U.S. employers added 150,000 jobs in October, showing a slowdown after a summer of strong job growth. This is lower than what economists expected and shows the Federal Reserve plan to increase interest rates may be working. The unemployment rate rose slightly to 3.9%. Year-over-year wage growth fell to 4.1%.
150,000: U.S. employers added 150,000 jobs in October.
3.9%: The unemployment rate fell to 3.9%.
4.1%: Wages rose 4.1% over the past year.
According to the Wall Street Journal, October’s report is the clearest sign we’ve seen that the Federal Reserve strategy of raising interest rates to slow the job market and control inflation may be working. Throughout the summer, job growth remained strong, consistently outperforming analyst expectations. The latest numbers fall into a more sustainable rate of growth. Additionally, wage growth appears to be slowing. Over the past 12 months, year-over-year wage growth has been as high as 4.8%, which makes October’s 4.1% encouraging.
While the U.S. saw overall job growth, several industries contracted last month. Some of the most significant losses were in the manufacturing, transportation and warehousing sectors. Although, as the New York Times reported, some of this can be explained by ongoing strikes, particularly in the auto industry. Another concerning sign is that labor force participation decreased in October, shrinking the labor force by 201,000 people. Though experts say not to read too much into monthly fluctuations, they will watch the labor force participation rate in the coming months.
With September’s blockbuster jobs report and October’s slowdown, MarketWatch reports that the U.S. economy is displaying mixed signals, but evidence is mounting that a cooldown is starting. However, experts debate exactly how it will continue to play out. Some say the economy could continue to move forward without any major bumps, just at a slower pace; while others say they’re more concerned. They tend to agree, though, that the latest report makes it less likely that the Federal Reserve will decide to raise rates again at the next meeting in December.
U.S. employers added 336,000 jobs in September. This is nearly double the job growth that analysts expected and shows that employers still have a high demand for labor. The unemployment rate remained at 3.8%. Year-over-year wage growth fell slightly to 4.2%.
336,000: Employers added 336,000 jobs in September
3.8%: The unemployment rate remained steady at 3.8%.
4.2%: Wages grew 4.2% over the past year.
The best news in September’s jobs report is that the jobs added were spread across industries, according to the Wall Street Journal. Leisure and hospitality led with 96,000 new jobs as bars and restaurants finally reached pre-pandemic staffing levels. Education and health services also added a significant 70,000 new jobs, and all major jobs categories experienced growth. The report shows that hiring is not slowing, despite high interest rates and wage growth, the restarting of student loan payments and low unemployment.
The factors that make September’s report strong are the same ones that have analysts worried. In previous months, reports have suggested the Federal Reserve’s plan to slow hiring by raising interest rates was starting to work. The latest report tells an entirely different story. As the New York Times reports, Wall Street was wary of the blockbuster report because of the influence it could have on the Fed.
The latest report paints a more complicated picture for the Federal Reserve as they head into their next meeting. According to MarketWatch, this is the last report the Fed will see before that meeting, and it increases the likelihood that they will decide to raise rates again this year. The Fed has two more meeting scheduled in 2023—one on October 31 to November 1 and another December 12-13. Officials say they’re increasingly convinced that the U.S. can avoid the mass layoffs and high unemployment that typically go along with high interest rates.
Amongst travel and hospitality recruitment challenges is a clear and persistent issue: staffing shortages. Talent leaders are struggling to fill empty roles amid low unemployment rates.
According to a 2023 survey by Deloitte, more than half of hotel executives (53%) say their properties have between 25–74% of the workforce they had in 2019. The situation at airports is even tighter with 62% of executives saying their workforce is half its prepandemic size or smaller.
On top of this, the unemployment rate sits at 3.8% in the U.S., 4.3% in the UK and 3.7% in Australia. The travel industry also saw a massive exodus of workers. In 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported record quit rates during the Great Resignation, with the quit rate in leisure and hospitality jumping by a percentage point to 6.4%. So, how can talent leaders hire hospitality and travel workers when the available pool is smaller?
Luckily, the right technology solutions deployed at the right times during the recruitment process can help talent leaders source, attract and screen candidates to find the best talent more efficiently and effectively. In this article, we’ll cover three technology interventions that talent acquisition teams can put into place to tackle hospitality recruitment challenges.
Hospitality Recruitment Challenge No. 1: Our open positions receive few applicants, and many of those who do apply do not have the background or experience needed to succeed in the role.
Solution No. 1: Invest in artificial intelligence sourcing technology to fill the top of your funnel.
Amongst common hospitality recruitment challenges that we see is finding talent with a wide variety of specialized skills across diverse and distant geographies. There is no one-size-fits all approach to hiring travel and hospitality talent. Finding a chef for a luxury property in Lake Como, Italy will look very different from a search for housekeeping staff at a family resort in Orlando, Florida. Finding a flight attendant looks very different from filling a baggage handler role.
With such a tight talent market, employers must target passive talent. During the Great Rehire talent leaders focused on filling roles as quickly as possible, but now they need to focus on finding and hiring more experienced workers.
