The 2022 edition of the Young Hoteliers Summit (YHS) was a success. Despite the unpredicted shift to a virtual event, the largest student-run hospitality summit featured more than thirty expert speakers and invited 86 student delegates from 42 different prestigious hospitality schools between the 7th and the 9th of March 2022. With its theme – Breaking Through the Tide – the Summit attempted to discover new shores of the post-pandemic hospitality industry.
The student delegates worked tirelessly to solve the YHS Challenge provided by Marriott International, YHS’s main partner: “How to Attract and Retain Talents in the New Normal?” The students worked in groups to find innovative yet practical solutions to retain talents in the post- pandemic industry. After three days of intense preparation, the challenge was won by The Globetrotters, a team composed of five international students, who focused on a detailed talent acquisition plan and on holistic wellness to improve retention.
Apart from solving the YHS Challenge, delegates as well as all other attendees had the unique opportunity to follow ground-breaking sessions delivered by hospitality industry professionals. Six fireside chats tackled themes such as post-pandemic tourism recovery and workplace digitalization. “Staff does not need to be more tech-savvy, we want technology to do its job and allow employees to be human” (Nick Price). Eight insightful keynotes allowed the attendees to reflect on various topics from gender equality, seasonality trends, to the use of regenerative energy within the industry. Finally, four vivid panels discussed relevant aspects of the industry such as destination management, the shift towards hybrid workplaces, talent retention and development, and the necessary ESG development. “As a sector, we are in a constant battle for talent. Sustainability is one of the main differentiators”, (Denise Naguib). The attendees took many different key takeaways from the summit, like the need for hotels to understand “the digital nomad” (Panel – The Future of You), the necessity of companies to align leadership and Human Resources (Panel – Reconstructing Leadership), the urge of studying history to understand upcoming trends (Keynote – David Bosshart), and the imperative shift towards regenerative hospitality (Keynote – John Pagano), to name a few.
To start off the YHS 2022 summit, also the YHS Expectations Survey Report was published. The report analyzes student and employer responses from 36 universities and 20 companies, with the objective of bridging the gap between employer and employee expectations. The document outlines how career path advancement, salary, work benefits, empowerment, and responsibility are the top employee job selection factors. More surprisingly, it also analyzes how 54% of students prefer a Hybrid work model upon graduation rather than an in-person or a completely virtual one. This result clearly showcases the impact of the pandemic on young people’s work expectations. Furthermore, the report focuses on many more relevant factors, such as students’ preferred industries upon graduation, employee’s qualities sought by employers, and employee retention conditions. Find the full YHS Expectations Survey report HERE.