the changed paradigm as well as what needs to change going forward.

I am a big techno-optimist and I genuinely think tech and automation can be especially useful in this staff shortage crisis so we use it to get more efficient and go for automation to improve efficiency unless Governments come up with a labour plan or a subsidy model to prevent long-term damage especially to SMEs.

In the meanwhile, hotels/chains might want to consider short term solutions.

  • Automate the roles which are repetitive, monotonous and tedious.
  • Rethink roles to induce excitement and make it more multi- faceted and interdisciplinary with a big draw being your culture.
  • Weave in flexibility and offer hybrid systems of working to those who need time to readjust.
  • Target the hungry newcomer who is passionate about people and keen to make a mark in the industry.
  • Expand the talent pool joining the sector and recruit innovatively. Eg. the belonging/snowflake campaign of the British Army which is now a case study of best recruitment practice.
  • Rethink the fundamental power balance between staff and management – flat is the new order? 

View all 13 views in this viewpoint