An AI-enabled candidate sourcing tool can identify passive candidates with the right experience for specific roles and can even identify which candidates would be most likely to leave their current employers. Within seconds, recruiters can build a list of these candidates and share the opportunity. PeopleScout’s talent acquisition suite, AffinixTM, includes the AI sourcing feature, Talent Finder, which can connect employers with millions of passive candidates.
Consider the following best practices for using an AI sourcing tool:
Before searching for candidates, make sure you have a thorough understanding of the technical and soft skills needed to be successful in the role.
Use features, like PeopleScout’s Diversity Boost, that can identify candidates from underrepresented backgrounds to help meet your DE&I goals.
Blend AI with the human touch. By having a recruiter reach out to a sourced candidate with a personalized message, employers can create a positive experience.
Make sure a human makes all final hiring decisions. AI can make the process more efficient, but hiring managers should make the final call.
Hospitality Recruitment Challenge No. 2: Candidates drop out of our process before reaching the offer stage, either by abandoning the application or ghosting the interview.
Solution No. 2: Improve the candidate experience by making the process quick and easy by embracing tools like SMS or virtual interviews.
Hospitality employers must ensure that their candidate experience sets them apart from other employers at every stage of the candidate journey. For candidates, how they’re treated during the hiring process is a preview of what their experience will be as an employee.
PeopleScout research shows that the hospitality industry has a lot of room for improvement in this area. In our analysis of the candidate experience of more than 215 different organizations, the hospitality sector came in last overall with the lowest average scores in every stage except Follow-Up (in which it was second to last). While hospitality organizations effectively showcased their diversity and inclusion efforts on their career sites, only half gave candidates the opportunity to register their interest.
Your candidate experience should be unique to your brand and help you distinguish yourself from other employers hiring for similar roles or skills. Many talent acquisition teams don’t appreciate that candidates don’t perceive the recruitment process as a funnel. They’re the main character in their own story, and they expect to be treated that way. Candidates want to engage in their job search on their own terms. So, anytime they encounter a roadblock to getting the information they want, especially if they don’t know what to expect in the next stage, they’re more likely to drop out of your process.
There are several ways to leverage technology to make the process easier for candidates. First, start with a shortened application. According to PeopleScout research, nearly 40% of organizations asked candidates to duplicate information that was already contained in their resume or CV. Make sure your application only collects the information that is most critical for determining who moves along to the next step of the process.
From there, other technology solutions can be used to gather the additional information necessary to make a hiring decision. SMS can be used for an initial text screening, and virtual interviews, like those available in Affinix, allow candidates to answer additional questions at their own pace while feeling as though they’re driving the process.
Finally, automated communication can keep a candidate engaged in the process. The right technology platform can help by sending automated messages to candidates, via email or chatbot technology, updating them on their application status. You can even craft messages letting a candidate know if they did not get the job, so they aren’t left wondering if you ghosted them.
Consider the following best practices for using technology to improve your candidate experience:
Make sure your application is mobile-friendly and can be filled out in 10 minutes or less. Test your current application to see how long it takes to apply.
Provide candidates with the opportunity to opt-in to receive text messages or emails from your organization to remain in compliance with local spam laws.
Tailor the type of virtual interview to the type of role. While video interviews may be appropriate for customer-facing roles, others may prefer the opportunity to answer questions with recorded audio.
Make it simple for candidates to understand where they are in your process; this can be something as simple as a progress bar.
Hospitality Recruitment Challenge No. 3: Our assessment process isn’t effective at identifying the candidates most likely to succeed in the role, leading to increased turnover, reduced productivity and disengaged employees.
Solution No. 3: Assess candidates for passion, purpose and mindset.
The travel and hospitality industry is all about guest experience, and hotels, airlines, restaurants and theme parks differentiate themselves with the unique experience that they provide. So, talent leaders need to find candidates who not only have the right skills and experience but also a deep understanding of the brand and how it is reflected in the service provided.
For example, in a major city, you may find three hotels on the same street, one catering to a high-end luxury experience in a historic building, another geared toward young travelers with bold art and hit music playing in the lobby, and a third designed with business travelers in mind—with a large business center, meeting rooms and plenty of quiet spaces for someone to plug in their laptop. Many hotel brands even have this variety of styles within their own portfolios. The service provided in each hotel looks different, and a person who excels at a luxury property may not thrive in a trendy hotel.
By selecting the right assessment tool, employers can go beyond looking at just capability, behavior and results but also determine whether candidates align with their organization’s purpose, have passion for the work they would do and whether they have the mindset to adapt to new environments.
By building an assessment during pre-screening that accounts for passion, purpose and mindset in addition to the standard skills and experience, employers can use technology to shortlist candidates based on several different attributes at the same time. This way, employers can get a clear picture of the different strengths and weaknesses of candidates in order to make informed decisions about which candidates are best to bring forward to the interview stage.
By identifying candidates who match well with an employer’s brand of guest experience, talent leaders can reduce turnover and build a happier, more engaged team. In turn, that leads to better customer experience and a better bottom line.
