This paper discusses shortage of skilled labour as the main challenge facing leaders in hospitality industry today. The paper will, also, come up with recommendations on how leaders in hospitality industry can tackle this challenge. It is worth noting that shortage of skilled labour is a challenge that cuts across all economic sectors and industries. According to Lafayette (2011), one of the main factors contributing to this challenge is shortage of well-trained individuals to handle the current technological advancements that can assist companies to remain competitive in their activities. Besides, (Lafayette, 2011), also, contends that the increased search for the skilled workforce in the hospitality industry is attributed to the current and anticipated workforce shortage, poor preparation of the workforce, mismatches in the set of skills, the aging population of the U.S as well as demographic shifts.
Recruitment and retention of skilled workers is increasingly becoming a problem to most employers in various industries including hospitality industry. Shortage of skilled labour, therefore, is a global concern confronting hospitality industry following a number of reasons. There has been a lot of laxity especially by the industry leaders to promote the reputation of the hospitality industry (Toedt, 2013). Only a few college and university students embrace career opportunities in hospitality because of lack of promotion of industry reputation. Most employees in this industry continue being unsettled until they find a job that will earn them better wages and quality life. Besides, weekend and night shifts as well as long working hours are some the reasons that turn off most potential employees leading to shortage of skilled workforce (Toedt, 2013). Shortage of skilled workforce has, also, been attributed to demographic issues whereby there has been a reduction in population rates especially in the U.S. and Europe (Toedt, 2013). This implies that the number of workers entering the workforce is less as compared to those leaving. Therefore, shortage of skilled workforce in this case becomes inevitable because as the aged workforce moves into retirement, a huge void remains and continues to expand as time moves forward.
Another factor contributing to shortage of skilled workforce in hospitality industry has been lack of emphasis on workers in terms of their training and satisfaction (Toedt, 2013). Most companies in hospitality industry have not been following up to restore programs that can enrich workers through training as the case used to be in the 1980s as well as the 90s particularly after the 9/11 incident (Toedt, 2013). For this reason, most lodging brands find it necessary to incorporate other amenities in order to remain competitors. Another contributing factor to shortage of skilled workforce inhospitality industry is lagging wage rates (Toedt, 2013). This makes it difficult for such employers to attract and maintain highly skilled workforce.
It is, therefore, prudent for leaders in the hospitality industry to note the following recommendations in order to remain successful in their activities. The first one is promotion of hospitality industry reputation by creating internal programs that accommodate career development paths (Gert, 2014). This will influence potential candidates to see jobs in hospitality industry as real platforms for professional development. The second recommendation is that employers in the hospitality sector should pay their employees based on the level of their productivity (Gert, 2014). This is because there is few opportunities automation in the industry; therefore, workers should be well enumerated for their labour intensity.
In conclusion, this paper discussed shortage of skilled labour as the main challenge facing leaders in hospitality industry today. The paper, also, come up with two recommendations on how leaders in hospitality industry can tackle this challenge. Recruitment and retention of skilled workers is increasingly becoming a problem to most employers in various industries including hospitality industry. Employers in the hospitality sector should pay their employees based on the level of their productivity.