There are a number of initiatives that businesses can take now to guarantee their future talent pipelines, says Christoph Hoffmann FIH.
Skills shortages, recruitment challenges, the next generation not interested in working in hospitality, etc … This is what we read in the industry news on a daily basis.
Clearly, we are very well aware that something needs to happen now to ensure there is a talent pipeline in place so that today’s businesses can exist tomorrow. Yes, there are many education charities, training providers and consultants out there doing a great job; and there are superb events happening across the country to raise the profile of the industry. However, I find it frustrating that in many conversations I have with hospitality managers at operations level, they seem to be looking to others to do something rather than at what they can do within their business to make a change today.
While, amongst other things, running the operation and making money today are the responsibilities of hospitality managers, surely a key task is to ensure that the business can exist and be run in a sustainable manner tomorrow. Why wait for others to find a solution to our challenges?
Of course, I appreciate that investing time, energy, and possibly money into initiatives that might only deliver a ROI in the far future can be a challenging thought for a hospitality manager who is trying to cover the shifts needed today; however to show that there is real value in this, I thought I’d share three examples of initiatives in and around housekeeping. I am sure that these can be applied to any other department in your hospitality business.
Yes! It is possible to run apprenticeships in housekeeping; there are a number of training providers out there who can provide guidance, support and tailor the delivery of the apprenticeship programme to the business needs. Giving an existing employee or new recruit the opportunity to develop or start a career will result in committed and motivated employees who are more likely to stay with the company and become the managers of the future.
If the next generation doesn’t know enough about our industry to decide to start a career in it, an easy option is to enable them to see what it is like to work in our industry. Providing a work experience programme will help to address this issue. There are benefits on many levels: the young person gets an insight into the ‘real’ world, your team members are able to share their knowledge, college lecturers and career advisors have access to industry professionals and will be able to draw on this during teaching and in career-planning sessions, your business gets an extra pair of hands and a team member without ‘tunnel vision.’ You never know, work experience students might just offer you an ‘out of the box’ solution to one of your operational challenges.
Student consultancy projects
Omni Facilities Management is now working with Edge Hotel School students on a consultancy project. The students, in their final year, have received a detailed project brief and are now working together with our management team on finding a solution to the real challenge outlined in the brief. It is still early days, but we are amazed by the enthusiasm and engagement shown by the students. We are convinced that engaging the next generation of industry leaders now, will deliver value to them and their studies, but also to our business today, and most likely convince some students to become part of our organisation in the future – forming our talent pipeline.