Consider the following best practices for building an effective assessment for hospitality talent:
Identify the essential behaviors for the role to separate those who will actually be successful from those who simply present well during an interview.
Build assessment tools around your organization’s vision and values so applicants have a chance to form a connection to them from the start.
Self-evaluation tools can also be used to help applicants consider their own strengths and whether the role will offer sufficient opportunity to use and demonstrate them.
Distinguish between good candidates who meet the criteria and great candidates who will take an organization further.
Finding the Right Talent Technology for Hospitality
The travel and hospitality industry still faces an uphill climb in returning to or even exceeding their prepandemic staffing levels, but talent leaders have additional and improved tools available to help identify, attract and screen candidates. However, in a full marketplace, finding the right tools can be a challenge. Consider partnering with an RPO with expertise in technology that can help identify the most impactful ways new tools can solve your most pressing hospitality recruitment challenges.
As part of our commitment to keeping you informed about the latest news in the hiring market, we are excited to share our 2023 U.S. Workforce Trends Mid-Year Report. In this report, we have analyzed the latest jobs data across various industries so you are ready to face the months ahead with a stronger staffing strategy.
The first half of the year has seen slower hiring in many industries as businesses navigate economic uncertainty. However, there is a steady demand for workers in critical sectors such as retail, manufacturing and hospitality.
Our 2023 U.S. Workforce Trends Mid-Year Report includes:
National job numbers for the first half of 2023
Workforce and wage information for several major industries
A breakdown of jobs experiencing notable growth
At PeopleScout, we understand the importance of having the right workforce to support your success. That’s why our report goes beyond sharing workforce data — it also offers recommendations and strategies to help you attract and retain the right workers. These insights can help your company build a strong and flexible workforce that can adapt to changing demands, seize new opportunities and ultimately thrive in today’s business landscape.
U.S. employers added 187,000 jobs in August. This is slightly higher than analysts expected and shows that the Federal Reserve’s plan to slow growth may be working. The unemployment rate rose to 3.8%. Year-over-year wage growth fell slightly to 4.3%.
187,000: U.S. employers added 187,000 jobs in August.
3.8%: The unemployment rate rose to 3.8%.
4.3%: Wages rose 4.3% over the past year.
While 187,000 jobs would have been a standard month of growth in 2019, in 2023, it shows signs that the labor market is slowing. As the Wall Street Journal reports, August’s report reflects a cooling job market in a strong economy, which is what the Federal Reserve has been hoping to see. Job growth was led by the education and health services sector, and leisure and hospitality saw continued strength. The increased unemployment rate was caused by more Americans looking for work, but the job market has remained tight, with more employers choosing to slow their hiring rather than opt for layoffs.
Wage growth is slowing, but not as quickly as the Fed would like to see. Yearly wage growth fell to 4.3% in August, slightly lower than the previous month. However, wage growth has remained stubbornly higher than 4%. As the New York Times reports, Fed officials believe high wage growth could make it difficult to return to their long-term inflation goal of 2%.
The big question for analysts is whether or not the Fed will raise interest rates at its next meeting in September. According to MarketWatch, the latest report shows enough of a slowdown that could convince officials to hold the interest rates steady. Over the past year-and-a-half, the Fed has increased a key short-term interest rate from near zero to 5.5% in an attempt to slow inflation. At the same time, they want to avoid raising interest rates too high, which could trigger a recession.
August’s jobs report is also typically one of the trickiest of the year to interpret. Fewer businesses than usual respond timely to the monthly questionnaire as many people take summer vacations. Additionally, the strikes in Hollywood and the bankruptcy of a large trucking company could make hiring numbers appear to be artificially lower.
Amid the alphabet soup of corporate jargon, buzzwords, and acronyms, you’ll find CSR and ESG. Respectively, the two stand for corporate social responsibility and environment, social, governance. These concepts have been around for years but have been growing in importance. Now, CSR and ESG impact talent acquisition in new ways. As candidates become more knowledgeable and passionate about social responsibility and sustainability practices, employers need to respond. The issue is particularly salient for Gen Z, where 87% say it is important to work at a company that aligns with their values.
Job seekers want to work at organizations with values that match their own, with as many as 80% of workers in some industries saying that ESG issues play a role in whether they will resign from or remain at certain organizations.
So, how do CSR and ESG impact talent acquisition? In this article, we explore their impact and outline strategies to help talent leaders incorporate these concepts into their recruitment strategies.
What is Corporate Social Responsibility?
According to the United Nations, corporate social responsibility is “a management concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and interactions with their stakeholders.” CSR focuses on issues including environmental management, eco-efficiency, responsible sourcing, stakeholder engagement, labor standards and working conditions, employee and community relations, social equity, gender balance, human rights, good governance, and anti-corruption measures.
CSR has been growing in importance over the last several decades, according to Harvard Business School, and has led to specific designations like B Corporations (B Corps), social purpose corporations (SPCs), and low-profit limited liability companies (L3Cs). But for many organizations, CSR is simply a self-imposed regulation. Employers can express it through initiatives and strategies and often report back their results through corporate social responsibility reports.
What is Environment, Social, Governance?
