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Industry in Focus: Hospitality in Australia

Our ‘Industry in Focus’ series reviews the current and future people-related challenges facing key industries and uncovers the role that technology will play in resolving those challenges. In this edition, we look at hospitality – a sector that has been impacted more than most by the volatility seen over the past three years.

Hospitality in Australia

Attraction and retention challenges

A positive customer experience in hotels, resorts, clubs, restaurants, pubs and cafes often comes down to the people working out front in customer-facing roles and those working behind the scenes to ensure everything runs smoothly. That’s hard to do when there simply isn’t enough talent.

Always heavily reliant on working holidaymakers, international students and other temporary workers entering Australia, the last three years have taken a heavy toll with border closures and lockdowns adding to the turbulent talent market. In addition, even during ‘normal’ times, hospitality has a notoriously high staff turnover rate. ‘Lack of career growth’ followed by ‘lack of personal fulfillment & purpose/meaning’ and ‘impact on mental health’ are the top three reasons given for people leaving their jobs in retail.

Meeting the challenges

To stand out in a super-competitive labour market, and without having to wait for the flow of international workers to return to pre-pandemic levels, a proactive approach is needed to bolster recruitment, engagement, and retention.

Employers have had to get creative. Looking beyond the hospitality sector for workers, broadening the talent pool to include more mature age and diverse workers, and investing in upskilling and the creation of career pathways for employees are just a few solutions being utilised. Other employers are investigating how to offer flexible work for employees who need to be customer facing. This might include implementing shift bidding options and more autonomy and choice around hours worked.

The role of technology

There are no quick fixes for many of the challenges facing hospitality employers. However, employers are successfully using technology to improve communication, benchmark wages, hours and benefits, offer learning and other benefits, and provide support for those who need to work irregular hours. All of this equates to a more appealing employee experience and a stronger employee value proposition.

For further insights and tips on how to navigate through this challenging time, complete the form to download our fact sheet.