Recruitment Issues in the Hospitality Sector 

The Tourism and Hotel industry make up a major part of the hospitality Industry. Without wanting to mention the “B” word or pass on our personal views on this, it is, without doubt, a major factor in the recent changes to the Industry in 2019. Overseas visitors on the rise as the UK becomes a more valuable option. The rise of “staycations” as UK residents opt for staying here. And why shouldn’t they, the beautiful west country with gorgeous coastlines and pretty villages. The Cities of Bristol and Bath steeped in history, with so much to offer in entertainment and activities. 

Thus, the Hospitality industry is a large source of employment. Although, we saw the first drop in employment since 2009. Over 1.75 million people were employed in hospitality at the end of Jun 2018 (ONS)

 The numbers of employees are high but there are no escaping issues in recruiting. It’s well known for its high turnover, low morale and an undervaluing of the importance of great Customer Service.  

From working alongside our Clients and Candidates we have highlighted our thoughts on key issues: 


Hospitality careers are often stereotyped as entry-level, short term, low paid roles with little development or career progression. As a result, qualified, Graduated and particularly the youth (Generation Z) are unaware of careers available. 


Historically, the hospitality industry has pulled its recruits from the Youth labour pool and EU workers. But more recently this youth pool has declined and with uncertainness the EU  we are seeing a massive shortfall. Around a quarter of employers in the sector already say they are struggling to fill vacancies 


High turnover is a key challenge in the hospitality industry. The costs of recruiting and training high turnover are one of the most crippling factors with our Clients. It then seems to breed the thought process of a lack of investment in training and qualifications as “they won’t be here long” 

Customer Service Skills:

Employers have difficulty finding workers who own basic “people skills,” which are essential in Hospitality. The industry of people serving people. You can find more on our thoughts on Customer Service HERE

Training and Qualifications:

The hospitality industry as a whole lacks consistency. There is a huge range of qualifications on offer including NVQ’s, apprentices and Degrees. Yet, we find many employers run their own internal training programs for entry-level workers which can vary in content and quality. More details on Inspire ‘s Training can be found HERE


So now we know What the Issues are – the challenge is how to improve.

For the UK, more time and money and education on the potentials and possibilities in the Hospitality Industry are needed. (But we’ll save our views on the Government economic and immigration policies for a later date… maybe October…)

Down to the grassroots of the issues. Recruitment and Training become the key elements of any effective strategy for any business within the Industry.

Your Recruitment needs time and energy spent attracting the perfect candidate. Not only for your specific business but the specific role within your business.


1. Identify exactly what the role is

Having your HR or your Recruitment company draw up a precise, engaging Job description

2. Identify exactly who you want to join

Are you looking for experience, or recent graduates or entry-level candidates with stacks of enthusiasm?  Your recruitment company will know how to target and where to find different demographics

3. Identify your offerings

Priorities differ especially with the younger generation, there’s a greater emphasis on self-actualization, high expectations of rapid career progression. The market is much more fluid as they are willing to change jobs, industries and careers to realize their goal. Use your HR/ Training department to put together a progression plan/ training. Inspire can offer this if you would like an external pair of eyes here are further DETAILS Can you offer bonuses, flexible working or team rewards?

4. Don’t underestimate the power of the person

“In an analysis of 5000 jobs advertisements across a number of different occupations and sectors in the UK, Jackson et al found that the skills stated as necessary by employers are ‘social skills’ and ‘personal characteristic’ only 26 per cent of organizations mentioned the need for educational recruitments” 

As a highly labour-intensive industry, Hospitality organisations and the Hotels we work with often comment to us that “people are their greatest asset”. We agree, and, would add these people can make a real difference. We at Inspire, certainly not only look at Experience and Qualifications but “personability”.

If you’d like to talk to Inspire Training & Recruitment, please get in TOUCH. or email We offer a variety of services from Audits, Recruitment Strategies and Specific Training Plans. 

We have a large candidate base of Customer Service focussed candidates, temporary, permanent and those looking for work experience in the industry.

If you are looking for Front of House, Event staff, Managerial, Food and Beverage, Reception please get in touch