According to Gartner, environment, social, governance is “a collection of corporate performance evaluation criteria that assess the robustness of a company’s governance mechanisms and its ability to effectively manage its environmental and social impacts.”
Each pillar of ESG includes different criteria. McKinsey outlines environmental criteria as relating to how much energy a company takes in, how much waste it produces, what resources it requires and how that impacts life around the world. Social criteria address the relationships between an organization and the institutions and communities where it does business. Finally, governance represents the internal procedures and checks and balances an organization uses to make decisions and govern itself.
How CSR and ESG Impact Talent Acquisition
Once little-known terms, these markers of corporate responsibility and sustainability now play a role in job seekers’ decision-making.
One survey found that more than half of employees would not work for a company that doesn’t have strong policies addressing social or environmental sustainability issues. Additionally, 74% of employees said their job is more fulfilling when they’re given the chance to make a positive impact on social and environmental issues, and 70% indicated they’d be more loyal to a company in which they can help contribute to solutions.
The changing environment and increasing pace of climate-related disasters plays a role. Compiled data shows that Google searches for sustainable companies have been growing rapidly since 2016, reaching the highest volume yet in 2023, with no signs of slowing down. In that time, a number of environmental events have dominated headlines, from the devastating 2017 floods caused by Hurricane Harvey in the U.S. to the disastrous 2019-2020 Australian bushfires and 2023 Canadian wildfires. Spikes in searches often follow global climate meetings like the United Nations Climate Change Conferences.
Job seekers are paying attention, and employers can only expect that interest to increase. One survey found that 40% of Gen Z and millennial employees have changed jobs or sectors due to climate concerns or plan to in the future. Additionally, 60% of respondents reported feeling anxious about the environment over the past month, and more than 70% said that they are actively trying to minimize their impact on the environment.
3 Approaches for Including CSR and ESG in Your Recruitment Strategy
To stay ahead of the competition, talent leaders should include CSR and ESG in their talent strategies. Below we outline three approaches.
1. Build a Responsible, Sustainable Employer Brand
Your employer brand is your most powerful tool in attracting top talent, and your ESG and CSR initiatives should be featured throughout your branding materials. Think about your efforts to reduce carbon emissions, support local communities or promote diversity and inclusion. You may measure or report on progress of these initiatives for investors, so consider sharing with candidates as well. Even if you haven’t reached your goals yet, being transparent about your progress can demonstrate to candidates that these initiatives are genuine—not just lip service. Share your next steps and the strategies you have in place for reaching these goals.
There are several ways to showcase your progress to candidates:
Highlight ESG initiatives in your job descriptions
Create an ESG page on your career site
Leverage social media to share your progress toward ESG goals
Tap into current employees who can share their experiences
Train recruiters and hiring managers on ESG initiatives
2. Get Employees Involved
Your social responsibility and sustainability goals should be at the core of your culture. Make your goals and initiatives a regular part of conversation rather than distant promise. This will not only help retain top performers but will also help engage candidates.
You can get your employees involved in reaching your CSR and ESG goals by communicating progress and adding performance targets where appropriate. You can also consider benefits that align with your goals so that employees feel as though your commitment to social responsibility and sustainability are part of your DNA, not just marching orders.
Here are a few strategies you can employ:
Communicate updates on ESG initiatives regularly, like in team meetings or all-company updates
Encourage leadership to display day-today behaviors that align with goals
Add ESG-related performance goals
Consider ESG-related benefits, like days off for volunteer work, a cycle-to-work scheme or vouchers for public transit
Recognize employees for ESG-related contributions
3. Avoid Greenwashing
As you focus on and promote your social responsibility and sustainability work, avoid falling prey to greenwashing. Greenwashing happens when an organization spends more time and money showcasing sustainability initiatives than actually performing them. It’s often seen as a marketing gimmick, and consumers and candidates are growing more savvy in recognizing it. To maintain a positive reputation and brand perception, ensure that your organization lives up to the values you’re advertising from the top down.
Here are some tips to avoid greenwashing:
Avoid overly flowery language
Don’t use dishonest imagery
Ensure your business practices reflect your marketing promises
Be honest, even if you aren’t perfect
Share real data
Make concrete claims
A Sustainable Future: CSR and ESG in Talent Acquisition
As we move toward a more sustainable future, your CSR and ESG initiatives are important factors for job candidates. The right RPO partner can help you communicate the environmental work you’re already doing to attract top talent. The desire for sustainable employment isn’t going anywhere, and employers should only expect it to get stronger.
Travel is back, but hospitality employers are still playing catch up. Travelers around the world are booking flights, checking into hotel rooms, making reservations and buying tickets. Brands are attracting customers but struggling to attract employees with the right hospitality recruitment strategies.
In 2020, the size of the global tourism market fell by nearly a trillion dollars as travel came to a halt. The industry finally surpassed its prepandemic highs in 2023, reaching a market size of $2.3 trillion (USD). But employment in the industry lags behind. In the U.S. alone, nearly 2 million hospitality jobs remain unfilled, according to the Washington Post.
