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What Is the Future of Employment in the Hospitality Industry?

by | CAREER TIPS

Since last year, many people have doubted the full recovery of the hospitality industry. Students and professionals have become discouraged to pursue hospitality jobs and hospitality education altogether and some have even transitioned to healthcare.

However, experts claim that employment in hospitality should bounce back with full rigour in the next few years, based on the incremental growth they noted starting from summer 2020. In fact, they fear there might be a talent shortage once the industry recovers, which was already the case before the pandemic started.  

If you’re wondering what the job outlook is for hospitality now that 2020 is over, look no further. In this article, you will find key insights on the future of hospitality. You will also learn about the most demanded hospitality skills, trends and jobs.

Will the Hospitality Industry Recover?

While restrictions are constantly changing and currently on the increase, we have sufficient reason to believe that the hospitality industry will recover. This hypothesis is based on what we observed at a global level till now, i.e.: as soon as restrictions are lifted, people start to travel and go out again.

The increased levels of hygiene have given travellers a bigger sense of safety and security, and hotels, restaurants and bars have become adept at swiftly implementing measures to benefit both staff and guests. On the other hand, the rollout of vaccines also seems promising towards the sector’s recovery. That being said, hospitality (like most other sectors) will not remain unchanged. Events in blended format, mobile reservations, declarations of wellness and thermal scanning may all be part of them. 

Is Hospitality Still a Good Career Path?

Even though the future of hospitality will be heavily influenced by many factors, it definitely remains a rewarding career path. This is because the essence of and main motivators for this industry will not change e.g.,: 

  • Meeting people from different cultures
  • Working in a diverse and dynamic environment
  • Travel opportunities 

By choosing to study hospitality at this time, you can use the challenges presented by the pandemic to come up with innovative solutions and approaches. Likewise, hospitality education in 2021 will give you access to the latest developments and research on dealing with industry crises. If you are already working in hospitality, this is a great time to develop your resilience and leadership skills. Moreover, your ability to adapt to change will be another asset to your career, as will the transferable skills obtained during your education. 

One thing is certain: if you want to stand out as a hospitality student, professional or jobseeker in this era, you will have to take more initiatives towards your own learning and development. This also means that you need to understand which trends are shaping the hospitality industry, since they directly influence hospitality education, jobs and skills.

What Is the Job Outlook for Hospitality?

According to Michael Stull, senior vice president of the global staffing firm ManpowerGroup North America, the sector with the strongest labour market outlook is leisure and hospitality at 26%.

Stull says the numbers are strong because the industry has been hurt so badly. He expects it to experience some recovery in the first quarter thanks, in part, to the positive news surrounding the Covid-19 vaccines.

Although his prognosis is directed at the U.S. market, it might be quite similar for other regions that are popular in the hospitality and leisure sector. 

Our own research indicates the top 10 departments with more open jobs, i.e.:

  1. Sales and Marketing
  2. F&B Kitchen
  3. F&B Service
  4. Management
  5. Housekeeping
  6. Front office
  7. Spa Wellness
  8. Customer Service
  9. Concierge
  10. Rooms Division

The top 8 active job categories that were opened on Hosco and published in the past 3 months, are: 

  1. Cook
  2. Spa Wellness (Beauty advisor)
  3. Housekeeping
  4. Server
  5. Guest Relation
  6. Sales
  7. Bartender
  8. Night Auditors

→ Click here for the most updated hospitality jobs at your fingertips!

What Are the Trends Influencing Hospitality Jobs? 

Even though many establishments are making changes to their business model through innovations, the human touch and personalisation in hospitality remain important factors.  In this regard, hospitality roles such as concierges, receptionists and other front-office staff are being reinvented and adapted to technological advancements.

Other roles may include increased responsibilities, as hospitality jobs are becoming more diverse. Hospitality education e.g., is reflecting these changes, whereby self-paced, online learning has become increasingly popular. In particular, top hospitality institutes indicate some prevalent trends for upcoming jobs i.e.:

1. Technology:

Future hospitality jobs will include more application management and troubleshooting skills versus traditional duties alone. Hotels and resorts were already experimenting with Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality to improve their business and guest experience before 2020. Marriott Hotels e.g., had implemented ‘the Teleporter. 

Hilton on the other hand, tested the world’s first robot concierge. This trend accelerated during the pandemic through contactless check-in and QR code menus, and will likely continue.

2. Unique Experiences:

Individualisation and creation of memorable experiences will prevail. Travellers have become more conscious of their spending due to the crisis, and are preferring tailor-made experiences instead of one-size-fits-all holidays.

3. Sustainability:

Jobs such as ‘Sustainability Analysts’ and ‘Asset Managers’ at Hotels and Resorts will gain immense traction, due to the heightened focus on environmental health. People will also seek to connect with nature, causing national treasures, cultural sites and nearby destinations to see increased numbers.

What Are the Skills You Need in the Hospitality Industry?

Hospitality employers are looking for a combination of hard and soft skills to deliver the ultimate guest experience. The most important hard hospitality skills will be focused on digital, data and community, i.e.:

  • Coding: Employers will require coding skills not only for setting up websites and e-business platforms, but also to help understand and integrate with more tools. Learning new systems and using them daily will be increasingly necessary, especially with the implementation of guest communication and contacting tracing apps.

  • Data Analysis: Regardless of the department you work in, the ability to accurately gather and analyse data will help identify the experiences valued by guests for improved decision-making.

  • Social media management: Building communities with social media has never been more important, especially for growing a guest community.

  • Digital marketing: Since guests prefer reading reviews and recommendations for hotels, resorts and restaurants on social media instead of official business websites, reaching them with digital marketing is vital.

  • Content creation: Hospitality is constantly driving its customer acquisition and retention through videos and blog posts, hence mastering content creation should not be forgotten.  

  • SEO: Knowing which content to post helps customer engagement, so boosting your SEO skills will definitely give you an edge. 

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