Skip to main content

Shortage of skilled workers in the hotel industry: How to succeed in the mammoth task “War for talents”?

June 4, 2021

Within the framework of a research project, colleagues from the two study programs Tourism & Hospitality Management and Human Resources & Organization dedicated themselves to the future of Human Resources Management in the hotel industry. The central question was: how to deal with the shortage of skilled workers in the hotel industry. A topic which has been exacerbated by the Corona pandemic.

On May 12, 2021 the results of a two-stage qualitative study were presented to a network of HR managers from the Viennese hotel industry.

From new work structures to successful implementation of digitalization

In the course of group discussions with HR managers from the hotel industry, the “inverted” futures wheel method was used to identify key events for counteracting the increasing shortage of skilled workers in the hotel industry.

In particular, the creation of new work and organizational structures could be identified as a central condition. In addition to flat hierarchies, agile structures and new working time models that improve the work-life balance, simplification of legislation and budgetary resources are needed in this context.

The area of talent development was also identified as a key factor. Personal growth through, for example, internal training and individual coaching should be encouraged. Networking within the hotel industry, but also with external partner facilities and institutions, is also seen as a key aspect and competitive advantage of the industry.

The topic of incentives and benefits is seen as a third building block. A large number of benefits already exist. However, these must be made more visible to the outside world. In addition, there needs to be a willingness to provide (international) career opportunities and pay that actually makes work worthwhile.

Improving the image of the industry was identified as another key issue. Strengthening employer attractiveness through fair working conditions, fair pay and upgrading job profiles is seen as an important factor in improving the image. Another cornerstone is the role of the community – be it within the lobby or within networks of the hotel industry. Committed, driving forces and less competitive thinking can contribute to this, among other things.

Last but not least: the successful implementation of digitalization. In this context, a lot of weight is attached to good change management. Managers and employees are equally challenged in this regard. In addition to technical expertise, personal qualities that can contribute to successful digitization implementation are mentioned, namely openness, willingness to take risks and flexibility.