The old hospitality recruitment strategies aren’t working anymore. The world of work has changed. Many sectors have expanded the availability of remote and hybrid work, and many front-line hospitality workers left the industry for more flexible roles.
Employers must update their employer branding and candidate attraction strategies to draw in top hospitality talent. In this article, we cover the hospitality brain drain and provide hospitality recruitment strategies that talent leaders can put into place now to get ahead of the competition.
The Hospitality Industry Brain Drain
One of the largest lasting impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic is the permanent loss of talent. as workers fled the travel and hospitality industry for more stable, more flexible or less customer-facing positions. While employment in the hospitality sector still lags, professional and business services saw 1.4 million new jobs added during the pandemic.
Rather than returning to employment in hotels or with airlines, many laid off workers looked for behind-the-scenes office work where they were offered more flexibility, more traditional hours and often higher pay.
In 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported record quit rates during the Great Resignation, with the quit rate in leisure and hospitality jumping by a percentage point to 6.4%.
This phenomenon, sometimes called “brain drain,” has left hospitality employers with not just fewer workers but also those with less experience. This has led to increased competition for experienced hospitality workers and often increased time-to-fill rates for more specialized hospitality roles. Talent leaders must work to coax experienced workers back to the industry while also focusing on the next generation. Below, we outline three strategies to bring back and bring in hospitality talent.
Top 3 Hospitality Recruitment Strategies
1. It’s Time to Update Your Employer Brand
In today’s talent market, hospitality employers need to stand out in a crowded field of competition. Your employer value proposition and employer brand will be what convinces top talent to join your organization, rather than the hotel down the street or the customer service job that will allow them to take calls from their home offices.
However, after the past several years, few have had the resources to invest in and update their employer brands. If you haven’t refreshed your employer brand in a few years, now is the time. Each hospitality brand has its own distinctive personality and style that should be reflected in both consumer marketing and employer branding.
Your employer value proposition, or EVP, is the foundation of your employer brand. Your EVP describes the give and get between employer and employee. At PeopleScout, our EVP work has five phases:
In the define stage, we build a baseline understanding of you and your competition through competitor audits, social listening, candidate experience diagnostics and collaborative sessions. In the discover phase, we go deeper to understand what makes your organization unique through interviews with leaders and employees throughout the organization.
From there, we analyze the data and develop an EVP prototype that we validate through workshops and interviews with employees. In the design phase, we create the creative concepts to bring your EVP to life with an employer brand playbook and employer brand toolkit. These include deliverables like EVP positioning and messaging, social media posts and ads, and printed materials like posters and exhibition stands for job fairs.
Finally, we deploy, focusing on an employee ambassador program that helps your current employees share their stories with prospective candidates. From there, your EVP and brand can flex and evolve to adapt to changing candidate expectations.
By honing your employer value proposition and attraction messaging, you can zero in the characteristics you need for the variety of roles you need filled. By shifting your mindset from focusing on getting the most applications, or even those with certain experience, to getting applications with the right profile, you can reduce attrition by increasing the likelihood of your new hires being successful.
2. Are Your Offers and Benefits Competitive?
The leisure and hospitality sector has seen some of the highest wage increases across all employers in recent years. In the U.S., wages in hospitality have risen 23% over the past three years. Additionally, workers have more options for hybrid or flexible work in other industries where the pay is similar or even higher. This makes it more difficult for hospitality employers to compete. According to the Boston Hospitality Review, compensation was one of the most cited reasons that people left the hospitality industry during the pandemic.
To stand out in this market, you need offers that are not only competitive in terms of salary but also provide the types of flexibility and benefits that candidates are looking for and can likely find in other industries. Hospitality candidates are increasingly interested in remote work. Google searches for “remote hotel jobs” have increased about 400% since 2019.
Many hospitality jobs require being on site, making hybrid work only possible for a small percentage of roles; however, employers should evaluate and offer the option when possible. Additionally, consider flexible work arrangements or scheduling that would allow front-line workers time to do things like pick children up from school.
Other benefits can also help bring in or bring back hospitality workers. While 88% of employees say that health benefits are important to them, only 30% of restaurants offer medical insurance. Not every employer will have the budget for health insurance, so consider other benefits, like caregiver benefits, parental leave or a commuting allowance.
You can also consider different compensation models. Consider a salaried front-of-house staff. According to Monster, employers who pay their front of house staff a salary gain an advantage for attracting top talent, and those workers create a better customer experience because they aren’t focused on “turn-and-burn” tactics. You can also consider profit sharing or bonuses to help attract and retain employees.
3. Focus on Culture
Your company culture may not be listed as a line item on a paystub, but it can serve as a benefit for attracting top talent in a tough industry. In any customer-facing role, employees can be subject to stressful situations, but a supportive culture can increase employee retention.
One survey found that 91% of hospitality workers have dealt with customers who believed they inherently deserved privileges or special treatment. Of those workers, 70% wanted to leave the industry entirely after confronting a demanding consumer. Employers need to ensure that they not only meet traveler expectations but also keep workers happy and focus on retention.
