It cannot have escaped anyone’s attention that countless hotels across Europe are currently struggling to find staff and rehire for vacancies that resulted from the Covid-19 pandemic. Especially with operational positions. Rooms are not being cleaned, F&B departments cannot uphold the old service standards, and the check-in queues are growing long. Coming up next the winter tourism hotels with the Alp in focus are bound to struggle even more than what they have in the summer.
Discussions and opinions are being shared left and right in social media and within industry organisations. Restrictions, politics, salary levels, and bad business judgments are reasons being highlighted. Personally, I think it’s a mix of them all.
During the past 18 monts, many of the hotel staff having been being laid off or heavily put into short term labour, decided to move on and study or trying out a job in a different field, many times with a higher salary. What incentives can there be for them to come back? It’s time for many hotel leaders and CEOs of large corporations to look within. With chain hotels having typically a GOP target of 30-40%, ultimately being a result of investors’ expectations, perhaps a lowered GOP expectation and thus being able to pay higher salaries is one solution. But of course, many other things need to be done as well to keep jobs interesting and rewarding.
One thing is also clear though, with dirty rooms and guests waiting in the lobby, no one in the hotel has time to care about prices and revenue management. It’s quite a paradox, as the loss of income and profit in the last 18 months should be a burning incentive for hotels to do everything in their power to optimise the returning demand that is now booming in so many places. Luckily, one alternative that hotels can turn to is outsourced labour. Solutions offered by companies that are ready to jump on board fast with flexible and cost-effective solutions.
Profit for strength
If hotels act timely, they can ensure to gain that extra revenue and profit that is now so needed. And perhaps the wise one will use that win to get their staff back with an increased salary as one of the incentives, thus making sure to get the hotel back on its feet.