Hospitality employers should focus on building a supportive culture. This should start from day one with structured training and can include things like mentorship programs to support new employees and help them feel like part of the team. Additionally, consider adding wellness programs that include things like counseling or employee assistance programs.
Finally, the travel and hospitality sector has a unique opportunity to build a fun culture by creating ways for employees to enjoy the services normally provided to guests. This can look like VIP perks for employees and their friends and families, discounted meals or free meals during shifts, yearly overnight stays at hotels to celebrate work anniversaries or discounted tickets to events.
Choosing the Right Hospitality Recruiting Strategies
Candidate expectations are always changing, so hospitality employers need to find the recruitment strategies that work best to attract the right candidates at the right time. An experienced RPO provider can help talent leaders narrow down the best solutions and help build an employer brand to bring in top talent with the right skills and mindset.
According to a global study by Bain & Company, workers aged 55 and older make up over 25% of the workforce in G7 countries by 2031, making older workers one of the most in-demand talent pools for employers today. In the UK, the government launched a “returnership” initiative to inspire those over the age of 50 to come back to work or to seek a career change. This scheme involves three programs that help older workers retrain and learn new skills, providing workers with a clear roadmap back into the workplace and encouraging organizations to hire them. In Western Australia, the Job Reconnect program provides grants to both employers and employees to cover costs related to licences, upskilling, and even work clothing, transport and childcare.
It’s crucial for retail and hospitality employers to know how to entice older workers back to work and to make the most of their valuable talent. Known as the ‘sandwich generation’—defined by caring for their elderly parents and also dependent children or grandchildren—older works have a strong work ethic. Customer facing and front of house roles enable them to fit work around caring for family and other responsibilities.
Keep reading for key insights from our panel discussion and get the latest research to understand exactly what older workers want and what retail and hospitality organizations can do attract this in-demand demographic.
What Do Older Workers Want?
What do over 50s want and need from an employer? Does your organization know how to attract and engage this older workforce and how to hire and retain them?
Unsurprisingly, monetary concerns are coaxing older workers back into the workplace due to the cost-of-living crisis. However, when it comes to choosing an employer, flexibility takes precedence over money.
Hospitality roles typically attract a younger demographic of workers. However, the flexibility offered by these jobs also appeals to the older working generation. Given that the over 50s are the largest age group with caring roles, flexible and part-time work is a powerful motivator for them to fit a job into their routine.
As well as permanent roles, seasonal and flexible roles are available within the hospitality and retail industries, which can be more attractive to the older working community. Working harder in those seasonal months creates work-life balance, allowing older workers to take time off during quieter periods to recover and be with their friends and family.
Sense of Belonging
Workers in this age rage are still searching for rewarding work. Older workers wish to find a place where they can feel a part of their local community and give back. Over 50s enjoy creating social connections that a customer-facing job in a restaurant or supermarket can provide.
Customer-facing roles in hospitality and retail give individuals the chance to serve and connect with their community. For older customers, seeing employees in shops and restaurants that represent them can boost the customer experience.
Myths About Older Workers
There are plenty of misconceptions out there from employers and colleagues about hiring and working with older workers. Consider these myths busted.
Myth 1: Older Workers are Resistant to Technology
Certain words can be viewed as a turn off for an over 50s audience, including “tech-savvy”, which some see as a way to ward off older candidates. There are older people who will feel excluded because others wrongly perceive that they’re less capable with technology, when in fact they are part of a generation that has seen huge advancements in technology. Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, is in his late 60s, and Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple is in his early 60s.
Recognise that all colleagues work differently with technology, so you must be thoughtful in your use of training. In hospitality and retail, workers are likely to be using tills and sales computer systems. Regardless of whether a person struggles with technology, an organization should have a strong program in place to support workers as they learn how to use these tools. For example, consider implementing a buddy system of workers and leaders who will happily help new employees in their first few weeks as they learn point-of-sale systems.
Myth 2: Absences are Higher Because of Health Issues
As people get older, their health can decline. However, this doesn’t mean that absenteeism is higher amongst older workers. In fact, older workers are more likely to have higher everyday attendance rates due to their strong work ethic. When you do see sickness or absence, it is typically in the form of long-term leave, rather than the odd day here and there.
Myth 3: Older Workers are Less Productive Than Younger Workers
A study demonstrated that there was no different between younger and older workers in terms of productivity. This study found that with their years of experience and memories, older people perhaps dismiss new information when they process things and instead use past information. It’s therefore important to acknowledge that older workers aren’t doing things worse, they just do these things differently through their years of experience.
What Can Organizations Do to Attract Older Workers?
So, how can retail and hospitality organization tap into this hard-working talent pool? Here are four questions to ask to ensure your talent acquisition program is over-50s friendly.
Are Your Candidate Attraction Materials Inclusive for Everyone?
To attract older workers, you must think more creatively and broadly. Use community-based websites to engage with people who live close to your locations. Show how the job will fit into their lifestyle and what it would be like for an older person to work there, rather than a generic message. Create testimonials from your current employees to support this.
Make sure that your imagery is diverse, featuring people of all ages. Look at your marketing materials and ensure that it reflects the community so that over 50s can see that jobs in hospitality are here for them. Take advantage of local community-boards in community centers and supermarkets.
How is Your Candidate Experience?
Retention and attraction are very different. Employers can encourage people to apply for jobs through their advertisements, yet ultimately, it is down to the experience the candidate has during the recruitment process, induction and beyond. The candidate experience is what will make them accept the position and stay at the company.
When younger workers leave education, they’re taught how to answer competency-based interview questions and how to write a resume. The older generation of workers likely won’t have a resume and may not have experience with this kind of interview. Is your interview process age inclusive and relevant to them?
Are You Giving Them What They Want?
Now that we’ve shared what older workers want, is your organization serious about flexible shift patterns? Over 40% of the part-time workforce is aged over 50. Not only does this part-time schedule work in hospitality, but also in retail, in which the holiday season creates a huge demand for workers.
Different shift patterns in retail can support individuals in their family commitments and lifestyle. Look at your employees’ caring responsibilities, for partners, for children, for elderly parents, and take this into account when creating your shift offerings.
But what else does this generation want from you? Everyone responds well to positive feedback. Both the retail and hospitality industries are great at celebrating successes, shown through brilliant behavior and examples across organizations.
Finally, show that your organization values them by offering benefit packages. Health is a priority for everyone as we get older, and health benefits can help to attract them to your organization.
Does Your Anti-Bias Training Include Age?
Ageism usually gets the least amount of focus across the DE&I plan. Train your leaders and hiring managers on unconscious bias particularly as it relates to age. Ensure there are no biases lurking in the recruitment process to open up talent pools instead of closing them down.
FUTURE OF WORK
DESTINATION 2030: 10 PREDICTIONS FOR WHAT’S NEXT IN THE WORLD OF WORK
U.S. employers added 187,000 jobs in July, slowing down from previous months. The increase is also lower than analysts expected. This shows that the Federal Reserve’s plan to slow growth may be working. The unemployment rate fell slightly to 3.5%. Year-over-year wage growth remained flat at 4.4%.
187,000: U.S. employers added 187,000 jobs in July.
3.5%: The unemployment rate fell to 3.5%.
4.4%: Wages grew 4.4% over the past year.
The headline number of July’s report, 187,000 jobs added to the economy, is good news because it represents a more sustainable pace of growth, and as MarketWatch reports, could be a sign that the economy is cooling enough to decrease inflation. Nearly half of the jobs created in July were by medical providers and in social programs. The Federal Reserve also dropped its forecast of a recession, and economists say a downturn is not likely in the next year.
According to the New York Times, wage growth is still higher than experts would like to see, remaining unchanged from the 4.4% year-over-year growth seen in last month’s report. Federal officials are looking for that number to drop. Recently, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell stated that some Fed officials have been making the case that high wage growth could be a sign that workers are trying to keep up with inflation by negotiating higher pay, so slower wage growth could follow decreased inflation.
The big question is whether the Fed will increase rates again at its next meeting in September. As the Wall Street Journal reports, officials will also be able to consider August’s jobs report numbers and inflation data from July and August during that meeting. July’s jobs report and June’s inflation numbers paint a mixed picture, with slower job growth and consumer inflation down to 3% but high wage growth and flat labor force participation. So, experts will be watching the next reports closely.
The future of work is green. According to the United Nations, the global economy is undergoing a “greening,” as industries like energy, transportation and construction adopt more sustainable practices. That process could create 24 million more jobs globally by 2030, putting workers with green skills in high demand.
In this article, we’ll explore the drivers for green jobs and the need for green skills, which green skills are in the highest demand and how employers can find and hire top green talent.
What are Green Jobs?
So, what qualifies as a “green job?” According to the International Labor Organization, “Green jobs reduce the consumption of energy and raw materials, limit greenhouse gas emissions, minimize waste and pollution, protect and restore ecosystems, and enable enterprises and communities to adapt to climate change.”
Demand for green skills is outpacing the supply. According to LinkedIn’s Global Green Skills Report, between 2022 and 2023, job postings requiring at least one green skill rose 22.4% while the share of green talent in the workforce only grew 12.3%.
What’s causing the shift? According to the World Economic Forum, many countries are working to achieve net zero by 2050. This means that both governments and businesses are driving the green transition.
So far, the majority of green job growth has come in some of the highest polluting industries, such as energy and transportation, and in some of the countries that produce the most greenhouse gases.
The U.S., Germany and India, countries that emit some of the highest amounts of greenhouse gasses, are leading the way in green jobs. According to the World Economic Forum, Germany is adopting more green skills in the manufacturing industry, and the U.S. and India are outpacing other countries in both oil and gas and mining.
But the need for green jobs goes beyond installing solar panels and building electric vehicles. According to LinkedIn, one of the most important sectors in sustainability is finance, and it is lagging behind. In the fight against climate change, huge investments will need to be made in things like wind farms and electric vehicle charging stations, and financial professionals will be in the spotlight. Despite that, only 6.8% of finance workers globally have green skills. However, there are signs of change. Between 2021 and 2022, the percentage of green jobs in finance grew 17%.
With increasing competition for green talent, employers need to have an in-depth understanding of the most in-demand green skills and how to attract, hire and train top talent.
What are Green Skills?
It is easy to mistakenly associate certain green skills to specific industries. Unlike the ability to set a broken bone, which will qualify a worker for a job in healthcare but isn’t relevant if they’re applying for a role with a law firm, green skills are different. Think of green skills more like tech skills in their ability to be applied across a wide range of industries. For example, carbon accounting, or estimating the carbon footprint of different organizations, can play an important role in a variety of industries, from consulting to waste management. While there might be a concentration of workers with green skills in green industries, those skills are in demand across the global economy.
According to LinkedIn, the fastest growing green skill in the EU is climate action planning. A climate action plan is “a framework document for measuring, tracking and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and adopting climate adaptation measures.”
Climate action plans exist for a variety of organizations. For example, they exist at the government level, including for U.S. states, for international organizations like the World Bank, Fortune 500 companies and more. This means employers are competing for candidates across industries.
There are many green skills that are required for jobs in industries not considered green. For example, according to LinkedIn, a knowledge of energy efficiency could be necessary for roles like a plumbing engineer, utilities manager, vice president of facilities or HVAC specialist.
So, what are the most in demand green skills? It depends on where you are. In the U.S., carbon accounting, drinking water quality and energy engineering are seeing some of the fastest growth. While in the EU, sustainability education and carbon emissions round out the top three after climate action planning.
How to Hire for Green Skills
To meet their own hiring and sustainability goals, employers need to understand where to find candidates with in-demand green skills, how to attract them and how to train green-adjacent workers to help fill skills gaps. Here, we cover three options for employers struggling to fill green roles.
1. Skills-Based Hiring
Skills based hiring sounds simple—hiring people based on skills rather than previous job titles. However, according to SHRM, it requires a commitment to change. Traditionally, many jobs list requirements like specific degrees or years of experience that are used to determine if candidates are ready to take on a role.
According to one survey, more than 80% of employers believe they should prioritize skills over degrees. Yet, 52% are still hiring from degree programs because it’s considered a less risky choice. This means that especially in entry- and mid-level roles, candidates with the right skills could be overlooked for failing to meet these specific requirements.
Research shows that adopting a skills-based hiring strategy can yield significant improvements to an organization’s talent acquisition program—increasing quality of hire, expanding the talent pool, increasing diversity and improving employee retention.
Transitioning to a skills-based hiring process requires a culture change, a transformation in thinking from the top down—from senior leadership to hiring managers—andupdates to many aspects of the recruitment process.
One of the most important steps is updating the screening or assessment process. Rather than eliminating candidates who lack certain degrees or years of experience, develop criteria and assessments that objectively measure the skills necessary for the job. Then, screen candidates in rather than screening them out. An RPO provider with talent advisory capabilities can assist organizations moving to a skills-based screening and assessment strategy.
2. Green Adjacent Skills and Gateway Jobs
Additionally, employers can build gateway jobs and look for candidates with green adjacent skills.
Gateway jobs are roles that can serve as steppingstones and give workers the opportunity to gain the green skills they’ll need for a green career. According to the LinkedIn report, one example of a gateway job is in supply chain management. As the industry looks to reduce its carbon emissions, workers are developing the green skills to do the job, even though they may not have had them when they were hired. In fact, 41% of workers who move into gateway jobs have no prior green experience.
An effective strategy for hiring candidates for these gateway roles is looking for green adjacent skills. These are skills that don’t necessarily fall under the green umbrella but would give the candidate the ability to do many functions related to the role. For example, candidates with STEM and digital skills can go a long way toward helping an organization reach its sustainability goals. Also, experience in industries currently undergoing a green transformation, like utilities, mining, transportation and agriculture can be applied to green jobs.
To find these candidates, employers need a robust souring strategy to identify those with adjacent skills. The right technology solution can identify both active and passive candidates with specific skills, expanding the talent pipeline and predicting factors such as cultural fit, willingness to change companies and future tenure potential.
3. Reskilling and Upskilling
When hiring candidates with adjacent skills, employers must implement reskilling and upskilling programs to fill the skills gap.
According to the World Economic Forum, nearly half of young workers believe they don’t have the right skillset to guarantee them an adequate job over the next decade. On top of that, sustainability transformations happen quickly, and without ongoing training, older workers could be left behind. The good news is that according to PwC, 77% of employees are ready to learn new skills or completely retrain in response to new technologies in the workplace.
Reskilling and upskilling can happen at a few different levels, from government programs to higher education and private employers. However, organizations shouldn’t just rely on external programs. By building effective reskilling programs, businesses invest in services tailored to developing their own workforce while also assisting the global need for more sustainable work.
A Renewable Future
Setting up a green, sustainable future is everyone’s responsibility. As the demand for green skills increases, employers need effective solutions for finding, hiring and training top green talent. RPO providers, especially those with talent advisory services, can be a valuable resource for talent leaders looking to revamp their recruiting programs for a renewable future.